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Anxiety Message Board


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I'm new here, 42 male, married 2 kids.

I just started reading this board today and Holy crap. I am truly amazed, sad and relieved that I'm not alone with this. It's opened my eyes a bit to what my true problems may be.

My anxiety is also heart related but also covers a decent range of other symptoms from inability to concentrate, to worrying needlessly over everything and anything to not being able to sleep properly. Most every day there's something that I dwell on all day long, either a heart related ailment or some obscure thing from the past or even worrying excessively about future events that I have to participate in. My future events one is great, I always have thoughts that even if it's something that I enjoy, that I'll have a bad time or someone will get hurt.


I just got back this weekend from a cruise to the southern caribbean, absolutely beautiful. On day two had a panic attack of sorts while snorkeling(thought I was having a heart attack while out about 80 yds from shore just floating) and spent the rest of the week checking my pulse and taking my blood pressure (always carry my blood pressure thingie with me while traveling). This is all done very discreetly from my wife but I think she sees some of it. Of course, pulse was high all week and blood pressure was higher than normal so I had to worry all week that I was going to die in some third world country while my kids were escorting the casket off the ship.

Didn't happen but it sure did put a damper on the amount of fun I had. Drinking of course gets rid of the thoughts temporarily but it must have been a curious sight for those around me at the blackjack table watching me take my pulse between hands. Hangover days are worse, have to check my pulse constantly. As soon as I got back from the cruise my pulse and bp went back to normal for a few days until my Dr's appointment.

I also read years ago that a heavy meal could trigger a heart attack and that so many heart attacks happen in the morning. So this manifested itself into my feeling ill everyday during breakfast on the cruise ship. It's actually a pretty common occurance for me to feel ill if we go out to eat even while at home but I don't let anyone else know it, I just try to avoid going out.

Anyway, I went to the Dr today for a followup for high blood pressure from last March. I made some lifestyle changes and my blood pressure although never really extremely high was even better now. Pulse was down and didn't gain any weight from quitting smoking. Well, I show up at her office and after months of excellent blood pressure readings from home, it was now sky high and my heart was racing.

Did I mention that snack food is my friend? It seems to be one of the few things that gets rid of obsessive or worrisome thoughts for a short period of time. Key is to keep eating and then all thoughts go away, probably why I'm about 30 lbs overweight also.

Since I quit smoking I now have a whole new set of replacement behaviors like constant gum chewing, various twitches and neck/shoulder tension all day everyday.

My Dr wants me to see a cardiologist because she thinks there's something that just not right but can't figure out what it is. The subject of anxiety came up today afters months trying to convince her that all my readings at home are great. I asked her to look into treating my anxiety and she blew it off. She's never asked me about having anxiety or if I have any symptoms but I truly believe that this is the root of all of my issues.

I've been to the ER 3 or 4 times over the last 10 years and they never find anything. I think my anxiety has manifested itself to a point where the symptoms are perfected and give just the result of what I'm anxious about.

I worry about my heart and blood pressure if I can't find anything else to worry and dwell about.

If I'm thinking high heart rate, up it goes. High Blood pressure, sure, no problem.. Dizziness, can produce that one in about an hour. Palpitations, coming right up, there's one....

Just this past March she had me have a stress test that came out negative and now everytime I go to see my Dr, my heart races and blood pressure rises but it never did it for the 10 years I saw her before. All's fine when I monitor it at home. Even 10 minutes before leaving this morning blood pressure was perfect, as soon as I hit her office, up it goes. I can get my bp to stay high all day I dwell on it.

Today she mentioned about how someone had symptoms like mine and it ended up being 4 blockages. Then she mentioned that exercise could be dangerous for me at this point and to not over do it. So today I walked around thinking that at any moment I'd be dropping to the floor. If your Dr told you that exercise could be dangerous wouldn't you be flipping out?

Anyway so instead of doing the multitude of work I had to do today, I obsessed and read this board pretty much all day long, well almost all day long, there were brief intervals of reading reviews on blood pressure monitors, since mine must not be accurate even though it was verified it twice.

My Dr has never asked about anxiety or symptoms of anxiety but I have em all. After reading here and realizing that I'm not alone I did the anxiety test at lexapro and answered all questions with a yes except for one (being easily tired, I usually only get 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night max, last night was about 4.)

I'm seeing more and more that I have all the symptoms of gad but I'm not sure if I can convince my Dr that I do and not sure if I do convince her if she'll change her course of treatment which right now is sending me for more heart tests. Worst part is that most of the hospitals and cardiologists around here are booked for months so I have this pending doom thing hanging over me until I get test results months or longer from now...

Right now I have some xanax that I get refilled maybe once a year for flight anxiety but find that taking one every once in a while makes me feel a little better. I only get 6 at a time usually so only have a couple extra after a flight.

Well so even after my rather glum introduction there is a question in here after all.

How do I convince my Dr to try looking into and treating my anxiety to see if my symptoms go away? She has no idea of how f****d up my head is so she has to believe that all my symptoms are physical.

Of course there's always the nagging thought that if it's not anxiety than it really could be physical problems (arrrrggggghhhhh).


Thanks for any insight,

Mark





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