can anxiety cause sharp chest pains? Part 1

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clash
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/27/2005 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Gender: male
Age: 20
Weight: 245
Height: 5'11
Condition: sharp chest pains on left side
Smokes: no
Drinks: no


General symptoms:
-Sharp stabbing pain in left side of chest but closer to the center of my chest
-sometimes pain in arms and shoulder
-occasional neck pain
-nervousness/anxeity

This all started about 5 months ago, I was sitting with friends at my home and suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my chest, I had just had a big meal and I thought that was it but the pains continued, I had everyone leave except my girlfriend, the pains increased over that night, I went to the ER around 1am. They ran blood test and ekgs and everything came back normal. I wasn’t having a heart attack, but they kept me there for 2 days and the pain continued. They did a sonogram of my heart and chest x-rays, everything came back fine, they released me but never told me what was causing the sharp pains in my chest, the pain continues for the next 4 months, I went to my family doctor who is a specialist in heart disease o and has me do a stress test and ekgs, everything comes back normal, but I'm still having chest pains. He suggested it might be GERD or an ulcer, but since I have no health insurance I have no way of finding that out. I started buying every over the counter acid reflux medicine I could find, (Tums, Zantacs prlsact OTC, I even bought a blood pressure monitor to record my BP but its never gone higher then 120/80) but it seemed nothing was helping, the pain was still there. I began to develop anxiety and convincing myself I'm going to die. One night I was woken up by my chest pounding and a cold sweat, I thought I was having a full fledge heart attack so I had my mom rush me to the ER again, they ran the same tests but still no signs of anything heart related, and the doctor told me I had a anxiety attack. At that point I had told myself that all these pains where in my head, and I was fine, the pain was there but I just kept saying its all in my head, until a couple of days ago when the pain suddenly came back. It was late at night and my heart started to race, I took my blood pressure it was fine but my pulse was around 110, I got freaked out and went to bed, I couldn’t really sleep and kept waking up checking my blood pressure, still it was fine… I got up and went to work (I'm a short order cook at a busy golf resort) , I remember reaching for something and getting the sharp pain again. It feels like someone is stabbing me in my chest, its quick, and the sharpness goes away, but the pain is back, for the next couple of days I continued to have the pain, until the past Friday. I was working I had a bunch of orders in front of me and I go to reach for my knife and I get the pain again, but this time it makes me keel over, I cant take it, it's so intense, I rush out of the restaurant and find a place outside I can sit down and breath, the pain is so intense I pause and don’t take a breath till it goes away, the pain lessens and I can feel the sharpness go away, my boss (who is also my aunt) sees this happens to me and throws me in her car and go to the ER (again!) We are there for 3 hours waiting for the doctor to see us, I calm down and the pain practically goes away, he tells me that it doesn’t seem to do with my heart or anything and doesn’t give me any tests, just tells me to take ibuprofen 3 times a day for 3 days, but that was 3 days ago and the pain is still here… PLEASE somebody tell me what's wrong with me!!! Could this be angina or heart disease (which I would hope would come up on EKG and stress test), could it be acid reflux or Gerd? Could this all be related to stress?

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Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 7/10/2008 8:56:13 PM (GMT-6)


Beffrey
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 107
   Posted 8/28/2005 12:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I have never had chest pains due to anxiety, I hear that anxiety can cause them though.
 
A lot of times its gas though. It can cause your chest to hurt and your arm...crazy as it sounds. Sometimes that rumbling in your stomach can move to your chest and even arms. It is scary feeling.
 
I still say you should see a doctor just to be safe though. If you haven't already.

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/28/2005 4:24 AM (GMT -6)   
..Chest pain can be well associated with anxiety and I would talk to your doc about this ..........there is ways of helping this as long as you do get your doc to check you over ....you have had heart tests right and they are ruling that out ......well my opinion is that it is anxiety/panic but thats what I think..........Welcome to the HW forum and post often .............take care and God Bless .......Lyn
 
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hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 8/28/2005 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
There is such a thing as anxiety induced chest pain, however it seems your chest pain was not precipitated by anxiety, but vice versa... I bet its just chest wall pain (the muscles surrounding your rib cage). But do keep pushing the doctors if it gets really painful. Seems the tests show there is nothing wrong with your heart, so thats good. You also might want to get an echocardiogram as well.
I hope they go away soon for you , i have a similar problem of anxiety due to physical symptoms that no one can explain.
ali
 
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Flopsie
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1361
   Posted 8/28/2005 8:59 AM (GMT -6)   
You may want to check out some of the threads and/or ask you doctor about..Costochondritis
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Don't walk behind me....I may not lead
Walk beside me..and be my friend...
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SarahP
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1185
   Posted 8/28/2005 9:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Anxiety can certainly cause chest pains, especially panic attacks. It sounds like you have had good tests to rule out chest pain due to heart issues. Is it possible that you may have injured a muscle in your chest wall? I have a condition that causes tense muscles and several times I have reached for something and gotten nailed with sharp pains in my chest.
Or it could be gas pains. I have gotten those under my ribs, and they will be so sharp and so painful that I can't stand even my clothes touching that area. It used to scare me to death until my doctor explained what it was to me, and now I can take medication to make it stop.
I do have GERD and it does cause bad chest pain for me, but medication usually makes this stop.
There are many things that can cause chest pain that are not heart related. I hope you find your answer soon.
Keep us updated on how you are doing!
-Sarah
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clash
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/28/2005 12:31 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks everyone so much!

Ephid0r
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/3/2005 6:47 AM (GMT -6)   
i am a 27 yr old male who is experiencing the exact same problems
 
i was suffering from anxiewty but then i started getting sharp pains across my chest [ roughly an inch in length], then accompanied constant ache across my left chest and shoulder / arm / neck
 
sometimes i would reach out for objects and feel a sharp squeezing feeling in my left chest
 
 
i have had 4 ecg's 2 x blood test and around 10 different docs listen to my hearts lungs, everything a oki !
 
 
i suffer from everything u would associate with anxiety / panic attacks and also get a bit of depression
 
tis has been 4 months now and i still get the constant pains in my chest 24/7 but now the pain is more side of my chest and top of pec near my left shoulder, i havent had a sharp pain across my left chest for weeks
 
it is a very weird feeling, tis like i cant breath properly on my left side though doctors cant hear or feel anything wrong, tightness in my left side of my neck and chest when i breath and ache in my shoulder when i breath
 
i can do exercise like riding my mountain bike for 45 mins and get out of breath with my heart pounding but i dont get any chest pain
 
i also being diagnosed with non ulcer dyspepsia and been told to take omeprazole intermitantly
 
life really suxs atm and i just want to feel normal
 

Post Edited (Ephid0r) : 9/3/2005 5:50:02 AM (GMT-6)


rexfur
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 9/3/2005 7:00 PM (GMT -6)   

Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

 

This is almost exactly how the panic disorder started with me... chest pains (turns out it was most likely Gas from an IBS condition...) if you get the pain right under your left rib, look up splenic flexure syndrome (sounds MUCH scarier than it really is... it actually isn't at all... it just the term for gas trapped in the fold of an intestine... this can cause pain to be felt in the chest and into the shoulders, jaw and arms... it is often confused with heart problems).

 


Flopsie
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1361
   Posted 9/3/2005 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the new members and thanks for your input. If you would like, click on new topic and introduce yourself, so all can meet you,
flopsie
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Don't walk behind me....I may not lead
Walk beside me..and be my friend...
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Hazed
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 9/5/2005 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Ephid0r said...
tis has been 4 months now and i still get the constant pains in my chest 24/7 but now the pain is more side of my chest and top of pec near my left shoulder, i havent had a sharp pain across my left chest for weeks
 
it is a very weird feeling, tis like i cant breath properly on my left side though doctors cant hear or feel anything wrong, tightness in my left side of my neck and chest when i breath and ache in my shoulder when i breath
 
i can do exercise like riding my mountain bike for 45 mins and get out of breath with my heart pounding but i dont get any chest pain
 
HI Ephidor..
I came on here to post about this very subject. I seem to have EXACTLY the same symptoms as you. Ive been to my doctor twice about chest pains, each time i was told everything was fine. With me i also get a tightness in my throat too and the feeling its hard to breathe. I also can exercise and not get any problems except the usual breathlessness. A question for you - are your chest 'issues' constantly on your mind? I noticed the other day when i was fully distracted and doing stuff that all the symptoms had gone - a clue that its anxiety related maybe? Ive had this for about 6 weeks now, and i had a couple of episodes of it lasting a few weeks last year too. My problem is that im constantly obsessing over it and its on my mind 24/7. Seems like every few hours i diagnose myself with a different life-threatening heart/lung/cancer disease...
Could it be that i have put myself into a 'feed-back' loop of worry thats actually causing the chest problems?
 
nb used to suffer panic attacks, v bad anxiety and some depression. Am a very sensitive individual with an over-active imagination!

brittainn
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 9/8/2005 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
DON'T WORRY!!

I know, that sounds really stupid huh. Im 18 years old and I get chest pain on my left side all the time. I have also had my heart checked out and its fine. Also, don't get scarred about the racing heart rate. 100 is not fast!! you could expect a heart rate of 100 from walking up three stairs. My heart rate has gone as high as 150 for over an hour for no reason, and my cardiologist/nurses/doctors all said its fine. In fact, it can go as fast as 200bpm for several hours and not harm you. One thing that might help you get over the chest pain is to try losing weight. No offense. I used to be overweight and losing about 10lbs. helped with the worry of a heart problem and the pain.
take care

britt

WAHM-Brenda
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/8/2005 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm wondering if you may be having panic attacks as these sound like the symptoms I experience whenever I have a panic attack.  It's something that you really do need to talk to your doctor about though.
 
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Post Edited By Moderator (Howlyncat) : 6/7/2007 6:23:13 PM (GMT-6)


Jayo7
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/23/2006 11:33 AM (GMT -6)   
i have had the same problems, i just turned 20

i had an anxiety attack once over a year ago, after 2 weeks or so i was fine and have been since until just the beginning of june, i woke up real short of breath, went and got checked out i was fine

but now more regularly then before i get pains in my chest, left/right, shoulders, back by my shoulderblades, and sometimes in my left arm around my elbow.. i also been having a wierd feeling that kind of hurts when i move my jaw a certain way, its on left side my face but its not a tooth cause ive ****ed with all my teeth and none show any sign of pain or anything, i dont know if its related but its something else i noticed

anyways i get them sometimes throughout the day, other days i might be fine or get it once or twice, never anything to make me stop what im doing though, they havent been that painful, and hopefully they wont be.

ive been and had an EKG and XRAY done and so far nothing cardiac, i was told maybe to get an Echo done but i havent yet and im waiting to get blood taken
i have been KILLING myself over thinking ima die, have a heart attack, all that

my doctor told me she believes its anxiety and she prescribed me prozac and said it will take 3-4 weeks to really set in but it works with your brain receptors, because anxiety is a chemical imbalance you have. i havent started taking them yet but she said do it and regardless it should help my anxiety and see if thats whats causing my chest pains also, because if they persist then it may be something else.


its confusing because its hard to determine what causes the pains, if anything
sometimes im completely relaxed and ill get them, i havent experienced any when im playing basketball or anything and we run fullcourt, the other day i was more tired then i had been in forever and it didnt cause me any chest pains. however when im relaxed i feel like i can never catch a deep breath, im always on the verge of shortness of breath until i find something to completely keep my mind busy, then i notice im not short of breath and think about it and it comes right back.

i also thought i noticed it when i ate food, but it doesn't always happen so i kind of ruled that out


ive went from.. collapsed lung, to heart attack, to ulcers, to heart murmur (which i still need to be checked for, it was recommended by a dr), to angina, to unstable angina, among other things
ive diagnosed myself with things i never even knew about up until now
the internet is dangerous man haha, i continue to look up all my pains so i can see what it is and there's so many things it can be i just keep thinking its one after the other

its to the point where i get so sick of it i just feel like i want to be normal again
because ive had anxiety before like i said, but it never caused me chest pains, just shortness of breath and such

i do smoke marijuana daily, and i used to a LOT daily.. but ive cut down since the pains, and even tested myself by smoking sometimes because my original thought was my lungs collapsing like i said, but when i smoke i almost relax myself and i dont feel any pains or anything, which kind of ruled that out for me. however a doctor told me marijuana makes anxiety worse in the long run


i dont even know man, i have nothing left to say because i still am in the process of figuring this out myself, just know your not alone, you dont have an unknown thing going on its just something that might be mainly mental and not physical so they are finding nothing, or they aren't checking for the right thing but as long as it isnt your heart, lungs and your main organs you should put yourself at ease as best you can. trust me i know its hard, i dont think a day has gone by yet that my mind hasn't went over "whats wrong with me".. because everytime that pain comes back your mind races. my thought is that my anxiety is causing my shortness of breath and my pains are something else, maybe ulcer, maybe something other then that, but the fact i have anxiety makes the pains seem that much worse and make me that much more worried.

ima bookmark this, and continue to come back, especially as im being tested because ill keep you updated, as i hope you will me, it relaxes me some to know im not alone in this because for awhile i felt like something is wrong and they are all missing it which scared me

oivey
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 302
   Posted 6/23/2006 1:19 PM (GMT -6)   
The short answer. Heck yes.

Anxiety is a bugger of a thing. I went to the ER just for those symptoms. It was GURD caused by anxiety.

Jan Marie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1663
   Posted 6/23/2006 2:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hallo Jayo and welcome to HW. You will find lots of empathy, support and encouragement on this site. We all help each other. Good to meet you.

tangerine bear
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 941
   Posted 6/24/2006 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Jayo,

I used to have sharp pains in my chest and it turned out to be GERD, which I am on Prevacid for now. If you have insurance, you might check with a gastro doc to see if it might be that. I also have mitral valve prolapse, but that causes a dull pain when it acts up, and palpitations. My anxiety also causes palps, so there are times when I'm not sure which is which. It's good that you are getting tests run to see what's causing it. Let us know how you are doing and (((hugs))),

Bear :-)


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Jayo7
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/24/2006 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks I appreciate the time you spent to see what I said because I did type up a lot haha, I actually am going to take your advice and check with a gastro doctor, I do have insurance I'm actually getting the card in the next 2-3 business days.

chappy
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/1/2006 6:24 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi I was reading Jayo's message and I'm blown away by the similarities. yeah

I'm 41 and I have been dealing with this for three years now. It started when I had a surfing accident and I was hit in the chest with my fin. As time went on I started having pain in that same spot. One day while I was working I had the pain for 15 mins and I got scared so I went to a cardiologst, my Dr perform a ECKO Stress test and Ultrasound and everything was fine. I some how found relieve in knowing that my heart was OK and the pains started to decrease and become infrequent.

One thing that I have noticed is that after my son was born I worry more and when ever I get a pain my mind races. I think about dying and leaving him fatherless and my wife without a husband.

I use to smoke pot also but quit. I noticed that I would have to be totally free of worry and not think about anything that was of importance to me other wise my mind would take over and mind heart would race.

I do know that I am a strong, lovng, emotional, and sensitive person. I have always been someone who helps others and I like doing it, especially when it's family. I have a very busy work life and I travel all over the world.

I remember when I was in Pusan Korea when my wife was 8 months pregnant, after talking to her on the phone I let my mind get out of control and worried that I may not make home for whatever reasons. I ended up canceling the rest of my trip and got a ticket home the next day.

As I sit here and write to you I can think of all the times that this has happend and the end result always being the same my body can't handle the stress that I cause by thinking of the worst. I still get pains in my chest now both left and right side. My arms, shoulders and neck are always tight and hurt. I started getting pains in other places too, sometimes right in the center like an electrical shock or tension headaches. I bought a book called "Trigger point therapy" so I wasn't always taking pills. It's helped but not a cure all.

I have now had many blood test, more stress tests over the last two years and recently a Nuclear Stress test and another Ultrasound of my heart to make sure it is pumping normally. The Dr's keep telling me that there is nothing worng and I have a healthy heart.

My Cholesterol is below normal, my tryglecirdes and sugars are all normal. There is no heart muscle damage and no blockage. When I participate in sports I'm fine and excell. I play Basketball, soccer, run, and I want to get back into Martial arts but then I worry about the contact and what it might do to me.

So I started doing Chi Kung (Chi Kong). It has been good for me it is slow fluid movement, combined with relaxed breathing and stretching techniques. Key Benefits. Reduces Stress Physically & Mentally. Conditions Muscle, Tendon, Ligaments, & the Bones. Unifies the Mind, Body, & Spirit. Teaches Proper Breathing. Lowers Blood Pressure. It does work, whenever I stop doing it for a week or longer I seem to fall into the same trap.

I'm starting to give in to the fact that I may have anxiety, I remember once yelling at the Doctor when he perscribed Zoloft "that I'm not depressed, if anything, the reason why I appear depressed is because I don't know what the hell is wrong with me and either do you." I occasionally take Antivan for anxiety but I hate being dependent on medication. Finally my mother told me that she had a chemical inbalance and that my father does as well.

Boy thanks for the genes, :) I do not blame them and I love them very much.

Stress can cause many problems and cause damage to your body, remember that the mind is very powerful and can get you into trouble at times.

When I get back from the doctor in a couple of weeks I touch base and let you know the results of my new blood work and results from the Ultrasound. My family Doctor is now saying that I may have fibromyalgia and I'm currently researching that.

Try and relax, go for a walk if you can, preferably out of the city get back to nature. Leave the cell phone behind, focus on you.

Take care my freinds don't give up the fight to get healthy, Adios.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


cybervato
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 988
   Posted 7/1/2006 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I am agreement with the rest of us!Chest pains Ugh! Mysterio I am sure a lot of people have seen the anxiety sympton list by now!! Clash I am not trying to be condecending but is that 245 muscle or is it weight you could probably reduce? I am not a slim guy and I think I weigh pretty close (probably a bit more) to that as well and am about your height. My Dr told me if I lost 40 pounds I would feel so much better anxiety wise as well as health wise because an in shape body is better able to fight off stress plus it will definitely be good for my heart as well to lose the weight.
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change!

borrowed from Jeannie!

Post Edited (cybervato) : 7/1/2006 8:16:05 PM (GMT-6)


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 7/2/2006 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes IMO chest pains are associated with A/P but if you are really concerned then do see a doc about it as it could be something else........Please keep us posted ..........God Bless...Lyn
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the.brilliant.monkey
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 7/12/2006 11:45 PM (GMT -6)   
ive had chest pains like that b4 but they dont last that long though

rdck
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/9/2006 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   

 

   Hello everybody!!! HI, my name is jon, and i am 23 yrs old. I have had anxiety attacks and psuedo-seizures since i was 16 yrs old. Drs have always said i may outgrow it, but it hasnt happend yet!! I am also a nurse now a days, and know more about the human body than a person with anxiety should!! Honestly, the more you know, the more you will think you have!! thats what i'v e learned over experience. chest pains and the fear of death have bothered me my whole life, and i think I HAVE EVERYTHING!! whats good is, i know deep down that its just anxiety, and that is key really!!! To learn to differentiate between whats real and what isnt!!! Sure, the pain may be real, but its usually not what you think it is!!! it is a proven fact that the mind can fabricate fears and pains, and can make a real pain a much worse pain through fear!!! Its taken me many years to learn this!!! One thing i reccomend is self talk therapy, i cant think of the medical term for it right now, but it is to talk yourself through it, to learn to tell yourself that what really is going on is a anxiety attack!! I have thought i was dying or about to die a thousand times before, and still feel like that is the problem. Its always good to get everything checked out, if only for your own knowledge!! So that you can feel more comfortable, and that will really help. for a while at least. You should see a dr regularly and see a pych dr. Learn ways to talk yourself through it, and take meds for it as well. I have found that one may work better for each individual, but it is best to do both (meds and therapy). It has taken me many years to learn these things, and i hope everyone else can learn them to. Though it may not cure your anxiety, it certainly will help!!!! I know its helped me from going crazy or somthing for all these years!!! 


shell67
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1268
   Posted 8/9/2006 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome rdck, and yes i sympathize with you! youre a nurse and thats great!!! but i can see where the more you know, the more you think you would have. so i quit looking things up, i ask someone here instead, they give you information a lil easier to take ;) Best of luck to you, and all the others, i know how scarey it is to have heart palps and pain. But we can make it!!!
shell
" Dwell not on the past. Use it to illustrate a point, then leave it behind. Nothing really matters except what you do now, in this instant of time. From this moment onward you can be an entirely different person, filled with love and understanding, ready with an outstretched hand, uplifted and positive in every thought and deed."
Eileen Caddy


Neuronmisfire
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/21/2006 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Jayo7, what you said really hit home for me...i've had every cardiac test under the sun for chest pains, pvcs (which i do have), etc. I'm a 31 year old femaie who has no history in the family of heart troubles, but i swear i have convinced myself that there is something wrong with my heart. the internet is pretty much the worst thing in a lot of ways for anxiety prone, obsessive compulsive types who focus on health problems. remember, only trust info from reputable sources, like medline, etc. NOT what any old person in these message boards says. while these are helpful for support sometimes, i find that there are a lot of people who are unqualified dispensing medical information. also, you can find any weird thing to stoke your already overactive imagination!

gosh, it's so much easier to tell others how to manage this anxiety stuff than to actually follow it myself. anyway, every time i start taking paxil again, i notice that my chest pains etc go away! imagine that...
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