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Health Anxiety and Constant Pounding Pulse

Community Member
For about 2.5 years now, I have experienced similar symptoms, hearing that I'm not the only one is reassuring. But I still worry.

I have a constant pounding pulse, my heart rate always seems ok, but very strong. I can feel it all over my body, prominently in my chest, stomach and neck. It rocks my body when sitting and standing and I can physically see my stomach and neck pulsing.
This is also accompanied with regular back and chest pains/aches. I've always had back issues and often think this may be the cause, nerve pressure or something.

I have had several tests, echocardiogram, stress test, ultrasound, holter monitor, EKG, blood tests, blood pressure etc, always coming back ok.
I'm always told it's anxiety, but even when I'm not as anxious about it all, it's always there. I do definitely feel that I have developed bad health anxiety over the last 4-5 years though. I constantly fear Im going to have a heart attack or something and hate being a far distance from a hospital or home, even though I haven't yet panicked myself into going to ER nor needed to go to the hospital or anything that drastic.
I do believe the doctors when I'm told the tests come back ok, but I can't help but think something is missed.

I can't remember the last time I've felt relaxed. If I try mindfulness excersises, all it does is make me even more aware of my pulse which also effects breathing excersises.
I find it particularly worse after eating or after standing up etc.
I take medication daily and I've tried psychologists a few times, but when I mention these physical symptoms they look confused and I feel like I'm the only one who suffers from them by their reaction.

It's effecting my every day life more and more as I avoid vigorous excersise and doing things I used to enjoy, particularly going away for holidays or camping, wakeboarding or just going to the gym. I worry that if I exacerbate the symptoms something will happen or I worry that if I'm away from home or work I won't have as easy access to medical services etc.
I know deep down this all sounds silly, but no matter what I tell myself or try to do, it's always a problem.

3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Shaunoh,

Thank you so much for opening up in your post, and welcome to the forums.

That sounds like a stressful situation to be in, particularly over such an extended period of time. I'm quite anxious when it comes to my health as well, so I completely understand your reaction, despite tests indicating that there's no issue.

To be honest, if it's affecting aspects of your everyday life, you may like to go in for a second opinion. If there's another GP you can see, or perhaps a counsellor or therapist, it may be useful to get somebody else's opinion. Different professionals have different experiences, and you may find that you come across somebody who knows exactly what to do in this situation. I'm a big believer in trusting my instincts when it comes to my health, which in my case means getting to the root of an issue in order to fix it or reduce it such that it doesn't inhibit my daily activities.

I hope this is somewhat helpful. I wish you all the very best, and please feel free to come and chat with us some more, we're here to support you.


Community Member

Hi Shaunoh,

I know how you feel, and it is so tiring to deal with! I've had bouts of this as well, though not constant (my anxiety likes to focus on different things, yay). Like you, during those bouts I have had a bunch of tests, been sent to a cardiologist, blood pressure, holter monitor, etc. just to be told it's all fine and I should look at getting some help with stress and anxiety. I've had the visible pulse, feeling my heartbeat moving my body, palpitations, too. For me, it seems like they are worse or more apparent to me when I have had a period of stress or am run down, e.g. not enough regular sleep, food, protein, exercise. My method of dealing with it is to see family/friends (to take my attention off it for a bit, or to vent my worries about it to my Mum), get into some comfort food and build myself up a bit, and ignore the voice that says to not do any exercise just in case -- I go outside and take a walk -- anywhere, any length. I just take it one day at a time and keep doing it. I don't know if any of that might help you. 🙂

Community Member

Hi Shaunoh!

I know how you're feeling, I have also been going through this recently. Particularly this past week I've had the same feelings - racing heartbeat, palpitations, feeling my pulse in my neck and such. It's been super hard to distract myself from it, and I've found it difficult to seek a psychologists help. Also have had a bunch of tests done which came back fine. However I'm always thinking about what my current heart rate is and googling a whole bunch of things. For what it's worth, I have had trouble sleeping this past month so I'm sure that's contributing to all of this.

For me a nice leisurely walk helps, as well as doing lots of different activities to help distract your mind from what's going on. Spending time with friends and family is also very beneficial.

I wish you all the best 🙂