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Hi. I have the same phobia and have had it for over 2yrs now. I started having panic attacks while I was sleeping and that was when it started. I started changing my diet and wouldn't eat any fat or sugar and went paleo diet and started walking to lose weight. I started getting worried about everything like getting germs which could lead to me or my family getting sick and it made my OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) worse and my hand washing and cleaning became awful. I kept having panic attacks and they were scary as I had them while sleeping and wake up in full anxiety which made me feel like I had a heart attack. I then asked my doctor to send me to a psychiatrist and I told them everything. I had been to hospital a couple of time and felt silly when they said it was just anxiety but it felt real to me. I was very weary of taking tablets and always look them up for reactions and side effects and it sounds silly but it helps me to deal with my anxiety. I was finally diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks and OCD. I just cried and cried and cried as I had never had a mental illness not even post depression after my daughters. They gave me lexepro and I started on 10mg a day and also 5mg diazepam to help the insomnia. I researched them and never took them for over a month as I was so scared I would react to them but I never did. I also started carrying around a shopping bag of vitamins for everything like vitamins for your heart or your immune system and I still do take some now but not as much as in the beginning. I also seen a lady who taught me about CBT which is cognitive behavior therapy. She actually sat with me the day I took my first lexepro and we sat for 20mins waiting to see if anything happened to me and it never did. She also taught me about the pink elephant. Now my pink elephant is my thought of having a heart attack and I used to just try to block it out but she taught me to think ok this is my pink elephant and instead of trying to block it out but think it through. Feel my pulse and see it was ok and take a couple of deep breathes and feel my heart and think ok everything is ok and I am not it is just my pink elephant in the room again and I would laugh. And then because I was focused on that it took my mind off my thought of having the heart attack. She also taught me relaxing exercises to do when I have the thought also which is to raise my left arm up to my shoulder bending at elbow and feel the pull and then slowly down and then same on other side. Next was lift my shoulders up and then slowly down. Next was lift my eyebrows up and then down , then open my mouth wide and then close then roll my neck round slowly and then stop then squeeze my bottom together and slowly release. Then my thigh muscle and then down and other side and then pull my calf muscle up but not leaving the floor and then slowly release and other side and then pull my toes up towards u and then down and then take three deep breathes in the nose and out the mouth and that relaxes me I try to do that as soon as I wake up I sit on the side of the bed and then before I go to sleep the same.
We also found out my issue is my mother died before my oldest daughter was born and I can't talk about it. She died at a young age while having an operation which is my fear of operations also.
I one day will talk to a physiologist but now I take my anxiety medication and I can tell when I am feeling an attack coming on so I can control them but sometimes when I have periods of insomnia and awake all night my sleep cycle is all over the place I get anxious but work through it sometimes. All of us on the board are here for you but never ever feel that you can never put anything up here as nothing is ever dumb or silly as one of us could be feeling the same way and it could just be your question or answer that could
Help someone. I don't know if any of this helps but hope you can work it out :)

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