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Author Topic: Blood Pressure Phhobia  (Read 143 times)

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Offline xynder

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Blood Pressure Phhobia
« on: February 15, 2014, 09:54:32 PM »
I have severe blood pressure phobia.  It started when I was about 22... I had my BP checked and it was a little high.  The doctor didn't even bat an eye, and I largely forgot about it.

Fast forward to 2009.  I got a job where I have to get regular physicals.  I had a panic attack when I saw they were checking blood pressures, and it was like 150/90 something.  A few months later I went to the doctor about it.  At office it was 150/100 and he said I had hypertension, and prescribed medication.

I took that for about a year, until I moved and switched doctors.  I actually relocated to a city with a Mayo Clinic nearby, so I went to a hypertension specialist there (nephrologist).  He told me I did not have high blood pressure, to stop monitoring it, and to essentially stop worrying about it.  He said my height/weight combination (5'11" 155lbs), age, and activity level (regular long runs), combined with my history of anxiety disorder, fit the profile for white coat hypertension. 

I get annual physicals and both doctors have also said I do not have hypertension, even though at the office it is usually high.  When I check it at home, it is normal.  I had to throw my monitor away because I would check it 20-30 times per day.

However, I still have the phobia surrounding it.  I can't even check it at the grocery store without my pulse skyrocketing and BP rising.  I just checked it today at the store and my pulse jumped to 123, and BP was 150/90 something.  A few minutes later it was down to 123/83. 

This really tears me up and makes me feel stupid, weak, and defective. 
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Offline xxAmyxx

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Re: Blood Pressure Phhobia
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 10:37:59 PM »
I've had BP phobia for the past couple of weeks. I was on Effexor, happened to take my BP and it was near 150/98 pulse 110! I freaked. Weaned off the Effexor as quickly as I could (was only on it a month). BP has slowly been going back to normal, I still panic every time I go to take my BP at home so it's been a bit all over the place. Ughhh!
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Offline Noclip1

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Re: Blood Pressure Phhobia
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2014, 04:02:15 AM »
I too have BP phobia. I remember in middle school, we went to a college tour to see how nurses would monitor blood pressures and everyone of the students were told by the teachers to check their blood pressure to see how the nurses would do it and I can feel my heart racing and I refused to try out the blood pressure machines. Also, When I was around 7, my parents would check their blood pressure in pharmacies/malls and I always said to myself "I don't want to put my arm in that thing, what if it gets stuck and I can't get it out." Ever since, I always refused to get my blood pressure checked and I am pretty sure I only had it checked one time which was actually a few weeks ago before I had surgery and my BP was at 140/something but when I woke up from surgery the nurse checked it again and it was normal. I probably wasn't really aware of the blood pressure thing afterwards as I just got up all wobbly from the anesthesia .I even told the nurse in advance that I am quite nervous. I was actually nervous for the blood pressure check rather than the surgery.
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Online Sunlover

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Re: Blood Pressure Phhobia
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2014, 06:15:09 AM »
xynder, you said you need a physical for your job but it's always high at the office.  I too need regular physicals for my job however they said they HAVE to get it below 140/90 in the OFFICE in order for me to pass!     With white coat hypertension (which I have), how can I do that?   (I HAD high blood pressure for 15 years, it went back to normal in August - no idea why, that's not the point) but I went off medication in August and monitored at home to make sure it was fine and it is, my physical is coming up in June and I have no clue how I will pass.  How do YOU do it? (I'll run high 120's to high 130's on top/low 70's to mid 80's on bottom at home... at the doctors I'll run mid 160's over high 90's!)
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Offline tinam7

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Re: Blood Pressure Phhobia
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2014, 08:43:34 AM »
BP is a big, confounding issue. I know the damage it caused (over much time) in my family.

What to do? It's a problem, to be sure. Part of it is genetic, I believe. I've been on medications with terrible side effects and so turned into my own advisor. The big thing for me is to be as stress free as possible, take the medication if I'll be tested, meditate daily. Usually get nice readings after meditation. A reading of 123/83 would suit me just fine. Good diet, good weight, varied exercise, peace and calm give me hope and confidence. Now this is just my self-invented, non-scientific approach. Let the scientists explore Mars.
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Offline marc

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Re: Blood Pressure Phhobia
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2014, 08:48:35 AM »
I would not be too hard on yourself as many people get higher blood pressure readings when going
to the doctor or when they check their readings.
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If you're going through hell, keep going.
Never, Never, Never, give up.

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