I'm 38 years old, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and don't use any drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine. Just to get that out of the way. A few weeks ago I went to the ER for abnormal heart beats. They ran just about every test possible and eventually said there was nothing wrong with my heart other than the occasional palpitation, and that'd I'd just have to live with it.
Well, that would probably be okay except that I suffer from anxiety attacks. However, my attacks have always been triggered by specific criteria such as a dentist appointment or travelling out of town. The attacks can be down right debilitating. My doctor has long prescribed me Xanax which I take as-needed. This has worked out really well for me and changed my life as now I'm able to do things I wasn't able to do before, but I only use the stuff maybe once every month or two for a few days when such an event is happening.
The problem I'm having now is that every time my heart beats irregular, it sends me into an anxiety attack. And the anxiety actually re-enforces the heart palpitation problem into a snowball effect. I can take the Xanax and all is good for a few hours. But I have long known that I can't take this stuff long-term and I've been taking the stuff for nearly two weeks now. So I'm trying to stop using it the last 2 days but I feel so horrible. My skin is crawling, my adrenaline is rushing, my heart is pounding, my stomach is in knots, I can't eat, I can't sleep. I don't have the desire to do anything. I don't care about anything. I just want to feel relaxed again without taking that drug.
So I keep asking myself if I'm better off trying to tough this out, not knowing when life might return to normal. Or am I better off risking addiction to Xanax?
Oh - and I've been afraid to go out bike riding or jogging because of scared I'll have a heart attack. The palpitations seem to get worse with increased heart rate. So I can't even exercise which I understand is a good remedy for anxiety.
Should I try something like Benadryl to slow my brain down? I take that for allergies occasionally and it sends me into a drowsy fog. Which, honestly, sort of sounds appealing right now.