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I don't know if I've got a heart illness or if it's just anxiety, help please..

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Old 11-06-2012, 05:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 3
Safia1994 HB User
I don't know if I've got a heart illness or if it's just anxiety, help please..

Alright so this has been going on for about a week now, but it gets worse as time goes by. I've been really concerned about my heart. I don't know why. Idk about you guys, but with me I can feel my heart beat through my chest, without even putting my hand in any pulse area (such as putting my throat, etc). I just walk around feeling my heart beat. And it has been beating too fast lately, MOST of the time, for no apparent reason. Like right when I start thinking about it it just begins its crazy out of control rhythm that I just can't stop and the more I think about stopping it the more it beats faster and the harder it is for me to stop it! I just feel exhausted, and feel like fainting with my heart beating so fast all the time. But the last few days have been different. Fortunately I was able to get my mind off my heart a little and let it beat normally. However, last night I almost went out of my mind. I was so scared . You see, I'm used to hearing/feeling the beat of my heart through my chest while I'm doing my everyday activities. I don't if I can feel it because I am thin (18 years old, 5'8 and I weigh 120 pounds). Can anyone else feel their heart beat?

So yeah, back to last night.. I went to bed, and I was just lying there reading. Unfortunately I just couldn't read. I was so anxious, so scared, I felt so weird it's so annoying. All of a sudden I couldn't feel my heart beat through my chest as usual! My chest was like DEAD. I was freaking out. I then began to think the beat was getting weaker, and that's why I can't feel it. I put 2 fingers to my throat and I could feel my pulse, but why couldn't I feel it through my chest like I could before!? As time went by I get more anxious, more scared. I ended up getting out of my bed MANY times 'cause I thought my heart was about to stop. I just didn't feel like sleeping, I wanted to wake up my parents and go to the emergency room. But I just couldn't.. 'cause I've had an anxiety attack in the past when I thought my heart stopped, and my parents took me to the ER many times, the doc always tells us it's just anxiety and so my dad got really ****** of with every attack, trying to convince me it was nothing but I didn't take in a word he said. I always make them take me back. So it was frustrating, and I don't want to go back to the doc with him telling me 'it's just anxiety', and embarrassing myself again. And I don't want to scare my parents, either. They'll think I'm really sick when it could just be anxiety.

So when I got out of bed I starting going down the stairs, when I'm anxious I just can't stay in one place and I have to walk. Then I could finally hear my heart beat through my chest SO hard, very fast. Due to me being so scared. I was relieved, and exhausted. I sat on the stairs, miserable. I ended up getting back in bed, but the sense of my heart beat disappeared again, the only way I can feel it is through my neck pulse. What in the world? And when I awoke this morning, same deal. I can no longer feel the strong, frequent beat I always feel that assures me everything's okay. Unless everything's like dead quiet, and I concentrate REALLY hard, I feel a light, weak beat. It doesn't pound in a healthy, heavy way. The beats of my heart haven't changed, it has a normal rhythm, but it's quality has.. Could this be anxiety? Please help.. I've got no sister just 2 brothers and I can't really talk to them they'll just laugh.

I'm open to any questions.. I'm so anxious, so scared. I've just moved to Illinois 5 days ago and my condition isn't letting me enjoy anything. Plus I'll be starting school soon, that'll be hell with my heart driving me nuts.

I'm starting to think I have heart disease, I'm afraid my heart will stop any moment now.

I want to cry!!

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Old 11-06-2012, 09:49 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
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BensonB HB User
Re: I don't know if I've got a heart illness or if it's just anxiety, help please..

I've got a couple things to suggest here.

First off, most importantly, relax. There's an overwhelmingly large chance that nothing is wrong. You're 18, fit, and (I assume) have no previous history of heart problems. If it is an anxiety issue, the more you think about it and stress about it, the worse it will become. But again, chances are very good that it's not a physical problem.

Possible explanations for all this? Well it sounds like you're feeling your heartbeat at different intensities based on what you're doing and what position you're in. Keep in mind that being in different positions (such as on your side/stomach versus standing/sitting, etc) actually moves your heart in your chest, putting it closer to or further away from the chest wall, changing how it feels and sounds. As for the erratic heartrate...what kind of caffeine intake do you have? Sugar? Alcohol? Drugs? How often do you exercise? Do you drink enough water? There's really dozens of factors that can affect heartrate, and not always in ways you'd expect.

If you happen to have access to a stethoscope, maybe give it a whirl when you get these sensations that your heart has stopped, to give yourself some reassurance that all is well.

Now, all that said, if you feel like something is wrong, you shouldn't be worried about what others will think; you should prioritize yourself and your health. A trip to the doctor couldn't hurt, even if there's a 99.9% likelihood that nothing is wrong. I've gone through a similar situation on and off these past 8 months or so, so if you feel like PMing me with questions or anything please feel free.

I hope this helps calm your mind

Last edited by BensonB; 11-06-2012 at 09:50 PM.

Old 11-06-2012, 11:54 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,100
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Re: I don't know if I've got a heart illness or if it's just anxiety, help please..

Hi there,

It sounds like you have been checked for heart problems, and have also experienced anxiety. Anxiety is a real issue that is treatable, so if you are having trouble with it, you could see a doctor about it.

A big move like you mention and starting school could be enough to bring you anxiety. This is something you will likely have to learn to live with. Cognitive therapy is very helpful, which is teaching yourself to think your way out of anxiety. I would learn all you can about anxiety, and ways to know when you are getting anxious, what to do to calm yourself, and how to get thorugh it.

Usually if you can teach yourself to sit through your anxiety you will realize that your anxiety will get better and go down in time. These are called exposures. Exposing yourself to things that make you anxious until you realize you are not having a heart attack and you will calm down soon.

Perhaps next time you notice your heartbeat, you can understand that it will pass and do something to calm yourself. Taking your mind off your heart and putting your thoughts on something else should really help. YOu can journal, or pick up an activity to distract you.

I have also suffered with anxiety, and understand how scary it can be. It is worth any effort you can give yourself to learn techniques that make your life easier to manage. It is good you are starting off young, as life is one big learning experience.

I hope this luck to you.

Old 11-10-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 3
Safia1994 HB User
Re: I don't know if I've got a heart illness or if it's just anxiety, help please..

At first I could feel my heart beat without even trying, and it made me feel healthy; 'cause my heart was beating hard through my chest, assuring me it's okay. I didn't have to feel my pulse through my chest, throat or wrist and I could still hear/sense my heart beat while doing everyday activities.
But now I can't. Unless I like do some physical activity, sometimes even climbing up a staircase makes my heart pound through my chest. But if not, I can't unless I check my pulse through my neck. The wrist thing doesn't work for me.

I've never taken alcohol or drugs. The only thing I consume in the 3 is sugar, and not often enough to affect me.

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