Hi everyone. I am a newbie (as of today), but I was a member with another anxiety message board over ten years ago. OK, YES, I have an extreme fear of heart attacks. I am 48 female and diagnosed with depression and anxiety 15 years ago after a mental breakdown. I apologize for the long post I'm about to type. My heart attack fear actually started when I was about 11 years old.
1. I was always a chubby child and my parents were always on me about my weight. While my family ate the typical home cooking, such as fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits, veggies, etc. my dinner was either canned tuna and a salad or a boiled hamburger pattie and a salad. When we went out to a restaurant, my parents would order for me, which was usually a salad and something boiled. My chubbiness was always a main topic growing up. When I was about 11, my mother (god bless her) took me to a doctor about my weight. This doctor told an eleven year old child that being overweight was very bad for my heart and that if I didn't lose weight by the time I was 18 I was going to have a heart attack and DIE!! So, not knowing this then, this was a scare tactic for me to lose weight. I'd like to add that I was maybe 20lbs heavier then the average 11 year old. Well, my childhood went on, was sent to weight watchers when I was 12,but the heart attack thing was always in the back of my mind. About 3 months before my 18th birthday, knowing that I wasn't THIN yet. I embraced the fact that exactly on my 18th birthday I was to have that heart attack that would kill me, so I started writing letters to my family (my parents, my older brother and my little sister) telling them how much I love them and how much I would miss them and willing them one of my personal belongings. I put each letter in a separate envelope and put their names on it and put the letters in my bible. Ok so needless to say 30 years later, no heart attack. Eventually life, and a lot of family troubles, working, meeting new friends, etc. seemed to have made that heart attack fear go away.
2. When I was about 33 years old,i had been married about 7 years, just bought our first home, and had been trying for years to get pregnant. I then became aware that my marriage sucked and had been since about six months after I got married. At this time I was going through so so much stress. Husband cheating on with my best friend, almost losing my house, and so much more. On my way to work one day, I had an anxiety attack, but I had no idea what it was, never knew about anxiety, but I honestly felt I was having a heart attack. When I went to a doctor, yep,anxiety attack and that I was having a mental breakdown. So then my life of Paxil began and thank god for it. But because of the anxiety attack, the mental breakdown, it brought up my heart attack fear. but after being on the paxil for a few months, that fear subsided and only had bouts of it, several times a year.
3. Now, the present situation: I turned 48 this past February. For the past 6 works I have been unable to find another job due to several surgeries an the economy. This took it's toll on me because I have always had a job and career. My husband, at the time I lost my job six years ago, was making excellent money so there was no financial stress at all and I had great health care. those good times lasted about two years, when, he chose to leave that awesome job, due to another woman. Since then, due to him taking jobs making less then half then he was before, the financial problems started I was even having to go to food banks to get food. But I had my paxil and I was able to handle all this. This past January, due to not being able to afford health insurance through his job, I was left with no medical coverage and no money to go back to my doctor to get my yearly renewal on my paxil prescriptions and other meds I needed. So, it was a slow process, but the past two months of not having my meds, the depression did come back but my anxiety was more severe and so again was the heart attack fear.
4. So, due to other ailments, which I will post in those sections later, and being 48 and for all the blasted symptom surfing I have done on heart attack symptoms in women, my mind thinks that every little unusual thing that goes on with my body is an impending heart attack. It's horrible, actually horrible doesn't even come close to describing the fear, being scared, frustration and worry this causes someone. So, here is my extremely long post on my heart attack fear. My heart goes out to each and everyone of you who suffer will this.