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phobia around blood pressure !

Guest_2496
Community Member

Hi all

I started a thread a when I first came on here called 'can't relax' but even then I didn't mention one of my biggest issues. I have a phobia around blood pressure. I don't even like saying it or seeing it written! but I had to put it in this thread title to see if anyone can relate / advise.

I get so anxious when the dr is going to take it that it's always high and so it got to a point last year where she encouraged me to take it myself at home, and by doing that we were able to decrease the meds I was on for high bp. (dr says I have 'significant white coat syndrome)

Anyway I haven't taken it for ages as it still makes me anxious even doing it myself and meanwhile had put on some weight and spend a lot of time worrying about my bp. I am seeing a psychologist and while I mentioned this in my first appointment we haven't really addressed it so I'll bring it up next week cos it's clearly a) obviously not going away by itself (the worry about it) and b) quite a big worry at the moment.

I know I need to talk to her, lose weight and walk more, and take it more regularly.

Anyone dealt with any like this ridiculous phobia?!?

32 Replies 32

Bulldogbobby73
Community Member

Hi annie_1

Firstly -I feel your pain, this sounds exactly how I feel.

My anxiety and panic re-surfaced after a routine doctors appointment a couple of months back with a new doctor as my old one retired, she discovered my bp was very high, and wanted to straight away put me on meds - so I said no and went to another docs, who was way better and actually tried to see if it would come down without meds.

But the damage was done and ever since then, any time I go near a monitor, I get a feeling of panic over me, so I don’t know for sure if it’s truly high or it is high due to my anxiety.

I am actually on meds now - the first time I have taken any meds for anything and I think it’s causing my shortness of breath occasionally and I’m also easily fatigued and just feel generally yuck.

I would like to thank all who posted in this thread as it has helped ease my anxiety around bp and I hope we can all find comfort in each other.

Hi BulldogBobby

I’m sorry you’re going through this too!

I hope the meds are controlling your bp for the most part but I think it’s a given that stress increases it temporarily and, for some of us, that includes having it taken!, meeting new drs etc.

Has anyone suggested or have you tried - having a monitor at home and gently increasing exposure? Taking it yourself when you feel calm and rested to get a base?

my best wishes to you

Hey,

I have a monitor at home and am too scared to start taking it in case it is high, I have had it taken a few times by doctors and it is slowly coming down, last one taken was when I had a stress ECG last Friday and it was 141/100 but I was anxious due to where I was - it went up to 190/110 after the stress test on treadmill but knowing that scared me even though it was after exercise.

Other than that the results were normal, which I was really happy with, going to see doc when he comes back from being in isolation to see where to next.

I should say I only started meds just over four weeks ago so still have time for them to kick in.

How is your bp- is it under control??

Take care

Mine probably often runs a little high but nowadays I find myself thinking about it way less often. Not to say that if I were having it taken, or was in an emergency, I wouldn’t panic about it but day to day I don’t think about it. I expect you’ll get there too 🙂

The last two years have been so so weird - somehow I find myself less anxious generally! No control I guess…

It’s good you seem to have the anxiety around the bp mostly under control, as you say hopefully I will get there too.

Stay safe.

Helen_S
Community Member
Hi Annie, I just read your post .. I have identical symptoms. Just wondering how you have coped. Living for the day I can have my blood pressure taken without putting on a cuff.

Hi Helen

I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this too. I think the only thing that works for me is not thinking about it and I have found (mostly) over this pandemic period that there’s really no point being anxious about anything. Not sure that’s helpful?! and of course I’m not always anxiety free.

In terms of bp - the best thing is taking it for myself (it’s definitely still not easy and I don’t take it often!). It helps knowing when I go to the dr about something else that she’s not going to take it. It was her idea. She’s retiring soon though so…

The therapist I saw wasn’t helpful - let me know if you try counseling and it helps.

gloria10
Community Member

Hi Annie_1,

While I don’t have this, my mum does. She is going to psychiatrist too.

She’s never liked doctors in general, but with blood pressure it’s a real phobia of hers.

It sounds like you’re taking the right steps to deal with it, well done.

Thanks Gloria.

Has your Mum found the psych helpful?

She hasn’t been going for too long, some of her fears relate to years back though.

When I saw one for a fear of spiders I found it helped. I’ve been able to manage it better.