For a few months I have been having odd problems with my heart rate or maybe my lungs. Everyone says it's in my head and I'm being anxious, so I've avoided going to the doctor until I can get my finances together enough to get health insurance, since heart related tests seemed to run pretty expensive.
In May I quit my job to do freelance work. Since then I have been pretty stressed about money. Also I've realized that working was literally my only form of exercise. Seriously, I now spend about 95% of my day sitting/laying in one spot. I have a sleep schedule that is opposite what it should be- like go to bed at 5am and wake up at 2-3pm. It's awful.
about a month after I quit my job I started feeling like crap (pardon my language). I've had shortness of breath- not like gasping for air, but it just feels like my lungs don't get enough air during these attacks, I have no energy for anything, and sometimes short walks will have my heart rate rising. Also suddenly I've become more aware of my pulse and chest space. This used to only happen when I was laying down to go to bed, but now I notice it all through the day. It's usually not because it's irregular or anything, I just can't stop focusing on it! I've been told this is a symptom of both anxiety and arrhythmia.
I've been paranoid about my heart health, but I'm only 26 years old, non smoker, social drinker (ok maybe I've had some extra since I quit my job), mostly healthy eater, and as far as I know I don't have history of anyone in my family having heart problems at a young age. Is it more likely that all of these "symptoms" are because of low activity and moderate anxiety? Can low activity even affect someones health this much over just a few months?
I know I should get checked out by a doc, but I just absolutely can't afford it right now, and I don't want to rack up debt because I was just being paranoid.
I thought I would chime in here because two things you mentioned I can relate to.
Firstly I am a programmer. I also have Aspergers and Anxiety. The anxiety is so bad that I find it hard to leave the house, and for the past year I've sat on my bed with my laptop programming. I also freelance too. It was comfortable for me and I felt happy so I carried on.
I too noticed I was getting out of breath doing silly things like walking up the big hill to the shop. That hill was never that bad. I also lost weight, I consumed too much cannabis to help with my anxiety. Things were pretty crappy. I'm only JUST getting out of this. I haven't left the house today, so might take dogs for a walk in a moment.
My sleeping pattern was shot too. Some days I'd sleep a few hours working on tricky programming challenges. I also ate very poor, if at all. I've never had a job since I was 21. I'm now 30 and have suffered anxiety and heart arrhythmia's since I was 18. They STILL plague my life.
I'm no doctor, but just sharing my own experience. I am slowly getting out of my hole. I'm in a financial mess at the moment, things are not well at home, etc. etc. But at 30 I can't continue this way otherwise I really will face problems in years to come.
Last night my 28 year old brother was admitted to hospital for having an abnormal ECG. He also complained of having shortness of breath, sweating, panic feelings etc. Turns out he has anxiety and is now on medications.
I'm in the UK though, so we have access to medical professionals at no cost. I'm not sure how it is in your country but it would be worth getting it checked out just to be safe.
Hope it all works out.