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Have anxiety. Have laboured breathing, weight gain, low resting pulse. Worried about heart failure. Anxiety symptoms?

Hello, I am a 32 year old male who has had anxiety since puberty . It all started with a panic attack with depersonalization , I felt like I was leaving my body. After that I quit sports cuz it gave me the same symptoms, along with a very high heartrate . I even stopped studying and been agoraphobic on and off for years. Laboured breathing is also a symptom that keeps recurring, I personally think I have heart failure because the only thing that seemed to help for my anxiety was alcohol, so I drank heavilly for a couple of years. I gained a lot of weight that time and couldn t do anything anymore, then I got chest tightness and again a full blown panic attack and went to my doc again. I quit drinking and smoking for over a year now. I take xanax instead, I can t tolerate ssri s. My question is this, my doc ran a full blood test, an ekg (had stress test when I was younger), thorax photo, and full physical. My bp is always 120/70or80, I think my laboured breathing is caused by heart failure but my doc says he s 100%sure it s not. He doesn t want to send me for an echo cuz he says it s unnecassery. But my resting pulse is just around 50 and I m not in shape, okay I started working out this past year and lost the weight I gained (I m 6ft2 and weigh 190pounds now) but my resting pulse has always been low. My labored breathing doesn t get worse with exercise though and my heartrate comes down pretty quick, I do get some pacs or pvcs but my doc says not to worry. I get 5 max a day. Should I stop worrying about heart failure and believe my doc that it s anxiety. I was diagnosed with chronic hyperventilation in the past and i get a stuffy nose after exercise (maybe that has to do with my labored breathing? exercise induced asthma/rinithis... After chest exercise my labored breathing is the worst so I don t do that anymore. I am wasting my days worrying instead of having a good time with my two young children. thx in advance
Asked On : Sat, 19 Jan 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  57
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Your symptoms are indicative of an anxiety disorder and you seem to be having a lot of health anxiety. Now, you have mentioned clearly that all medical tests have turned out negative, including EKG, chest Xray, blood tests and a thorough physical examination - which rule out any possible cardiac cause for your breathing problem.

It is important to understand that anxiety can present with not only psychological symptoms but also with physical or somatic symptoms. Please have faith in your doctor who has done a thorough and systematic evaluation and told you that you don't have heart failure. These doubts, worries and preoccupation with health problems itself is actually a manifestation of anxiety. Please seek the help of a psychiatrist to manage your anxiety-related problems.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Answered: Wed, 23 Jan 2013
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