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Forums / Anxiety / why do i always think I am going to have a heart attack

Topic: why do i always think I am going to have a heart attack

24 posts, 0 answered
  1. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    59 posts
    4 February 2016
    I am 60 years and always think I am going to have a heart attack.  I do not have any problems with my heart had plenty tests - GP says the chest pains I keep having are anxiety/stress of course as soom as i have a pain in chest i panic which of course doesnt help.  GP says learn to accept nothing wrong with heart - easier said than done.  I can get a pain in morning after some stress and during the course of day gets worse end up at doctors he does ecg nothing shows i then feel better for a while.  Any advice re this anxiety
  2. Zeal
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    Zeal avatar
    1737 posts
    4 February 2016 in reply to contrarymary

    Hi Mary,

    Welcome to the forum!

    From your description, I am quite certain you have health anxiety. It also sounds as though your GP isn't giving you strategies to manage this anxiety, but just reassurance, which doesn't help you to deal with the anxious thoughts themselves. If you have a good patient-doctor relationship with your GP, then go back and ask for a referral to a counsellor or psychologist. If not, make an appointment with a different GP and say that you think you have health anxiety, and explain your symptoms.

    Here are two forum threads relating to health anxiety:

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/anxiety/physical-symptoms-is-it-anxiety

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/anxiety/health-anxiety-in-overdrive-help

    Good luck with seeking help :)

    Best wishes,

    SM

  3. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    59 posts
    17 September 2017 in reply to contrarymary
    Updating my post 17 months later I still have the same problems had every heart test possible all ok. Problem seems to be a night its a vicious circle cant sleep get anxious get chest pain so get more anxious and so it goes on. It happens about once a week so have learned to accept itand lie in bed awake listening to music and eventually drop off
  4. Starwolf
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    2521 posts
    17 September 2017 in reply to contrarymary

    Well done for learning to cope with this scary issue. Your doctor has given you good advice.

    Music is a great way to focus the mind elsewhere.

    Have you tried online treatment for anxiety (MoodGym, MindSpot) ? Have you checked the Smiling Mind and Buddhify apps ?

  5. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    59 posts
    5 February 2018
    Update it is nearly 2 years since my original post and I still have the problems. I have times when i just cant relax mainly at night i pace up and getting more and more agitated its like a vicious circle. I have had every test on my heart including angiogram, stress tests, echo you name it ive had it. I can be ok for months and then it happens its happened 3 times this week. I have just learned to live with it
    1 person found this helpful
  6. blondguy
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    blondguy avatar
    11264 posts
    5 February 2018 in reply to contrarymary

    Hi Contrarymary

    Great to see you back and thanks for posting again too

    Ive had the same unsettling feelings in my chest/heart too and it can be scary for sure

    Just for me it ended up being anxiety (after 13 years of thinking it was a physical issue...oops)

    After years of my heart/chest feeling a similar way I learned that our adrenaline gland can work overtime with even medium level anxiety thus making the palpitations and 'missed beats' more frequent....unfortunately

    I still occasionally get the same feelings (no pain though) about 4 times a year and they are a reminder for me that I have too much on my plate or my environment is not working for me

    You are proactive by having all the tests done and good on you! Its only my humble opinion as per my experience with similar symptoms that anxiety could be an issue

    I hope you can stick around ContraryMary. Your thoughts or questions are always welcome :-)

    My kind thoughts

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  7. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    59 posts
    26 September 2019
    Update here I am over 3 years still have problems last night was bad awake till 4am pacing floor been to GP this morning nothing physically wrong and learn to control it. Is it time to find another GP. I woke up at 7am which was 5 hours ago just been lying around doing nothing
    2 people found this helpful
  8. blondguy
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    28 September 2019 in reply to contrarymary

    Hi Contrarymary

    Good to see you again!

    Waking up in the small hours can sometimes be a sign of ongoing stress/fatigue. Can I ask if you have had any joy with seeing your GP and/or counselor? They can provide us with a solid foundation on which we can heal......as long as we can really discuss whats on our mind

    What are your thoughts?

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

  9. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    59 posts
    6 October 2019 in reply to blondguy
    Still having problems in fact lying awake now unable to sleep. Gp gave me some sleeping tablets but I have not taken any scared to. I was also referred to physiologist but can't see him for a weeks. We have visitors from overseas just now they are all fast asleep I am wide awake and can't sleep but my eyes keep shutting for a few seconds then wide awake
    1 person found this helpful
  10. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    59 posts
    23 April 2020

    Update

    i am now 65 years old and still have the same problems. Was so bad a few weeks ago that I went to emergency after all the tests chest pain was diagnosed as muscular. Really bad today less than 2 hours sleep so very agitated and stressed. Trying to relax. Can go for weeks and months feeling really so don't know what the trigger point is.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Midean
    Midean avatar
    23 posts
    29 April 2020 in reply to contrarymary

    Breaks my heart reading your posts mate.

    I am 40 years old and in the same situation as you.

    Since i was about 25, have been getting chest pain, heart palpitations, rapid heartbeat, and constant anxiety about it all.

    Like you, i have had every test done on my ticker, and all looks normal. Have been to the ER dozens of times because of my heart and the panic attacks that come with it.

    I woke up this morning and had a band of pain across my chest from the minute i opened my eyes, and have been on edge ever since.

    Really at a loss as to how to deal with this as it impacts virtually every aspect of life.

    If you ever find a way to deal with it, let us know as i will check in on this thread often.

    3 people found this helpful
  12. CalmCat
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    354 posts
    29 April 2020 in reply to Midean

    Hi Midean,

    Your post is so heartfelt thanks so much for sharing.

    Have you gone to your family GP to make sure everything is okay?

    When I used to get really bad anxiety my heart would go out of control; I just had to stop and breathe.

    Looking forward to hearing back from you.

    Regards,

    Doz

  13. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    59 posts
    15 May 2020 in reply to CalmCat

    Hi

    thanks for your response.

    i have been to my GP on numerous occasions he does the usual blood tests and other hear tests nothing to be found.

    went to emergency last week with chest pain and they did all the tests nothing found and referred my back to my GP

    GP and hospital reckon it is stress, I can get agitated and it erupts from there and doctor google does not help.

    going to see a cardiologist next week.

  14. Sarahbelle
    Sarahbelle avatar
    135 posts
    16 May 2020

    Hello All,

    I also suffer health anxiety and the current situation does not help where my mind goes straight to symptoms and the anxiety and feelings become so strong.

    My tummy and digestive system get a workout and feel other physical symptoms which can be scary. I have taken to drinking ginger/lemon tea and I find it does give me some relief and I have a chamomile and honey tea at bedtime.

    Might help you too.

    Hope you have a good day, Sarahbelle.

  15. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    59 posts
    17 May 2020

    Hi

    I managed to get a late appointments with cardiologist reassured me I don't have heart problems in good working order.

    Chest pains are stress and anxiety related and it's something I have to learn to live with. I bit hard when pacing floor in night.

    Looking for help on how to combat the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety

  16. blondguy
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    blondguy avatar
    11264 posts
    18 May 2020 in reply to contrarymary

    Hi ContraryMary

    Its always nice too hear good news! (with your cardiologist)...You wrote a great post on Annabay's 'What physical feelings of anxiety do you get' thread...and thankyou for sharing what you have been going through!

    Our adrenaline levels can sometimes give us heart palpitations which are awful to have. You dont have live with this as you mentioned....These physical feelings of anxiety do reduce with patience...time and strong desire to heal

    any questions are always welcome

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

  17. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    59 posts
    18 October 2020 in reply to contrarymary

    I thought I would update everyone on how it's going following on from my post.

    This original post was in 2016. Things haven't changed much still think every chest pain is a heart attack and have been to emergency on numerous occasions they do all the tests and of course found nothing wrong

    My GP referred me to a psychologist but they were more interested in my fear of the ocean and not being to touch the bottom. My GP says there is nothing wrong with me and that I need to accept that.

    I have been keeping a diary of events and it always seem to happen at around 10.00am or midnight and also if I read I bed till around midnight I sleep till around 7 but if I put the light of at 10am I wake at3am a can't get back to sleep

    Any ideas on how to cope wecomw

  18. blondguy
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    11264 posts
    23 October 2020 in reply to contrarymary

    Hello contrarymary

    thankyou for taking the time to post back...Just incase you missed it in my post above there is an excellent thread topic written by a poster last year. I hope it is helpful. Just click on the link below :-)

    What physical feelings of anxiety do you get?

    I have also had the heart palpitations/chest pain for a long time like yourself in the late evening...They can be awful to have

    any questions are always welcome contrarymary

    I hope you have a good weekend....Paul

  19. Guest_0753
    Guest_0753 avatar
    24 posts
    26 October 2020 in reply to contrarymary

    Hello ContraryMary,

    That must be quite stressful to constantly think that. It is good to hear you see a GP about it straight away so it doesn't get out of hand. I think we do start to worry about those health problems once we hit a certain age. My recommendation could be to see a Counsellor for your mind health in relation to the idea of age playing a part around physical problems. Example, heart attacks and trying to change mindset around it as I think this is where is concern might lie.

    Good luck :)

  20. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    59 posts
    30 April 2021

    It's hard to believe it's been over 5 years since I made the original post it was my first one.

    i still panic when I get a pain in my chest but try not to rush to emergency. I have had numerous tests on my heart annually and nothing is found it's all clear. I have put it down to health anxiety and try to live with it. I did get a mental health plan and had a couple of sessions with a phycologist but did not seem to make a connection with them but GP won't refer me to someone else and I need to persevere

    I try and keep occupied doing crosswords or jigsaws but still have bad days, usually at night when the rest of the house is asleep, I lie awake and of course get more and more anxious.

    thats my update

    1 person found this helpful
  21. Bulldogbobby73
    Bulldogbobby73 avatar
    14 posts
    4 July 2021 in reply to Midean

    Hi Midean,

    Do you still feel this way as it sounds similar to me - I mainly get the Palpitations and rapid heartbeat, it’s all I think about.

  22. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    59 posts
    15 August 2021 in reply to contrarymary

    Another update from me, getting better and more accepting of my anxiety and chest pain. I wore a 48 hour heart monitor and nothing was picked up that was unusual, had another stress test all ok.

    Last month my chest was really sore, but no other symptoms so went to emergency, i arrived in the packed emergency at 1.30pm I was still in the waiting room at 8.30pm waiting to see doctor, it was then I realised that there was nothing wrong it was anxiety and stress, doctor confirmed that not having a heart attack his suggestion find something to occupy my mind and keep active so we adopted a greyhound and now if I get the usual pains we take the dog out, must be working have not been to emergency for 3 months

    1 person found this helpful
  23. bluemoonbluesky
    bluemoonbluesky avatar
    23 posts
    15 August 2021 in reply to contrarymary

    Hi contrarymary, I am so sorry. I am younger than you (early 30s) but have been dealing with chest pain on and off for almost 3 years. However the other physical symptoms I get are textbook anxiety and feed off each other. Since my first panic attack in late 2018 I have been to the ER 4-5 times and had a heap of tests. Holter, x-ray, bone scan, stress tests, numerous blood tests etc. My GP and numerous ER doctors had no real answers. At one point, I had benign ectopic beats for about 3 months until one day they just stopped.

    Like you, once I also went to ER and sat there for hours, before realising that once again I would get the same answers so I just left. It is exhausting. I used to be an avid gym goer and my health anxiety has destroyed my fitness routine. I cannot lift weights anymore due to a rapid heartbeat and some weird chest sensations I get. Plus the shakes after any rigorous physical exercise. At one point, I did research and thought I had costochondritis (rib cartilage inflammation). I ended up going to a chiro that was also into mindfulness and he didn't necessarily think I had costochondritis but rather it was all anxiety. I tend to agree.

    I've had months where I've been fine but the pains/sensations return when I feel more anxious. There was a great post I read on here once about just accepting your fate and not caring what will happen. To some extent I have moved on but I still get times when it is all-consuming and unfortunately I am going through one of those patches. I find walking helps and a nice routine at night helps, whether it's some relaxing music and a cup of tea or something to engage with. I cannot count the amount of times I laid there in pain (especially lockdown) and just hoped for the best, and yet I am still here after all those years of pain. Surely, surely, if something was really wrong, it would have got you after 5 years? Lastly, I cannot underestimate acceptance. Accept that for better or worse, it's part of you and you have nothing to fear. Only then can you move on.

    It sucks and I'm so sorry that after 5 years you experience the same. Sending you my wishes.

    3 people found this helpful
  24. Glenncoco88
    Glenncoco88 avatar
    15 posts
    8 September 2021 in reply to contrarymary

    I’m in the same boat as you. I get the tingling electric shock feelings and rapid heartbeats. It’s hard to accept it’s just health anxiety. Especially when your heart wants to do that.

    I think it’s great we have a community like this where we can bounce off each other.

    1 person found this helpful

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