Chest pains! is this an Anxiety attack?

United States
January 20, 2007 1:00am CST
Ever since I was 16, I have been having chest pains. Doctors can't diagnose them other than indigestion but I can't pinpoint it on something I eat. I can however, target them with stressfull events. Am I having panic attacks? the most recent for example. I began feeling sick yesterday so my hubby was fussing and cussing that I'm always getting sick. He has to wake up very early in the morning for his job and couldn't get much sleep last night for hearing me throw up. I stayed home from work today and slept most of the day until he got home. I gave him the grocery list and when he got home with the groceries, he started asking a ton of questions and i got really stressed out over it. I thought it was indigestion so I drank a coke hoping to burp and then I took and alkaseltzer and none of those worked. The pain got more and more intense. I sat in the room turned off the tv shut the door and just breathed. After about 10 min the pain went away until he walked in with his questions again! I went to another room until the pain went away again and now i'm fine. Is there some way for me to manage my stress before it turns into pain? I am on medication for depression and anxiety but it doesn't seem to be working for the anxiety only the depression.
2 people like this
16 responses
@GardenGerty (104296)
• United States
20 Jan 07
You need to have a talk with your doctor and tell him what you are telling us. Ask him how long you need to be on your anti-anxiety meds before they work for you. Why would your husband's questions cause you so much stress. Is he suspicious of you? Maybe you need some counselling instead of medication. Maybe you need both. Where I live, lots of poeple are getting sick with stomach ailments. It is common this time of year.
• United States
20 Jan 07
There's nothing to be suspicious about. I guess I just feel bad that I kept him up that night and that he had to put away the groceries and cook his own supper. That's the only thing I can see. He wasnt mad about anything except being kept up all night. he's a light sleeper and has to wake up at 4:00 in the morning to be at work for 4:30 he works 5 min from where we live but still, he was upset that I woke him up and I felt bad about all that. Other than that, the meds have started working for the depression i just never thought to check on the anxiety issues with my dr before.
@Jaytech (2251)
20 Jan 07
Anxiety & depression can be caused by the same issues, I tend to get depression problems due to having to deal with acute anxiety constantly. but you need to mention this to your doctor.
@lpetges (3036)
• United States
20 Jan 07
maybe your doctor should change your medication. there are several anxiety mediciations to choose from.,and maybe the both together make it worse for you.
@Jaytech (2251)
20 Jan 07
I had to have an EKG, blood test etc before Christmas due to chest pains, it was more precautionary though because my doctor is well aware of my acute anxiety problems., so I share & understand your grief. Firstly you need to get your husband to understand what you're suffering from, show him some web sites explaining just how awful & unpleasant anxiety & stress is. A problem shared is a problem halved. Try to avoid stimulants as already stated, & try & focus your mind on pleasant & happy things. Lose yourself in things you enjoy to do. When I'm out & about & start to get that edgy feeling that comes before a panic attack I try to distract myself. A good exercise for this for example is looking at car number plates, try n make up words out of the letters. It sounds silly but it can really help. Because the more time you spend focusing on yourself & how you feel the more the anxiety will affect you.
@Jaytech (2251)
20 Jan 07
I meant to ask, when you get these chest pains, do you feel a pounding of your heart, almost like it's going to explode? Also do you get any other symptoms? I ask these questions because I used to volunteer at a self help group for panic attack & anxiety sufferers so I'm quite experienced in this area, plus I'm also a sufferer myself.
@Jaytech (2251)
20 Jan 07
It does sound like palpitations, which is common with anxiety & panic attacks, I hope you've mentioned it to your doctor?
@tictac714 (976)
• United States
20 Jan 07
Well if you have a clean bill of health from the doctor I suppose it could be anxiety alright. Have you had ekg's and whatnot just to be sure? I recommend you try not to get so worked up. Try counting to 10 or taking deep breaths before it escalates to the point of chest pain. Also why not talk to your doctor about adjusting your meds to help the anxiety?
• United States
20 Jan 07
I've had the whole 9 yards ekg, chest xray, stress test all of it. I really don't feel myself getting stressed out or mad that's the problem. I only feel it when the chest pain comes on. I see my dr on the 9th so i'm going to talk to him about it then.
1 person likes this
@budsr03 (2354)
• Canada
20 Jan 07
If you can, don't drink anything accidic and any caffiene. These are only suggestions just to see if they could be part of your anxiety. Take care Tictac714.
1 person likes this
@budsr03 (2354)
• Canada
20 Jan 07
If you can, don't drink anything accidic and any caffiene. These are only suggestions just to see if they could be part of your anxiety. Take care Tictac714.
1 person likes this
@Adderz (66)
20 Jan 07
No its herpes Joking, you'll be fine
• United States
20 Jan 07
oh. Thanks
@Adderz (66)
20 Jan 07
No its herpes
• United States
20 Jan 07
wow! I thought they had found a cure for terminal ignorance! Guess I was wrong.
• Philippines
21 Jan 07
try to undergo stress test,ECG,2decho and also try to undergo angiogram. Angiogram is an invasive procedure but its good to see whats going on inside your heart. Try to read some books about the signs & symptoms of heart diseases.If its what you feel then you have to ask the doctor to see whats on your heart.Heart attack is a disease of old persons before,but now doctors must be more suspicious coz people are dying from heart attack younger.I was even diagnosed having a myocardial injury but most doctors doesnt believe coz im still young.well,they must do studies,coz my mom had her bypass at the age of 45.
• United States
21 Jan 07
From reading your post and the responses, it looks as though your physician has been thorough in searching for possible physical reasons for these 'attacks'. Anxiety and panic attacks can often mimic heart problems, short term stress, aggravated by guilt can intensify these things. You state you are on medication for depression and anxiety but are only receiving relief from the depression...I suggest you talk with your physician about the anxiety medication not working for you as well as you feel it needs to and also check into therapies you can use to help relieve the stress in a more immediate manner. Sadly disorders whether they be short or long term, such as depression and anxiety are not understood by most people as well as such things as heart problems or other physical conditions, making it even more difficult for treatments to be effective as conditions surrounding the sufferer aren't changed to aid in avoiding the triggers which preceed the attacks. Family or couples counseling can help both you and your husband to understand the conditions you appear to suffer and to learn ways to deal with stressful situations which will allow him to express himself without upsetting you to the point an attack occurs. And you to learn ways to deal more effectively with such situations without triggering an attack.
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
21 Jan 07
My mother and I both have anxiety attacks. When I do have them, my chest does hurt a little. And my mom's chest hurts as well when she has these attacks. It kind of feels like someone is stepping on my chest. It always goes away though. Doesn't last long and it only happenes when I'm stressed or have a panic attack. My mom went to see a Doctor when she first started having chest pains and they put her on blood pressure pills and that seems to actually help her. I never been to a Doctor about my problem, I feel I already know what the Doctor will say, but I should go. I hope you figure everything out. Good luck!
• United States
21 Jan 07
It sounds like mitral valve prolapse to me. I would ask your doctor to check you out for it, it can cause a host of problems, including anxiety and depression. I hope you get some answers soon.
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
21 Jan 07
Having chest pains is a possible sign of an anxiety attack as I experienced this myself years ago while working a call center job. I was very stressed out and my chest was hurting and had a hard time breathing as well. You have to find ways to relax and not feel stressed. Exercising daily and eating healthy are two ways of improving your health and reducing stress. You can take a break and go for a brief walk to relax yourself. Drinking water is good for you as well. Make sure you do not spend too much time in your home as it will help clear your mind by being outdoors or outside of your home.
@NancyLobo (681)
• India
21 Jan 07
It can be indigestion and gas. Check it properly with your doctor, check your pressure also, sometimes high blood pressure also. I think you should not eat oily things too much and keep cool and pray. I think you will be better if you do this, consult a good doctor and don't take too much stress try to be happy always.
@Mecboy (1051)
• United States
20 Jan 07
its temporary, some people have it too. Its pain sometimes when you eat. The only thing they said, was the cure was wait, no medicine needed, When you eat sometimes the chunks are too huge, you will have to chew food in to smaller chunks, from what they said.
@shemb1 (465)
• Sri Lanka
20 Jan 07
ok hope this will be work. If you need some aurveda halp please contact me. Because my country has lots of Aurveda treatments and it can inhale anything, but for that we need some treatments to do. If you have target to inhale this , and like to treat in full time staying my country, please contact me. I ll help you.
@TerryZ (22083)
• United States
20 Jan 07
Wow you have it bad. Tell your doctor about the pains in your chest. He can order something for that. Im sure he can. As far as the stress you have to figure something so that you dont get is bad. I feel bad for you. I had a heart attach when I was only 33 years old so I know what chest pains are. Please tell your doctor about it. Hope your feeling better.
@pagli84 (1850)
• Netherlands
20 Jan 07
that sounds pretty scary. i think it probably is panic attacks or something like that. i had an episode like that back in april. it was about 1 1/2 months after my bf (the love of my life) broke up with me and i fell into a really depressed state. i dont know what sparked it, but i was in the computer lab doing some work when i suddenly started having these really severe chest pains. at first, it wasn't too serious but then it started to hurt really bad to the point that i couldnt breathe right and i thought i was gonna pass out. i staggered my way to the bathroom and called my friend to come pick me up. i could feel my heart racing, and i thought i was going to throw up. it hurt so bad, so i called the health center and my friend took me over there. they didnt know what was wrong. they said it was probably a severe panic attack, so they put me on anxiety pills for a bit. they said that it was unlikely it was a heart attack because of my age, but that was a possibility. however, they said that it would be a better idea not to run all the heart tests unless it happened again.
@missyd79 (3438)
• United States
20 Jan 07
it could be anxiety. stress effects everyone so differently. i have one other suggestion for you, have you had your gallbladder checked, because my first experience with gallstones i felt like i was having a heart attack and that someone was sitting on my chest and it lasted only an hour and went away but came back later.