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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 23733
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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Today anxiety was a little better however during end of the

Customer Question

Today anxiety was a little better however during end of the day when it got busier I hesitated dropping some pieces of sausage in a bag for the customer and the heart thought popped in my head. Later I used my CBT to place different sausages in a bag like i did for customer except trying not to hesitate and worry. I will use those for lunch of course tomorrow. My question is did the hesitation and worry put any kind of strain on body or was it just anxiety?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.

Good going on how you handled that. And, again, hesitiation and a little worrying puts absolutely zero strain on the body or the heart.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you I so the only thing that tighten a little when I hesitated were exterior arm muscles and a little flushed in face I don't understand why it happens during simple ordinary tasks like dropping a piece of sausage in a plastic bag. Is it the motion of letting go which triggers the anxiety at certain points perhaps which causes me to freeze up?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
I think it's just any repetitive motion you do that has the potential to set off your OCD and I think a lot of the time it's unconscious on your part.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

so bascially heart as you explained does not become affected during any kind of these actions and I have to keep telling myself that like I did this time?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
How many times do I have to say it? No--no way do any of these actions or thoughts ever affect the heart and you need to keep telling yourself that until your subconscious gets it embedded in it and your whole brain believes it instantaneously and automatically.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yesterday when I was getting ready to leave work apartment I became paranoid about closing the door to the other side of the left wall where there is a vase on the ground, folding tables, and a wall thermometer as always was. I keep feeling compelled to look at it again before walking out and closing door however my heart was racing. I just don't understand why I got so worried, I did get over the sausage in the bad phobia from before, however today I seemed to get frozen up taking a bag of hot dog buns and moving it from one spot on counter to the other. Is this all anxiety and should I not even focus on the heart?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Did you try your techniques in this particular case?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I did but anxiety was really bad

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
So why are you having such a hard problem realizing that this is all anxiety?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

when my heart races I tend to think its a heart problem even though I know its not and that makes the obsessive thoughts linger. Like action of closing a door and taking view off behind it can no way harm anything?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Don't know how many times I've told you but once more--thoughts and repetitive actions have absolutely no effect on the heart and do not cause heart damage.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have to keep telling myself that and believe it. One thing I am having a problem with today and its anxiety over taking a bottle of pop out of the refridgerator. My anxiety is telling me that this movement somehow affects the body negatively?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Nothing like that can ever affect your heart, just like I've told you so many times before
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for your patience with me Dr. Chip, this past week has been very hard with anxiety on me. Today was stressful also but I kept using CBT techniques to battle thoughts off. One of the things that got me when I was leaving work apartment was holding on to the light switch for light ceiling fan. As I felt my pulse race in my left hand I calmly took my right hand off the switch and said this is just anxiety racing my heart and walked into next room. I was very tempted to go back again and touch the switch but I did not however I find myself worrying now.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Great work--same worrying as before?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

unfortunately yes I don't understand why the thought of is my heart working alone keeps badgering me after an episode like this frequently, I answered back to it saying its run on electricity and can't be hurt by action

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Well, of course it can't be harmed by that. It's just that it takes time to get rid of a bad habit and your bad habit is to equate simple movments with somehow injuring your heart. The more you can do what you did today--stop the little movements that bring the thinking on by not repeating them and repeat to yourself all the reasons I've given you for knowing they don't affect your heart--the sooner you'll be over all this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I agree, which reason would be the best to repeat for not affecting the heart, I was going to use nothing you do with your hands or arms affects the heart because the muscle system is separate from cardiac function system or is there a more simple way of saying that to myself?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Muscle movement does involve an electrical system of the body, but it is the motor neurons of the spinal cord which are connected both to the muscles and the brain, but the wiring is entirely different and entirely separated from the electrical system within the heart. Remember--a transplanted heart does just fine and it's completely separated from the brain and the body's electrical system.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I really tried hard today using my CBT techniques however one particular almost got the best of me later at work. On the phone counsel I started to hyper focus on the blinking semicolon and began squeezing my left hand. I took some deep breathes and said to myself my eyes are only seeing this blinking and it does not affect my heart however my blood pressure did go up a bit was that strickly from anxiety?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Still strictly anxiety. Let me add something different here--if you did have a heart problem like an arrhythmia problem, it would happen randomly and not necessarily only when you had these thoughts or when you did these repetitive actions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

so I'm still in the clear of heart problem correlation? Did I handle this situation good as well?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
You did well but you should work on not squeezing your left hand or checking for your pulse.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That's a good point you brought up about heart arythmia. I only get these when its OCD/anxiety related so that rules out me having a heart arythmia?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Yes--just as your thoughts really can't affect your heart, it would also be impossible for someone to "think" themselves into an arrhythmia.
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 23733
Experience: Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
Dr. Chip and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Today was a much better day for overcoming anxiety from start to finish. However I almost got stuck in back room making sure faucets were securely shut off. I only gripped them a few times then backed away and left the room before my thoughts started to play games with me about the heart again. Only one time when I leaned over sink to firmly keep the faucet valve close I felt blood rush up in my cheek

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Still just simple repetitive motions with the hands and arms and no connection to the heart.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It's been a rough last couple days with anxiety. I had my CBT session today and my therapist gave me more techniques to use to battle my constant worrying about simple movements affecting my heart. I can't thank you enough for helping me and I am really trying hard to improve myself I just keep hitting these bumps along the way. I know you have mentioned this again and again and I do believe it but there is no way hearing a song can affect the heart negatively even though thoughts cannot hurt heart function. I feel embarrassed asking that but for some reason these last few days really seemed bad then before I was doing well. Walking away from something I hyperfocus on has been an issue to battle as well like a sign.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
What song and what new techniques?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I heard it on tv when I was laying down and thought it was making my heart beat weird, some kind of slow western like song not sure of name. New techniques include praying and also trying to stop panic attack before it hits a level 8.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
What kind of prayer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hail mary rosary

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
And have you tried that?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

a couple times it seemed to help

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
OK--no sound of any kind--whether in a song or in conversation or the sound of traffic--nothing like that ever affects the heart in any way.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

the same goes for hyperfocusing? which I am using CBT to stop as well

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Exactly the same.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

my last anxiety issue that's been bothering me is setting down a pop bottle, even though the thought of hurting my heart is false I know, cannot do anything as we discussed many times? I just don't know why these thoughts get so scary about heart?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.

It really isn't the motions or the thoughts about the motions that's really the problem. You have an anxiety problem that's looking for an outlet and finds it in telling yourself that these things can affect your heart.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

so what I have to do is divert attention away from heart to other things, it seems to be hard to do but I think I can do it

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
You need to start practicing relaxation techniques--ask your therapist about that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i tried doing some of the deep breathing techniques. however still having some trouble setting objects down in a repetitious motion. Like my rosary is kept in a handerchief very clean of course and I have trouble setting it down out of worry but I used CBT and was able to do it and at work touching the erase key on the calculator I was able to overcome. I just wish the thought about my heart would go away from these OCD actions so I can rid them?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.

That will take time--stay strong and keep practicing

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

anxiety has been rough last couple days. What should I do when thought of don't stop my beating heart comes into my head? I just say it's about the tin man's heart makebelieve. Also I am having a hard time touching and retouching hanging towel on rack in bathroom at work apartment then also setting down can of tea or pop in fear that it might cause something wrong, I really am trying to use CBT but I keep hitting these bumps along the way. any extra advice?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Has your therapist tried worst case scenario with you? Going into the worst fears you have about what might happen and attacking them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

he says there is no correlation to thoughts or motion that can affect the heart however I like your presentation a bit more. he's a good therapist but it seems like I keep getting stuck in these thoughts and situations.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
What it involves is actually going through the imaginary worst case scenario--you do damage your heart, and maybe even die, and then you face that fear face on and go through enduring it. If you do it several time, it's called desensitization therapy--something like giving your body allergy shots of what you're allergic to in order for it to get used to the allergens and you don't itch any more. You should ask him about this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Kind of like Batman facing his fears? Thoughts and actions cannot hurt the heart is okay to say also repeatedly when OCD gets bad?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.

Repeating that is important but there's much more to it than that. And just like The Dark Knight Rises and here's a song for you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tzj1JF-WrXc

Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 23733
Experience: Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
Dr. Chip and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the tune it was great also more than just saying that is also using CBT techniques to reinforce the fact that these thoughts and actions are harmless to heart?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Harmless and useful, but so is the tilting at windmills to dream the impossible dream. Nite
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It seems like after I eat lunch fast and it h as salt my heart rate has a tendency to go faster then my anxiety/OCD kicks in and I start to wonder if simple activities at work like placing lids on plastic containers for soup or setting a two liter bottle of pop down have some adverse affect since my heart is already beating fast? as we discussed even though heart is beating fast from possible indigestion and anxiety the movements I described have no relevance to heart function specifically to those movements? yes I should have used my CBT for those but it got hectic

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Any idea why it's only certain things you do that kick off the OCD thoughts?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

only thing I can think of that the movements in those certain motions make me think of heart function for some odd reason like setting down a bottle of pop

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Is it more the objects involved and maybe not the movement itself?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think it could be more of the objects involved because most of them are bottles and containers that set my anxiety off

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Maybe you should focus your deflecting the OCD thoughts on the objects instead of the movements, since just like any thoughts, the thoughts that only certain objects and working with those objects can ever harm the heart are absolutely irrational and not grounded in medical fact.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I will try that thank you I never thought of seeing it that way but it makes a lot of sense now. As far as how many times I've repeated the actions the only reason heart speeds up is from anxiety which I am trying so hard to deflect it with CBT and what you have helped me with?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Yes--purely from the anxiety. After all, if it wasn't from that, these episodes would be much longer lasting and much more frequent.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This afternoon was very bad for anxiety. I placed a can of Arizona on counter then walked halfway through the living room then walked back and had to hold on to the can again. I tried deep breathing using CBT yet something kept telling me I did something wrong. I don't think my heart was affected

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
What made you walk back? What tells you to do something like that?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It's something like an impulse that makes me worry however it made me obsess more if I do not go back and recheck in this case touching the Arizona can.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
OK--but this is a case of facing the fear and not walking back. You need to just accept the anxiety of not walking back and move on.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

so physically even though my anxiety is telling me there is something wrong there is nothing wrong physically by this action?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Absolutely nothing wrong with doing it at all--you can't possibly harm your heart that way.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I woke up this morning with anxiety from being late for my blood test for my physical this coming Thursday evening. It worked out and I was able to arrive there and the nurse who normally takes my blood good was available. However, throughout the day and even after my CBT session I feel like the anxiety thoughts about my heart keep lurking in my mind like a bad headache. My therapist said try walking away from the situation when I get frozen like you told me and do something else and think of something else but incorporate movement. Unfortunately since I did not sleep well I do not feel like going for a walk. As you mentioned even imaginary thoughts about heart being hurt by focusing on a metal object like a spoon is just my anxiety playing tricks on me? I walked away from it just like I did not continue to touch the steering wheel in car.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Again, no kind of thoughts affect the heart in any way. Try humming or singing or repeating a phrase while you walk away or even if you can't go for a walk.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

also I was startled by my cell phone ringing as I had my right hand on laptop cursor box and was pressing on and off from anxiety now I feel stuck again should I use tune method?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Absolutely, and sing it loud
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

one lingering anxiety is when my heart rate is up and I use my hands say to press down on something that as you and my CBT therapist said there is no correlation to heart since it is muscle system and not cardiac related my question is why do I feel like it does and is there another method to knock this one out of the ballpark?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Is it like you're trying to slow your heart rate down by doing something purposeful like the repetitive movements?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no its just that my anxiety needs reassurance that repetitive movements are separate from fast heart rate

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Let me ask you this--can you remember the very first time this happened to you--the first time you had a thought about how you might be controlling your heart with your thiking?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

almost a year ago it began thoughts like squeezing my left hand and wondering if that was affecting my heart and actions like lifting pop bottles and round objects

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Yes but how did you first have the thought that movements would affect your heart? You'd never heard that that could happen I guess and just one day it hit you that your thoughts were controlling your heart?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

the anxiety attacks were leading me to believe they were when this started even though its not true scientifically, its like a bad song that repeats itself and I have to tune it out before it gets worse. I am considering prozac to replace lexapro if my psychiatrist thinks it will work stronger

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Well, that might be a good idea for the switch. Let me end with this--anxiety is a free floating condition that needs some relief by looking for a reason for its existence. Like a phobia of, say, heights. Unless you actually look out a high window or over a ledge, you have no way to let out your anxiety about being in high places. So part of this is using the heart thoughts as an outlet for your anxiety and maybe with the right medication the anxiety itself can be lessened and the thoughts will stop.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

A little while ago I was so happy to get a good report from my doctor I went to look at report again in my car however I gripped the clutch and my OCD kicked in I took some deep breaths but I felt like my hand could not let go slowly I did let go of clutch and got out of the car. I am trying to figure out why my anxiety has me grasp certain objects like the bottles. I just have to tell myself to move on and let go.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Hard to say but it does seem to involve cars and bottles and doorknobs. Time to close this page, though.

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