I am 17, male, and I am worried about potential problems. I recently had a few panic attacks, after which I went for an ECG which turned out to be absent of problems. However, I am still experiencing little irregularities which seem to be centred around my heart. Examples include minor chest pains/aches, which can sometimes continuously last for a couple of minutes, or come on/off with my heartbeat for a couple of minutes. Palpitations can also occur, which normally last for a few minutes.
Also, I recently experienced little episodes where my heart would be beating OK, and it would then give a powerful beat which I could feel in my neck, before going back to normal. It wasn't painful, but rather a kind of twitching feeling that travelled through my arteries in my chest/neck with the beat. I don't really know how to describe it, but it felt irregular. Occasional extra beats are sometimes mixed in too. It's only little things,but they are happening more frequently, and I am really getting scared, especially as I have schoolwork and university entrance to think about. Anyone else having these issues? I just want to stop spending all day worrying about it.
Hi I'm 17 too and can identify with some of what you're describing. I've had a heart condition for my entire life and had surgery nearly 2 years ago. This year I've had palpatations and pain in the chest/arm/neck area. I saw a cardiologist who said the pain was just muscular and that many people got palpatations, even people who had no heart problems. It was about a week from the time I started noticing the palpatations and pain to when I saw the cardiologist and found that my anxiety made the pain worsen and become more frequent. After I saw the cardiologist the pain pretty much went after because I'd been reassured. So I recommend that you ask your GP to refer you to a cardiologist who can do an ultrasound (ECHO) in addition to the ECG so they can take a closer look at your heart. The main thing is to not to be scared which I know is a hard thing to do when you don't know what's going on and try not to stress about schoolwork/uni. I'm in the same position and I know about doing your personal statement and everything but try not to worry. Let me know how you get on.
Thanks for getting back to me, yes, deep down I know that if it has been tested and proven to be normal, there is probably nothing wrong, but then I will get another round of palpitations or aches and I will be back to square one, which as you say, will probably make it even worse. I notice that it seems to respond to my mood, because it never wakes me up while I am asleep (and hence not thinking about it) but when it is on my mind, I notice that things happen more frequently. For example today, I was just sat thinking about it and when I moved my arms after sitting a while, my chest went all tight for a couple of seconds before going back to normal. Of course, these things make all kinds of horrible thoughts run through my head, and I start worrying again. My feeling is that it is based on stress, because I have been getting more and more pressurised and stressed in past months, and it has been getting worse as a result, so maybe I need some kind of psychology... anyway, I'm going back to the doctor's tomorrow, so I will ask about this theory.
The following user gives a hug of support to gk737: rosier (10-10-2011)
Well, I saw the doctor, explained it all again, and he assured me that it was down to stress and anxiety. I am happy with this because I am very worried and anxious both about the future and about my health at the moment, and because the ECG showed up as healthy (plus there's no history of heart problems in the family, and I eat very healthily (thanks mum!) and have recently started exercising too. He referred me to the online CBT site MoodGYM (moodgym.anu.edu.au) which is apparently successful about 80% of the time, and I already feel better now that I am doing something about it. I just want to get out of the hole I'm in, where I spend all day just waiting for the chest pains or irregular beats to take hold, and get on with my life at this crucial point, where my friends are all preparing for Uni, and I'm just sat here scared that I am never going to do all the things I have been looking forward to and been working hard for. Can't wait to get myself sorted!