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  1. #11
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    Exclamation THE HEART - Health Anxiety

    Heartache over the heart

    The heart or more "problems" with it, are THE most frequently questioned bodily sensations experienced by health anxiety sufferers.

    Of course this is the 2nd leading cause of death in the USA and the UK topped only by "old age".

    So we would be correct in our obsession over everything heart related then?

    Maybe not!


    There are major factors at play here,

    Firstly anxiety throws up a whole heap of physical symptoms that make the heart react (omitting the long winded biochemical explanation) basically the same process in the body that athletes use in a positive way, to run faster and harder, also happens in anxiety, the negative element in anxiety is that we don't use that extra energy to move, instead a toxic mix of fear and futile containment takes place. As with the athlete, the heart rate increases along with blood pressure, sweating, breathlessness and body shaking, yet this is all happening whilst we are stood still, gripping the edge of the kitchen countertop.

    Some of the most common misinterpreted symptoms are:

    Palpitations - very common sensations ranging from mild flutters/being "aware"of your heartbeat right up to feeling as if it's bursting out of your chest.

    Ectopic Beats - occasional "skipped/missed" Beats - often misinterpreted as atrial fibrillation (a condition causing irregular heart rate)

    Chest & Arm pains
    Any health anxiety sufferer worth their 10 cents is heightened to any sensations or pains in the chest and arm.

    One useful tip when it comes to any kind of pain particularly chest and arms.

    Anxiety causes the muscle tissues in the body to become tense and highly susceptible to pulls/strains and tears.

    If you start with a twinge/tightness/mild pain in the chest/arm area, (that DOESN'T feel like a 170lb human sat on your sternum), try and isolate the area that the pain is coming from for example, if you feel a sensation on the left side of your chest, can you press on the area, gently massaging around it? If you can and the pain eases with massage then this highly likely to be muscular (heart pain will NOT go away by rubbing your chest). Pains/numbness in the arm and hands is often caused by muscles/nerve compression in the neck and shoulders (so make sure you massage chest/shoulders/rotator cuff and neck). Oh ...and YES on the neck you will encounter lots of little lumps and bumps (WE ALL HAVE THEM) so don't add Lymphoma to the list of diagnosis


    Now......the responsible bit!

    If you are worried and experiencing chest pains, rather than stressing go get it checked out . Any doctor worth their pay grade would prefer to see you for indigestion than take any risks when it comes to heart health. In most cases they will have a chat, listen to your heart and take your BP. Some may do an ECG, if it is offered take it! If not ASK! Once you have been given the all clear, put the ECG report in a FRAME above your bed! This is your constant reminder that your HEART is HEALTHY.

    If for some reason they find something wrong, this is still good news, as they have caught it and can medicate for it, and prevent it!

    So taking into account the original information given at the beginning of the post.

    "Heart disease is the 2nd leading cause of death in the US and the UK aside from old age"

    In fact between the US and the UK around 650,000 people died of heart disease last year (they did not drop dead on the spot many were long term cases).

    So.... The math!

    650,000 died last year of heart disease. The combined population of the 2 countries is approx 377 million. Therefore the percentage of people who died of heart disease last year was...................drumroll.............wait ....for.........it............



    0.17%


    And that is the no1 killer aside from old age...............????


    I'm not sure I will sleep tonight........will you ?



    The next update will cover "The Brain" ......... How very exciting!!!!
    "Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism. - C.G. Jung

  2. #12
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    perspective is everything! I have been teaching about negative and positive connotations this week... this fits right into that!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankiecfc View Post
    Hi Jillian. You can always count on 14 to serve us up statistics for dinner and perspective for pudding! love it. Another great post. I'd be interested in your info on the 2nd brain too.
    I may mix it up a little Frankie

    And Jillian I love that you are teaching about perspective, what age group?
    "Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism. - C.G. Jung

  4. #14
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    I teach high school (ages 14-18)... not so much about anxiety but we are studying poetry right now with my freshman and we have been looking at connotations in general.

    I asked them to come up with some negative connotations today and they came up with "if you told someone they smell we automatically think of it as a negative thing rather than smelling like flowers".... and if someone is "lazy" ... not always a bad thing! (like having a lazy day).

    Not sure if this is going to make sense I just woke up from a needed nap, but I was proud of them for thinking creatively!

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjh333 View Post
    I teach high school (ages 14-18)... not so much about anxiety but we are studying poetry right now with my freshman and we have been looking at connotations in general. I asked them to come up with some negative connotations today and they came up with "if you told someone they smell we automatically think of it as a negative thing rather than smelling like flowers".... and if someone is "lazy" ... not always a bad thing! (like having a lazy day). Not sure if this is going to make sense I just woke up from a needed nap, but I was proud of them for thinking creatively!
    Sounds like you are doing a great job!

    Don't envy the age group though.......way too many hormones!!
    "Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism. - C.G. Jung

  6. #16
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    Price of Vulnerability Brene Brown

    This TED-X talk doesn't specifically deal with health anxiety as such.

    But it DOES deal with fatalistic thinking (always worry about the worst case) it's 20 mins long but really interesting and humorous. I think it will help to recognise your own thought process.

    It also ties in with the thread by Gene Allen on the importance of daily gratitude.

    "Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism. - C.G. Jung

  7. #17
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    The Brain - Part 1

    The next few posts will be focusing on the brain

    This isn't covering obvious health anxiety obsessions (stroke, tumours etc)

    The main reason for this is IN THE MAJORITY of cases YOU WOULD NOT BE IN ANY DOUBT over whether or not you were ill.

    YES there are the RARE folk that have few or very minor indicators, BUT health anxiety sufferers are SO in tune to ANY changes in the body, the likely hood is you would have already been in the doctors office about it.

    What I aim to achieve over the next 4 sections (I will post each a few days apart to allow everyone to read them) is exploring the very thing that controls our entire body, our thought process, mood, vital organs, breathing and so on.

    More importantly the brain is the no1 culprit when it comes to health anxiety.

    The power of suggestion on the brain can have catastrophic effects for people suffering with anxiety, imagine if someone said to you "I think I saw something crawling in your hair", what's the first thing you feel? Itching? Crawling sensation? Even when there is nothing there?

    The point is, that a simple suggestion can cause a physical reaction, on a more intense scale those suffering with anxiety not only have a hyper sensitive nervous system, but also highly susceptible to suggestion.

    How many of us have obsessed over our heart? - ok a lot of us. So how many of us WERE obsessing over the heart, until we hear about someone dying of a brain tumour? Then every headache, dizzy spell, becomes potentially life threatening?

    Interestingly a large number of medical doctors suffer a mild form of health anxiety when they train, and often develop psychosomatic symptoms of pain in the areas of the body they are studying.

    So the next series of thread posts will tackle different areas of the brains processes involved in health anxiety (and anxiety in general) in an attempt to point you in the right direction towards recovery.

    The following video is a basic insight into brain chemistry and how it effects mood and mental health, it also addresses the effects of exercise and diet. Which all health anxiety sufferers SHOULD be particularly interested in, given that both a good diet and regular exercise are the BEST ways to substantially reduce any risks of becoming unwell!

    Last edited by Fourteen14; 03-16-2014 at 04:25 PM.
    "Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism. - C.G. Jung

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankiecfc View Post
    14. They were great videos and serious things to consider. Very helpful indeed.
    Thanks Frankie . Just a shame they don't embed from iPad
    "Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism. - C.G. Jung

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankiecfc View Post
    I don't know what that means. Which is kind of funny. And well timed . Given what i just read. What is embed from iPad lol?
    It just means (I am technology illiterate so in my own words), the video appears as a little movie on the main site. But is only a blue link on the iPad app. (I prefer the main site layout for affect and continuity)

    "Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism. - C.G. Jung

  10. #20
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    10 Mindful Minutes

    Apologies for the lack of updates this week, I will update more over the weekend.

    In the meantime here is an interesting 10 minute talk about living in the present moment and helping to control those racing thoughts we get with anxiety.

    "Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism. - C.G. Jung

 

 

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