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  1. #61
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    Check Your Pulse

    Quote Originally Posted by kdubg View Post
    Have been struggling with serious GAD for almost 2 years. I don't really get anxious about most things, accept my health. I'm on Zoloft and Xanax as needed. It's miserable. The main thing I think on is my heart. I'm 25 , see the doctor every 3 months, workout everyday, yet I still can't seem to get it out of my head. I've had EKGS and blood test done, and I'm told to be in perfect health. Still, everday( almost always when I lay down to go to sleep) I start freaking out and have to take a Xanax because I can feel it coming on. I had. A co worker did two years ago from a heart attack in his sleep, so I think that triggered it. But he was also 400 + pounds, and over 55 years old. But I fail to think rationally everytime I feel my heartbeat. I'm not asking for pity, but please for the love of god someone tell me that they are in my same shoes and understand what I'm going through. I hate feeling alone on this
    I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia about 3 years ago. The symptom that you are referring to is called heart palpitations (HP). Heart palpitations is one of the most common symptoms when it comes to panic and anxiety disorder. It is also one of the most feared. I was in and out of the hospital. I too feared heart palpitations. But, what I am about to fill you in on will hopefully ease your fear of heart palpitations as it did for me. Your heart is one of the strongest muscles in your body. It can handle a lot more than you can imagine. A regular heart beats about 60 to 100 beats per minute (BPM). When you exercise it can jump to 200 bpm in a lot of cases especially for those whom are out of shape. In the beginning when I got (HP) I thought I was having a heart attack. And it would scare the living daylights out of me. It wasn't until I started doing these breathing exercises that required me to take my own pulse did I realize that my HP wasn't what I thought it was. First of all lets start with heart attack. The following are the symptoms:

    Most Common Symptoms

    The most common warning symptoms of a heart attack for both men and women are:

    Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest. The discomfort usually lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. It also can feel like heartburn or indigestion. The feeling can be mild or severe.
    Upper body discomfort. You may feel pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach (above the belly button).
    Shortness of breath. This may be your only symptom, or it may occur before or along with chest pain or discomfort. It can occur when you are resting or doing a little bit of physical activity.



    Other Common Signs and Symptoms

    Pay attention to these other possible symptoms of a heart attack:

    Breaking out in a cold sweat
    Feeling unusually tired for no reason, sometimes for days (especially if you are a woman)
    Nausea (feeling sick to the stomach) and vomiting
    Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
    Any sudden, new symptoms or a change in the pattern of symptoms you already have (for example, if your symptoms become stronger or last longer than usual)

    So as you can see there are a lot more symptoms to having a heart attack then an accelerated heart beat. So now lets go back to taking my pulse and how it helped me lose fear of HP. I would take my pulse for 30 seconds and multiply the amount of heart beats by 2 and that would give me my BPM. After learning how to take my pulse I came up with idea of checking my pulse while having heart palpitations to measure how hard my heart was actually beating. And to my surprise the first time I did that I found that my BPM was well below 100. Im talking somewhere in the range of about 75 BPM. I found that my heartbeat only increased slightly from my norm. I would check my BPM every time I would have HP after that day and every time I got the same results. Ultimately, it helped me lose fear of HP because my heart was beating normal. It got to the point when HP came on I would laugh at it because I knew it was all an illusion of having a heart attack. It slowly started to disappear until it finally went away. When you have anxiety and panic disorder the thing that fuels it is fear of the symptoms. When you fear the symptoms, the symptoms get worse. So when HP comes on your initial reaction is fear. Because you think you're having a heart attack. Once HP comes on try to ignore it. And if you do it will go away almost as quickly as it came. Lastly, lets talk about what HP really is. Being that I knew that my heart was beating normal i was baffled as to why I was feeling that my heart was about to jump out of my chest. When you get panic disorder one of the things that happen is your nervous system becomes overly sensitive. I found that lights were brighter, dishes clanging made me cover my ears because it seemed like it was so much louder, I even felt my boxer briefs pulling on the hair on my legs to the point it became uncomfortable. Once I realized that my nervous system was overly sensitive it explained my HP. I was feeling my heart beat normal but I felt it easily because I was sensitive to almost every sensation in my body. I hope that this helps all who read. And know that you can actually beat panic and anxiety because I am living proof that you can. Remember that there is hope. There are 2 things that you need to do. The first is accept what you have. The second is to lose fear of the symptoms. The most important for me was I trusted God.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortizboriqua View Post
    I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia about 3 years ago. The symptom that you are referring to is called heart palpitations (HP). Heart palpitations is one of the most common symptoms when it comes to panic and anxiety disorder. It is also one of the most feared. I was in and out of the hospital. I too feared heart palpitations. But, what I am about to fill you in on will hopefully ease your fear of heart palpitations as it did for me. Your heart is one of the strongest muscles in your body. It can handle a lot more than you can imagine. A regular heart beats about 60 to 100 beats per minute (BPM). When you exercise it can jump to 200 bpm in a lot of cases especially for those whom are out of shape. In the beginning when I got (HP) I thought I was having a heart attack. And it would scare the living daylights out of me. It wasn't until I started doing these breathing exercises that required me to take my own pulse did I realize that my HP wasn't what I thought it was. First of all lets start with heart attack. The following are the symptoms:

    Most Common Symptoms

    The most common warning symptoms of a heart attack for both men and women are:

    Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest. The discomfort usually lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. It also can feel like heartburn or indigestion. The feeling can be mild or severe.
    Upper body discomfort. You may feel pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach (above the belly button).
    Shortness of breath. This may be your only symptom, or it may occur before or along with chest pain or discomfort. It can occur when you are resting or doing a little bit of physical activity.



    Other Common Signs and Symptoms

    Pay attention to these other possible symptoms of a heart attack:

    Breaking out in a cold sweat
    Feeling unusually tired for no reason, sometimes for days (especially if you are a woman)
    Nausea (feeling sick to the stomach) and vomiting
    Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
    Any sudden, new symptoms or a change in the pattern of symptoms you already have (for example, if your symptoms become stronger or last longer than usual)

    So as you can see there are a lot more symptoms to having a heart attack then an accelerated heart beat. So now lets go back to taking my pulse and how it helped me lose fear of HP. I would take my pulse for 30 seconds and multiply the amount of heart beats by 2 and that would give me my BPM. After learning how to take my pulse I came up with idea of checking my pulse while having heart palpitations to measure how hard my heart was actually beating. And to my surprise the first time I did that I found that my BPM was well below 100. Im talking somewhere in the range of about 75 BPM. I found that my heartbeat only increased slightly from my norm. I would check my BPM every time I would have HP after that day and every time I got the same results. Ultimately, it helped me lose fear of HP because my heart was beating normal. It got to the point when HP came on I would laugh at it because I knew it was all an illusion of having a heart attack. It slowly started to disappear until it finally went away. When you have anxiety and panic disorder the thing that fuels it is fear of the symptoms. When you fear the symptoms, the symptoms get worse. So when HP comes on your initial reaction is fear. Because you think you're having a heart attack. Once HP comes on try to ignore it. And if you do it will go away almost as quickly as it came. Lastly, lets talk about what HP really is. Being that I knew that my heart was beating normal i was baffled as to why I was feeling that my heart was about to jump out of my chest. When you get panic disorder one of the things that happen is your nervous system becomes overly sensitive. I found that lights were brighter, dishes clanging made me cover my ears because it seemed like it was so much louder, I even felt my boxer briefs pulling on the hair on my legs to the point it became uncomfortable. Once I realized that my nervous system was overly sensitive it explained my HP. I was feeling my heart beat normal but I felt it easily because I was sensitive to almost every sensation in my body. I hope that this helps all who read. And know that you can actually beat panic and anxiety because I am living proof that you can. Remember that there is hope. There are 2 things that you need to do. The first is accept what you have. The second is to lose fear of the symptoms. The most important for me was I trusted God.
    Hmm, the problem with this is I can have all of these symptoms during a panic attack! The more i think about what the symptoms should be the more they appear
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunAlex View Post
    Hmm, the problem with this is I can have all of these symptoms during a panic attack! The more i think about what the symptoms should be the more they appear
    My question to you is what do you think brings on your symptoms? Do you think that the things you do bring on your symptoms? When I had panic disorder, when I thought that drinking a glass of water would give me anxiety and panic, it would. Why do you think that is? The one and only answer is you FEAR the symptoms. When I thought that by drinking a glass of water I would get anxiety and panic I would. Why? Because after drinking the water I would be scared and pay attention to see if the symptoms would appear. And any type of fear and stress would bring and increase the symptoms. Panic Disorder is a fear of symptoms driven illness. You fear the symptoms of anxiety and panic not because of the things you do. The symptoms are so horrible that you fear them. This is what is keeping it alive. If you want to defeat panic disorder you have to lose fear of it. Let me explain how it works. Your sitting there watching tv. Nothing stimulating just plain drama. All of the sudden you feel this wave of anxiety come out of nowhere. Your initial reaction is that you pay attention to it with fear. The fear causes your symptoms to grow stronger until you either have severe anxiety or a panic attack. And the thing that sucks is the anxiety doesn't go away. It stays and you usually feel it all over. The first thing that you have to do is accept what you have. Accepting is the beginning. The way you accept is you have to decide that you have this illness and what are you going to do about it? Are you going to give into it or are you going to fight for normalcy. Remember, I once had it and I am back to normal. So you can be back to yourself again but how bad do you want it? Second, is you have to lose the fear of the symptoms. How? You've already felt the worst that panic disorder has to offer. Nobody has ever died from it. You have felt a panic attack and severe anxiety and those are the 2 worst symptoms. So being that you have felt the worst and you know that you are not going to die from it then you need to ask yourself is your normal life worth fighting for. Secondly, comes the losing fear. I think by now you know that I know what I am talking about. And I know that dealing with Panic Disorder is the hardest thing you will ever have to go through in your life. How do you lose fear? Lets go back to the example. Your watching tv and a wave of anxiety comes on. My initial reaction was normal. I would pay attention to it and get immediately scared. But once I realized what it was I would stop paying attention to it. I would continue to watch tv and try to focus on the program and not the symptoms. Initially, when I lost fear, the symptom of anxiety would not go away immediately. I would have to ride it out and go about my business. I would literally not pay attention to it even though it was there pounding me. When I lost fear it took months for the symptoms to slowly dissolve. But the symptoms eventually did. A huge part of losing fear is I turned to God. When I turned to God I committed 100%. I not only went to church I studied the Bible. And when I studied the Bible I tried to live it. But the most important part of it is I had faith that God was going to help me. And believe me he did. I am the only known case to have had panic disorder for the shortest amount of time in the history of panic disorder. I had it for 9 months. The average is 3 years and some never get over it. Everything I did and everything I thought was God. The doctors teach about cognitive exercises. Cognitive exercises basically teach you to divert your attention away from the symptoms by paying attention to the numbers on the clock. Or counting the stripes on a wall. My cognitive exercise was prayer and God. If the symptoms of panic came on I would immediately pray and try to envision Jesus's image. The symptoms of panic immediately went away. Whenever I could sleep the minute I woke up the first thing I would think of is God and Jesus. I lived and breathed and believed God was going to heal me. And He eventually did. What I learned that there is a misconception about religion. I bought The Life Application Study Bible and so far what I read are about stories of encouragement, Bravery, Courage, etc. It taught me to love, honesty, forgiveness, etc. My perception of the Bible was wrong. What I learned is the Bible is a guide to life and if you live by it you will never go wrong. When I turned to God he immediately would answer prayers of things that I needed to help me overcome various symptoms. And those things added up to eventually defeating the illness. Ultimately, if you lose your fear of your symptoms you will win. You have to fight for normalcy so how bad do you want it?

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortizboriqua View Post
    My question to you is what do you think brings on your symptoms?
    Hey Fortizboriqua, first of all thank you for your lengthy response. It was most helpful and you make some brilliant points.

    And I fully take my hat off to you for turning to God and it bringing peace to you. I would never criticise others' beliefs and only wish I could find similar peace. Massive respect. In my personal experience, I turned to religion when I first suffered anxiety about 15 years ago - when I was a teenager. I immersed myself in as much as I could. For me (and this is just me), the experience left me with a great many more questions about the world than it did answers. I explored further and spoke to some very senior christians at length. Again, this left more questions than answers. What it ended up doing way making me far more anxious and far more unsure about my place in the world and I started tipping over a dangerous edge. But that's just me - I recognise I have an overly analytical brain and am always looking for things/answers that just aren't there. Furthermore, I was at a vulnerable age to be taking in such information. But again, I admire and envy your successful search for peace.
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortizboriqua View Post

    Most Common Symptoms

    The most common warning symptoms of a heart attack for both men and women are:

    Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest. The discomfort usually lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. It also can feel like heartburn or indigestion. The feeling can be mild or severe.
    Upper body discomfort. You may feel pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach (above the belly button).
    Shortness of breath. This may be your only symptom, or it may occur before or along with chest pain or discomfort. It can occur when you are resting or doing a little bit of physical activity.



    Other Common Signs and Symptoms

    Pay attention to these other possible symptoms of a heart attack:

    Breaking out in a cold sweat
    Feeling unusually tired for no reason, sometimes for days (especially if you are a woman)
    Nausea (feeling sick to the stomach) and vomiting
    Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
    Any sudden, new symptoms or a change in the pattern of symptoms you already have (for example, if your symptoms become stronger or last longer than usual)
    Over the course of the night, I had pretty much all of these symptoms. As I said, my brain is over analytical and is creating them. I'll go and have my dozenth heart screening but, in the harsh light of day, I know my head is creating this.
    Suffering anxiety and vlogging about my daily life experiences - subscribe for FREE
    - Surviving with positivity and sharing stories.

  6. #66
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    I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia about 3 years ago. The symptom that you are referring to is called heart palpitations (HP). Heart palpitations is one of the most common symptoms when it comes to panic and anxiety disorder. It is also one of the most feared. I was in and out of the hospital. I too feared heart palpitations. But, what I am about to fill you in on will hopefully ease your fear of heart palpitations as it did for me. Your heart is one of the strongest muscles in your body. It can handle a lot more than you can imagine. A regular heart beats about 60 to 100 beats per minute (BPM). When you exercise it can jump to 200 bpm in a lot of cases especially for those whom are out of shape. In the beginning when I got (HP) I thought I was having a heart attack. And it would scare the living daylights out of me. It wasn't until I started doing these breathing exercises that required me to take my own pulse did I realize that my HP wasn't what I thought it was. First of all lets start with heart attack. The following are the symptoms:

    Most Common Symptoms

    The most common warning symptoms of a heart attack for both men and women are:

    Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest. The discomfort usually lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. It also can feel like heartburn or indigestion. The feeling can be mild or severe.
    Upper body discomfort. You may feel pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach (above the belly button).
    Shortness of breath. This may be your only symptom, or it may occur before or along with chest pain or discomfort. It can occur when you are resting or doing a little bit of physical activity.



    Other Common Signs and Symptoms

    Pay attention to these other possible symptoms of a heart attack:

    Breaking out in a cold sweat
    Feeling unusually tired for no reason, sometimes for days (especially if you are a woman)
    Nausea (feeling sick to the stomach) and vomiting
    Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
    Any sudden, new symptoms or a change in the pattern of symptoms you already have (for example, if your symptoms become stronger or last longer than usual)

    So as you can see there are a lot more symptoms to having a heart attack then an accelerated heart beat. So now lets go back to taking my pulse and how it helped me lose fear of HP. I would take my pulse for 30 seconds and multiply the amount of heart beats by 2 and that would give me my BPM. After learning how to take my pulse I came up with idea of checking my pulse while having heart palpitations to measure how hard my heart was actually beating. And to my surprise the first time I did that I found that my BPM was well below 100. Im talking somewhere in the range of about 75 BPM. I found that my heartbeat only increased slightly from my norm. I would check my BPM every time I would have HP after that day and every time I got the same results. Ultimately, it helped me lose fear of HP because my heart was beating normal. It got to the point when HP came on I would laugh at it because I knew it was all an illusion of having a heart attack. It slowly started to disappear until it finally went away. When you have anxiety and panic disorder the thing that fuels it is fear of the symptoms. When you fear the symptoms, the symptoms get worse. So when HP comes on your initial reaction is fear. Because you think you're having a heart attack. Once HP comes on try to ignore it. And if you do it will go away almost as quickly as it came. Lastly, lets talk about what HP really is. Being that I knew that my heart was beating normal i was baffled as to why I was feeling that my heart was about to jump out of my chest. When you get panic disorder one of the things that happen is your nervous system becomes overly sensitive. I found that lights were brighter, dishes clanging made me cover my ears because it seemed like it was so much louder, I even felt my boxer briefs pulling on the hair on my legs to the point it became uncomfortable. Once I realized that my nervous system was overly sensitive it explained my HP. I was feeling my heart beat normal but I felt it easily because I was sensitive to almost every sensation in my body. I hope that this helps all who read. And know that you can actually beat panic and anxiety because I am living proof that you can. Remember that there is hope. There are 2 things that you need to do. The first is accept what you have. The second is to lose fear of the symptoms. The most important for me was I trusted God.

  7. #67
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    But that's just it. The palpitations are one thing, but when I get anxious about it (like now!) I start to have all the other symptoms you mention as real heart attack warning signs!
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  8. #68
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    Tight chest sensation - check
    Pains in left arm, chest, abdomen, jaw and neck - check
    Nausia - check
    Cold sweat - check
    Tiredness - check

    The only thing going for me is that my blood pressure is within normal boundaries. Oh, a new symptom for me: lack of appetite. Can all of these symptoms also be anxiety?

    Anyway, I'm going to the doctors tomorrow and will insist on a thorough check up. Hopefully I can keep my anxiety about it in check 'till then!
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    - Surviving with positivity and sharing stories.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunAlex View Post
    Tight chest sensation - check
    Pains in left arm, chest, abdomen, jaw and neck - check
    Nausia - check
    Cold sweat - check
    Tiredness - check

    The only thing going for me is that my blood pressure is within normal boundaries. Oh, a new symptom for me: lack of appetite. Can all of these symptoms also be anxiety?

    Anyway, I'm going to the doctors tomorrow and will insist on a thorough check up. Hopefully I can keep my anxiety about it in check 'till then!
    Lack of appetite is a symptom of anxiety. I used to have to force myself to eat breakfast lunch and dinner even though I had no hunger. Have you tried taking your pulse when the heart palpitations started? I checked my pulse by placing 2 fingers right below my chin on the side of my neck. Lastly, go to the doctor and get yourself checked out for peace of mind. Chances are if these symptoms keep happening it's not what you think it is. The hardest part of this is losing fear of the HP. After checking your pulse if your heart beat is normal then more than likely it is HP especially if this is reoccurring. If you e established a normal heart beat divert your attention away from it. Lie I told you before I used to pray while envisioning Jesus.

  10. #70
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    I wrote a long summary called "A clear understanding of anxiety and panic disorder and how to beat it. " you should read it to help you understand why it is your symptoms get fueled.

 

 

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