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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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What causes racing mind, chest tightness, breathing difficulty and headache?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2014

Answered : 2242 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 8 Jun 2016 in Mental Health
Question: Hello. I am currently under a good amount of stress. Off and on over the past two years I think I have had some bouts of Aniexty. I worry about a lot of things that really shouldn't matter and I am very irritable. I am not very happy with my home life situation.

It stared two years ago when i had a rib in my chest dislocated. I felt like i was dying.. once it was put back into place I was fine.. I do have a lot of back trouble from my job but these are my symptoms right now

I feel very irritable, my chest sometimes feels like I have a cold in it or something pressing on it right in the middle near the spine, when I lay down or sit back I feel like i have a harder time breathing or I find myself thinking of breathing, tiredness due to lack of sleep. I do get head aches sometimes but here in the past week I am having a hard time going to sleep or laying down. i feel a lot of pressure in my upper back/feel like harder to breath and my mind is always racing. I have tried ativan a few times and it decreases symptoms by around 40-50%. XXXXXXX helps aswell.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Consultation

Detailed Answer:
Hello, and thanks for your question.

You describe a racing mind, anxiety, feeling a pressing sensation in your chest, some difficulty breathing at times, headaches, irritability, and improvement of these symptoms with Ativan.

These symptoms are consistent with a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. Treatment of this condition is as follows. First, benzodiazepines should be used in the short term, but for no more than 2 months, while long-term treatment is initiated. Long term treatment consists of combination therapy with an SSRI antidepressant and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). A good SSRI to start with is sertraline or escitalopram. It can take up to 4 weeks for an SSRI to kick in, which is why the benzodiazepine such as Ativan can be helpful in the short term. CBT is offered by therapists around the country. If there is not one available in your area, I do offer text-based CBT on this website via my direct private link which I paste at the bottom of this message.

Please remember to rate and close this answer when you are finished and satisfied.



Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 34 minutes later
thanks for the reply doc. Is the coughing considered in this? Its almost like i make myself cough.. i do have sinuses. Also, this is more less with the pain in back and harder time breathing at night or during alone time during the day. when i have things to do, i don't really notice.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 30 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Followup

Detailed Answer:
I do consider the coughing to be a possible somatic symptom of anxiety. You could consider visiting your primary care doctor to conduct a lung exam to be sure, but it is consistent with anxiety. The pain and breathing issue is pretty classic for anxiety -- when your mind is occupied and you're not focused on it, it goes away. The treatment plan I outlined above I think would be appropriate for you!

Please remember to rate and close this answer when you are finished and satisfied.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 3 hours later
Is there any tips or tricks i can use to move past certain times.. my aniexty last usually between a day and sometimes up to a week or so at a time.. until i realize nothing is really wrong with me.. I have a tendency to think i have cancer or heart conditions or my liver is failing something like that.. right now i am worried about a few things that don't really matter.. i am a law enforcement veteran and have some ptsd where i walk up in in the middl of the night fighting or talking to someone my wife says is like a suspect. i am currently out of that job and into a stress free job
doctor
Answered by Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 2 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Followup

Detailed Answer:
There is really no quick fix. You need to undergo structured cognitive behavioral therapy to combat these anxious feelings properly. I recommend seeking out a CBT therapist in your area, or again, if there is not one available in your area, I do offer text-based CBT on this website via my direct private link which I again paste at the bottom of this message.

Please remember to rate and close this answer when you are finished and satisfied.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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