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Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question
Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Not sure why this is happening but I use to have high blood

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Not sure why this is happening but I use to have high blood pressure and since the doctors put me on blood pressure meds, I feel as if im not use to the "norm." I tend to freak out if my pulse is normal or when I feel "normal"
DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

It definitely sounds good that you sought treatment for your high blood pressure, so that is a positive step that you took.

DoctorZ :

Now may I ask you, for how long have you been having these feelings of "not used to the norm" and "freak out" as you said?

DoctorZ :

And did you realize that you had high blood pressure before your doctors put you on the blood pressure medications or was it more of a shock to you?

Customer:

I knew that I had high blood pressure because the doctors told me about it before. I was always "use" to going to sleep feeling my heart beat and since the gave me the meds to calm me down, im not use to the "normal" feeling. Ive had these feelings for about 2 weeks now since ive been on the meds.

DoctorZ :

And for how long have you been used to going to sleep feeling your own heart rate beat? I know this may be for a long time, so your best guess is fine.

Customer:

For about 2 or 3 years. I was in the military for 6 years. Just always stressed out

DoctorZ :

I understand, what happened here is that your mind has been so used to feeling your own heart beat that you felt this was normal for you, but now that you are not feeling it your mind subconsciously feels that something is wrong, when in reality it is not. These panic feelings that you have are a response to negative thoughts, so by changing the negative thought process to a more positive and rational thought process then you will not have these feelings of things not being normal or panic feelings

DoctorZ :

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the trigger for your health anxiety, the emotion intensity and the intensity of the negative thought associated with that health anxiety trigger. Then you put down how you responded (e.g. panic attack), what would be an alternative and more rational response to this health anxiety trigger. And then you re-rate your original negative belief.

DoctorZ :

This will help you analyze the negative thoughts associated with this feeling of not being use to the "norm" and panic feeling that you have and then change it. Eventually this will become so ingrained that it will become habitual.

Customer:

Yea I panic and start feeling for a pulse lol. And its hard to fall asleep when im constantly doing that

Customer:

And this only happens when im falling asleep.

DoctorZ :

Well try that thought record before you go to sleep and in addition try this technique too.

DoctorZ :

If you feel like you would benefit from a medication to help you ease your anxiety and fall asleep, you can ask your doctor for a prescription of a benzodiazepine. These help with anxiety a lot and can help you fall asleep fast as they have a sedative property to them.

DoctorZ :

The only downside is that they can be physically addicting, so you should start with a low dose to see how you respond to them, but they are very effective

DoctorZ :

Or you can taking a short, but brisk walk before you go to sleep as this can raise your heartrate enough to feel your heart beat when you sleep

Customer:

well he prescribed Lorazepam to me but I haven't taken it yet. He said its "use as needed"

DoctorZ :

What dosage did your physician give you?

Customer:

0.5

DoctorZ :

That is a very low dosage, so that is a good one to start with. Lorazepam is a fast acting benzodiazepine so you will start to feel the effects within an hour or two. It can help you sleep and it will lower your anxiety, so you can try it to see if works for you. But like I said it is physically addicting, so if you start to use it regularly, you will have to wean off of it to avoid any withdrawal effects. But you are taking a very low dose right now, so the withdrawal effects will be minimal at best.

DoctorZ :

But I would try the first two therapeutic techniques I gave you, they can be very helpful.

Customer:

Ok I appreciate all your help. Last question. Is it normal for my mind to feel like that. Having felt something for 3 years, then totally going away and feeling as if something is wrong with me.

DoctorZ :

Yes it is quite normal, but the mind will adapt to the new situation and get used to this. The techniques I provided will help lower your anxiety and help you adapt to this new situation and the medication will help lessen the symptoms of anxiety you are having.

DoctorZ :

Your mind was so used to a certain thing for so long that it thought it was normal and now that you changed it, it has to adapt to this new routine.

Customer:

I appreciate all your help. this is reassuring. :)

DoctorZ :

Anytime, I am always have to help

DoctorZ :

If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at anytime.

DoctorZ :

I hope I provided you with excellent service today

Customer:

Will do. thanks again.

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