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Hey mjewell - I could have written your post! My anxiety is NEVER about my heart - I do aerobic excercise daily - everything from swimming, to workout tapes, to waterskiing, to walking, you name it - my blood pressure is great (111/62 last week at the docs) and I never experienced any of my anxiety feelings in my heart area or about my heart. Mine is all about digestive stuff & headaches - IBS type symptoms, nausea, indigestion. I also know when it is coming, to some degree, it is always in response to some stressful situation. I had alot of trouble accepting that this is anxiety and nothing else, but my doc. has been a big help there - he really listens & is very reassuring. My symptoms seem to come and go in waves, and I am learning what I need to do & not do to feel better - first, I excercise because comfort food is sometimes all that I feel like eating (cheese, pasta, mashed potatoes & gravy! YUM! but fattening) and gaining weight is not going to be helpful in the overall picture of health I have for myself, second, I take klonopin, which is a big help, and I have realized that eating late at night, drinking carbonated beverages (even tonic water) and hard alcohol ( an occassional glass of red wine or a beer do not seem to bother me but I drank a rum and coke at a wedding several weeks back and was sick for three days)are no-no's for my disgestive system.

Also, I have tried very hard to form more positive mental habits. As a Catholic Christian, I find alot of solace in prayer. Many other posts that I have read have also recommended yoga and Eastern thought for relaxation. I also try to remember not to sweat the small stuff as they say, and the older I get (I am 38) the more I realize how much stuff is actually small stuff. I have six kids, all boys, and believe me, the possibilites for worry are endless! :) So, I have learned to lay back, look at the big picture and not worry about things I can't control. Because of my faith, I look at it as putting things in the Lord's hands, but you can also look at it in a secular way of accepting things you can't change.

Finally - sorry for the long post here but I was really excited to read yours because your experience sounds so much like mine and I am feeling sooo much better now than when I hit a low in January I really wanted to share my experiences with you - try not to worry or think too much about your symptoms and what they mean. I have read numerous books about panic & anxiety and I can't remember who wrote the following, but I do know I read it somewhere and don't want to claim it as an original thought - "If you had arthiritis in your wrist, wouldn't you be able to say 'oh well', take an advil and get on with your work? If you had a broken leg, would you not believe the doc. when he showed you the xrays, put a cast on it, and learn to live with that inconvenience until you were healed? So, why must you let a nauseous feeling in your stomach or a headache ruin your life?" I am not directing that statement at you, Mjewell, I am just sharing what I read because I found that to be an eye-opening point of view on anxiety. I also have fibromyalgia, and I work through physical pain that I am not anxious about all the time,so why do I let my anxiety feelings hold me down? Like I said, please do not think that i am directing that statement at you or telling you that you are "letting anxiety ruin your life" (believe me, I have at several times throughout my life been controlled by it), but maybe you will see a different point of view that will help you like it helped me.

I feel better knowing there is someone else out there like me- hope it is a small bit of hope for you too! Let me know how things are going....Best wishes, Marirose

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