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Author Topic: Heart attacks, stroke, passing out, "losing it" and other freak-out things.  (Read 339 times)

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Offline Aaron Davis

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As long as I can remember, I've had terrible obsessions. When I was a young child I always had this feeling like I was doing something wrong and I needed to "confess" to my parents. Of course, I never did anything  wrong...it was merely some sort of either innate anxiety...or learned anxiety...I'm not sure....Either way, there was always worry. It would build until I felt that rush inn my upper stomach and have these overwhelming thoughts and feelings. Later on, in adolescence I began to have anxiety about getting sick (throwing up). I also constantly worried about whether or not I would need to use the restroom at school. Teachers would often not allow students to leave the class to go to the restroom, and even if they did...there were rarely even stall doors. I would starve myself for most of the week. Looking back on this, I think "poor kid." Later, in high school I began  to have significant, crippling social anxiety. A main worry was if I was gay (I realize now, that was awfully prejudiced of me to be concerned with - why would being gay be a bad thing) - I would become panicked if the topic of homosexuality would arise, like "oh no, they're going to figure me out." I think this stemmed from a time back in junior high when a kid was teasing me and calling me gay out loud in class, to the point that everyone looked around at me and got quiet. My face turned so red. Then, later, after high school I had other worries - I became obsessive about my routine - particularly what I ate. I ended up losing a great deal of weight. My social life was terrible.
When I was twenty, I began to drink. I thought "this is it! I've found my cure." I was playing guitar in a band (somehow I was able to do this). The drinking got way out of hand. This lasted for several years (unfortunately). What began to happen was anxiety after "benders." It wouldn't just be a hangover, it would be this day-long, sometimes 2-day-long anxiety spell...still, however, it wasn't that bad. But, eventually, the drinking and mild drug use led to full-blown panic attacks.
For some reason, now my fears revolve around having a heart attack. Every little feeling (physical or cognitive-driven) leads me to a terrible panic attack - derealization/out-of-body-feelings, being over-attuned to biological processes (heartbeat, breathing etc.), cold and clammy hands. The whole shebang.
I know that my fears are not really merited - I went to a doctor. They did an ekg and blood test. I'm only 29. I quit smoking  and drinking (completely on both of those). I'm only about 15 pounds heavier than I should be.
All my previous fears have disappeared. I realize this evolution, that is to say, I know that I will "get over" a fear and it then it will be replaced by another one. 
I am happily married now and have an 18-month-old son, and have recently gone back to college to finally get a Bachelor's degree (I know, I know, how did I get this far with such drastic anxiety!?)
I am actually sitting in class right now.
It helps calm me down to write things out.
I was such desperately hoping that someone can reassure me the things I already now: that I'm NOT going to have a heart attack, and even if I did, I could get help and be ok.
I need some calm, soothing thoughts. Thank you.
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Online Cuchculan

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I think your fears may stem from the past life you once led. The drinking, smoking and the drugs. Wondering deep within if it done any long term damage. But here is were you have to accept what the doctors tell you. You have had tests done. You got the all clear. This is a good thing. But a lot of people never accept such results. They want to second guess the doctors. You can't undo your past. It happened. But here you are out the other side of it. You seem to be in good health. Better health than a lot of people out there. You should look at this and see the positive side of it. For all the crap you put into your system, you seem healthy enough. If you ever want to really test your heart out, just do a good work out and really push yourself. Your heart will beat a lot faster. Which would be normal. But then you relax and see how you can calm yourself back down again. This would be proof that there is nothing wrong with your heart at all. Doctor's at times do stress tests. May get you to do some form of exercise. Just to pump your heart. Take a few readings. See that things are normal. Maybe ask your doctor about one. But you sound healthy enough to me. Your mind is just working over time.
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The Lovable Irish Rogue

Offline Aaron Davis

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Thank you so much Cuchculan! I definitely appreciate your response today. Feeling a little stress this morning - mild though. Sitting here in class and found your words to be very helpful and encouraging today - thank so much.
I'm glad to have found an outlet such as this. Instead of Googling what might be wrong with me and finding all the scary (and often wrong) information on the net, I find it great to log on here and have sound, pragmatic advice from people who understand what I'm going through.
When people get on here and selflessly give encouraging and comforting ideas to other, it makes ALL the difference in the world. Thank you so much, once again!
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Offline arwashington

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I know this was a couple of days ago but, as someone who did there residency (part of it) on a major cardiology ward in a major hospital I can tell you it is extremely rare to see a 29 year old. I will tell you though if we did see it, it was one of two things. Use of cocaine or other stimulants within several days, not years later. Or congenital progressed problems. If you went to a doctor and had those tests run you said above you are not at risk. How long have you been a non smoker? My point is you are going to be okay with your heart for many years to come. Keeping it healthy now will serve you well in your future and you have taken all the right steps. Kudos! I hope this helps, I went through something similar and it helped me to go to a doctor friend of mine for reassurance. Cheers.
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Offline Aaron Davis

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Thank you so much!
That is very encouraging.
I was really stupid in my younger years - as far as not taking good care of myself, but I am now proactive of taking good care of myself.
Really great to hear those words though - needed some positivity. Definitely made my night better!
Thanks a million!
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