'Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm'

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/30/2010 3:48 AM (GMT -6)   
In April of this year I had heart failure due to a 'Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm'...fortunately(?) I was in the hospital at the time and was rushed into surgery...the operation was a success, but I soon began to have anxiety attacks as I occassionally pondered the incident and wondered whether it would happen again, especially when I felt a pain in or around the chest region...I've found that the post-op treatment leaves a lot to be desired so that the patient (victim?) is left to his own devices in order to cope with whatever psychological or subconscious issue comes to 'haunt' the mind...I found that this (obviously?) impacted on my blood pressure until I found that I was working myself into a frenzy as the time of day approached when I'd had this anxiety the previous time...like a viscious circle in fact it became a challenge to overcome what had now become an inevitable part of my daily routine.
Has anyone else experienced something similar, and if so what suggestions can you make for dealing with this?
Thanks in advance and regards to all fellow 'sufferers' cool

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/30/2010 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome,

It feels to me like you may be experiencing anticipatory anxiety.
Anticipatory anxiety is where a person experiences increased levels of anxiety by thinking about an event or situation in the future. The worries you experience specifically focus on what you think might happen, often with catastrophic predictions about the event. You posted "pondered the incident and wondered whether it would happen again".

To begin treating anticipatory anxiety, we must be able to admit that we cannot predict the future. Any scenario we are able to imagine is nothing more than speculation and fabrication.

Picturing positive outcomes can significantly reduce apprehension, which can lead to increased levels of confidence and an overall elevation in mood.

When you find yourself wondering, "What if..." Stop! Take a deep breath; breathe in through the nose, hold the air in your lungs for a count of four, then slowly let the air out through the mouth. While you are doing this, consider the possibility that you are being unrealistic and irrational. Focus on positive or neutral outcomes.

If I may suggest perhaps it is time to seek out a new physician that is willing to work with you and the anxiety your are experiencing. I see a therapist and find this to be very helpful.

Please know we are here to support you.



New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/2/2010 11:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you to 'stkitt'- I've tried the breathing exercise recently and it works; as for the new physician, now there's food for thought...

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