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Old 09-27-2008, 09:06 AM   #1
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17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

Hello guys.

First of all, I'm a 17 year old male, and for the past 3 years or so I've suffered with very bad anxiety.

My problem now is that I sometimes get a fast heartbeat. The heartbeat can go up to about 120BPM and it usually happens when I've walked down/climbed up some stairs, but it can happen for just no reason, but usually when I'm worrying about something.

I get panic attacks quite alot, I worry about ANYTHING health related, so you could say that I am a hypochondriac.

I've also been getting a sensation of not getting enough air, but this has happened to me ever since I started to understand what anxiety is, I also feel dizzy when my heart starts to beat faster than usual.

When I'm not anxious, my resting heart rate can be anything from 72-84. Admittedly I am not healthy, I haven't done any proper exercise for about 2 years now and I think that I'm over weight.

Ok, so I went to my doctor about these fast heart rates about a month back, and he said it was anxiety, he wanted to give me some beta blockers but I told him I didn't want to take them because I get REALLY anxious about side effects medication can give. So, he scheduled an ECG, I went for the ECG and the results came back and it showed that my heart was beating fast.

I have a question, I was anxious when I had the ECG and my heart was beating fast, would this show up on the ECG? Or does the ECG know when your body is under stress?

So my doctor scheduled me an appointment for another ECG at cardiac unit, he said he did this 'just to be safe'. He knew I was very very anxious about the whole situation.

My question is, if I get the sensation of not getting enough air, fast heart rates now and then and dizziness, could this be a sign that I have a major problem with my heart? I get palpitations sometimes too.

I have also developed a nasty habit of checking my pulse every 2 or so minutes. Yes, it really is as tedious as you think, it drives me up the wall.

So, what do you think this could be guys? Could anxiety normally cause your heart to beat faster, dizziness and have a not enough air sensation?

Thank you very much for reading.

 
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:46 AM   #2
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

You sound like my hypochondriac son at that age. It is good you went to the doctor for testing but the testing really didn't show anything wrong and not anything wrong with your heart. If you don't take the medicine then how do you know that you are going to have side effects from it?...it isn't a lifetime of taking it but the doctor is trying to give you something to stop your stressing. My son also went to several different types of doctors and never followed any of their suggestions because he felt they were all quacks and didn't know what they were talking about. Well really what he needed to do is get busy with life and work and do other things...he had way too much time on his hands and so he spent it worried. I bet you don't sleep well at night either just thinkin about what could be wrong with you. And I bet you won't listen to anything anyone else says about it thinking that no one understands you? If you don't have a sense of humor about yourself you are not going to have fun in life at all. So the bottom line is you have a slightly rapid heartbeat and you don't want the medicine but you aren't going to die from it. My son is now 40 with 5 kids and he still is a hypochondriac...but he also has a sense of humor about it. Good luck.

 
Old 09-27-2008, 12:39 PM   #3
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

yes. anxiety really can do all of these things. I have similar issues regarding my blood pressure and am convinced I have a slight ODD (my obsession being my blood pressure and my compulsion being checking it - kind of like you do your heart beat). I find Zoloft helps me not spin so much on it. It's a viscious cycle, but at the end of the day NOBODY will ever be able to give you 100% reassurance that you are A-OK. We are organic, afterall. As anxious people, we have to find a way to just accept what we can't control and get out there and enjoy life!! Life is, after all, for the living!

(I will say though, that anxiety can absolutely cause all of the symtoms you describe. And I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with your heart! Excercise would go a really long way to strengthen your heart and further ease your mind of the worry!)

 
Old 09-27-2008, 01:06 PM   #4
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

Thanks for the replys guys. I am actually a little more assured.

My appointment to see the cardiac doctor is for next month, I think I'm going to be very anxious until then as I'm worried he'll have some bad news for me.

 
Old 09-27-2008, 06:15 PM   #5
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

I also have had health anxiety for a number of years (hmmmm....about twenty now I think, I didn't start quite as young as you....) Same stuff with the heart - ECGs and stuff. It might be time to do something a bit proactive and start some exercising (just gentle at first so you don't scare yourself with fast heart rates, etc). Maybe start walking for five minutes on the first day and seven minutes the next day etc. And I agree with the person who said you've got to get involved in your life and things you enjoy and that will help you forget about this health anxiety. But don't get me wrong - I know how real it is and how it can totally obsess you. First of all, stop taking your pulse. I was doing that last week when I was going through a bad phase and I found as soon as I got distracted with something else my pulse would go down but as long as I worried about it my heart would keep racing. Also have you had your iron levels checked? Low iron can make your heart race when you climb stairs and also make you feel short of breath.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 12:26 AM   #6
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

Thanks for the reply Trixibel.

I did have a blood test done because they suspected Anaemia, but the blood test came back clear.

I have been anaemic in the passed, but I took iron supplements and it must have cleared up.

I think the thing that worries me the most is when my heart rate rises for no reason at all, just when I'm sitting on the computer for example, I always think to myself maybe this is a heart problem, because it shouldn't beat this fast for no reason. This morning I woke up, measured my heart rate and it was 96, and I didn't really feel anxious.

How does caffine affect anxiety? I don't a few caffinated drinks a day but from now on I'm going to totally cut caffine out of my diet to see if I notice a difference.

Thanks.

Last edited by Cined; 09-28-2008 at 12:27 AM.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 11:21 PM   #7
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

well just so you dont feel alone or there is something wrong with you, a few years back i went to my doctor and she hooked me up to an ekg because i had the same symptoms as you. my heart rate was 152 bpm!!! im an anxious person by nature and she knew that. there was no abnormalties with my heart rate. after a lil bit she checked my blood pressure and heart rate after relaxing a little bit and she found it went back to normal. so basically all of what you are saying and the same thing i go through everyday can most defenitely be anxiety. ive had numerous tests done. the only thing that ever came back abnormal was a test with the psychiatrist and that is the day i found out i suffered from anxiety disorder.I hate the having not enough air sensation. It is the worst!!!! another thing is finding the right doctor. fortunately mine had a background in mental health as well as being a md. she was very thorough with everything. i hope this helps you some.PS. i started checking my pulse when i was 7 years old after my grandpa passed, i eventually breaked that habit. just remember, you are not alone

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-29-2008 at 08:19 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 09-28-2008, 11:30 PM   #8
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

caffeine is not good for anxiety. that was the first thing my doctor told me to cut out. its a stimulant.

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-29-2008 at 08:20 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 09-30-2008, 04:43 AM   #9
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

Cined, im the same as you buddy but i went on beta blockers. I listened to my doc, and while im not out of my anxiety problems yet, they have helped with sleeping, palpitations etc, the rest like going into shops, driving distances is down to me. Do you suffer any social anxiety like being in crowds?

 
Old 10-01-2008, 08:10 AM   #10
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

Yeah I hate being in crowds. I start to feel all dizzy, my heart races and I just get an overwhelming feeling to run away.

But even when I don't feel anxious my heart rate will be fast, like right now, it's going 96BPM and I don't feel anxious at all. :s

 
Old 10-01-2008, 08:49 AM   #11
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

You are anxious - you are talking about it, just by typing about it on this board your mind is in anxiety mode. Im not a doctor and its entirely up to you, but the beta blockers (im on propronolol) have helped. I stand in crowds and although feel a bit wizzy, my heart doesnt race. Ive been on them before and they did help. Anxiety is no way to live your life; i have a son and partner - so i need to get better for them aswell as myself. I would listen to your doctor and take his advise. How are you going into shops, pubs etc? if your like me, you cant do it? But, you will get out of it.

 
Old 10-01-2008, 02:12 PM   #12
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

The doctor gave me propronolol but I couldn't take them, just reading the side effect leaflet gave me a panic attack. I told me doctor about this and he understood, if it made my anxiety worse there was no point in taking them.

I used to be a VERY social person, I was out all the time. Infact, I used to go out clubbing with my mates alot, yes I'm only 17 but everyone starts before they're 18.

Anyways, the reason I stopped drinking was because on one night out I noticed that alcohol made my heart race REALLY REALLY fast, at the time it felt it was over 160ishBPM but I didn't measure it properly because I was too drunk. The day after I had 2 bad palpitations and that put me off alcohol forever!

Last edited by ms_mod; 10-01-2008 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 10-01-2008, 03:47 PM   #13
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

i really think you are putting too much thought into your heart rate.the simple thought of it is gonna raise it. you may feel relaxed but its our thoughts that produce anxiety. i cant stress it enough but you really need to not put so much thought into your heart rate.if youve been to doctors there is no need to worry.easier said than done, yes... but you gotta start somewhere.

 
Old 10-02-2008, 06:43 AM   #14
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

I was like that with propronolol, worried about the side effects, but if your doctor says its ok then you should be ok. Unless your coping ok, which by the sound of things you are not, i think you should follow the docs advise. I hate benn on medication, but thats what meds are there for, to help us.

By the way propronolol slow your heart beat down; my usuall resting h/b was 72, its now 60-66, which when i told the doc he said that was good.

Last edited by richard1971; 10-02-2008 at 06:44 AM.

 
Old 10-03-2008, 10:24 AM   #15
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Re: 17 year old. Anxiety. Fast heart rate.

Have you considered CBT therapy? Medication can only do so much. The combination can help you gain control over this while you are still young.

Good luck!

 
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