Traumatic Event Trigger Anxiety? Heart Palpitations/Chest Tightness

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 12/28/2007 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I am new to this forum but have been searching out the causes of my heart palpitations, tightness in chest and fatalistic thoughts I have been having almost daily since the quick illness and death to cancer of my aunt starting about six months ago.  I have always been a worrier, but now I seem to have developed anxiety and panic attacks starting at the age of 35.
I mainly experience physical sensations on a daily basis, most often at the same time at night, and then I bring myself to the conclusion, after experiencing heart palpitations and a tightness in my chest that inhibits my breathing, that I must be anxious/stressed out.  Thinking about this makes everything worse and then I feel the anxiety come on like a wave, thinking thoughts that I may be ill and dying, leave my children without a mother, etc.  At other times I think I am totally calm and relaxed and I feel heart palpitations out of nowhere.  Is this consistent with underlying anxiety--so even when I think I'm fine I'm actually not? 
I am just coming to the realisation that I have a problem and don't even know where to begin to get help.  If I go to my GP, I'm afraid she'll just think I'm a mess when I explain to her that these feelings started when my aunt was dying.  Do any of you have an advice for me, know where I should begin to heal myself?
Thanks so much for all your personal stories and advice,

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/28/2007 5:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear BKF1515

Hello and Welcome to Healing Well.  You will find many great members here who know where your coming from and what your going through. yeah

Heart palpitations can be caused by anxiety, stress, fear and many other things.

Reducing stress and anxiety can help lessen your heart palpitations. Try breathing exercises or deep relaxation (a step-by-step process of tensing and then relaxing every muscle group in your body) at the time of your heartbeat sensations. Also, consider practicing yoga or tai chi on a regular basis to reduce the frequency of your palpitations.

Keep a record of how often you have palpitations, when they happen, how long they last, your heart rate at the time of the palpitations, and what you are feeling at the time. This information may help your doctor figure out both their seriousness and the cause.

Once a serious cause has been ruled out by your doctor, try NOT to pay attention to heart palpitations, unless you notice a sudden increase or a change in them.

If you have never had heart palpitations before, bring them to the attention of your doctor.  She will do a work up to determine the cause and whether they are treatable or not. I am sure your doctor will be very supportive.

You are in good company as many people have heart palpitations. Keep posting and we will be here to support you.

Welcome aboard.


Co-Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
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*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression, GERD, Osteoarthritis
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 12/29/2007 6:52 AM (GMT -6)   

Dear BKF1515,

A big hello to you and Welcome to Healing Well.  This is a wonderful place to be and you will find this to be a very nurturing family.  As Kitt already said, there are a many members here who know where you are coming from and what your going through as they deal with this very thing, myself included.

I agree with Kitt about keeping a log of everything that is going on when the palpitations are occuring.  This way your doc can have a better idea of what's going on and can help you.  If your doc is a good one, then she won't think you are a mess, just that you are having a tough time right now and that is nothing to be a shamed of in any way.  Talk to your doc about this, you need to make sure there is nothing seriously physically wrong and then go from there.

In the meantime, try some of the relaxation techniques that Kitt has suggested to you; they do work.  Also, remember to stay in the moment, not think about the future or the past - stay in the current moment and this should help you (I hope).

I am so happy for you that you found Healing Well and hope you continue coming here to keep us posted on how you are doing.  I'm sure others will come buy to let you know of their experiences too.

Welcome and we hope to see more of you,


Co-Moderator Anxiety/Panic Disorders

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Dx: Agoraphobia, Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Fibromyalgia, I.B.S., Mitral Valve Prolapse, Narcolepsy, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, Severe Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea, Social Anxiety

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 12/30/2007 12:12 AM (GMT -6)   
i did the same thing and had to be put on a beta blocker for palpitations and blood pressure meds for high blood pressure its has help me so much, i take lexapro for anxiety, and klonopin


gad and social anxiety,

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/31/2007 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Along with the meds the techniques work
I have been using both now

All the best to everyone in the New Year
    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
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           Wishing all a Better and Healthier New Year in 2008  
        We have Anxiety ..Anxiety Does NOT have US........FIGHT
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