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Old 08-12-2010, 09:10 PM   #1
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Anxiety caused by chest discomfort, or chest discomfort caused by anxiety?

Hey everyone. I've posted on here a few times before and you've all been very helpful, so I thought I'd come back.

I had my first panic attack ever about two months ago. Since then, I've had my share of anxious days, but they're coming farther and farther apart. I don't know if that means that eventually I'll be having anxiety maybe once or twice a year instead of once or twice a month, but I hope so!

I went to the E.R. for my first panic attack because I thought it was a heart attack. I got a clean bill of health and was sent home.

However, recently (within the last week or two), I've been having very minor chest discomfort. It's not painful or alarming, but any discomfort in that area makes me very worried. Oddly enough, I only seem to feel it at night, when I'm alone watching TV or using the computer. It doesn't last long - the discomfort goes away within a couple of minutes and I only feel it maybe once or twice a night. The sensation is kind of hard to describe, but the closest thing to it is a stomachache. That sort of hollow, achey feeling, except in my chest and it's very brief.

I've heard that anxiety can cause chest discomfort and sensations, but shouldn't I start feeling anxious prior to the discomfort? It feels to me like I'm in a perfectly good mood until I feel the mild ache, and then I start to get anxious and a little scared. I usually have to fend off a bit of anxiety, and then two or three minutes later the ache goes away and I go back to whatever I was doing.

Is it possible for anxiety to build up "in the background" so that you only notice it when the physical symptoms hit you?

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Old 08-12-2010, 09:51 PM   #2
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Re: Anxiety caused by chest discomfort, or chest discomfort caused by anxiety?

I was getting some sort of chest pains too. Went to ER two occasions because of them. EKG was okay, they said it was either anxiety or reflux. They gave me prescribed prilosec for reflux, Well that didn't help, tums didn't help, none of it did and I thought for sure it wasn't stress related although stress CAN cause chest pains but I didn't think so in my case. Anyhow...I went to chiropractor for back/neck pain and it cured my chest pains (and headaches)! Phew!

So now when I get chest pains I fix my posture, open up my chest, sit straight and tall all that and it usually goes right away. It especially was hurting me in sitting positions when they started. This may or may not be your case but it's a thought.

I always get the physical ailments BEFORE my anxiety which leads me to believe they are not anxiety caused but my doctors try to assure me it's the other way around. Not sure I'm convinced. I really don't know.

Old 08-17-2010, 05:28 PM   #3
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Re: Anxiety caused by chest discomfort, or chest discomfort caused by anxiety?

Thank you for your reply, Staceylee.

Unfortunately, it's been about six or seven days and I still have a lot of little aches and pains.

They seem to be all over my torso - sometimes it's my neck, other times my shoulder, and (most alarmingly) occasionally in my chest.

A couple of hours ago, I was on the phone talking to a friend when I rolled onto my left side. While lying on my side, I found it painful to breathe. I rolled off that side, and over the course of 15 minutes, I rolled from side to side and found that I felt that slight pain every time I was on my left side. I felt a sudden wave of pure fear - a falling sensation accompanied by a very cold feeling in my arms and legs.

I fought it off, and now I'm sipping some warm tea. It feels like my body is hyper-sensitive to every little sensation. When I'm anxious like this, and I drink something hot or cold, I can feel it traveling down my throat and into my stomach. That's very weird, and not exactly pleasant.

My biggest worry is that my anxiety will make it harder for me to detect more serious problems. What if one day my chest pain is a real indicator of a heart problem, but I dismiss it as anxiety?

At first, after the initial scariness wore off, I actually started thinking I would be able to easily defeat anxiety if feeling scared was all it was. But it keeps manifesting itself in different forms - first I was worried about my breathing, now I'm worried about my heart.

This sucks.

Last edited by Slickie; 08-17-2010 at 05:29 PM.

Old 08-17-2010, 06:15 PM   #4
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Re: Anxiety caused by chest discomfort, or chest discomfort caused by anxiety?

My chest pains have been coming back some too. They started a couple months ago. Plus jaw pain, neck pain, shoulder blade pain, and arm pains. Some days I swear I am going to have a heart attack. That's what I hate about anxiety, is it anxiety or something else. My doctors assure me I'm "healthy", and don't think I'm high risk at 28 yrs but I have all these physical issues (tons more I didn't even mention) that I don't know what there cause is. I sucks.

Last edited by StaceyLee; 08-17-2010 at 06:17 PM.

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