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I do not believe I have responded before. The JustAnswer archive is not working for the past few days so I cannot check. I have had over 5000 clients so I am not certain. However, I have received you question and believe that I can help you.
It seems that you are suffering from OCD with Panic Disorder.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder where a person has recurrent and unwanted ideas and impulses that make them anxious (obsessive). To get relief they have to take some action to ease their mind. The common example is the person worrying about security in their home and keeps checking to see if the doors and windows are locked.
In your case, when the level of anxiety about your health (or perhaps other worries) reaches a certain level you react with a variety of symptoms which may include: great fear, chest tightening, racing heart, lack of breath, sweating, feeling you are going to have a heart attack, feeling disconnected to your environment, unwanted thoughts, and/or going crazy.
This can be caused by family history, increased stress, bad coping mechanisms, traumatic experiences in the past, fearful situations, major changes in your life, and other stressful situations.
Hopefully your CBT therapy is helping. Some therapists are more effective with some clients than others. It must be a good match. Hopefully you are making progress.
Sometimes short term medication will stop the panic attacks when you take them AS NEEDED when you feel an attack coming on.
The most effective medication for immediate relief is alprazolam (Xanax).
Some long term antidepressants can also be effective and they would include:
The SSRIs fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram; the tricyclics (lexaprophenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate), or bupropion (Wellbutrin) which does not promote weight gain or sexual side effects.
I wish you great success.
You can overcome this and to that end I shall keep you in my prayers.
Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
That is the nature of OCD. You THINK that the thoughts will make things happen, and in a sense they do. You are overly responsive and attentive to your body, and this is obsession.
You respond with these anxiety symptoms which SEEM as if they are coming from your heart, but your physical exam shows no physical problems. This is entirely based on a physiological response to extreme worry or anxiety.
It is a horrible feeling and is overwhelming.
You will NOT get a heart attack or other physical breakdown from these thoughts.
Many people who get panic attacks are rushed to the hospital, go through a myriad of tests, and are finally told that nothing is wrong.
These are NOT heart based, but they feel like it because you get racing heartbeats or chest pains.
Continue with your treatment and you will overcome it.
Let me recommend two books for you:
Thank you Elliott