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Anxiety related to fear of heart attacks and strokes

Community Member
Hi all, new to this. Thought it may help me talk, I suffer from sever anxiety all related to heart attacks and strokes. I'm 25 years old, generally live a healthy lifestyle. But my anxiety is taking over. I'm so scared I'm going to have a stroke or heart attack I have all the physical symptoms, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizzyness, blurred vision, sharp pains in my head etc I'm constantly looking in the mirror to see if my face is dropping, and constantly asking friends and family if I look weird, which i never am. I'm starting to fear being alone, and have started to hate driving alone. I always need to know what street I'm on and ALWAYS need to know where the nearest hospital is just incase. I'm barely sleeping, Is this story fimiliar to anyone else? If so any light or guidance on what to do would be great. Im really loosing it over here and it's just getting too much to handle. All my friends and family think it's a joke so I don't tLk about it to anyone I just sit in a panic of sweat constantly. I was recently told if you smell burning toast it means you are about to have a stroke, so naturally all I have been Smelling all week is toast. I'm really losing the plot here any words of wisdom would be great or advise on what I might be able to do. Have been to the GP for help, she sent me home and told me to relax. Obviously that is hard to do. Thanks for listening 
9 Replies 9

Community Member

Hi Adele


Welcome to Beyond Blue and thank you for providing your post.


Living with all these issues that you’re experiencing would be awful and no wonder you’re reaching out for support on this.  I’m disappointed with the ‘advice’ that the gp that you went to gave you.  Yeah great, just send her home and tell you to relax.   I’ll bet that left you feeling – “Gee, I’m really glad I went there – they gave me great support, etc”!!


I don’t have any actual advice “as such” to give you, but one thing I would suggest is for you to get back to a “different” GP and seek help.  However, seeking the right GP is the key and on this site, Beyond Blue have a listing of GP’s who can be searched for.  The thing with these GP’s is that they are all experienced in dealing with issues of all kinds of mental health issues and so they would be best placed to provide you with support and advice and to possibly give you referral to a counsellor and/or possible medication, if they feel it necessary.   The thing I could safely say is that they won’t give you the “Oh, you’re ok, just go home and relax” treatment.


I hope this has proved helpful to you.


Would also love to hear back from you.


Kind regards



Community Member
Hi Neil, thanks for the reply. I felt a little bit better today, maybe just simply writing down my feelings subconsciously helped! I agree, dr isn't very sensitive. I gues they have people going in all the time with anxiety and they run out of patience but it's not right to shrug people off rather than taking time to re assure them. Iv been doing some research into mediation and my mum suggested I go speak to a natural wholistic therapist, just for something different, they might have a different approach I can look into. Reading everyone's posts on here is just so sad. Sad that people go through so much, it really is emotionally exhausting. Again, thanks for the reply it really helped that someone took the time to check in 🙂 

Community Member

Hi there Adele


Hey, thanx so much for your latest response back and also for your kind words.


That’s great that you’re taking such a positive approach with this and researching things is always a good process – just trying to seek perhaps that “something” else that could just help out.  And let’s face it, any kind of help and support is better than none at all.   So I do wish you well with your seeking out the natural holistic therapist.


Yes, it can be sad to read the posts on here, but at the same time, it’s so great that we’ve got such a website that people can come to so they can unload and share their story.  And be in like-minded company, it’s one of the many things I really love about this site.


And the thing is Adele, you made the positive move to come here and post – and if you feel that you would like to stay and post some more, then please do so.  It’s always great to meet new people.  🙂



Community Member

This all sounds extremely familiar to me. I've been terrified of having a stroke or heart attack since about 11 years old (so I've been worrying about this for 10 years). I find that it comes in phases; sometimes I'm really worried, others not so much. Your symptoms are all very similar to mine, and honestly I don't have any advice to give to you, because it still scared me quite a lot. But, I thought it would help to know you're not the only one who feels like this :')

hope things get better for you

Community Member

Hi Adele,

I have recently suffered a bad case of health anxiety but I did have a trigger for the anxiety. I do suffer from high blood pressure as I carry too much weight however around christmas I started becoming anxious again and started feeling numbness in my face. I was doing as you did, checking my face in the mirror, asking others if the side that was numb was dropping. Of course nothing. I even kept poking my face to make sure I still had feeling which of course I did. This went on for a few weeks but in the meantime I used the anxiety to help fix the underlying cause. Lost 10kg, blood pressure is dropping and I feel less anxious about it. Deep inside i am still worried though. If you can, talk it through with a professional. I have been able to rationalise by turning my internal dialogue to well if I am at risk I need to address it but more importantly I can't do anything about chance events I have no control over. I gave myself a challenge to make the most of life while I am healthy. Easier said than done and it is a challenge but it has been working for me so far. I have been getting out and about more and the anxiety fades with each positive experience. I hope you are able to find peace with your symptoms too.

Community Member
same here.. i have fear of stroke and heart attacks.. i dont want to take any medications specially when im sick. i got easily nervous when taking medications even paracetamol. one time i rushed at the hospital and they gave me some intravenous and i started to have palpitations and my heart beats so fast and i couldn't breathe... even on food, i dont wanna eat shrimp coz i felt that after eating it i might get stroke and even on oily fatty foods, and salty foods...

Community Member

Hey buddy I have the exact same symptoms as you. Heart attack, chest pains. Wheezing. Worried about emphysema and cancer (yes I did quit smoking 3 years ago in complete fear of dying which is kinda moot because I am on anti depressants for wanting to neck myself and trying and failing). Ended up in hospital once, they checked my vitals and sent me home, I felt pretty stupid. 10 doctors, 2 X-rays, 1 blood test, 1 ambulance call out later... Everything normal par some pride.

Some triggers I have found are stress, salty food, fatty food, anger, caffeine, and when I feel trapped. My triggers May be different to yours, once you find yours, you can remove yourself from the situations that trigger an attack in most cases

I get 2 kind of attacks

fight and flight goes crazy, usually when I feel trapped or threatened. even a noisy car can trigger this, but it's bearable. Pretty much the symptoms are what you would expect from overdosing on adrenaline. Solution, easy to overcome by removing yourself from the situation and focusing on something else. 

Then there is the one where it feels like i cannot breathe and i cannot get oxygen. This is the scary one. And for the Past 2 years it completely controlled my life. The only cure I know of is there is none. But it can't kill you. The only comfort i keep during that attack is Everytime I come out of it. Unsettled but ok. It also leaves me extremely tired. I don't know the triggers. It just happens. Also turning up to emergency is useless as by the time they checked me I was normal. One doctor I visited said. If it was a heart attack, then you would already be dead. Needless to say I never went back to him.

just remember when you feel a panic attack coming on, it's a panic attack. You know it symptoms. Just brace, and ride it out.

 If you need any other help, just ask. But I'm not a proffessional, I can only offer advice from what I experience

oh and ignore the people that say like 'just take deep breaths' or 'don't worry' 'we have anxiety, it's not a big deal' it will only frustrate you


Community Member

Hey i know this post was some time ago now, but just want to let you know you're not alone, I have the same anxieties, medication helps a bit but I guess it's just really taking note of your thoughts & breathing

It will get easier and sometimes acknowledging the anxiety makes it easier

Community Member

Hey everyone,

Found this post after doing a quick search of my current stresses and really glad I did. I'm hoping everyone including the original poster have gotten some sort of closure or help with all of this.

Very similarly, I've been "working myself up", over serious health conditions. Heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, all of that sort of stuff. Stiffness on one side of my face, left arm feels "odd"? Randomly and for prolonged periods of time, tingling sensation/pain in my head. And I just spiral for a while. "Does this hurt? Am I sick? Who is around that can save me if I need it? Is anyone home? What am I wearing, that I'll be found in? Do I want to put my family through this?" Are all things that constantly go through my mind during this. I've briefly told people about it, but I kinda laugh it off. Now when I leave my room to be around people suddenly, I just tell them I'm feeling anxious, and just sit there feeling everything.

I've got another GP appointment soon, so hopefully that goes well. Last time I was there he said I had high functioning anxiety, which I guess explains it. But everything feels so real, and it's terrifying.

Sorry for posting my dribble on here, but seeing these other posts really made me feel like I'm not completely nuts or alone.

To anyone else who may find this all down the line, you're not alone, and although you may not initially find help, keep trying. Just gotta find the right doc that understands you.