I would say there are, oh, about a bazillion people who go a tad phobic or obsessive due to hyperawareness of their hearts. I'm certainly one of them, and I've seen and responded to a lot of messages here from people who have this problem.
Some of us humans are delicate folks. We are like the Princess and the Pea: We are aware of lumps and bumps and noises that most people cannot even perceive. And it makes us REAL nervous!
I saw a nice shrink about this. He helped me immensely.
I have been on this forum since 2002 I have nsvt, svt and pvcs and pacs and yes I am very heart aware.. It makes me crazy.... and my doctors too. I do see a counsler for it have for years sometimes im good sometimes not so good. With ten yrs under my belt I have mellowed some with it, but if I have a bad run it sends me through the roof. some folks dont pay attention or they just think its normal.. I wish I could be more like that.
There are plenty of people that feel as you do. Anything to do with the heart generally makes people nervous. I'm one of the lucky ones because I've had wacky heart beats all my life so it's "normal" to me.
I do believe stress/anxiety can trigger more arrhythmias. When I'm very tired, overheated, stressed about something, my heart will act up more than usual. But on the days when I'm happy and relaxed, so is my heart. We can't avoid stress all together because life throws us a curve now and then. But we can find ways to calm down. Some people do deep breathing (didn't work for me), going for a walk or just distracting ourselves with something we do like. That's my favorite. :-)
Hope you find something that calms you and eases your dancing heart.
Yeah its pretty damn annoying to be honest, the thing is, the only palpitations I had were from those anxiety episodes and and just experiencing them got me worried about my heart, nervous about exercising (which is not like me at all, sixteen months before I was weight lifting, and swimming pretty much everyday) and feeling uncertain, horrible!
I kept worrying about my heart rhythm, and finally one day found my grandmother's stethoscope (she was a nurse) and listened to my heartbeat even though whilst doing my own auscultation I was nerve-racked but I heard it beating perfectly normally - although fast, lub-dubbin' away. That pretty much put my cardiac neurosis to rest, I'd say 85% of it anyway.
I can only get out just two days per week to go walking, which I do, although only once this past week since there was some other tasks to take care of.
If I'm totally distracted, reading, watching something on television or out walking, I'm just peachy. But when I'm sitting indoors, in a rather apathetic environment, my mind can go wander and I suppose that's where I being getting these occasional blips of worry. Frustrating and ridiculous if you ask me. I wonder if boredome can bring about some degree of anxiety? It must in some way, I just was NOT like this before, when I had things to do andcould actually go places on my own accord.
In summary, distraction is a virtue for those who have nothing to do but worry, LOL.
OMG you have no idea how much my life has been destroyed. I have had these for over 20 years and I live in terror every day.
Afib has changed my life completely. Everything revolves around it -- activities, trips. If I have a really a bad day, it affects me for several days. I am better than I used to be after 10 years, but it still is very debilitating.
I have to agree with all of you. If I had a bad day, it puts me in "super aware" mode for days after. Then I will clam down then BAM it hits again. SO frustrating and very scary. My decisions are also based around my heart a lot of times. Not only foods and drinks, but meds, activities, all of it. Its very frustrating and saddening to say the least. Being so aware of my heart at times is also exhausting.
I understand completely. I actually find myself "waiting" for the big cardiac event that is going to kill me. I have NSVT, SVT and pvc. My heart is structurally fine so no one is all that concerned. To say that this is ruining my life is an understatement. I really feel for you.
I have this alot now i think it all started when the reports of footballers having sudden death while playing football became more freguent then last year i started to get ectopic beats the more forcefull they are the more i have anxiety attacks which then makes them worse thonk i have ocd because i google heart problems all the time i downloaded a heart rate app on my phone which i check all the time ive read that this is a sign of anxiety disorder i have being trying to ignire these beats
You are right, it is a sign of it. check this out:
Hypochondria symptoms include:
•Having a long-term intense fear or anxiety about having a serious disease or health condition
•Worrying that minor symptoms or bodily sensations mean you have a serious illness
•Seeing doctors repeated times or having involved medical exams such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), echocardiograms or exploratory surgery
•Frequently switching doctors — if one doctor tells you that you aren't sick, you may not believe it and seek out other opinions
•Continuously talking about your symptoms or suspected diseases with family and friends
•Obsessively doing health research
•Frequently checking your body for problems, such as lumps or sores
•Frequently checking your vital signs, such as pulse or blood pressure
•Thinking you have a disease after reading or hearing about it
** one of the biggest things I can relate to was always checking online for reassurance or needing it through my doctor.**
I really enjoy this site as it makes me realize I am not alone and that we all have a bit of the anxiety going. Scary but true. We all can probably relate to a few of the symptoms in the hypochondriac field.
I feel this way often. I have had SVT for 15 years. Prior to being pregnant, it was not that big of a deal for me. I knew what it was and what to expect. That said, it was getting more annoying as I got older, and I had a horrible episode during labor. After that, the episodes caused more anxiety. I had an ablation which went well, but 8 months later I started having PVCs and PACs that felt like no other I had experienced before. I wore a monitor for two months, and my EP told me all is fine. If I knew that every day would not be a bad day, I could handle it. I keep thinking what if it gets worse? I also see a therapist on occasion, and she likes to say I have a sensitive nervous system.
The answer is; yes, definitely.
I guess there are fine lines between anxiety and OCD, but on the other hand, because OCD is a manifestation of anxiety, I guess they go hand in hand.
Yes, cardiophobia is OCD. Just think of it like:
Obsession: My heart is unhealthy. Skipped beats are dangerous and unwanted.
Compulsion: Checking pulse, going to doctors for more or less meaningless tests (if we have had them done lots of times before), checking blood pressure, reading medical stuff, all we do to provide reassurance.
I must say, I miss my cardiophobia these days. It seems like my anxiety (which really is a manifestation of a fear of dying) has transformed into more "pure-O"-symptoms, like what if I hurt myself, what if an accident happens, etc. I really liked my fear of skipped beats and blood pressure a lot better :)
Oh yes OCD is very closely related to Health Anxiety / Hypochondria and Anxiety in general, they go hand in hand without a doubt.
So it sounds like yours has turned from a specific fear of your heart and the skips into a general fear and anxiety. Mine has taken twists and turns like that along the way. For the most part I am focused on my heart now a days but there are times when it goes in crazy directions.
I Feel for all of you! This is so tough, to be "blessed" with anixety then to have ANY kind of health issue on top of it, well it just really makes us crazy at times.
I would not label these feelings at all as an OCD, or hypochondrical situation; having had PVCs most of my life I really get upset if someone labels it this way. In my opinion, if you feel like your heart is going to up and stop 3,000 times in a day, YOU DAMN WELL ARE GOING TO BECOME ANXIOUS.Anyone who doesnt have anxiety with 3,000 of these things is either a nut or a liar.
These symptoms are real and VERY uncomfortable, and so labelling these feelings as a "phobia" or an "OCD" is like saying someone has a "phobia" or is obsessed with pain because they have a bad arthitis.
Let's stop giving this reponse to this a negative connotation...
LOL...I guess I have strong feelings on this one...just one guy's opinion...
I'm like Ireneo; they've been such a part of my life that I got used to them just like fainting
I could be the poster child for Arrhythmia's..36 years and counting...I've had just about every arrhthmia there is caught on some test or other except AFib and yes my heart has stopped and guess what? it keeps on going...
you know what bothers me more than feeling pvc's, pac's svt vt etc? not being able to walk; going out & the fear of tripping or falling on something or my family history of cancer... ugh that scares the heck out of me...weird huh?
PVC Man ~ I had anxiety long before my PVCs /PACs came into the picture and I often focuse don health issues prior too any of this. So with me, yes it is a form of OCD / hypochondria. Just like Mom2four85 has had montiors catching thousands and thousands per day and yet her fears lie somewhere else. I have met many people with skips who either are not afraid of them or just do not care about them. Maybe some of us are just more jarred by them and it makes us question our own mortality? Either way, they freak me out and I am 100% cardiophobic.
Mom2four85, You are such a fighter! My family history of cancer scares me too.
I am more afraid of the dizziness, breathlessness and faintness that I had with WPW-the worst episodes felt like imminent sudden death to me. Once it was over I would be relieved and mostly forget about it.
I certainly don't like feeling arhythmmias and racing heart, but for me they nearly always stopped of there own accord so I just expected that they would.
I thought of them more as a nuisance than scary.
Howver my last experience was fast atrial fibrilation which went on for four hours, most of that time in the Hospital Emergency Department. I was very scared, but I could still have a laugh with the staff and my husband.
( My heart went back into normal rhythm after an hour of intavenous Flecanaide)
After this experience I was much more scared of the possibilityof racing heartbeats but I was on flecanaide and metoprolol for 3 weeks and then had my ablation.
During the waiting time on the drugs I was mostly frustrated with how exhausted and yuck I felt from the metoprolol. My heart felt like a heavy trapped bird in my chest and I didn't much like that feeling.
Now that it is getting better I am noticing it less and less and getting on with my life more.
I have found that it is important to do things that take my mind off me and my problems and that make me happy. Feeling useful makes a difference for me too.
Very true, distraction is very helplful! And congrats on your Ablation!!!
It always make me feel somewhat better knowing that I am not suffering alone. Everyday I am convinced that I am going to die from these....I have had numerous work ups and have herd many many times that my heart is normal...but as soon as I feel the pvc/pac/nsvt it is all down hill...have now developed a panic disorder related to this and take medication...
TOTALLY! I've become a full blown hypo since I developed PVCs, even tho Dr's convince me that they are not dangerous. I already have panic disorder and phobias so PVCs for someone like me is NOT a good mix LOL. What you're experiencing is very normal IMO. Hard not to feel that way. I think in time, you will learn to "live with them." You will see that you keep waking up and that they aren't killing you. You'll be fine.
Very sorry to hear about your father. :( Nothing like our papas. R.I.P
I can relate to virtually all of these postings. . . and all of the emotions and issues -- the fear, the dysfunction, the depression, etc. . .
Re your panic disorder, can you tell us what is the medication you take? An anti-anxiety? Like Ativan or Xanax? Or something in the anti-depression arsenal, like Effexor? My doc wants me to move away from the first two and get started on the latter because he wants me to work at the root level of my anxiety and find ways to stay functional.
Dear Dolphin8808, can you also tell us if you are taking any meds like this? And, if so, are they worth it for you?
From a Cardiophobic in California
I've taken Propranolol (Inderal)since my ablation; not only does it work on my arrhythmia's it;s supposed to help with hypertension, anxiety and panic etc..
I've tried Lexapro for GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) it didnt work for me but Lamictal worked great and when I get my new insurance I'm going to try it again...
I was dx with GAD, PTSD Agoraphobia and Bi Polar after my ablation and ICD implant.
I take Zoloft for the panic and anxiety and I have xanax as needed as well. My doc has offered to tried Bystolic but I have declined as of now.
I also have chest pain, have had it for 2 years, its atypical and not what they would consider cardiac related. I do have mild asthma as well and have gone through so many tests. Not only all the heart tests but thorasic MRI, Chest CT Scan, xrays etc. With nothing to pinpoint the pains. Its a dull ache on the left, right and sometimes center chest. Comes and goes as it pleases and has to schedule. I always put it back to being my heart even though the docs say no. SO FRUSTRATING!!!!! My foot will hurt and I think its my heart LOL