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Thread: Not sure if this is a phobia or not

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    , , United Kingdom.

    Not sure if this is a phobia or not

    Hi guys.
    I'm developing a rather large fear of exercising lately. I believe this has started since my racing heart and palpitations. I am absolutely terrified of my heart rate rising(I've convinced myself I have a heart problem). Everytime I walk too fast anywhere or do anything strenuous, I start to panic as my heart starts racing. I know, logically, that exercising will keep my heart healthy, but this irrational fear is having quite an impact on my life.
    I can't walk to the shops at anything faster than a snails pace as I'm terrified of what will happen. Is this actually a phobia?
    I'm also terrified of medication. I know this stems from an allergic reaction I had in august. Panic attacks ensued from that really. I've had GAD for years though.
    I've just added the part about medication because my doctor prescribed me citalopram last week. I still haven't plucked up the courage to take one. Petrified of what will happen, but I want some respite from it all! [Sigh...]
    Anyways, if someone could let me know if they've heard of any weird exercise phobia, I'd be grateful for the info.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    , , United Kingdom.
    This is not a phobia. Its just being scared in case you exacerbate your racing heart and starting to avoiding something - in this case exercise . Just like people avoid shopping and driving if that is their triggers.

    We've had quite a few people with this pass through here and there are other similar posts but I can't quite remember who they are right now.

    I recommend that you start exercising again under a controlled environment either going for a brisker walk with someone you trust or going to a gym but explaining to the instructor first so they can keep an extra eye on you .

    The reality is that your heart is racing duew to excess adrenalin and by exercising you will use up some of this that is just floating about making you feel awful - after a good exercise session you will not only have good feeling endorphins circulating but will relax quicker and aid your heart rate to drop to a normal rate as well as strengthening your whole cardiovasular system.

    After going for it a few times and finding out you're just fine this fear will subside ..


    You cannot conquer fear until you have learned what it is you're afraid of. The enemy is ignorance. Vivian Vance

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    , , United Kingdom.
    hi Cookie,

    As Meg says, this isn't a phobia. I joined a gym about a year ago in an attempt to stay fit. I was there one day and was exercising way too hard. I went bright red and my heart was beating like crazy. I got scared and had a panic attack and I haven't been back since. [:I] It's an irrational fear as, like you say, our heart beating faster is good for us as it means that we are exercising. Since then, I have slowly started going on walks, etc and gradually working upwards and I very rarely get scared about it anymore...


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    , , United Kingdom.
    Hi cookie lol i am exactly the same i am so afraid of any exersize, even a small walk its horrid. they all say exersise is good for anxiety but i realy panic if i do ant when i am like i am now. Even small things like hoovering or mopping the floor scares me and i get fast heart beats and out of breath. I went to local garage with wife last week to MOT her car and walked back, only about a mile but omg, I was sweating out of breath tight chest and my legs realy hurt me and I think this is down to the anxiety and phobia. I since got myself a stepper that i do 150 steps in the morning and another 150 at night if i remember and this must be harder than a little walk but dont make me as bad as when i went on that mile walk. and yes i think it is the worrying about our heart that does it, and there is realy no need as the heart only gets better on exersise? a friend of mine had a heart attack as he done nothing only drive around in his car and now has to do lots of cycle exersise and brisk walking to improve his heart on hospital advice. So exersise is best for us but i understand they way u think cos i am scared of it too. take care Vernon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    , , United Kingdom.
    Cookie, I totally understand where you are coming from, I too have a phobia (!) about my heart and suffer from palpitations and a pounding and racing heart. However, I recently joined a gym, because I figured I cannot go on avoiding exercise and raising my heartbeat in order to get fit and healthy, and also I read a doctors article saying that exercise can actually help get rid of palpitations!! The thing to do is to do at a pace which suits you initially, just to get over the fear and then push a little more, then a little more, etc. This is how I am doing it. However, today I had my blood pressure taken and found it to be extremely high - have already said that I have a phobia about my heart and health - when anything that monitors the heart is put in front of me, inwardly I panic -
    has anyone ever experienced a higher reading because of anxiety?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    , , United Kingdom.
    Hi Beeny

    Welcome aboard. You may like to post a message in the "introduce yourself" topic as some people may miss this post here on an old topic


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    , , United Kingdom.
    Hi Cookie,

    I do not have the same worry about excercise that you do, but i am very anxious about taking any kind of meds. I think it started when the doc prescribed me with propranolol and i had an unpleasant reaction, although i have always been wary, i try not to take even paracetamol if i can avoid it. Anyway to the point, i was prescribed citalopram to take before i would go anywhere, as i am always nervous and i really didn't want to take it the first time but i did and it really is magic! It just sorts out your heart, makes it all regular and slows your heart rate down too. I have taken four since the beginning of december and although i stillfind it difficult to take a vitamin tablet (!) i do recommend you start to take the citalopram, it really works and just tell yourself they wouldnt make it or your doc wouldnt prescribe it if it would harm you.

    Good luck

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