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Old 12-01-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
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I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

I've literally been losing sleep over this and I can't focus on anything else. I have a six figure job that I might lose due to my preoccupation with my anxiety. I need to break this cycle.

I'm a 25 year old male, 6"1, 170lbs, athletic. I've been athletic all my life. I cannot believe at my age I'm worrying so much about my health... I'm recently married, bought a house, have a great job, etc. I should be happier than ever but I've turned into an obsessive hypochondriac.

I had bad food poisoning one day recently and went to the ER, when they took my BP I started to have an anxiety attack (I always get nervous as hell when my bp is taken) and it resulted in a ridiculously high reading of 165/95 with a very rapid pulse of > 130. I tried to forget about that.

A couple weeks later I went to donate blood, I took a small dose of propranolol first, 2 hours beforehand, (I take this occasionally for performance anxiety). When they took my BP I was nervous but I could tell the propranolol was doing its job inhibiting the physiological effects of the adrenaline, yet it was still high at 144/92. This pushed me over the edge.

I then purchased a blood pressure monitor so that I can get a better picture of my BP in the calm privacy of my home. And I'm not quite sure how to interpret the results:

I use an OMRON HEM-780 bp monitor
L = left arm, R = right arm, each reading was after a 2min interval

1st reading, (nervous), L, 141/85, pulse 87
2nd reading, (still nervous), R, 140/83, pulse 85
3rd reading (feeling a little more calm), L: 128/82, pulse 74
4th, R: 122/76, pulse 77
5th, L: 127/81, pulse 78
6th, R: 126/81, pulse 74
7th, L: 119/78, pulse 78

The constant pulse rate of > 70 is a little high for me. When I'm entirely relaxed -- which is very rare for me nowadays -- my pulse is usually around 60.

I suppose I should feel relieved with the lower numbers but I cant help but think that they were artificially low due to multiple bp readings in a row (i.e. my blood vessels were constricted from the previous readings or something?). I'm not sure of that phenomenon even exists or if I made it up.

I can't take readings over a 2min interval because with all the time that passes I build up anticipatory anxiety.

I kept taking my blood pressure throughout the day and I kept getting the same trend; i start out at 140 and then with each 2-min interval I drop down, with my lowest reading being 114/69. BUT I ONLY REMEMBER THE BIG NUMBERS.

I can't get that initial 165/95 reading out of my mind.

I also cannot get the 144/92 while on propranolol out of my mind -- I thought beta blockers were supposed to lower my BP!

I shared this with my doctor and he didn't seem concerned, rather, he gave me xanax and wanted to refer me to a psychiatrist.

Yesterday I flew out on a business trip and begrudgingly decided to leave my BP monitor at home. Since I got here I've been in panic about this. I couldn't sleep last night.

Now I've convinced myself that I've done irreparable damage to my heart/kidneys and I have a death sentence. I'm afraid to go back to the doctor to discuss this or have tests done.

Last edited by jakep; 12-01-2010 at 02:41 PM.

 
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:03 PM   #2
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

Hi! I just made a similar post and I just wanted to say that I'm COMPLETELY in agreement with you about this having consumed me and I feel like I have a death sentence waiting for me entirely. I, too, am young and have just started to experience high blood pressure and the big numbers are all I remember. If I hit a low number I figure an hour later it'll be high again so no point in getting excited over it.

Just as a word of encouragement, looking at your low numbers with your low pulses I think you're doing pretty well. I'm not a doctor so of course I can't say anything, but your high numbers might be entirely related to your stress over it.

One day I ended myself up in the emergency room because I kept consistently checking my blood pressure at one point getting to 161/111 and I figured I was actually dying. I figured if my blood pressure is that high I'm going to die today.

I can't tell you to step away from the blood pressure machine because I can't seem to tell myself to do the same thing. I haven't even bought a blood pressure machine for my house for that reason because I'm actually convinced I'd do nothing but check it and obsess over it consistently if I had one. I check it twice a week and spend the other 5 days preparing myself for those two. I don't rely on the digital blood pressure machines either, I hate them. (except the fancy store ones) I'd rather have it checked by my nurse. My digital blood pressure cuff gave me the high reading of 161/111.

I'm sorry I'm not full of advice but I just want to give you some encouragement that I'd kill for some of your blood pressure numbers.

 
Old 12-01-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

Hey there. I just read your original post, what are the odds. I can relate 100% to your story. Like you, I've had some elevated readings in the past (within the last 4 years), but being anxious, the docs always chalked it up to white coat.

Now I don't know what to believe. I'm fearing that in the past 4 years I've developed some deadly disease. But my rational side says that the 140+ readings only occur as a result of situational anxiety. And I'm mentally stuck in that zone of uncertainty.

 
Old 12-01-2010, 04:21 PM   #4
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

Hey you two,
There are a bunch of us on this board with the same issues. My story is similar, got a high reading at the doctor and then bought a monitor and began obsessively checking it. Anxiety is a powerful thing and you can spike your number way up by stressing over the number. I had to get rid of my machine and have my doctor call my therapist to advice me to stop checking my bp. I have gotten it down to checking every three weeks or so and that is from several times a day several days a week. Like you jakep if i wasn't taking my bp I was planning the day, time, what to eat, what to drink, where to go...on and on. The key for me was to stop checking so much and to lower my standards. Once I stopped checking my numbers gradually came down and now my average is 107/74.

Get rid of the machine and let your doctor worry about it. If that isn't possible and I understand it is hard believe me I had to break my own habit then atleast set a schedule and don't break it. That is what I did at first and then even that was too much checking. When I first stopped checking the anxiety was awful but it gets easier over time.

What does your doctor say about your bp?
Ivy

 
Old 12-01-2010, 04:34 PM   #5
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

Thanks for the feedback Ms T. I guess BP anxiety is more common than I thought.

Since I'm out of town for the next 2 weeks and I left my monitor at home, I have no choice but to ignore my impulses. Judging by my current anxiety levels this will be a long trip.

My doc just said it's anxiety and not to worry. I asked him if having readings like this can be harming my body and he replies with "nah you're young, your arteries are elastic"

I'm trying so hard to take his advice and not worry for now, easier said than done unfortunately.

 
Old 12-01-2010, 07:05 PM   #6
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

welcome to the group...man you came to the right place. ms T and i are the resident experts...i can spike it up to 160/90 and get 110/50 at home...like you i'm athletic...6'3" 175...but i've been battling with this for a year now...and taken BP meds for 5 years. i'm 33...almost the EXACT situation as you...family, good job, etc...i did actually get fired because of this. it's anxiety man...but still i hear you...a high reading is a high reading regardles. i'll post more tomorrow, but you are in good hands with us. after 5 years with a BP machine i had to smash it with a sledge hammer...do yourself a favor and get rid of it...sometimes i wish i had it around, but for now you have to get used to the anxiety of not knowing what it is. that is the only way this will release itself...will write more tomorrow.

 
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:25 PM   #7
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

your blood pressure is not high

you are excitable

your doctor did the right thing he sent you to a psych

throw your bp machine away

 
Old 12-02-2010, 08:58 AM   #8
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

Thanks for the responses guys. Wolverinete thanks for the support man. I'm sorry to hear you've had to endure this as well, but comforting to know there's others who went through this. I guess I can see why I fell into this trap. BP is quantified, easy to compare, and fluctuates, so for people like me (and presumably you), a perfectionist all my life, it turns into a challenge. But being that this is health related, it requires -- to a certain degree -- that you consider and confront your own mortality.. thus it adds anxiety, which skews the results and creates a vicious cycle. Ideally, I should be able to say "so my blood pressure may be elevated, even when I'm not anxious, so what? I'll take some meds and live my life to the fullest." I wish that was my nature but it's not. I have to struggle to get through this and accept that may (or may not be) be the case.

I bought that bp monitor in an attempt to 'face my fear' and desensitize myself, but maybe that was the wrong approach. It just creates a compulsive habit. The anxiety never subsides it just intensifies. I'm like a crack addict begging for those low numbers. Can I borrow that sledge hammer?

I just don't know what my next step should be. If this is all in my head and these numbers are just psychosomatic results of anxiety, then I need to forget about this and move on. But if I actually do have underlying hbp then I should continue to pursue this and get treated. But if my results are never reliable due to cuff anxiety, how do I know if I require treatment.

Last edited by jakep; 12-02-2010 at 11:29 AM.

 
Old 12-02-2010, 12:36 PM   #9
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

wow. i don't know if i've ever heard this explained so eloquently...no wonder you make 6 figures. you hit the nail on the head 100%...and honestly, there is no answer...i'll tell you that now. except to not worry about it, live your life and just do what your doc says...but i, like you...can't do that. i have to be in control...anyway, here is my story and what i have learned...some you will like, some you won't.

even back in college, i can remember a gaggle of nurses surrounding me and i would get 160/90...heart pounding, palms sweaty, etc, etc. i would tell them that it's fine at home and usually get out of the appointment without meds. bought a monitor in college...140/80s...120s/70s...whatever...never anything awful. started seeing a doc regularly at age 28...150/90 here and there...told him it was whitecoats...but i was 220 lbs at the time...still, it was 100% anxiety...but his point was and still is...if you can tell me this is the only time during the day you are anxious, then you prob don't need meds. i am an anxious person and can not say that...BUT, i can say i don't have panic attacks to that extent during the day...only when checking BP. so i started on lisinopril (told him no BP med would work because they are panic attacks) and of course it didn't...but i started sprinting before my doc appointments to relax me...which did...120/80s...he thought the meds were working, i knew it was because i was just dead tired from running. anyway, did that for 5 years...he increased my meds when needed and i just didn't care...finally i started to really run a lot...determined to get off meds. year ago went in...144/96. he wanted to double my pills...i proceeded to lose 50 lbs, quit drinking, no caffeine, vegetarian, etc...look aneorexic and still can get a 160/80...my readings at docs now are 130/70...i run maybe 8 hours before the appointment, but nothing to skew it. i'm a ton healthier physically, but mentally nothing has changed...anyway...what i have learned:

1) if you are an anxious person and "capable" of getting a high reading you prob should be on some sort of meds. my wife has worse anxiety than i do and her BP never goes above 110/70.

2) when your BP is 150/90 during a panic attack, that is a normal reading...read that a second time. i said a NORMAL reading. that is where i get hung up...if you are sweating, frightened, panicked...you don't want your bp 120/70...sure it's a false alarm...but a high reading should be expected. the literature about 120/80 and health reports, etc all get stuck in your brain. whos healthier? 120/80 fatso or me with anxiety spikes, but run marathons and cholesterol at 130...resting pulse 38.

3) i tried facing the fear after i threw monitor out...would just get sky high readings at groc store and get so sad...you are trying exposure therapy. i get it...but not doing it the right way...i was wrong too. the exposure isn't gritting it out thru a panic attack reading...the exposure is to NOT check for a long time...sit in the anxiety of not knowing for a while and it will get habitual...every time you want to compulsively check it - don't. read hte brain lock book...relabel, refocus, reattribute, revalue...call it OCD, call it an obsessive thought...it's not you, it's OCD. you need to separate yourself from the 2 bodies...the anxious you and the regular you. call it an obsessive though and move on...distract yourself. it's hard, but your brain is stuck in the same gear...broken record, etc

4) educate yourself on BP...this won't help as much because if you are like me it's an obsessive though. i can leave a doc appt after a 130/70 and still be focusing on it...what is it now? maybe that wasn't accurate? i haven't eaten much salt today? i didn't drink last night...maybe that affects it? but overall...BP is not dangerous unless it hits 250/150 and STAYS there...then yes you might want to go to ER...but what can they do? surgery? hell no, they'll just put you on meds and send you home. bp is only dangerous when it goes up and stays up...or goes down and stays down...anything between 60/40 and 180/100...could be considered normal based on your panic, activity, etc...if it goes outside that range, feel free to call your doc.

5) worst case - meds...unfortunately that's why i'm in a tough spot. already take a medium dose...but still get panic attacks...although i get faint when i stand up too...and have seen 110/40s...so i'm prob on too many meds? but sometimes i think not enough...but worst case, just take em...especially if you have a family history...lisinopril is what you would be started on if you are athletic...i've thought about trying a BB, but heart rate is already so slow. i think i need more meds and doc says YES YOU DO...xanax or lexapro you dumbass...take your pic.

i have a lot more where this came from...i'm on my way out of this i hope...i blame a lot on stressful job, economy, becoming a dad, demanding wife...but i love my life and realize this isn't an external problem...it's internal. i've always been OCD, just never accepted it...this isn't anything new...the fact that it's BP related is new...but there is always something i'm over focusing on. we both should prob be on OCD meds...as should ms T. i'm still holding out and trying the cognitive crap...in 2011 i'll go to meds if i'm not breaking out of this.

 
Old 12-02-2010, 01:26 PM   #10
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

jake
your numbers are just not dangerous and you are worried about something that is no immediate threat.
honest

 
Old 12-02-2010, 03:36 PM   #11
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

Wolverinete hit all of the main points and has been through this as have I so his advice is good. What I have learned is to have realistic standards..I don't have to have perfect blood pressure I just have to have average blood pressure. I have learned that when I look back at my logs over months and months my numbers changed very little so I can safely assume that if I wait a month or so to check they won't change over that time. I have also learned that the healthier thing to do is to focus on being healthy, eating right, exercising, stress management. Obsessive checking wasn't lowering my bp it was just stressing me out. Like wolverinete said, it is just an ocd/anxiety behavior that we relieve by engaging in the compulsion which is the checking...no different that checking the stove to make sure it is off.

I understand the idea of using the home monitor to expose yourself to the anxiety and I think some exposure is neccessarry that is cognitive behavior therapy 101 expose yourself to the thing you are afraid of and realize nothing happens but the problem is you have the secondary phobia of not checking therefore you check obsessively and now you have the vicious cycle.

There are no words to describe how much better I feel not checking all the time, I actually have time to have a life and to be able to go to a grocery store without checking was a ridiculous type of heaven.

Check every now and then to make sure you don't have an issue and/or to provide numbers to your doc so they know you just have whitecoat and sit through the anxiety of not checking all the time. You will feel better. I don't know if you can do this with the monitor in your house, I couldn't so I check at the grocery every couple of weeks but Wolverinete gets anxious at the grocery so that is harder for him. Whatever works but the idea is to check enough to do the exposure but then stop. You just have to formulate a plan that works for you and stick to it, I find with ocd as long as you have a "safe" plan you will have less anxiety.
Ivy

 
Old 12-03-2010, 08:22 AM   #12
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

damn i'm impressed by all of you guys' knowledge and experience with this specific ocd/anxiety, you're giving me some great tools to approach this.

First, to reply to each of your posts:

wolverinete,

Yea just like you I started to have cuff anxiety back in college and would get the 140/85 readings. I really didn't give a **** back then, i was more concerned with hanging with friends, chasing girls etc. Maybe now that i'm married and settled down I have too much time and worry about stupid crap like this. i remember the saying "idle hands are the devil's playground". i finally understand that really means. ah well.

Similarly i don't get the same level of panic attacks throughout the day as i do from white coat, but I am a generally stressed/anxious person especially at work. with that said, i agree low dose meds are probably a good idea. it's hard to accept that at 25 i'd be taking bp meds, it's a depressing thought. but it would probably give me peace of mind. maybe simply a diuretic would be all that's necessary. lisinopril also sounds like a good idea for an avid runner like me. i think beta blockers would be the only thing that could curb the effect of BP spikes from stress/anxiety induced adrenaline rushes, but they would reek havoc on my athletic abilities.

noonereal

i know deep down that you're 100% correct. I've been trying to tell myself that constantly: "it's no big deal, 140/90 is borderline stage 1. even if that was your average CONSTANT BP (which i'm sure it's not), it would take MANY more years for that to do any irreversible damage." but for some reason i can't accept that. I keep thinking that my heart must be enlarged by now, kidneys are probably giving out.. etc. My last physical was 3 years ago, ekg, blood, etc. everything checked out good. and my doc doesn't seem like he feels the need to run any more tests.

Ms_T

you address the most difficult part of all this. i'm trying to think of a plan of action. like i said in a previous post, i'm on a trip right now so i don't have my monitor, so it's been a few days since i've had the opportunity. every day that goes by that i don't take it i get more anxious. I don't get back home until dec. 11th. but a couple nights ago when i was shopping i saw a bp machine and was very tempted. but just the thought of it made my heart race/pound.. there was no way i'd get a normal reading. so i quickly changed my mind.

i guess my plan will be as follows:

1. set up appt with a psychiatrist for the 11th like my doc recommended. i was reading that psychs also treat hbp as it is often a result of mental issues anxiety/stress etc. he'll probably take my bp there, i already know it'll be very high from nerves. hopefully not high enough to launch me back into hypochondria mode. if he still thinks meds aren't necessary then i'll trust him.

2. i'll limit monitoring to doc appts, blood donations (i try to donate every couple months) and one home reading per week. too much?



hopefully with some time i'll be able to get this all behind me. last night i went out with some buddies had some drinks and i remembered what it felt like to not give a **** for a while. i need to have the peace of mind back. i fell asleep last night thinking i was over this. but i woke up back in panic mode. i keep obsessing over that 165/95 reading. i think about that 140+/90+ reading WHILE on a low dose of a beta blocker. i feel my pulse all the time, i can feel the hard thud of my carotid artery and start to estimate how astronomical my bp must be. i'm hesitant to do heavy weight lifting due to BP spikes and only do aerobic exercise. goodbye muscle mass. i'm already getting the "wow you need to eat more" comments.

thanks again for the comments, i'll be back soon i'm sure

Last edited by jakep; 12-03-2010 at 08:42 AM.

 
Old 12-03-2010, 09:23 AM   #13
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

literally sounds like i could be writing your post...people tell me i'm too skinny all the time and i check my pulse 45 min of every hour i bet. i have a heart rate monitor for running and i wear it at work sometimes as a psuedo BP monitor...trying to tell myself that i've never gotten a high BP reading as far as i'm aware when my pulse is in the 40s or 50s...or even 60s for that matter. so if pulse is low = relaxed = normal BP.

not trying to be a downer, but this is a tough one to get out of...i hope you can share some encouraging progress. everything else...EVERYTHING else for OCD health concerns, you can get a test for...cancer, diabetes, nervous system diseases...it's not like by having a panic attack your cholesterol goes from 150 to 250 then back down. i know BP is a minor issue compared to most health concerns...but what makes it so unique is that it is the only one (other than pulse i guess) that is affected by current anxiety....think about it. what else is? cholesterol, blood sugar, melanoma, stomach cancer...they are what they are. i think it's because BP can be influenced by anxiety and anxiety is in our control to a certain extent. if my BP was fixed...constant at 140/90 untreated and that was my personal # for my entire life and i just had to take meds i sometimes think this would be easier...the decision would be done...there would be no speculation, no question...anyway...this just reeks of control issues and textbook OCD, GAD. but as my wife says...sure BP is affected by anxiety, but it's also a VERY controllable, treatable condition that MAY or MAY NOT impact your life in 30 YEARS...not 30 days. so all in all if this is the hand we are dealt, it's a good one. i've said that many times...just wish i could break out.

and yes, the booze will make it all go away my man...every time. it feels so good...try even checking your BP while drunk...i've gotten a 97/38 or something...but the rebound in the morning is awful...back up...way up. but its hard not to want to medicate with alcohol...i'm trying to get away from it, but it's hard...especially during the holidays and with work, happy hours, etc...but my psych said ativan or xanax is much healthier than booze. good thinking about having psych check BP...maybe she'd be better at treating it than my doc...i'll ask.

i think your plan is solid...once and week and once a week only...then you have to SIT in the anxiety and realize nothing will happen. i will be impressed if you can only check it once a week...it's hard...and checking just causes more checking. it's awful. ms T is right...what is checking accomplishing? if your BP is high, it's going to be high whether you check it or not...so why bother? because checking will only induce a panic attack...and thats not helpful...it's not high enough for a few weeks or month to do any damage, so just wait til doc appointment...trust me...i had a monitor on my arm 400 times a day...at work, in car, driving, at home, sleeping, standing, sitting, laying, sober, drunk...i still want to go back to that, but i won't. my anxiety was overall lower perhaps...but the compulsion to check wasn't...i don't know the answer...like you say...just **** it. i do think it's because i have too much time on my hands. if it truly needs to be treated, it won't hurt to wait to see doc. it's a long term game...like my doc says, BP is like the stock market...if you watch it constantly will drive you crazy. told him mine said 155/88 at grocery store...he shrugged...took it himself and it was 130/70. i think docs know how much it can bounce around...they take that into account...at least the rational ones do.

 
Old 12-03-2010, 12:08 PM   #14
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

You're right, this is a very unique form of OCD. So much uncertainty surrounding this. For anyone with anxiety about the conditions you mentioned.. cancer, diabetes, etc. they can get reassurance. Reassurance is the ultimate drug for people with health anxiety. But when your reassurance is a variable like BP it's an endless chase.

We have been dealt a good hand. and to me that's the most frustrating thing as strange as that sounds. my father in law is this rather large fella, on every BP med possible, had cancer, has severe sleep apnea, heart disease, etc. the guy can die any minute. But he's jolly as hell, nothing gets him down. All while managing a huge company and raising a family. Here i am this healthy young guy less than twice his age letting this consume me, it's embarrassing. So i internalize it of course. but internalizing something like this is hard to do, it affects my social and professional life.

So i bit the bullet and i just called the psych to get me in as soon as i get back in 10 days. That was difficult, i couldn't ever imagine myself needing a psychiatrist. But now i feel relieved, maybe this will put me on the right track. Honestly i don't care if i have HBP or not, i just want my mind back.

Last edited by jakep; 12-03-2010 at 02:18 PM.

 
Old 12-03-2010, 02:51 PM   #15
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Re: I've developed panic/anxiety/obsession over my BP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakep View Post
I've literally been losing sleep over this and I can't focus on anything else. I have a six figure job that I might lose due to my preoccupation with my anxiety. I need to break this cycle.

I'm a 25 year old male, 6"1, 170lbs, athletic. I've been athletic all my life. I cannot believe at my age I'm worrying so much about my health... I'm recently married, bought a house, have a great job, etc. I should be happier than ever but I've turned into an obsessive hypochondriac.

I had bad food poisoning one day recently and went to the ER, when they took my BP I started to have an anxiety attack (I always get nervous as hell when my bp is taken) and it resulted in a ridiculously high reading of 165/95 with a very rapid pulse of > 130. I tried to forget about that.

A couple weeks later I went to donate blood, I took a small dose of propranolol first, 2 hours beforehand, (I take this occasionally for performance anxiety). When they took my BP I was nervous but I could tell the propranolol was doing its job inhibiting the physiological effects of the adrenaline, yet it was still high at 144/92. This pushed me over the edge.

I then purchased a blood pressure monitor so that I can get a better picture of my BP in the calm privacy of my home. And I'm not quite sure how to interpret the results:

I use an OMRON HEM-780 bp monitor
L = left arm, R = right arm, each reading was after a 2min interval

1st reading, (nervous), L, 141/85, pulse 87
2nd reading, (still nervous), R, 140/83, pulse 85
3rd reading (feeling a little more calm), L: 128/82, pulse 74
4th, R: 122/76, pulse 77
5th, L: 127/81, pulse 78
6th, R: 126/81, pulse 74
7th, L: 119/78, pulse 78

The constant pulse rate of > 70 is a little high for me. When I'm entirely relaxed -- which is very rare for me nowadays -- my pulse is usually around 60.

I suppose I should feel relieved with the lower numbers but I cant help but think that they were artificially low due to multiple bp readings in a row (i.e. my blood vessels were constricted from the previous readings or something?). I'm not sure of that phenomenon even exists or if I made it up.

I can't take readings over a 2min interval because with all the time that passes I build up anticipatory anxiety.

I kept taking my blood pressure throughout the day and I kept getting the same trend; i start out at 140 and then with each 2-min interval I drop down, with my lowest reading being 114/69. BUT I ONLY REMEMBER THE BIG NUMBERS.

I can't get that initial 165/95 reading out of my mind.

I also cannot get the 144/92 while on propranolol out of my mind -- I thought beta blockers were supposed to lower my BP!

I shared this with my doctor and he didn't seem concerned, rather, he gave me xanax and wanted to refer me to a psychiatrist.

Yesterday I flew out on a business trip and begrudgingly decided to leave my BP monitor at home. Since I got here I've been in panic about this. I couldn't sleep last night.

Now I've convinced myself that I've done irreparable damage to my heart/kidneys and I have a death sentence. I'm afraid to go back to the doctor to discuss this or have tests done.

 
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