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10 years with no help

Community Member
10 years ago I was doing many hours of studying and hurt my back from all the time spent sitting. The back pain eventually caused chest pain. I went to my GP and he immediately said that it could be my heart and I was rushed off to tests in the following days. 

That night after the Dr said about my heart I was laying in bed when it suddenly started racing like I had done a marathon. I went through a series of tests over the next few months where they found nothing serious. Only that I get occasional skipped beats which is considered "normal". However ever since this time I have almost always been aware of what my heart has been doing. 

I started to ignore it and started full time work. At this stage I started going out to night clubs and drinking lots regularly on weekends. It seemed to almost go away for a number of years, but I always felt something was there. I think it was more I just did not care at this stage in my life. 

As time went on my life circumstances changed. I bought a house, got engaged, and basically stopped drinking. As my life style has become more settled, I care more about myself and care deeply for my partner, my feeling of something wrong has increased dramatically.

I was having constant neck pains, and my irregular heart beats became even more noticeable. The skipped beats feels like I am being hit from within my chest. I can be sitting watching tv, or at work, totally relaxed, then suddenly bam i get hit. I then am overcome with a feeling that I am about to die.

I have been back to see Dr's over the years. Most recently I was sent back to a cardiologist and had further tests and comparisons to the previous ones. The cardiologist says that he thinks it's anxiety related. My GP also sent me to a Gastroenterologists about the chest pains. All tests showed nothing. They all agree that it's probably just anxiety and that's where its been left at. 

It has affected me because I find myself worrying about my heart stopping and how an ambulance would get to me if I am somewhere with no easy access. Eg in remote places I start getting chest pains, in crowds I get chest pains, and even areas I am not familiar with. I am not in fear of death, I am in fear of pain, not being in control and leaving people behind.

I also get periods where I just feel agitated for no reason. I just can't sit still. I think about things lots and sometimes get cold sweats and feeling of passing out. I have constant tension throughout my back and neck which a physio also thinks is anxiety related. 

More recently I have been feeling like I am constantly tired. I can't concentrate at work and lack motivation. I feel like I can no longer perform my job properly anymore. 

I am not sure what to do to make myself feel normal, because I am not sure what is normal anymore, and multiple Dr's just saying "oh its just anxiety" doesn't help.

I am also concerned that if I push to get further help then I will be permanently labeled with anxiety it will be harder to have life and travel insurance.
4 Replies 4

Community Member

Search for the following terms:

Tension headache - a symptom of stress. I figure this is one of your experiences.

Stress relief - a general search term for finding things I may forget to mention.

Neck muscle stretching - these are excellent, especially the dorsal stretch!

These would be a great start. It will take time to research and learn what you need to know to understand how anxiety and stress interact and feed off each other, like a vicious cycle, and how to manage them together and separately.

tackling this cycle head on may have very little effect at first. Like a freight train, it has built up some momentum, so you'll need to be persistent. Ask the people in your life to give you shoulder massages frequently. Daily vigorous exercise for 30-45 minutes per day will help a lot too; walking is insufficient and doesn't count. Cut back a lot on the coffee and other stimulants. Switching to drinking only herbal tea would be a brilliant move.

If you do most of these suggestions, and are still experiencing these symptoms in a month, I can suggest more drastic actions, but you won't get them out of me now.

Community Member

Thanks for your reply.

The Tension headaches occur at least once a week. I do stretches. I have seen numerous physios who have given me exercise routines I do.

I run on a treadmill for at least 30mins as often as I can. Its usually at least 3 nights a week.

I don't drink coffee. I occasionally have tea, usually white tea, or a Japanese herbal tea.

Having it for 10 years. I have tried everything I can think of. I have cut out so many foods for periods over the years and tried different things.

Community Member

Excellent. You're on the right track, now increase the frequency of both the neck/shoulder stretching and the exercise. Don't stick to only running. Running is excellent from the legs, heart and general circulation, but won't do much for the upper body where you feel your tension. Some of the things I recommend for this are:

  1. Swimming. Any stroke that uses arms.
  2. Massage of the neck and shoulders, as mentioned.
  3. Rock climbing / wall climbing
  4. Nordic walking (with poles)
  5. Children's jungle gyms often have monkey bars, zip lines, and gymnastic style arrangements like parallel and uneven bars for chin ups, etc

As I said, follow these terms and if you're still feeling super tense in a month I'll give you, and anyone else that cares to read this thread, my solution for "drastic situations." WARNING: you'll have to be both desperate and crazy to use it. I certainly was. The moderator may not even allow me to publish it here (relax, it doesn't involve harming self or others), but we'll worry about that in a month if this doesn't help.


Community Member

Hey hoz,

Everyone is different and it sounds like you are already doing everything that is important right? eating healthily, exercising etc etc which is great...

I have an idea on how you might be able to fight back on the onslaught of your anxiety issues (I've had very similar issues when I was a teenager and I was through self control, able to beat them) . It helps if you know somewhere you can walk that has scenery to look at and enjoy.  Look at it as "me time"Time where you are going to rid yourself of as many thoughts as you can.  About everything.

Because you suffer from anxiety related issues and this sounds like what they are, I have had the same symptoms, an awareness of your heart beat? I used to get that. I would also get occasional severe stabs of pain in my chest for no apparent reason at all.  I would not be thinking of my heart or anything that I thought was stressful and then BAM!.  It turned out to be anxiety related.  I had to tell myself it was anxiety related and found ways to relax myself that helped immensely and the awareness of my heart beat and skips went.

I would walk through the side streets of the scenic hilly area where where I lived as a teenager and this helped to relax me.  Triggers for me would set it off.  Homework was one for me, as well as other things.

Its hard to start the routine, and to form a healthy relationship between the importance of walking for relaxation, but it is a wonderful thing when you can learn to have control over the thoughts you have when you start out on your walk, to when things start to pop into your head like may be for example "I wonder how my heart is going to go on this walk?" or "I've got so much going on at the moment" or to think about daily routine stresses that fill your head on a usual busy day.

What you need to say to yourself when you commence your walk, when things start to pop into your head is "I'm sorry but this walk is a no thought walk".  As you walk, try to look at things that distract your thoughts, like the scenery around you, or go to a beach near you and walk along it or if you aren't near any of this,  get a ipod or something and when you feel those thoughts creeping in, just say to yourself "this is a no thought walk" and smile and think of ways to distract yourself from the cycle of thinking about the things that cause you your anxiety.  Only you know exactly what they are.  If you don't, don't worry, the walking should get rid of em anyway, or certainly lessen them a great deal. 

Walking is a great way to relax, not just to get fit.  I walk for about 30-40 minutes each way, 3 times a week.  Lately I power-walk if I'm stressed, but otherwise just a healthy reasonably paced walk   You don't have to start on that, 25mins as a minimum, each way is a good amount of walking time and this is what I started on.

You don't have to push yourself, remember its about relaxing, call it a form of meditation if you like, your me time.  In a way it is for me I guess, even if it is an "odd" form.

Try it out for a fortnight (as it may take this long to start to have the desired effect) and if it hasn't helped by then, I will be surprised to hear it.  I hope it does. 

Remember, walking to relax is just as important and benificial to the mind, as it is to the heart 🙂 like the play on words?

hope this post helps Hoz,