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DisneyGirl Offline
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My anxiety about health issues is ruining my life - August 15th 2019, 10:52 PM

Hey guys. I am going to try and keep this short. Since I was 14 years old I have always self diagnosed myself with countless illnesses, each time I panic and just “know” THIS time I’m dying. I feel like I’m losing control.

My friends and family are all SO tired of hearing me. Well a couple of weeks ago I was worried be wise I felt cold. Yes, I felt cold and was worried. I tried to sleep and I could just feel my heart pounding away which terrified me. I got up and tried to walk around. At this point it was 2:30 am, everyone was asleep. I am 19 and I live at home. I was so panicked I drove myself to the ER. I was terrified. I got there and the nurses immediately put an IV in me and started an EKG on my heart. My heart rate and blood pressure shot up. Which I know anxiety can do.

My EKG and blood tests came back fine, however it’s like that scare has stuck with me the past couple weeks. After the ER I went to my normal doctor a Couple days later for a follow up. He listened to my heart and seems to want to pin it all to anxiety. ( which yes I know I have.). I was started on antidepressants. The first day I took them I had heart burn that night and burning in my arms and that terrified me. I thought I was dying again and had a panic attack. In another couple of days I went to urgent care. I had the burning and chest pains. A cardiac nurse practitioner was there. My pulse was fine then. She listened to my heart and told me it sounds healthy. I tried to tell her I was terrified of x y and z and she just looked at me and sighed, telling me the antidepressants are known for causing these side effects. She told me her daughter started the same medicine and had the same symptoms. She told me she has been doing this 20 years, she specializes in cardiac related things and that I am fine. According to her my heart sounded healthy.

So now I have had an EKG on my heart, blood tests, and 3 doctors total have listened to my heart. The heart burn and burning sensations in my arms went away. My normal doctor agreed that they were side effects from my anxiety medication. They switched me to a new one and all of that went away and I do feel better. However I just feel a tightness in my chest still. It’s terrifying me. Everyone keeps telling me it’s anxiety and I’m sure they are right. And I know anxiety can cause chest tightness. I am just at wits ends, despite doctors telling me I’m fine I CANNOT accept it. I am so scared I feel like I need to plan my own funeral. Last night at 3 am I took my blood pressure and pulse literally 20 times. My blood pressure tends to not go much higher than 130 but is generally 120/80 ish. My pulse has been fine for the Keith part and around 87. Doctors have no reason to believe im not healthy. I just can’t stop with this anxiety about chest tightness. This is not how I want to live

Last edited by DisneyGirl; August 16th 2019 at 02:44 PM.
   
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Re: My anxiety about health issues is ruining my life - August 18th 2019, 07:20 PM

Hey there,

I'm really sorry you are struggling with healthy anxiety. I've had similar issues in the past and I understand the feeling of needing to check and get feedback from others because you are convinced that this time you are seriously ill.

Since you have been checked over by several health professionals and have had tests done, it does seem to be that the anxiety and the effects of the medication are causing the chest pain issues. The problem with anxiety is that it can cause very real physical sensations which can often be confused with other medical problems. The trick to dealing with health anxiety is a mixture of reassuring yourself that you are okay (and keep reminding yourself that you've had tests done, spoken to professionals etc) and to lower the amount of times you are checking in on your health. I understand that can feel overwhelming but it seems like you aren't checking once or twice but multiple times, and what tends to happen is this repeated checking is feeding the anxiety and making you feel like you need to keep checking. So try to give yourself a limit as to how much you check. For example, if you had taken your pulse 20 times, how would you feel about lowering that to 10-15 times?Over time, if you are still checking your pulse on a nightly basis, how about lowering it further to 5-10 times, and then further still to less than 5 times? It can take a lot of effort to not check more than your limit but with time, you should realise that nothing bad is going to happen to you if you don't check. Checking tends to reinforce the anxiety so breaking the cycle may help a bit. You may still feel some tightness in your chest if you are anxious, but you can remind yourself that it's just anxiety and you don't need to keep checking your health.

Anxiety tends to affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. We may notice physical symptoms of anxiety, and in turn we may start worrying and thinking about what this means for us, which in turn can affect our behaviour. With health anxiety, we may focus on our body and notice something new, which causes us to feel physically anxious, and we may start worrying about health conditions. We may then look things up online, ask for reassurance, repeatedly run health checks etc. when it may have been nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, with anxiety, we are rarely satisfied so we may feel we have to be always on the lookout which keeps us stuck in the loop of checking repeatedly. It can help to understand this cycle so you can try to break out of it before you realise you are stuck in the anxiety cycle. It might help to challenge your thoughts and reassure yourself e.g. think of other times when you were worried about something that turned out to be less serious. Behaviour wise, try to avoid looking things up online as that will more than likely make things worse for you. You can give yourself permission to check your health so many times but not more than that, and remind yourself that you are okay because you've already been checked out. Try not to give into the anxiety and instead try to distract yourself- listen to music, watch/play/read something or just generally keep yourself occupied so you aren't focusing on your thoughts and anxieties.

For more information on health anxiety, you might want to check out this article (UK based website). Health anxiety can be treated with therapy such as counselling or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) so if you think it might be helpful to you, then you might want to talk to your doctor about having a referral for therapy.

Hope this helps a bit!


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Re: My anxiety about health issues is ruining my life - October 20th 2020, 12:43 PM

[FONT=""][COLOR=""][SIZE=""]Googling the symptoms and diagnosis just show the results which have better search engine optimization. I'd advice you to not rely on the information there. But you will say "I've seen the author bios and there expertise and degrees."
But let me prove myself, those article written by top experts are just written for general public after doing "keyword research". So keep in mind that going for checkup to the specialist doctor is the best way to treat diseases.[/size][/color][/font]
   
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