Help ......... what am I supposed to do?

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KiwiKaz
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 2/2/2009 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone, as you all know I have a major phobia of having my blood pressure taken, well I am now wanting to get life insurance and they are saying I have to have it taken in order to get the life insurance, I am in an absolute blind panic as I don't want this done because of my phobia.  My anxiety is on overload at the moment, I can't believe my phobia is making such an impact on my life.  On a positive I am starting to see a psychotherapist about this but that doesn't help at the moment with my whole freakout about having my blood pressure taken.
 
Karen

greatpretender
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/2/2009 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, I am so sorry Karen. I get MASSIVE panic attacks over any medical procedure or test. I'm always terrified I'll die or they'll find I have some terminal illness. What's your exact fear with the blood pressure? I am assuming you have had it taken before? What happened? Has this always been a problem? If not, when did it start?

I deal with my panic attacks by "talking myself down." Typically it goes like this, "OK, remember the last time you were freaking and thought you were going to die when you had that X-ray? You didn't. you got through it. You'll get through this time too. You just have to stop thinking about it. It's only going to take another minute and then you're done. You can do it." I'm not saying I achieved this ability overnight. It was a practiced approach and I'm nowhere close to perfect still. I got so freaked about getting an MRI of my arm recently that I thought my head was going to explode. My whole body went numb and I had the most treacherous racing thoughts and sweating.

Keep talking about your problem. Explain it in detail -- here or in a journal. The better you understand your triggers and the reason for it, the better able you will be to deal with it. It may always be a struggle, as it is still with me, but if you can get to the point of at least getting through it when it's unavoidable, that's a huge thing.

I feel for you. Positive thoughts!
-----------------------------------------------
Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks
----------------------------------------------
Keep moving forward in a positive direction . . .


KiwiKaz
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 2/2/2009 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks greatpretender for your reply, I've always been nervous about having my blood pressure taken, ever since the first doctor ever took it, I told him I was nervous and he just ignored that and went on to tell me how bad high blood pressure was, etc. From then on I've been absolutely petrified of blood pressure and the anxiety has got worse and worse over the years about it. When the guy told me I would have to have my blood pressure taken at some point I completely freaked out, like you said I felt like my head was going to explode. I just hate that I have let this phobia have such a big impact on my life.

Thank you so much for your advice, I keep thinking to myself it's baby steps and it sounds definitely like that with what you said about practice.

Mazfire
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Date Joined Oct 2008
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   Posted 2/2/2009 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   

Kaz, i know its scary when you have a phobia about something, but you have to ask yourself, "what is the worst thing that can happen?" The BP cuff can be tight and uncomfortable, but you arent going to sustain an injury, and if there is a problem with your actual BP results, (which is a big 'IF') remember that your doc can give you excellent tips on lowering it etc. you need to do breathing excercises, and as greatpretender said, talk yourself down. I do that alot. I know you are scared and im so sorry and wish i could fix it, but my best advice is to think about how minimal the chance of something going wrong is. tell yourself it is a common and basic procedure and that the person doing it knows what they are doing. I used to nurse and had to take people's BP many times daily. Sure, the cuff tightening is uncomfy, but its over really quickly. just breathe and know that we all support you, and understand the fear. I hope things go well- please keep us posted!

Maz XX


            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
 
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KiwiKaz
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 2/3/2009 12:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Maz, thanks so much for your reply! Oh yes, know everything you are saying, rationally I know that but unfortunately my phobia just makes me so irrational and scared, I can get my blood pressure up to 180/120 with the anxiety yet when relaxed it's perfectly fine! I've had some bad experiences with being misdiagnosed with high blood pressure, etc and it just seems to have made the phobia snowball and snowball, I am soooooooo wanting to get rid of this, roll on my psychotherapy sessions!

xo

Hibee
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6488
   Posted 2/3/2009 2:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kaz

Sorry to hear your phobia is having such an impact on your life at the moment, glad that you are seeing someone concerning this issue and hope that it helps. My mum has her blood pressure taken regular and she can get anxious about it as well so can relate a little to what you are going through with this. My mum bought her own blood pressure taking machine from pharmacy could you get hold of one as this may be a good way of getting over your phobia as you could take it yourself in the comfort of your own home with people there to support you just an idea?

Hope things get better for you soon.

Take Care

KiwiKaz
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 2/3/2009 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Unhappy32,

I actually have a blood pressure monitor at home but unfortunately my phobia has got so bad I even have problems taking it at home.  It can take me quite a while to manage the anxiety to get good readings.  I want to learn to manage this phobia so much it just seems so overwhelming at times.

I think part of my overwhelming anxiety at the moment is also that I feel discrimated against by the insurance company because I am on Citalopram, they want to charge me more regardless all because I have a mental illness, I know I'm not the only one who would feel like this but just think because my anxiety seems to have got a lot worse lately I am being a lot more sensitive over the whole thing.  Argh, anxiety, wouldn't wish it on anyone!!!

Thanks all for your support, words can't explain how much it means to me.

Karen xo


Post Edited (Kaz77) : 2/3/2009 12:18:23 PM (GMT-7)


Green Grove
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 2/3/2009 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I understand Kaz :) I have the same problem and even had to quit using my bp cuff all the time at home because it would make me nervous because it also shows things like irregular heartbeat, so when I was anxious my heart of course was pounding :) Now when I do it I just close my eyes and do some breathing exercises to help while somebody else can look at it, lol :) It really does help a lot, so give it a try.
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"I can't control the events in my life. . . .  But I can control my reaction."
~Lucinda Bassett~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/3/2009 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Kaz,

I am going to say something to try to help you and in no way am I being unkind.............if you can get yourself so worked up to a BP of 180/120 you can get yourself calmed down to bring that BP into normal range unless you do have hypertension. Positive thinking,  picture your BP at 120/80, see it in your mind.

The day you have to have the insurance physical..............do not drink or eat things high in caffeine..................stay relaxed.  Your mind is  very powerful and you can just imagine yourself in your quiet place, a tropical island with a warm breeze..............go to that private place and just concentrate on feeling relaxed.

You can ask to lie down while they do the BP check, just explain you have a problem with BP checks and anxiety.  My daughter always has to lay down for her lab draws unless they want to pick her up off the floor.

You can do this, I know you can.  Do you have any med to help with your anxiety?

Take care

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

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Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Aries8
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 2/3/2009 6:45 PM (GMT -7)   
You might try taking your blood pressure no matter how anxious you are. If you continue to do this, eventually your phobia will subside. The anxiety may become worse at first, but like I said, the phobia will eventually subside. Positive self talk will help!
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
 
Prozac and Carvedilol


KiwiKaz
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 2/3/2009 8:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks all for your replies. Can't believe how irrational and freaked out I am about this!!! Feel so on edge! I get so petrified the anxiety is going to kill me.

Kitt, your mention about if I can get my blood pressure that high I can do the same thing in reverse, I've thought that countless times, I just need to work at getting it into practice. And in no means did I think your comment was unkind! I was stupid and took my blood pressure today and had the ultimate panic attack, got it even higher than normal, argh. I'm on Citalopram 20 mg a day and I've also been given Ativan to take on a needs basis.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/4/2009 6:57 AM (GMT -7)   

Kaz,

Aries has a good idea.  Do you know when this physical info will take place?  Will the insurance company be sending someone out to your home.  If you know ahead of time you may want to take the Ativan rather then try to stop a panic attack.  It may be wise to use the Ativan about 2 hour or so ahead of time.

Peak concentrations in plasma occur approximately 2 hours following administration. I am not a professional so I encourage you to use the medication as prescribed.

I hope this helps you.  I understand your anxiety well.

Hugs

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


TeacherBetsy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 2/4/2009 8:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I like the strategies suggested by Aries and Kitt. Heck, just the sight of the cuff makes me nervous! Whenever I go in for a colonoscopy, they keep a cuff on me that automatically checks my BP every so many minutes, and I HATE how that thing squeezes.

I hope you will find a strategy that helps you.

Betsy (-:
Dx Crohn's Disease 1996
Have taken Prednisone, Pentasa, Rowasa, and Asacol
Currently on Asacol 2400 mg daily to manage remission
 
 


paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 2/4/2009 9:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I feel the way you do about getting my blood taken. It always helps me to tell the person taking it that I am really anxious and please be gentle with me. They always have been. Sounds like you've had an insensitive doc in the past. I still think it's beneficial to tell the person taking your blood pressure that you are feeling panicky about it. They should be able to help you relax. Maybe when you make the appt you could express your fears and ask that you are assigned to someone that is especially gentle. I always remind myself that I am the customer and I have the right to ask for what I want. We are paying their salaries with our copays and insurances so we should have some say. I get anxious at the docs in general and I have to talk myself down and deep breathe as much as possible. I think that the medical profession is starting to get more in tune with the reality that a lot of people get scared/anxious when they are having tests done. At least I hope so!

KiwiKaz
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 2/4/2009 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks so much for all your replies, your support is really, really appreciated wink

I was in such a blind panic about the whole thing yesterday I was tempted to check myself into either the hospital or mental hospital, that's how irrational I am getting over this!  I can't believe I have let this fear snowball so much.  All because of an insensitive doctor who didn't believe in anxiety.

Kitt, no I don't know when they will do the physical.

I like your ideas, now I just need to put them all into practice.  The one thing I find exceptionally hard is to relax when I'm this worked up, something I definitely need to work on and the obsessive thoughts.  I have to admit that I was hoping the Citalopram would kinda be like a magic cure and would be working by now, I know ......... baby steps!!!

xoxoxoxo


Aries8
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 2/4/2009 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Kaz, don't try so hard to relax. To be "cured" from panic/anxiety attacks, means getting through them when they are occurring. Being cured does NOT mean never having another attack. By trying hard to relax, you are releasing more adrenalin which makes the attacks worse. I know it's difficult, as I have had to do this. But when you're panicking, try to go limp like a rag doll. Just sit or lie down and let the anxiety have its way with you. The attack won't last as long and you will learn that you can overcome these awful symptoms.
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
 
Prozac and Carvedilol


Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 2/4/2009 6:26 PM (GMT -7)   
You took the words right out of my mouth Aries. . . this is exactly what I do when panicking and it helps more than words can express, but you did a good job describing it :) Great advice for all!
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"I can't control the events in my life. . . .  But I can control my reaction."
~Lucinda Bassett~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 


KiwiKaz
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 2/7/2009 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
You nailed it right on the head Aries8! That is exactly where my problem lies!! I am trying to 'stay in the moment'
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