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Heart Palpitations & Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Overview

What are anxiety heart palpitations?

 

Heart palpitations feel like your heart pounds, flutters, races or skips a beat. When you have a palpitation, you may feel your heart beating in your chest, neck or throat.

Many people experience heart palpitations along with anxiety. Anxiety sets off the body’s “fight or flight” response as part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). When you feel uneasy about a situation, your ANS kicks in, increasing your heart rate. 

Are heart palpitations from anxiety dangerous?

 

Although heart palpitations can be alarming, most aren’t dangerous. They usually go away after the anxiety-causing situation passes. 

Less commonly, heart palpitations can be a sign of a serious health problem, such as arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). These heart palpitations may feel like they cause anxiety rather than follow it. If you have palpitations along with chest pain, trouble breathing, dizziness or confusion, seek medical help right away. 

How common are heart palpitations caused by anxiety?

Anxiety is the most common cause of palpitations that are not related to a heart problem. It’s very common to have moments of anxiety, especially during stressful situations. These situations may include job interviews, public speaking or airplane flights. Most times, these anxious feelings and heart palpitations come and go quickly.

If you have feelings of anxiety often or for long periods, talk to your healthcare provider. You may have an anxiety disorder or a panic disorder. Treatment with medication, therapy or both can help relieve your symptoms.

Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of heart palpitations and anxiety?

Symptoms of heart palpitations include:

  • Fluttering: Some people sense a flapping or fluttery feeling in the chest. Your heart may feel like it’s flipping.
  • Irregular heartbeat: You might feel like your heart skips a beat or beats out of rhythm. You may become aware of your heart rate speeding up and slowing down. You may also feel as if your heart pauses for a second or two.
  • Pounding: Your heart might beat forcefully or very strongly. Some people say they can feel their heart beating in their ears.

Why does anxiety cause heart palpitations?

Anxiety activates the body’s autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS regulates body functions, including:

When a situation causes anxiety, your ANS triggers your body’s fight or flight response. Besides heart palpitations, you may experience:

  • Fatigue.
  • Gastrointestinal issues, such as gas and diarrhea.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Sweating.
  • Tense muscles.
  • Trembling.

How long can heart palpitations last from anxiety?

Heart palpitations from anxiety usually go away within a few minutes. They tend to start suddenly and end quickly.

If you have recurring heart palpitations from anxiety, your healthcare provider might diagnose an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder means excessive anxiety affects your everyday activities, such as going to work or school or meeting friends.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the U.S. They affect almost 1 in 5 people at some point.

Can you mistake other types of heart palpitations for anxiety heart palpitations?

If heart palpitations don’t go away within a few minutes or happen frequently, they may not be related to anxiety. Less commonly, heart palpitations result from a health condition or disorder, including:

Diagnosis and Tests

How do healthcare providers diagnose heart palpitations caused by anxiety?

Your healthcare provider conducts tests to rule out other conditions before diagnosing heart palpitations caused by anxiety. They start by listening to your heart to check for murmurs or other sounds. They ask about your:

  • Current medications, including herbal supplements.
  • Diet.
  • Lifestyle, including your alcohol and caffeine intake, as both can cause palpitations.
  • Medical history.
  • Symptoms.

Your provider may suggest a blood test (complete blood count or CBC) to check for anemia or low potassium. They’ll also look for a thyroid problem or other health issues that could cause heart palpitations.

Will my healthcare provider be able to rule out other causes of heart palpitations?

Your provider will want to verify that anxiety-related palpitations aren’t dangerous. They may recommend other tests, such as:

If a Holter monitor doesn’t show unusual heart rhythms, your provider may give you an event recorder. You can wear this recorder for weeks. You press a button to record any heart sensations that you experience.

Management and Treatment

How do providers treat heart palpitations and anxiety?

 

If your healthcare provider diagnoses you with heart palpitations caused by anxiety, they may suggest:

  • Complementary health treatments: Biofeedback, massage therapy and other techniques can help you relax.
  • Medications: Anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants help some people. Your provider may suggest options to treat anxiety that happens when you fly or speak in public. These medicines include beta blockers (propranolol) and benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax®) and diazepam (Valium®). Benzodiazepines can be habit-forming, so they are only for occasional use.
  • Psychotherapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you identify and treat your thought patterns. Exposure-response prevention aims to create a positive response to fears to relieve anxiety.

How can I manage heart palpitations and anxiety?

 

You can try self-management techniques to help reduce the severity of heart palpitations caused by anxiety. These techniques include:

Prevention

Can I stop heart palpitations and anxiety?

You may not be able to totally prevent heart palpitations caused by anxiety. But you can lower how often they happen and how severe they are. 

First, pay attention to your triggers, such as performing in public, getting on a plane or making a phone call. Then you can make a plan to lessen your anxiety around these situations. Relaxation techniques, medication and therapy can all help to prevent future episodes.

Outlook / Prognosis

What is the outlook for people with heart palpitations and anxiety?

Many people have heart palpitations caused by situational (occasional) anxiety. You can use relaxation strategies to successfully manage this anxiety. These strategies can slow down your heart rate in the moment. 

If you have heart palpitations caused by chronic (long-term) anxiety disorders, there is hope. You can also manage your anxiety with proper treatment. A good team of healthcare providers can help you build a coping strategy. 

If you suspect another health condition is causing palpitations — with or without anxiety — talk to your provider about treatment. To relieve your symptoms, your provider will treat the cause. You may also benefit from anxiety-relieving therapies.

Living With

When should I see my healthcare provider about heart palpitations and anxiety?

 

Always discuss any new symptoms with your healthcare provider. Seek care right away if you have heart palpitations and: 

  • Chest pain or discomfort.
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or other breathing problems.
  • Dizziness or confusion.
  • Loss of consciousness or fainting (syncope).
  • Severe swelling (edema) in your limbs, especially your legs, ankles and feet.
  • Unusual or sudden fatigue.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Anxiety is a very common cause of heart palpitations. Some people experience palpitations only in certain stressful situations, while others have palpitations more frequently.  Though you should consult your healthcare provider to rule out serious conditions, you may be able to reduce occasional heart palpitations and anxiety with relaxation techniques. If you have heart palpitations along with chest pain, trouble breathing or dizziness, seek help immediately.

Heart Palpitations & Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Overview

What are anxiety heart palpitations?

 

Heart palpitations feel like your heart pounds, flutters, races or skips a beat. When you have a palpitation, you may feel your heart beating in your chest, neck or throat.

Many people experience heart palpitations along with anxiety. Anxiety sets off the body’s “fight or flight” response as part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). When you feel uneasy about a situation, your ANS kicks in, increasing your heart rate. 

Are heart palpitations from anxiety dangerous?

 

Although heart palpitations can be alarming, most aren’t dangerous. They usually go away after the anxiety-causing situation passes. 

Less commonly, heart palpitations can be a sign of a serious health problem, such as arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). These heart palpitations may feel like they cause anxiety rather than follow it. If you have palpitations along with chest pain, trouble breathing, dizziness or confusion, seek medical help right away. 

How common are heart palpitations caused by anxiety?

Anxiety is the most common cause of palpitations that are not related to a heart problem. It’s very common to have moments of anxiety, especially during stressful situations. These situations may include job interviews, public speaking or airplane flights. Most times, these anxious feelings and heart palpitations come and go quickly.

If you have feelings of anxiety often or for long periods, talk to your healthcare provider. You may have an anxiety disorder or a panic disorder. Treatment with medication, therapy or both can help relieve your symptoms.

Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of heart palpitations and anxiety?

Symptoms of heart palpitations include:

  • Fluttering: Some people sense a flapping or fluttery feeling in the chest. Your heart may feel like it’s flipping.
  • Irregular heartbeat: You might feel like your heart skips a beat or beats out of rhythm. You may become aware of your heart rate speeding up and slowing down. You may also feel as if your heart pauses for a second or two.
  • Pounding: Your heart might beat forcefully or very strongly. Some people say they can feel their heart beating in their ears.

Why does anxiety cause heart palpitations?

Anxiety activates the body’s autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS regulates body functions, including:

When a situation causes anxiety, your ANS triggers your body’s fight or flight response. Besides heart palpitations, you may experience:

  • Fatigue.
  • Gastrointestinal issues, such as gas and diarrhea.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Sweating.
  • Tense muscles.
  • Trembling.

How long can heart palpitations last from anxiety?

Heart palpitations from anxiety usually go away within a few minutes. They tend to start suddenly and end quickly.

If you have recurring heart palpitations from anxiety, your healthcare provider might diagnose an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder means excessive anxiety affects your everyday activities, such as going to work or school or meeting friends.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the U.S. They affect almost 1 in 5 people at some point.

Can you mistake other types of heart palpitations for anxiety heart palpitations?

If heart palpitations don’t go away within a few minutes or happen frequently, they may not be related to anxiety. Less commonly, heart palpitations result from a health condition or disorder, including:

Diagnosis and Tests

How do healthcare providers diagnose heart palpitations caused by anxiety?

Your healthcare provider conducts tests to rule out other conditions before diagnosing heart palpitations caused by anxiety. They start by listening to your heart to check for murmurs or other sounds. They ask about your:

  • Current medications, including herbal supplements.
  • Diet.
  • Lifestyle, including your alcohol and caffeine intake, as both can cause palpitations.
  • Medical history.
  • Symptoms.

Your provider may suggest a blood test (complete blood count or CBC) to check for anemia or low potassium. They’ll also look for a thyroid problem or other health issues that could cause heart palpitations.

Will my healthcare provider be able to rule out other causes of heart palpitations?

Your provider will want to verify that anxiety-related palpitations aren’t dangerous. They may recommend other tests, such as:

If a Holter monitor doesn’t show unusual heart rhythms, your provider may give you an event recorder. You can wear this recorder for weeks. You press a button to record any heart sensations that you experience.

Management and Treatment

How do providers treat heart palpitations and anxiety?

 

If your healthcare provider diagnoses you with heart palpitations caused by anxiety, they may suggest:

  • Complementary health treatments: Biofeedback, massage therapy and other techniques can help you relax.
  • Medications: Anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants help some people. Your provider may suggest options to treat anxiety that happens when you fly or speak in public. These medicines include beta blockers (propranolol) and benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax®) and diazepam (Valium®). Benzodiazepines can be habit-forming, so they are only for occasional use.
  • Psychotherapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you identify and treat your thought patterns. Exposure-response prevention aims to create a positive response to fears to relieve anxiety.

How can I manage heart palpitations and anxiety?

 

You can try self-management techniques to help reduce the severity of heart palpitations caused by anxiety. These techniques include:

Prevention

Can I stop heart palpitations and anxiety?

You may not be able to totally prevent heart palpitations caused by anxiety. But you can lower how often they happen and how severe they are. 

First, pay attention to your triggers, such as performing in public, getting on a plane or making a phone call. Then you can make a plan to lessen your anxiety around these situations. Relaxation techniques, medication and therapy can all help to prevent future episodes.

Outlook / Prognosis

What is the outlook for people with heart palpitations and anxiety?

Many people have heart palpitations caused by situational (occasional) anxiety. You can use relaxation strategies to successfully manage this anxiety. These strategies can slow down your heart rate in the moment. 

If you have heart palpitations caused by chronic (long-term) anxiety disorders, there is hope. You can also manage your anxiety with proper treatment. A good team of healthcare providers can help you build a coping strategy. 

If you suspect another health condition is causing palpitations — with or without anxiety — talk to your provider about treatment. To relieve your symptoms, your provider will treat the cause. You may also benefit from anxiety-relieving therapies.

Living With

When should I see my healthcare provider about heart palpitations and anxiety?

 

Always discuss any new symptoms with your healthcare provider. Seek care right away if you have heart palpitations and: 

  • Chest pain or discomfort.
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or other breathing problems.
  • Dizziness or confusion.
  • Loss of consciousness or fainting (syncope).
  • Severe swelling (edema) in your limbs, especially your legs, ankles and feet.
  • Unusual or sudden fatigue.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Anxiety is a very common cause of heart palpitations. Some people experience palpitations only in certain stressful situations, while others have palpitations more frequently.  Though you should consult your healthcare provider to rule out serious conditions, you may be able to reduce occasional heart palpitations and anxiety with relaxation techniques. If you have heart palpitations along with chest pain, trouble breathing or dizziness, seek help immediately.

Heart Palpitations & Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Overview

What are anxiety heart palpitations?

 

Heart palpitations feel like your heart pounds, flutters, races or skips a beat. When you have a palpitation, you may feel your heart beating in your chest, neck or throat.

Many people experience heart palpitations along with anxiety. Anxiety sets off the body’s “fight or flight” response as part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). When you feel uneasy about a situation, your ANS kicks in, increasing your heart rate. 

Are heart palpitations from anxiety dangerous?

 

Although heart palpitations can be alarming, most aren’t dangerous. They usually go away after the anxiety-causing situation passes. 

Less commonly, heart palpitations can be a sign of a serious health problem, such as arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). These heart palpitations may feel like they cause anxiety rather than follow it. If you have palpitations along with chest pain, trouble breathing, dizziness or confusion, seek medical help right away. 

How common are heart palpitations caused by anxiety?

Anxiety is the most common cause of palpitations that are not related to a heart problem. It’s very common to have moments of anxiety, especially during stressful situations. These situations may include job interviews, public speaking or airplane flights. Most times, these anxious feelings and heart palpitations come and go quickly.

If you have feelings of anxiety often or for long periods, talk to your healthcare provider. You may have an anxiety disorder or a panic disorder. Treatment with medication, therapy or both can help relieve your symptoms.

Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of heart palpitations and anxiety?

Symptoms of heart palpitations include:

  • Fluttering: Some people sense a flapping or fluttery feeling in the chest. Your heart may feel like it’s flipping.
  • Irregular heartbeat: You might feel like your heart skips a beat or beats out of rhythm. You may become aware of your heart rate speeding up and slowing down. You may also feel as if your heart pauses for a second or two.
  • Pounding: Your heart might beat forcefully or very strongly. Some people say they can feel their heart beating in their ears.

Why does anxiety cause heart palpitations?

Anxiety activates the body’s autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS regulates body functions, including:

When a situation causes anxiety, your ANS triggers your body’s fight or flight response. Besides heart palpitations, you may experience:

  • Fatigue.
  • Gastrointestinal issues, such as gas and diarrhea.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Sweating.
  • Tense muscles.
  • Trembling.

How long can heart palpitations last from anxiety?

Heart palpitations from anxiety usually go away within a few minutes. They tend to start suddenly and end quickly.

If you have recurring heart palpitations from anxiety, your healthcare provider might diagnose an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder means excessive anxiety affects your everyday activities, such as going to work or school or meeting friends.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the U.S. They affect almost 1 in 5 people at some point.

Can you mistake other types of heart palpitations for anxiety heart palpitations?

If heart palpitations don’t go away within a few minutes or happen frequently, they may not be related to anxiety. Less commonly, heart palpitations result from a health condition or disorder, including:

Diagnosis and Tests

How do healthcare providers diagnose heart palpitations caused by anxiety?

Your healthcare provider conducts tests to rule out other conditions before diagnosing heart palpitations caused by anxiety. They start by listening to your heart to check for murmurs or other sounds. They ask about your:

  • Current medications, including herbal supplements.
  • Diet.
  • Lifestyle, including your alcohol and caffeine intake, as both can cause palpitations.
  • Medical history.
  • Symptoms.

Your provider may suggest a blood test (complete blood count or CBC) to check for anemia or low potassium. They’ll also look for a thyroid problem or other health issues that could cause heart palpitations.

Will my healthcare provider be able to rule out other causes of heart palpitations?

Your provider will want to verify that anxiety-related palpitations aren’t dangerous. They may recommend other tests, such as:

If a Holter monitor doesn’t show unusual heart rhythms, your provider may give you an event recorder. You can wear this recorder for weeks. You press a button to record any heart sensations that you experience.

Management and Treatment

How do providers treat heart palpitations and anxiety?

 

If your healthcare provider diagnoses you with heart palpitations caused by anxiety, they may suggest:

  • Complementary health treatments: Biofeedback, massage therapy and other techniques can help you relax.
  • Medications: Anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants help some people. Your provider may suggest options to treat anxiety that happens when you fly or speak in public. These medicines include beta blockers (propranolol) and benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax®) and diazepam (Valium®). Benzodiazepines can be habit-forming, so they are only for occasional use.
  • Psychotherapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you identify and treat your thought patterns. Exposure-response prevention aims to create a positive response to fears to relieve anxiety.

How can I manage heart palpitations and anxiety?

 

You can try self-management techniques to help reduce the severity of heart palpitations caused by anxiety. These techniques include:

Prevention

Can I stop heart palpitations and anxiety?

You may not be able to totally prevent heart palpitations caused by anxiety. But you can lower how often they happen and how severe they are. 

First, pay attention to your triggers, such as performing in public, getting on a plane or making a phone call. Then you can make a plan to lessen your anxiety around these situations. Relaxation techniques, medication and therapy can all help to prevent future episodes.

Outlook / Prognosis

What is the outlook for people with heart palpitations and anxiety?

Many people have heart palpitations caused by situational (occasional) anxiety. You can use relaxation strategies to successfully manage this anxiety. These strategies can slow down your heart rate in the moment. 

If you have heart palpitations caused by chronic (long-term) anxiety disorders, there is hope. You can also manage your anxiety with proper treatment. A good team of healthcare providers can help you build a coping strategy. 

If you suspect another health condition is causing palpitations — with or without anxiety — talk to your provider about treatment. To relieve your symptoms, your provider will treat the cause. You may also benefit from anxiety-relieving therapies.

Living With

When should I see my healthcare provider about heart palpitations and anxiety?

 

Always discuss any new symptoms with your healthcare provider. Seek care right away if you have heart palpitations and: 

  • Chest pain or discomfort.
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or other breathing problems.
  • Dizziness or confusion.
  • Loss of consciousness or fainting (syncope).
  • Severe swelling (edema) in your limbs, especially your legs, ankles and feet.
  • Unusual or sudden fatigue.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Anxiety is a very common cause of heart palpitations. Some people experience palpitations only in certain stressful situations, while others have palpitations more frequently.  Though you should consult your healthcare provider to rule out serious conditions, you may be able to reduce occasional heart palpitations and anxiety with relaxation techniques. If you have heart palpitations along with chest pain, trouble breathing or dizziness, seek help immediately.

When Anxiety and Heart Palpitations Coincide: Van H. De Bruyn, MD, FACC, FHRS: General Cardiology

Your heart races or feels like it’s flip-flopping inside your chest, so you’re understandably concerned. While these can be the signs of an arrhythmia or other heart problem, anxiety is one of the more common causes for these sensations.

When it comes to figuring out whether anxiety or something more serious is causing your heart palpitations, you need to understand the relationship between palpitations and anxiety. 

At Heart Rhythm Associates, Dr. Van H. De Bruyn and our team believe that you should exercise caution when it comes to your heart health. Education is key. 

In the following, we explore why anxiety can lead to heart palpitations and if you should be concerned.

Understanding anxiety better

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issues in the United States, affecting 40 million adults. Unfortunately, these numbers are on the rise in recent months thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a serious impact on our collective mental health.

While anxiety is classified as a mental health issue, your response to anxiety can be very physical since it involves your stress, or flight-or-fight, response. This response is designed to protect you in times of imminent danger, and it begins with the release of hormones, namely adrenaline. 

These hormones trigger certain physiological processes in your body that are designed to help you fight or flee the perceived danger. These physiological changes include:

  • Elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rates
  • Muscle tension
  • Pupil dilation

When it comes to the first response, which involves your cardiovascular system, it may lead to heart palpitations, which are sensations that make it feel like your heart is racing, skipping a beat, or flip-flopping in your chest. You may also feel a pounding pulse in your neck.

With anxiety, you may experience acute attacks or become stuck in this response, which can lead to persistent heart palpitations.

Evaluating your heart palpitations

If you suspect you’re suffering from anxiety, the good news is that the accompanying heart palpitations may feel awful, but they aren’t usually medically serious. In most cases, the heart palpitations subside as you de-stress and your body and mind relax.

If this doesn’t occur and you’re unsure whether your heart palpitations are related to anxiety or a more serious issue with your heart’s rhythm, we urge you to come see us. We’ll get to the bottom of the issue.

To determine whether there’s a functional problem with your heart, we perform certain diagnostic tests at our office, including:

  • An electrocardiogram to evaluate electrical function 
  • An echocardiogram to check the structures of your heart

We can also outfit you with a portable monitor to measure your heart’s function throughout the day as you engage in normal activities.

If we find that your heart function is normal, anxiety is the likely culprit behind your heart palpitations. But there’s good news: If we detect a problem, we’re able to act quickly to resolve it.

Again, if you’re having trouble with persistent heart palpitations, we urge you to err on the side of caution and come see us. To get started, contact our office in Little Rock, Arkansas, to set up an appointment.

Heart Palpitations: Anxiety or AFib?

Your heart feels like it’s racing or skipping beats. There are many reasons that this can happen. You may have just gotten some good news and you’re excited. It could be that you’re about to start a new job and you’re nervous. Or maybe you drank too much coffee this morning and now you have caffeine jitters.

An irregular heartbeat may also be something more serious: a condition called atrial fibrillation, or AFib. AFib is a heart rhythm disorder, or arrhythmia, in which electrical signals in your heart don’t travel the right way. It’s like a miscommunication that causes your heart’s two upper chambers (atria) to beat too fast.

AFib symptoms include:

  • A skipped heartbeat followed by a thump
  • Heart palpitations or a fluttering sensation
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue and weakness

Those symptoms are much like what you might feel if you have anxiety. Either way, they can be scary, and you should call your doctor right away. The condition can start at any age.

How to Tell the Difference

How can you tell if you’re having AFib or an anxiety attack? It’s a good question. Studies show that stress and anxiety can worsen symptoms of AFib, but more research is needed to find out if people with anxiety and depression are at greater risk for developing it. Research also shows that people with AFib are more likely to get depression or anxiety because the condition affects your quality of life.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will use a few tests to diagnose AFib and rule out anxiety.

An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) records electrical activity in your heart. It’s a painless test that takes just a few minutes. You lie down and a nurse or technician places electrodes on your skin that measure electricity. If you have an episode of AFib at this time, the test will record it.

A heart monitor can detect less frequent irregular heartbeats. Your doctor may suggest you wear one for a few days to try to capture AFib episodes. It’s basically a small, portable EKG.

If your AFib incidents are few and far between, your doctor may suggest you wear an event monitor. An irregular heartbeat will activate the monitor to record the incident. Some activate themselves, and others you have to activate.

A stress test may help diagnose AFib if exercise triggers the condition. For this, your doctor may have you run on a treadmill while you wear a heart monitor.

A blood test can help rule out other causes for your symptoms, such as a thyroid problem.

A chest X-ray will help your doctor see the condition of your heart and lungs. An X-ray also can help rule out other conditions.

Sometimes AFib patients have no symptoms, so the issue goes undiagnosed. But it is treatable and, in some cases, curable. Left untreated, it can lead to heart failure and stroke.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

When you talk with your doctor, ask these questions if you think you may have anxiety or AFib.

If you suspect anxiety:

  • Could my anxiety be related to my physical health?
  • Should I see a mental health specialist?
  • Do I need counseling or medication?
  • What can I do at home to feel less anxious?
  • Are there foods or drinks I should avoid?

If you suspect AFib:

  • Which type of AFib might I have: paroxysmal, persistent, or permanent?
  • What’s the cause?
  • Are there foods or drinks I should avoid?
  • What kinds of activities or exercise are safe?
  • What activities or exercises should I avoid?
  • Do I need to have a procedure or surgery?
  • Do I need to take medication?
  • What are the next steps?

Heart palpitations – Symptoms and causes

Overview

Heart palpitations (pal-pih-TAY-shuns) are feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart. Stress, exercise, medication or, rarely, a medical condition can trigger them.

Although heart palpitations can be worrisome, they’re usually harmless. In rare cases, they can be a symptom of a more serious heart condition, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), that might require treatment.

Symptoms

Heart palpitations can feel like your heart is:

  • Skipping beats
  • Fluttering rapidly
  • Beating too fast
  • Pounding
  • Flip-flopping

You might feel heart palpitations in your throat or neck as well as your chest. They can occur when you’re active or at rest.

When to see a doctor

Palpitations that are infrequent and last only a few seconds usually don’t need to be evaluated. If you have a history of heart disease and have palpitations that occur frequently or worsen, talk to your doctor. He or she might suggest heart-monitoring tests to see if your palpitations are caused by a more serious heart problem.

Seek emergency medical attention if heart palpitations are accompanied by:

  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Fainting
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Severe dizziness

Causes

Often the cause of your heart palpitations can’t be found. Common causes include:

  • Strong emotional responses, such as stress, anxiety or panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Stimulants, including caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamines, and cold and cough medications that contain pseudoephedrine
  • Fever
  • Hormone changes associated with menstruation, pregnancy or menopause
  • Too much or to little thyroid hormone

Occasionally heart palpitations can be a sign of a serious problem, such as an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).

Heart rhythm changes (arrhythmias) might cause a very fast heart rate (tachycardia), an unusually slow heart rate (bradycardia), a normal heart rate that varies from the usual heart rhythm or combination of the three.

Risk factors

You might be at risk of developing palpitations if you:

  • Are highly stressed
  • Have an anxiety disorder or have regular panic attacks
  • Are pregnant
  • Take medicines that contain stimulants, such as some cold or asthma medications
  • Have an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
  • Have other heart problems, such as an arrhythmia, a heart defect, previous heart attack or previous heart surgery

Complications

Unless a heart condition is causing your heart palpitations, there’s little risk of complications. For palpitations caused by a heart condition, possible complications include:

  • Fainting. If your heart beats rapidly, your blood pressure can drop, causing you to faint. This might be more likely if you have a heart problem, such as congenital heart disease or certain valve problems.
  • Cardiac arrest. Rarely, palpitations can be caused by life-threatening arrhythmias and can cause your heart to stop beating effectively.
  • Stroke. If palpitations are due to a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart quiver instead of beating properly (atrial fibrillation), blood can pool and cause clots to form. If a clot breaks loose, it can block a brain artery, causing a stroke.
  • Heart failure. This can result if your heart is pumping ineffectively for a prolonged period due to an arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation. Sometimes, controlling the rate of an arrhythmia that’s causing heart failure can improve your heart’s function.

Is it Anxiety or Heart Disease? Sometimes It’s Hard To Tell The Difference

A Patient’s Anxiety or Heart Disease?

One patient I saw, who was over age 70, had a lifelong history of anxiety and panic attacks. She’d stopped leaving her home out of fear of another attack after she’d tried multiple anxiety medications without benefit. But when I saw her, we found that each episode of her anxiety was caused by a rapid heart rhythm. It was easily corrected by a simple procedure called an ablation.

Shortly after the ablation, she attended a close relative’s wedding free of anxiety. This was the first time she’d participated in a large family activity in nearly 40 years.

Tachycardia Can Cause Anxiety

Abnormal heart rhythms of more than 100 beats per minute that come from the upper heart chambers are called supraventricular tachycardias (SVTs). These can occur in healthy hearts as well as in people who’ve had prior heart injuries or problems. In most people, SVTs are random events not triggered by exercise or other activities. SVTs cause symptoms of heart palpitations, lightheadedness, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and, at times, they may cause you to pass out. The mind responds and can cause further symptoms of anxiety and panic.

Most of the time, I encounter people who’ve had anxiety for a few years — and for whom medications haven’t worked — which prompted their doctors to look for additional potential causes.

5 Clues That Indicate Abnormal Heart Rhythms

In my clinic, I’m often faced with two possibilities:

  • Did anxiety cause the rapid heart rate?
  • Did the rapid heart rate cause anxiety?

Here are some clues:

1. Symptom pattern This is the most straightforward clue. If anxiety makes your heart race, then something causes stressful feelings that are followed by an elevated heart rate. But if your heart is causing the anxiety, then heart palpitations or a racing heart comes first, followed by anxiety. Sometimes the racing heart causes lightheadedness or chest discomfort, and anxiety escalates.

2. Passing out or seizure This raises my concern about an abnormal heart rhythm. Anxiety disorders or panic attacks rarely cause you to pass out. You might pass out when having blood drawn or experiencing something unsettling. But if you have no warning signs before passing out, the risk of a heart problem increases. Many people feel lightheaded or dizzy if they stand up quickly; but people rarely pass out while seated, standing, or during an activity. If you’ve ever passed out while exercising or experienced a seizure, you should see a heart specialist.

3. Hyperventilating When you’re anxious or panicking, you may hyperventilate. This can cause numbness and tingling in the tips of your fingers on both hands, and around your mouth. Usually, anxiety causes this hyperventilation. But if you also feel lightheaded or faint, your blood pressure may be falling, indicating an abnormal heart rhythm.

4. Triggers Abnormal heart rhythms often result from a trigger: extra heart beats in the upper and lower heart chambers. We all experience extra beats at times; they feel like a skipped or hard heart beat. But people with abnormal heart rhythms often feel these extra beats, and suddenly their heart races as if a light switch turned on a light. In contrast, with anxiety, the heart rate increases uniformly without extra or skipped beats.

5. Weakening heart With anxiety, the heart responds in a normal way. But with abnormal heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation, it’s the heart that’s abnormal — and if left untreated, it can weaken the heart and lead to heart failure. This can cause swelling (edema) in the stomach, legs, and feet. You may experience trouble breathing while lying down and need to use extra pillows to get comfortable at night. Anxiety-related elevated heart rates do not cause the heart to weaken over time or cause edema.

Monitor Your Heart to Detect Anxiety or Atrial Fibrillation

The best way to truly understand whether anxiety causes a fast heart rate, or if a fast heart rate causes anxiety, is to monitor your heart.

A heart monitor records your heart rhythm day and night. Some automatically record all heart rhythms; others require you to push a button when you feel heart symptoms. When you don’t have symptoms, heart monitors may not provide the information needed for a diagnosis. For that reason, I have patients use them for two to four weeks to increase my chances of capturing the event.

Over the past two years, more people are using their smartphones to keep track of their activity and heart rate, but each device has limitations. What’s important, however, is your daily trend.

Your heart rate varies throughout the day by a few beats per minute (bpm) up to 10 bpm, even when doing very little activity or experiencing infrequent stress. When exercising, the variation may be more pronounced and change more quickly, which allows us to quickly adapt to different situations and challenges. When you look at the daily trend, you will quickly find your normal. This normal will have the lowest heart rates at night, and then change predictably during the day while at work and rest, and during exercise.

How to Detect Abnormal Heart Rhythm Patterns

Abnormal heart rhythms have three patterns, and the first is the easiest to figure out: You develop a sudden elevated heart rate with anxiety. Your device will show an abrupt heart rate acceleration, and when symptoms stop, the device should abruptly return to normal. This is usually shown as a spike in the graph of more than 30 to 40 bpm.

The second really depends on understanding your normal heart rate. In this pattern, the heart rate is exaggerated during rest or by an activity. If your heart rate while sleeping at night is typically 40 to 60 bpm, for example, but on a seemingly normal night it jumps to 70 to 90 bpm, you may have a form of an SVT called atrial tachycardia. In atrial tachycardia, the changing heart rate pattern is abnormal for you, it can last for longer periods of time, and it may occur without symptoms. The heart rate in atrial tachycardia is often more than 20 to 30 bpm faster than your normal heart rate would be for that same activity.

The last pattern is one in which the heart rate can vary dramatically from beat to beat; this is seen in people with a very abnormal heart rate, such as atrial fibrillation. In some people, the heart rate is mildly elevated, while in others it may be more than 100 bpm. The smartphone graphs a chaotic, abnormal pattern with broad swings in the tracing from beat to beat. This same pattern can be seen in people with very frequent extra beats from the upper and lower heart chambers.

If you’re using your smartphone to understand your heart, first get a sense of what’s normal for you over a number of days or weeks when you don’t have symptoms. When you develop symptoms, compare those smartphone graphs with the ones that you collected during a period when you felt normal. These reports will help you and your physician understand your heart and determine if your heart rhythm is behind your symptoms of anxiety, or if anxiety causes your heart to race.

If you are experiencing symptoms like those discussed in this column, contact your doctor, who will be able to treat problems related to anxiety as well as those caused by an abnormal heart rhythm in a variety of ways.

90,000 Panic disorder

Panic is a natural reaction of the human psyche and the whole body to stress, at these moments various protective adaptive functions are mobilized (the release of stimulating substances into the blood, for example, adrenaline, stress hormones), which, in theory, should help to cope with the difficulties that have arisen. But in situations where mental activity at least in some way does not correspond to the norm, especially with regard to mood disorders, the presence in the structure of the personality of increased anxiety as a character trait, instead of simply giving strength to solve a difficult situation, an excess of exciting, stimulating substances in the blood creates the very reaction of anxiety or panic, which not only does not help, but itself becomes.

According to the international classification of diseases, panic disorders are referred to as neurotic, i.e. are included in the group of painful conditions closely related to external factors, in which painful manifestations arise only in connection with some specific circumstances, while the self-consciousness of the individual does not change, and the distinctive feature is the awareness of the disease or painful manifestations.

The mechanism of occurrence of panic disorder is quite complex and includes a number of factors.First of all, this is an increase in the content of adrenaline, serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the blood due to the release of these substances by the adrenal glands and some structures of the brain, for example, the so-called. “Blue spot”. It is the high level of neurotransmitters that is the immediate cause that causes anxiety, fear, palpitations, feeling short of breath and other unpleasant bodily sensations.

The second important factor in the onset of panic disorder is a hereditary predisposition.There is evidence of direct transmission of the disease from generation to generation. The frequency of direct inheritance is approximately 15-17%. And in identical twins, the likelihood of panic disorder, in the presence of this disease in one of them, is 80-90%.

In addition to the above reasons for the occurrence of a panic attack, which can be combined as biological theories, there are psychoanalytic and behavioral concepts of the occurrence of such conditions.Psychoanalysts interpret phobias in panic disorders as the fear of a panic attack in a specific and hopeless, from the patient’s point of view, situation. An essential role in psychoanalytic theory is played by the panic reactions of children to parting with their parents.

Behavioral theories assume that anxiety states (including panic disorder) are associated with the interaction of the individual and society. At the same time, the main importance is attached to the “fixed error” of a person who has experienced an attack of panic – the assumption that the resulting heartbeat, a feeling of suffocation, are harbingers of death from somatic pathology.

Panic disorder usually develops in response to several factors described above.

Panic disorders are more common between the ages of 25 and 64, with the incidence among women 3-4 times higher than among men. The prevalence of panic disorders among the general population is from 2 to 5%, that is, they occur about 2-5 times more often than endogenous diseases (schizophrenia, manic-depressive psychosis)

A panic attack usually occurs:

– against the background of a difficult stressful situation (at the height of the conflict, experiencing a catastrophe, loss of a loved one)

– some biological factors (hormonal changes, the onset of sexual activity, abortion, taking hormonal drugs)

– factors of external influence on the body (taking alcohol or drugs, prolonged exposure to the sun, heavy physical activity).

A panic attack can occur in the absence of emotional or physical stress in everyday life. Symptoms of a panic attack occur unexpectedly, the attack usually develops quickly, reaching a maximum in 10 minutes, and its total duration is approximately 20-30 minutes.

A person begins to feel difficulty breathing, with shortness of breath, trying to “breathe”, he begins to take increased breaths, which lead to excessive saturation of blood cells with oxygen, which, in turn, causes a reflex holding of breath.Thus, a vicious circle is created. the initial feeling of lack of air causes fear, and the reflex holding of breath becomes doubly frightening. In parallel with this, there is discomfort and pain in the chest, palpitations, pulsation, “heart sinking”. Feelings of nausea are possible, vomiting, abdominal pain may occur. Typically, dizziness, sweating, chills or fever, discomfort in the body, profuse urination, or loose stools appear. Objectively, the complexion may change with redness or pallor, the pulse rate increases, the blood pressure rises.Often, during a medical examination, the severity of all these phenomena does not correspond to subjective sensations and experiences that seem catastrophic, “on the verge of life and death.”

Naturally, such attacks (also called vegetative) cause fear, a sense of disaster, fear of death, heart attack, stroke. A person cannot analyze his condition, because he is overwhelmed with horror, something incredible is happening to him, which he cannot explain to himself. After the crisis experienced, there is a feeling of depression, despair, self-pity.Often, many experience a feeling of a lump in the throat, numbness or weakness in the arms and legs, or, on the contrary, discomfort in the body, a feeling of “twisting” of the limbs. Sometimes these states are accompanied by a feeling of unreality of the environment, some kind of remoteness, as in a dream.

Finding no obvious reason for unexpected panic attacks and vegetative crises, many people with panic disorder jump to the conclusion that they have a serious medical condition, such as coronary artery disease, stroke, brain tumor, or the onset of insanity.It is often difficult to convince them otherwise.

Panic attacks suffered several times give rise to fear of recurrence of these conditions, the so-called. “Waiting anxiety”. Remembering the circumstances of the occurrence of previous attacks, people tend to avoid similar situations, limit themselves in movement, sometimes reaching complete isolation and avoiding public places, movement by public transport, as a result, such people are simply under house arrest. All movements take place only when accompanied by relatives.If the attack first occurs at home, they are afraid to be alone at home.

Multi-faceted alarm. How is a panic attack different from a heart attack | Healthy life | Health

Of course, a panic attack, or, as it is also called, a panic attack, is an unpleasant thing. Sometimes even creepy. There is a sticky, inexplicable fear, tremors throughout the body, palpitations, shortness of breath, and a rise in blood pressure. Other manifestations can be added to this – nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, frequent urination, diarrhea … In general, there are many different and incomprehensible symptoms.And the unknown is always scary.

However, a panic attack is not as bad as it sounds. Even if disguised as a serious illness.

Mask No. 1. Heart attack

It seems to a person that he has heart problems: “I feel that it aches (it hurts, hurts, knocks madly, stops, works intermittently, is torn to pieces – emphasize familiar).” At the same time, not a single survey shows anything serious. It would seem that the “patient” should calm down – everything is all right! But no! “I definitely have a heart attack! The cardiologist does not understand anything, you need to look for another, ”the person thinks.And seeks endlessly.

In fact, even such a simple diagnostic method as an EKG is capable of detecting violations of the heart. Not to mention in-depth examinations – exercise ECG, echocardiography, 24-hour ECG and blood pressure monitoring … If the test showed that the heart is healthy, then it is so! And everything that seems to you (pain, tingling, fading) is subjective sensations.

The only thing that does not seem to you is an increase in heart rate. But it normal. In a state of stress, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, which is responsible for the mobilization of the body.Hence the rise in blood pressure and rapid heartbeat. As soon as you calm down, your heart will calm down too. But this requires the help of not a cardiologist, but a psychologist or neurologist.

Mask No. 2. Stroke

It seems to a person that during a panic attack, he has goosebumps, some areas on his body, such as a cheek or chin, tingle. He panics even more: “These are symptoms of a stroke!” – and runs to call an ambulance. On a nervous basis, his blood pressure jumps (usually in the range of 140 / 90-160 / 100 mm Hg).Art.) and the head begins to hurt (“Well, this is certainly a stroke!”). However, the ambulance for some reason gives a sedative and goes back.

In fact, a hypertensive crisis, which can result in a stroke, is only spoken about if the pressure rises above 180/120 mm Hg. Art. (even if one of the indicators is exceeded). If the pressure rises slightly and there are no specific symptoms (these include sudden numbness or weakness of the muscles of the face, arms or legs, a sharp deterioration in vision, slurred speech, unsteadiness of gait, impaired coordination of movement, severe dizziness), then this is unlikely to be a stroke.However, even a slight rise in pressure, if it happens periodically, requires a visit to the doctor.

Mask No. 3. Mental disorder

It seems to a person that he is going crazy – many during a panic attack have a feeling of unreality of what is happening. People are afraid of losing control of themselves and doing something bad. To these fears are added others – the fear of leaving the house or, conversely, being left alone at home (“I will feel bad, but there is no one to help”), lose consciousness or die.Which again increases the anxiety about my normalcy: I used to be cheerful and happy, but now I am afraid of everyone and everything!

In fact, panic attacks do not indicate a mental illness, but that you are in a state of severe stress. What your body “exudes” is the culmination of an anxiety disorder, an attempt to convey to the consciousness that you are living in constant nervous tension. Most of us get so used to it that we don’t even notice the stress.But the body also notices, reacting to anxiety with physical discomfort. Including panic attacks.

We urgently need to find out what (or who) makes you so anxious. After all, living in a state of fear is below average pleasure. A psychotherapist treats panic attacks because the true cause of suffering is psychological. If the cause for alarm disappears, the attacks will also stop.

See also:

Unreasonable alarm – why a permanent alarm occurs

All people experience a sense of anxiety from time to time.For example, you might get nervous when you have a fight with a loved one or before taking an exam. Anxiety itself is not a very pleasant emotion, but it is completely normal.

Sometimes anxiety becomes persistent and uncontrollable. In situations where it interferes with everyday life, takes on a constant or overly acute nature, the problem cannot be ignored. It is worth contacting a specialist and figure out what anxiety means in your case. Perhaps you need qualified help.

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in modern society.

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in modern society. Usually a person cannot understand what anxiety means, from which it is impossible to get rid of. The illness makes you feel scared and restless for no apparent reason. If left untreated, this becomes a long-term problem and significantly reduces the quality of life. At the same time, no matter what form of anxiety disorder the patient suffers, an experienced specialist will always select the therapy that will help cope with the disease.

What is an alarm

Common signs of anxiety disorders to look out for include:

  • Feelings of nervousness and uncontrollable restlessness that are not appropriate for the situation;
  • Unreasonable panic, premonition of disaster or death;
  • Increased activity of the autonomic nervous system: dizziness, sweating, trembling, rapid breathing, palpitations, pain in the heart, dry mouth, nausea, stool disorder;
  • Sleep and appetite disorders;
  • Problems with concentration, inability to distract from the object of concern;
  • Inflated, irritable;
  • Strong, uncontrollable fear of ordinary situations (phobias).

Anxiety, whatever it may be, always has characteristic features and causes. The concept of “anxiety disorder” is generalized and corresponds to several diagnoses, each of which has its own characteristics. It is important to distinguish one from the other in order to correctly diagnose and choose the correct treatment. Experience and high qualifications will allow a specialist to do this without difficulty.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental illness characterized by what is known as non-fixed anxiety.This is a baseless anxiety that does not depend on specific circumstances, but is persistent and uncontrollable. Physical manifestations in the form of autonomic symptoms are added to anxiety. All this greatly interferes with studying, working and communicating. Clinically significant is the presence of signs of GAD within 6 months.

A distinctive feature is the generalization of sensations: constant anxiety in GAD does not have a specific stressor, it is aimed at life circumstances in general, including minor and unlikely situations.The course is permanent, the symptoms are always present, intensify from time to time, but never acquire an acute form, as in panic attacks.

The concept of “anxiety disorder” is generalized and corresponds to several diagnoses, each of which has its own characteristics.

Panic disorder (panic attacks) are sudden episodes of panic and discomfort accompanied by fear of death and physical manifestations: heart failure, feeling short of breath, dizziness.

Unlike GAD, panic attacks are spontaneous and acute. Patients are in constant expectation of an attack, they experience a debilitating feeling of anxiety. With GAD, the person is constantly in a state of anxiety, but it is not associated with the expectation of an attack, but with apprehensions and fears about all kinds of life situations.

It is also important to distinguish panic attacks from phobic disorders. Attacks can be one of the signs of a phobia and indicate its severity.If there is a primary phobia, then it will be the main diagnosis.

This disorder should be differentiated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), in which panic attacks can occur only when trying to suppress obsessive thoughts, and with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the latter case, anxiety arises only under certain circumstances that remind the patient of the cause of the trauma.

People with this disorder avoid frightening circumstances at all costs, which can impose significant restrictions on their lifestyle.

Phobic disorder (phobias) are acute episodes of panic attacks that are associated with specific situations and objects. People with this disorder avoid frightening circumstances at all costs, which can impose significant restrictions on their lifestyle.

Among phobias, social phobia is distinguished – an insurmountable fear of social interactions, and agoraphobia, which is a complex of similar fears associated with a fear of open and closed spaces.There are other isolated phobias, but a distinctive feature of this type is that fear arises in strictly defined situations and is limited only by them.

Anxious depression. The usual signs of anxiety disorder are nervousness, irritability, and trouble sleeping and concentrating. But, unlike other disorders, a depressive component is also required – depressed mood, melancholy, lack of interest in life. In mixed anxiety and depressive disorder, symptoms of anxiety and depression are equally present, without a clear predominance of one over the other, which does not allow them to be considered separately from each other.

Schizoaffective disorder is another disorder in which mood disorders are observed: unreasonable anxiety, guilt, concentration problems, irritability, and more. However, according to ICD-10, this diagnosis can only be confirmed when psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia, such as delusions and hallucinations, are combined with mood disorders of a depressive or manic nature.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an obsession based on irrational thoughts and fears that forces a person to perform certain actions – rituals (ritual behavior).

To alleviate fears, a person can wash their hands endlessly, even if the skin on them becomes irritated and cracked.

Obsessions and compulsions greatly interfere with daily activities. If a person tries to ignore these thoughts, anxiety increases. Because of this, the patient is forced to continue to perform the ritual in order to relieve stress. OCD often centers around certain topics, such as the fear of microbial contamination. To alleviate fears, a person can wash their hands endlessly, even if the skin on them becomes irritated and cracked.

Reasons for alarm. Diagnostics

The causes of anxiety disorders are as varied as the types themselves. Usually, in a pathological state of unreasonable anxiety, the reasons consist of a complex interaction of factors, which may include:

  • genetic predisposition;
  • imbalance in neurotransmitters;
  • personality traits: people with a labile psyche, sensitive temperament, with a tendency to negative emotions;
  • stressful situations, mental trauma, unfavorable living conditions, somatic diseases;
  • use of drugs, alcohol, improper medication.

Only a qualified psychiatrist can correctly identify the causes of anxiety and provide assistance. You cannot delay seeking help, as the condition can worsen and be complicated by social isolation, suicidal actions and various types of addiction.

To make a complete diagnosis of the condition, the doctor uses the following methods:

  1. Psychiatric examination – a specialist collects a detailed history, takes into account clinical manifestations and compares them with diagnostic criteria.
  2. Pathopsychological research is a modern technique that helps to understand the personality characteristics and psychological state of the patient.
  3. Laboratory and instrumental examination – Neurotest and Neurophysiological test system allow you to get an objective idea of ​​the state of the nervous system and cognitive functions, EEG and other instrumental techniques help to exclude organic pathology

Treatment of anxiety and anxiety disorders

Treatment depends on the type of disorder and may include one or a combination of the following approaches.

Individual psychotherapy is the main treatment for any type of disorder. Allows you to find out why the anxiety occurred and whether it is pathological. Clinical signs are analyzed and problems are worked out.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has become one of the most effective methods for correcting anxiety disorders, especially phobic ones, OCD and GAD. By simulating problem situations, the patient, under the guidance of a doctor, learns to cope with panic attacks and gains skills that allow him to return to a normal lifestyle.

Drug therapy to eliminate acute symptoms, relieve anxiety and depression, if necessary, mild pharmacotherapy with antidepressants or modern tranquilizers can be used.

As additional methods that accelerate adaptation and help cope with stress, physiotherapy, breathing exercises, art therapy, and biofeedback therapy are used.

Important

When to seek immediate help:

  • When the condition interferes with work, relationships and other areas of life;
  • If the person cannot control their fear or obsessive thoughts;
  • If a person feels constant depression, sleep disturbance and concentration, consumes large amounts of alcohol to cope with anxiety;
  • Suicidal thoughts are present.

Symptoms of anxiety disorder do not go away on their own. This is a serious problem that, without specialized help, progresses over time. To avoid this and return to a fulfilling life without excruciating fears, you need to see a specialist. The sooner the patient starts therapy, the faster and easier it will be to get the result.

Feeling anxious: How to Deal with Attacks of Anxiety and Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling we get when we are worried.Another synonym for anxiety is fear. Everyone faces anxiety: before an important meeting, when we need to do something new and unfamiliar, and even when we go to receive awards and hear praise. There are many reasons, and it is normal to be anxious. It becomes a problem when it appears for no apparent reason or is chronic. But this can also be corrected.

What are the causes of anxiety? There is anxiety in the morning, afternoon and sleep. It does not depend on the time of day.If you observe yourself, you can trace several reasons.

  • We do not get enough sleep and overwork. Not enough days off to recover.
  • We are nervous and emotionally stressed for a long time.
  • We are afraid that our own negative experience will repeat itself. And we unknowingly repeat it.
  • We may experience internal conflicts. When we do not know how to negotiate with ourselves and strive to meet someone’s expectations.
  • We are dissatisfied with life and our choice.Every time we look for cons in ourselves, it increases fear and anxiety.
  • Not sure of yourself. We give in to doubts about our actions and have little faith in the possibilities.
  • We are unable to cope with the load. Too many tasks make us anxious that we will not be able to get them done in time, or that we might not do them altogether.
  • Strive to meet someone’s expectations. As you know, this habit drives even depression.
  • We are afraid of something: to be losers and, conversely, to be successful, to live unhappy and live in pleasure.
  • Good emotions and habits are often more anxious than bad ones.

Alarm symptoms

  • increased excitement
  • hand sweating
  • rapid heart rate
  • increased thirst
  • body tension
  • headache.

Excessive anxiety also has its own symptoms: insomnia or light sleep, dizziness, nausea, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, fever, absent-mindedness, self-criticism, memory impairment, bouts of aggression, increased susceptibility.

An alarm for no reason can also be. Most often – when we live someone else’s experience. For example, we saw how in childhood it was difficult for a mother to find a common language with a leader. We are already adults, and our leader is a different person. But we are experiencing exactly the emotions that we have absorbed into ourselves. Also, causeless anxiety occurs when others impose their fear on us.

Anxiety, regardless of its degree, can be dealt with. You just need qualified help and a change in habits.

How to deal with anxiety

  1. Investigate the cause of your concern. Assess your capabilities: you can deal with it yourself or you need to seek help from a specialist.
  2. Stay asleep. Try to go to bed no later than 23:00. Or at least at the same time. The feeling of anxiety will decrease.
  3. Take time to relax. Take short breaks not only on weekends, but also during the working day, without your phone or laptop.
  4. Learn to meditate. Morning meditations are also suitable, and longer in time. You can also meditate for a few minutes throughout the day.
  5. Talk to yourself. It is important to understand what anxiety gives you. What are its advantages and disadvantages. What difficulties will you overcome by defeating anxiety? What life without anxiety will give you.
  6. Control your imagination. More often than not, when we are anxious, we fantasize about things that are unlikely to happen. Our fears are turned on, we imagine that we are losing something and someone, failed meetings or unsigned contracts.But in the end, everything comes true in the best way.
  7. Examine the alarm. Try to track in which situations it rises. Try to choose a different scenario.
  8. Relax your body. When we are anxious, the muscles tense. They can hurt if they are in this state for a long time. Stretching and yoga will help you relax.
  9. Learn to breathe correctly. When we are anxious, our breath is lost. Try to breathe slowly and evenly. It helps to even out the heartbeat and soothes.
  10. Listen to music. You can turn on your favorite songs through headphones, you can go to a concert. The only rule is that the music should be soothing.
  11. Thank you. Write down five things in your journal every day that you are grateful for.
  12. Spend limited time worrying. For example, for 15 minutes you can fantasize about anything, worry and be afraid. But once that time is up, calm down.
  13. Write down the answer to the question: “What if everything that I fear happens?” More often than not, we realize that some of these fears are unfounded.If something can happen, then we will continue to live.
  14. Drink seasonal vitamins. To reduce the constant feeling of anxiety, it is important to make up for their deficiency in the body. Be sure to consult your doctor.
  15. Create your own mini habits. For example, walking in your favorite park, drinking your favorite coffee, reading a couple of pages of a book. The main thing is that they calm you down.
  16. Dream. New desires and goals motivate and help reduce anxiety.

How to get rid of constant feelings of anxiety

Psychoanalysis. Helps to get rid of feelings of anxiety and to identify the true cause, regardless of the level, to cope with it and avoid it in the future. The psychologist helps to work out the reasons, close all gestalts and react in a new way to familiar situations. The patient receives tools that he can use to live a calmer life. The main thing is to find your specialist. If one doesn’t fit, contact a new one. But it is also important to trust the doctor.

Drug treatment. Today there are many pills, including antidepressants, that can help.Various groups of drugs can be used only after consulting a doctor. Both methods work well with each other.

Treatment in the clinic. Anxiety disorder can be treated in an inpatient unit at a clinic. Treatment is prescribed by doctors, depending on the symptoms and the severity of the disease.

Adjust your lifestyle. Change your job if it is constantly stressful. Eat healthy and balanced. Go in for sports.Find a source of positive emotions. Try to focus on victories and achievements.

A set of measures will help to cope with anxiety. If necessary, involve a psychologist, nutritionist and trainer.

Read also: How to deal with panic attacks: Tips from a neuropsychologist

Read also: How to overcome your fears

Psychologist’s blog: what to do with spring anxiety?

  • Elena Savinova
  • Psychologist

Photo author, Christopher Furlong / Getty

Signs to the photo,

Anxious people can live for years in anticipation of the worst and explain their mood by events or events at work country

Irritability, mood swings, impotence and inability to relax.All these conditions are well known to all of us, especially in the spring. With a big fly in the ointment, they “balance” the joy of longer sunny days, the first flowers and the singing of birds.

Such negative reactions of the psyche to seemingly positive changes merge in a stormy stream into anxiety syndrome.

A colorless and odorless state

Anxiety differs from anxiety in that it arises as a reaction to a real situation of uncertainty, an upcoming event, a danger that must be dealt with.

Physiological anxiety is not a very pleasant, but time-limited sensation. To some extent, it even helps to gather strength and thoughts when we are forced to solve those problems that have not yet been faced or are rarely faced.

Therefore, when the exam is passed or the speech is delivered, relaxation occurs.

But anxiety is a prolonged and unconscious worry, a constant premonition that something bad will happen.

People can live for years in anticipation of the worst and explain their mood by events taking place at work or in the country.

Photo author, Christopher Furlong / Getty

Signs to the photo,

After stress comes apathy and indifference

The insidiousness of anxiety syndrome, as, in fact, all the worst diseases, is asymptomatic.

Nothing hurts, except the soul. But this, as one client of mine used to say, is for spoiled people. In her opinion, you need to pay less attention to such trifles, and pull yourself together – and do business.

She herself came with complaints of constant headache, insomnia and back pain.All this was accompanied by forgetfulness, inability to concentrate and make the simplest choice – what to cook, stay at home or go somewhere.

The doctors found nothing but hypertension and palpitations. Therefore, they sent the woman to a psychologist, suspecting nervous exhaustion. She was very skeptical about this and continued to insist that she be prescribed effective drugs for low back pain.

Neurosis of violent activity

In fact, the pain was the result of prolonged stress and tension.This led to the formation of muscle clamps, which once again proves that all diseases are from the nerves.

But how can you still distinguish the insidious neurosis of anxiety from a bad mood, the usual laziness, unwillingness to work?

I would like to note right away that the loss of interest in something may indicate overwork, the beginning of depression. If you ignore such signals, mentally shaming yourself and urging you to gather your will into a fist, stress will become chronic. It will be replaced by internal emigration – apathy and indifference.

Photo author, Sean Gallup / Getty

Signs to the photo,

Reality may not be as bad as you think

Anxiety has specific manifestations.

It is a feeling that the whole world is hostile towards you. That all people either intently and mostly negatively evaluate you, or are so indifferent that they do not notice you at all.

This is a combination of a minor mood with the need to do something all the time, just not to sit still.

Anxious people, even while sitting, permanently move their toes or swing their legs. Or, trying to “speak” their own anxiety, they chatter incessantly.

In case of overexertion, sudden attacks of panic and disorientation in space may begin.

This “bouquet” is usually accompanied by constant scrolling in the head of the same plot – obsessive thoughts.

Mainly about what and to whom we said, what impression we made. Or about what should happen in the future and what we should do to make everything work out as well as possible.

In addition, people with anxiety syndrome are afraid that the state of discomfort – unpleasant music, children’s noise, a sleepless night – will last forever, and they will not be able to do anything about it.

Do Something Wrong For Once

Why do anxiety disorders get worse in the spring or fall?

People with an unstable psyche feel comfortable in familiar situations and in a familiar rhythm.

They have already adapted to the monotony and conservatism of winter.And spring joys, such as a raincoat instead of a fur coat, salad instead of fried potatoes, the ability to walk cause discomfort, as they force them to make a choice and get used to new things.

Photo author, Christopher Furlong / Getty

Seemingly ordinary business.

But for a person whose psyche is overloaded with self-doubt, the experience of universal injustice and the expectation of danger, the slightest lack of self-confidence increases stress.

Emotional and impressionable people are most at risk of contracting the “anxiety virus”.They doubt their abilities and appearance – they do not have an inner core.

Also at risk are strong personalities demanding of themselves and others, the so-called masters of life. Their Achilles’ heel is the difficulty of experiencing unpredictability and loss of control over some life situations.

Instead of perceiving what is happening to them as a variety of the world, they suffer from the inability to control it.

To protect yourself from unnecessary anxiety attacks, do not take everything that happens around you personally.

That is, it is not raining to harm you, the neighbors have started repairs not to make you feel bad. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even if it is you who are wrong, you are only human. The world order is also far from ideal.

Author of the photo, JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / Getty

Pidpis to the photo,

Free yourself from the burden of other people’s expectations, get rid of all “must” – and listen to your own desires

Do not scroll in your memory those moments when you were not at your best. You can’t bring back the past, so why poison yourself with the present.

Also, do not worry too much about what is about to happen. Your suffering will not change anything, it is better to let go of the situation and live in the present.

If you are a responsible person, but are tired of other people’s expectations, do only what you are really interested in. Trust yourself. Do not prove anything to anyone, let go of the situation.

Get rid of all the “needs” if you don’t need it. And vice versa – carefully listen to your own desires, if possible, satisfy them.

Move, walk in the fresh air, pay attention to the beauty around, be surprised.

Do not try to mentally control the whole world. And remember that bad things tend to end.

Anxiety in children and adolescents with cancer

Medicines for the treatment of anxiety in children and adolescents

The attending physician may prescribe a separate medication to relieve symptoms of anxiety. Sometimes a medication is prescribed to help the patient relax before the procedure. These drugs tend to work quickly, but not for long.

Some patients may need long-acting drugs to treat their anxiety disorder. Such drugs do not help immediately. Some patients may be prescribed a combination of several drugs. The drugs listed below may be used to treat anxiety disorders in children.

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac®)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro®)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft®)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor®)
  • Duloxetine (Simbalta®)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox CR®)
  • Benzodiazepines, including diazepam (Valium®), alprazolam (Xanax®) and clonazepam (Klonopin®)

Patients taking medication to reduce anxiety should be monitored by a physician who will monitor the medication and possible side effects.It is important to follow the dosage instructions carefully. Patients should not increase their doses or stop taking medications without consulting their doctor. If anxiety persists, be sure to inform your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor when prescribing drugs to reduce anxiety:

  • When will anxiety symptoms become less severe?
  • Are there any contraindications for the simultaneous use of this drug with any other drugs or dietary supplements?
  • Should any activities be avoided?
  • What are the common side effects?
  • What side effects should I be most worried about?
  • What if the time for taking the drug was missed?
  • How long should this drug be taken?

Anxiety medications may be unsafe if taken more often or at higher doses than prescribed, or if you stop taking them too soon.Be sure to check with your doctor before changing your dosage. Store medicines in a safe place out of the reach of children.

90,000 Panic Attacks – Treatment of Panic Attacks

How does a panic attack feel?

Sometimes the condition is confused with a heart attack. At first you feel unreasonable, uncontrollable anxiety, which triggers bodily reactions:

  • Difficulty breathing – not enough air, difficult to enter;
  • Rapid heartbeat, pulse – heart “pounds”, “jumps out of the chest”;
  • Tremors all over the body and numbness of the limbs;
  • Dizziness, weakness, semi-faintness;
  • Chills, hot flashes – as if you had a high fever.

The condition can be accompanied by the fear of death and a feeling of unreality of what is happening, in different people it lasts from 5 to 20 minutes and gradually passes. Attacks tend to recur in similar situations: if you have once experienced an attack in a crowded area, then getting into the crowd again can trigger an attack. In dealing with panic attacks, it is important not to skip sessions and avoid stress in everyday life.

What to do with panic disorder and should it be treated?

If you have an attack, remember that this is not a disaster, and follow the recommendations:

  • Stay where you are, sit down, if possible, try to relax.
  • Observe the symptoms and their sequence from the side, so that you can describe them later on paper.
  • Slow breathing down to 5 breaths per minute: 3 seconds for inhalation, 6 seconds for holding your breath, 3 for exhaling and pause for 3 seconds. Repeat the cycle 8-10 times, breathe with your belly, moderately deep. If symptoms persist, repeat the exercise.

So if the panic attack goes away on its own, why treat it?
A single seizure is not a diagnosis yet, but if the condition recurs systematically, it “overgrows” with other symptoms and disorders. The most common of them:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder. A person begins to avoid going outside or taking the subway, constantly expecting that he will have a seizure.
  • Depressive disorder. With the thought “I’m sick”, a person deprives himself of the chance for success and the opportunity to have fun.

Therefore, seek help from a psychologist tomorrow – solve the problem in a few sessions and, most likely, without pills. Delaying treatment, therapy may take from several months to a year.

Will you be prescribed medication? Depends on the severity of the disorder. But you should not be afraid of pills: your doctor will prescribe the safest antidepressant regimens for you.

Panic Attack Treatment at Paracelsus Medical Center

The approach to the treatment of an attack should be comprehensive. During therapy, specialist:

  • Explain the essence of the disease.
  • Teaches relaxation techniques.
  • Finds the reasons and make sure to work with them.

It is important for the client to know more about the disorder: where it comes from, how long it can last – so as not to panic at the next attack. To stop an acute attack, breathing techniques are used: they help to survive a panic episode faster. And eliminating the causes can completely get rid of the disorder. In severe forms, a specialist prescribes drug treatment.


At the Paracelsus Medical Center:


  • We use extensive experience in working with disorders – the center has existed since 1993;
  • We ensure the safety of therapy – our specialists have a medical education;
  • We keep anonymity and confidentiality – we do not ask for passport data, you can call yourself any name;
  • We offer you the discount program – 20% if you pay for 5 sessions, 30% if you pay for 10 sessions;
  • We care about your convenience – you can attend sessions without taking time off from work or rushing to be in time before closing, and when it is convenient for you: we accept on weekends and holidays, you can make an online appointment.

You can call the center at any time: the call center works around the clock. We process applications on the site within 10 minutes. Contact us, we will help you return to life without unreasonable fears and worries.