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Thread: Palpitations and shortness of breath.. Mind thinks heart failure.

  1. #1
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    Apr 2017
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    Palpitations and shortness of breath.. Mind thinks heart failure.

    Hi. I've posted on here a few times for different issues in the past. i feel like im about to start spiralling over something else now and its my heart :( It started with a solid 10 seconds of palpitations when i was relaxing a couple days ago. I genuinely thought I was going to die. And ever since ive been so scared of potentially having heart failure, because ive also noticed im breathless alot of the time.. Even doing stuff like sewing to try and distract myself gets really hard because i feel my heart rate rising by the time im done with a couple of stitches, and then i feel short of breath.. it's what triggered one of my panic attacks. Ive had 4 anxiety attacks in 4 days. Each time terrified it was my heart failing. I have an ECG booked in this month but ive already read that if i'm not having symptoms during the ECG it's as good as useless

    I had a normal ECG a couple years ago, but i have trouble accepting that for the same reason im worried this upcoming test wont be useful for diagnosing what's really wrong with me. Im finding myself avoiding even moving too fast or too far if it risks raising my heart rate. I can't do this for the weeks between now and an ECG im almost sure won't show anything anyways!!!

    I'm really despairing right now. Atleast with my fear of cancers the specter of sudden death wasn't really looming. Now i have my fingers to my neck checking my pulse every other 20 minutes. Ive taken Lorazepam 4 days in a row and i don't want to take another if i have a panic attack today incase i develop a benzo addiction. Fuuck!!!

  2. #2
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    Mar 2016
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    Re: Palpitations and shortness of breath.. Mind thinks heart failure.

    Hi Joan, sorry to hear that HA has you in a choke hold at the mo, but I can tell you that I've been through all this with my own ticker, and I'm fine. Always was fine. I was never about to drop down dead (but I absolutely believed I was going to!)

    Obviously, get checked out (and you are, so good)

    Once checked out you know you're dealing with anxiety..

    Until then, get your fingers doing something other than taking your pulse..
    __________________
    A thought is harmless unless we believe it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Palpitations and shortness of breath.. Mind thinks heart failure.

    Thank you, im really trying to break the cycle of anxiety. just really difficult when its your heart. Its very reassuring to hear that others had problems with palpitations that turned out to be anxiety-based.

  4. #4
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    Re: Palpitations and shortness of breath.. Mind thinks heart failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoanB View Post
    Its very reassuring to hear that others had problems with palpitations that turned out to be anxiety-based.
    Heart symptoms are the most common anxiety symptom which is understandable really when you think of the stress response and what it's meant to do (as in stay and fight the danger or leggit as fast as we can)

    You'll be fine..
    __________________
    A thought is harmless unless we believe it.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2017
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    Re: Palpitations and shortness of breath.. Mind thinks heart failure.

    The skipped beats are the absolute worst symptom ive had out of any of my health anxiety chronicles.. Even just a single one makes me go clammy and feel like death is imminent. I don't know how i can face each day if this is going to be the norm from now on.. im really trying to break the cycle of anxiety. I've done some exercise to prove to myself that I can exercise the heart and it wont pop, but literally any symptom drags me straight back to where I started, on the verge of a panic attack

    - also thank you nora for all the reassurance. I'm sorry if i sound like a broken record.
    Last edited by JoanB; 04-07-22 at 23:18. Reason: adding a thank you for the replies

  6. #6
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    Re: Palpitations and shortness of breath.. Mind thinks heart failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoanB View Post
    The skipped beats are the absolute worst symptom ive had out of any of my health anxiety chronicles.. Even just a single one makes me go clammy and feel like death is imminent.
    In which case, I've had countless dances with the Reaper..

    I have them where it feels like I've skipped about three beats. I cough, slap my chest (I don't think this is actually necessary), and all is normal again..

    I know my heart's ok so I don't fear this symptom. It's very common. It is somewhat unpleasant, but it's not harmful..

    I don't know how i can face each day if this is going to be the norm from now on.. im really trying to break the cycle of anxiety. I've done some exercise to prove to myself that I can exercise the heart and it wont pop, but literally any symptom drags me straight back to where I started, on the verge of a panic attack
    You have to remove the fear of this symptom. Tell yourself that it won't hurt you (because it won't) that it feels unpleasant (because it is) but that it soon passes and then you just get on with whatever you were doing. It's fear that's the problem here Joan. And the problem is that you are priming your brain to fear this symptom and that's where panic attacks come in. You start to dread the symptom and then you have panic attacks. Your brain needs to know that there's no danger here, so do what I've told you to do and your brain will eventually understand that there is no danger, therefore there is no need to trigger the fight or flight response..(which directly affects the heart- as it is meant to do)

    I'm sorry if i sound like a broken record.
    You're not broken by any means, you just need to change the way you think.
    __________________
    A thought is harmless unless we believe it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: Palpitations and shortness of breath.. Mind thinks heart failure.

    JoanB, I've been feeling pretty much like you recently. The palpitations I'm getting are just awful. I had a 24 hour holter monitor at the end of March that was apparently OK. I've had ecg's in April 2021 and June this year, also apparently OK. However, the palpitations are worse since I had covid at the end of May. I saw my gp on 20th July and she has given me a very short course of Diazepam 2mg, to only be taken when needed. So far I've only had 4.
    Last night in bed I was relaxed and falling asleep so I settled down, but then off it went. Palpitations all over the place. Instead of the usual boom-boom, I got boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, 5 beats in quick succession, then a long pause, which terrified me. Almost took my breath away. I coughed and it settled down a bit.
    I'm not under any undue stress or pressure. The only thing that's stressing me is the blooming palpitations. I'm to see gp again on 10th August and I'd like to ask her if I can have another ecg and a 7 day monitor this time. Perhaps that would put my mind at rest once and for all?
    I hope you're doing OK. Have you had your ecg yet?

    Dee

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