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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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How can I overcome this phobia I have? I have hypertension,

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How can I overcome this phobia I have? I have hypertension, anxiety, and vertigo. I have called an ambulance 4 times already and it was a false alarm when my anxiety and vertigo acted up. In my previous place of employment, one of my co-workers had a stroke, and that event I think is what causes my phobia to fear the worst when I have anxiety attacks and/or dizzy spells.

Thank you for requesting my help.


It sounds like you have panic disorder. People with panic disorder often describe themselves as constantly anxious or always feeling panicky. That is because when you are anxious, your thoughts are causing your thoughts are causing your mind to think your in danger. Your body reacts by releasing adrenaline into your system. Adrenaline causes the symptoms you feel, including the panic attacks. It is much like after you have had a bad scare like a car accident. Your body releases the adrenaline and you feel unreal, your legs turn to jelly, you have trouble thinking and your body may feel it's tingling. You just don't notice it as much because your focus is on what is going on around you. Except with anxiety, there is no focus. The only thing you have to focus on is how you feel.

It may not feel like it, but the panic does subside. The adrenaline in your system does deplete and needs time to replenish. But because your thoughts are probably always on alert, so is your body. This may be why you always feel anxious and panicky.

The rush of adrenaline can also create a lot of physical symptoms, making you feel as if something is wrong with your body. But these are only sensations, and they cannot hurt you. If you have seen your doctor and have been given a clean bill of health, then most likely what you are feeling is just anxiety. It can help to remind yourself of that when you feel afraid.

It is very normal to feel like you are crazy when you have anxiety or that something is wrong with you physically. This is because anxiety can make you feel out of control, when in reality you are not. You are very much in control.

Keep in mind that this is just a feeling. Feelings can bother you, but they cannot hurt you. Part of helping yourself through anxiety is to accept your feelings. Allow yourself to be overwhelmed and you will find that although it feels bad, nothing happens to you. You will be ok and keep going.

The good news is that anxiety is easy to treat with therapy. In therapy, you learn to pay attention to what you are thinking to make yourself anxious. The therapist then can help you change your thoughts and therefore how your body reacts to your thoughts. You also can learn about how to let yourself float through your anxiety thereby gaining more control over how you feel. When a panic attack comes on, you allow it to flow over you without tensing or panicking in response. This makes the panic reduce or go away faster. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor about a referral. Or you can search on line at

You can also help yourself at home. There are numerous resources to help you learn more about anxiety and how to control your panic. Here are some to get you started:

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne is excellent for any fears. It is self help and contains everything from supplements to relaxation techniques.

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by Bill Knaus Ed.D. and Jon Carlson Psy.D. Ed.D.

From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life by Lucinda Bassett

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have tried to remember that all tests that the doctor has done have turned out fine over and over again and that I have had this before and that it has always gone away, and yes, that has helped sometimes. But there are times that it doesn't work, probably because of the facts that while the tests that the doctor did turned out good, I still have hypertension, which was what caused my co-worker to have a stroke, and I am also 42 years old and weigh 315 pounds. I have lost 17 pounds so far and intend to lose more, but it doesn't happen overnight. And I think it is these facts that might make it more hard to overcome it. It's hard to explain, but I believe the key is learning to fight it, but it has been easier said than done for me. I appreciate any help or more advice you can give me. Thank you for your assistance.

Telling yourself that the tests turned out ok is a good thing to do. But that needs followed up with therapy and self help to make those thoughts more realistic to you. What causes anxiety about your health is not that you have hypertension (many people do) but the fact that the anxiety compounds your fear about your diagnosis by making you feel out of control and convincing you that something worse will happen. Addressing the anxiety will help reduce your fear and put your hypertension in perspective.


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