Boy what can I say!! After reading some posts in this board and the Panic disorders board I have had one helluva revalation. I have read several posts in each board and they sound like me to the dime.
First of all, a little background on me. I am 21, male, in pretty decent shape, and pretty active 4-5 days a week. For the past 3 years now, I have suffered on and off from horrible chest pains. Shortness of breath, light headedness, dizzy spells which I can only describe as feeling like I was absolutely trashed drunk except I was sober, and a real spaced out feeling. The spaced out feeling is without question the worst because while the other symptoms would come and go for short periods of time the spaced out feeling was there 24 hours for days at a time. Let me tell ya, sometimes all these feelings would come at once and i have to (although kind of hate to) admit that was some freaky stuff. Now, over the past 3 years, because of these symptoms I have been to the ER twice, and my doctor a couple of times. I have had more EKG's, chest X-Rays, Stress tests, BP tests than i bet most people who are 60!! I've even had a couple of brain CAT scans done! That's absolutely humiliating for someone my age!! AND everytime they do these tests they come out absolutely 100% normal. In fact, the last time I was at the ER (a few months ago) the doctor on duty said my heart was in amazing shape!! When it comes to heart problems my family history is absolutely flawless, I can think of no family member who was ever diagnosed with a heart problem. Yet, even through all these reasurrances when these symptoms would come I would still get really nervous.
I began to think that there really was something wrong with me, that I had a rare disease or something. And as a result I would just dwell on these symptoms, which of course just made them worse and worse and worse. I was almost convinced that I was slowly dying and would be one of those exceptions to the rule of having a heart attack or stoke when your this young. Then earlier this year I discovered this website healthboards. I had never even heard of a panic attack before this, and although I knew anxiety made symptoms worse, I never realized that anxiety can cause a whole slew of symptoms which are so heart attack and stroke like that its amazing. (although both times I was at the ER the doctors said it was probably anxiety). And that every symptom that I had been so concerned about was shared by many other people!
Now, since reading these boards these symptoms have greatly improved. I still have them on occasion (particularly the light-headedness and spacey feeling) when I get stressed about work and my upcoming senior year at college (ahh the last year before I must venture out into the real world
But, I do manage them better than I did before. I also realize that I guess all of us are going to be stuck with this kind of anxiety for most of our lives, and that panic attacks are also going to haunt us. We just have to tough it out and know we are going to make it.
So anyway all, thanks a bunch, it is definately a comfort to know that I am not alone out there ( I never talked to my friends and family about this because I didn't want them to base any decisions around my symptoms). Hopefully you all will get better, and that your symptoms will leave.