Michael, I would make the assumption that you have tried or are on something to calm your anxiety down. If not that i would say go back to your doctor and ask for something to calm it down before taking atenolol. IE you have to treat the root of the problem first, which in your case sounds like anxiety. If you are on something, then fear less, atenolol has been around for quite a long time and while yes, there are side affects of every drug out there, rest a sure that atenolol if highly used and wouldnt be if there were that many deaths from it. It is a risk you are going to have to think about, as taking any medication for your heart is a serious thing. However, you have to weigh both the risks and benefits for you and your health.