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Anyone with high anxiety get heart palpitations?

I am 34, mother of 2 (almost 4 yr old and 18 month old). I have always struggled with anxiety and since having children, my anxiety and paranoia about everything has become extremely bad. Recently, my two children had ER visits. One with pneumonia and my littlest had a head injury which seriously scared me more than I ever have been in my life. (she is fine now) It seemed to start right after the school shooting that my anxiety soared and I started having bad heart palpitations. They are worse when I lay down at night and especially when I lay on my left side. I had chest pains so I went to the ER where I was examined and had an ECG. My ECG was normal and the Dr. told me I had anxiety attacks with palpitations, that stress can cause palpitaions. I followed up with my regular physician who checked all my blood work including thyroid. All came back normal. He told me that palpitations were normal irregular beats especially with anxiety. He told me given my family history of no heart issues, he was not concerned and felt it was do to my terrible anxiety. I still have them. Some days are better than others and I suspect that just having them triggers anxiety about the palpitations and triggers a vicious cycle. I wonder if anyone else has the same struggles. How do you get used to your palpitations and did they ever go away. I know I need to get a grip on this anxiety as the ER doctor told me "stress kills people." Any advice would be great, just to feel I'm not alone. THANK YOU! Over stressed Mama.

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Asked by hollysybb at 12:41 PM on Jan. 6, 2013 in Health

Level 6 (145 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Wow, well back it up. First and foremost, life will always be full of troubles, stressors, worries, problems, issues including shootings, murder and crime. There is nothing YOU can do about it. You have to worry about your own life, your own children. You can't solve the world's problems, so why try?! You need to go see a Dr. about your anxiety. I think it you can get that under control, you can stop the palpitations and work on the other issues in your life.

    One thing I found that helps, is not watching the news. Sure, I read about it online, but I read it and let it go. Media is not going to ruin my life. I want to enjoy it while I can. Why are you letting them control yours? You are NEVER going to turn on the news and watch all the good things happening in the world.... EVER. It doesn't pay. Media wants tragedies. They want gore, suffering, etc.... Just stop... Don't let them in.

    Answer by m-avi at 12:55 PM on Jan. 6, 2013

  • Yes.. I get palpitations due to anxiety too. I can relate that they themselves make anxiety worse and make them more frequent. I have to tell myself to STOP whatever it is I'm doing and think of why it's stressing me out so bad. Breathing does help sometimes.. or just a distraction. Beating myself up helps too, like telling myself "Why are you stressing out, you wreck?! This is nothing & you can do it!"

    All in all though.. anxiety is hard to deal with on a day to day basis. Good luck.

    Answer by anestheticsex at 1:50 PM on Jan. 6, 2013

  • If I had this issue I would start an exercise regime. Even if it's going outside & walking around the block every day. Put the kids in a double stroller & walk!. Then I would find another outlet for my anxiety. How about a hobby? Reading, knitting, blogging, yoga, crafts, painting, gardening, baking etc. You need to free your mind! How is your diet? Do you consume caffeine or sweets? Then switch yo non-caffeinated & no sugar substitutes. Maybe you need to adjust your diet & take vitamins? Every Mother on earth worries about their children on a daily basis even when the kids are 50 themselves. Turn off the news, turn on some music that you like & try to relax & enjoy your kids. GL!


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:56 PM on Jan. 6, 2013

  • Yep.
    I have suffered from anxiety attacks all my life. When they are really bad, I get palpitations. I use deep breathing techniques to regain control. I also take magnesium supplements and that helps A LOT!!! I also had to develop a different outlook on many things. I needed counseling for this and I DO recommend it. It is hard to change a way of thinking but it needs to be done.

    In addition, I am very fortunate that I have a great husband that is very aware of my issue actively talks to me about any fear I am having at the time, even if it means he is losing sleep because of it.

    Answer by layh41407 at 1:59 PM on Jan. 6, 2013

  • Yes. I get those and I get eye twitches. Doc put me on Xanax for them and whenever I have a case, I take the Xanax. Really, both symptoms are more annoying than worrisome to me.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:46 PM on Jan. 6, 2013

  • I don't have anxiety, but I have a lot of heart palpitations due to a heart problem. They do get scary once in a while when they don't let up! A couple tricks I've tried to get my heart back to normal - drink as much ice water as you can handle at once (not sipping, but gulping), and coughing hard a few times - so maybe try something like that if the palps are getting to you.

    Answer by idareyou at 2:50 PM on Jan. 6, 2013

  • I forgot to tell you that you can disrupt a palpitation by a Valsalva Maneuver. It's kind of like forcing a burp. You are actually forcing air out of your lungs while closing your mouth.

    Answer by m-avi at 3:49 PM on Jan. 6, 2013

  • Yes, and not all palpatations are led by direct stress for me--sometimes they actually come up when in my mind I am finally calm and not worried. I have found over time that some antidepressants and meds actually make it worse even if they are helping my mood. I thnk the average person knows stress reducers and feels either selfish or too busy to engage them--exercise, yoga, meditation, fresh air and sunlight, personal time. Now is time to actually incorporate one or more of these things into the mix. There are probably one or two things you are doing that you could change or eliminate to help lighten your load and help you stay in control whether its ordering pizza with a coupon once a week so you don't have to make dinner, getting some help with the housework, cutting down on your kids after school activiities (to cut down on your responsibilities) or other to help you get in control. Take your health seriously.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:38 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

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