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HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

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Darren1 My real name is Darren, I have HCM and am a VERY active person that loves to exercise.
Darren1
Ventricle
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    mtlieb
    Brave Heart

  • mtlieb
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    Martin,

    I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but please allow me to congratulate you on becoming sober. I am from a large Irish Catholic family, and well, getting drunk has been a favorite pastime of my family's for many many years. It's a hard thing to overcome, and especially inportant to those of us with HCM. You should be applauded for your hard work (and it is) in overcoming the alcohol addiction. I only hope that i can be as successful in my abstinence.

    Take care,

    Jim

    Leave a comment:

  • MartinKennedy
    Junior Contributor

  • MartinKennedy
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    I think you are onto something. I was wondering about this myself...I have anxiety and panic attacks and think that part of the reason my hcm got out of control is that nobody could tell the difference between an anxiety attack and my hcm symptoms. Now that I am sober and on zoloft I am calm enough to know that something is really wrong because I have no anxiety any more. I would guess that there is enough evidence for you to research it. Perhaps one of our polls on this site could ask this question? Lisa is the one to ask.

    Leave a comment:

  • roxann
    Junior Contributor

  • roxann
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    Well, I believe that just not getting enough oxygen to the brain because of HCM is probably just one of the reasons for this kind of thing. If your heart is not pumping efficiently, then obviously there is not sufficient oxygen being distributed throughout the body--the brain. I think it would be interesting if there were more studies done on this. While my husband may have been pre-disposed genetically to some mental health issues--I truly believe that his HOCM was a factor--if not biologically--at least mentally--I'm sure you all can relate. I remember the fear in Chuck's eyes when his palpitations were very severe--having those kind of symptoms day in and day out for years will wear on a person mentally, as well as physically. I don't know--that's just my thoughts this evening. I hope some research can be done on this subject.
    Roxann

    Leave a comment:


  • Cappy
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    I am actually taken some anti-anxiety medication to help. My HCM diagnosis is still relatively new though. My doctors told me it will get easier with time. I hope so.

    Leave a comment:

  • TammyC
    Contributor

  • TammyC
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    For me: As a child I had anxiety attacks and panick attacks but didn't know what was happening to me which of course made them worse. My parents were very old fashioned and believed that not talking about something made it go away. Through the years I've learned to deal with things differently because I'm older and done research on why I feel the way I do sometimes. Whether or not HMC has anything to do with panick attacks is extremely important. What if the pain and suffering of panick attacks and whatever else follows can simply be prevented through screening for HMC???? If the heart isn't pumping properly...Is is possible that not enough serotonin is getting to the brain??? If there is a connection. SO MANY PEOPLE CAN BE HELPED..... I don't know! What do you think?

    Leave a comment:

  • mtlieb
    Brave Heart

  • mtlieb
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    Hi All,

    I guess the answer to my questions earlier in the thread is... all of the above. It seems perfectly logical that someone with HCM could also coincidently have anxiety disorder, and that the two certainly would feed off each other. Looking back now, i don't think i actually did have the disorder at all. My HCM meds have calmed down my heart to the point where frankly i don't seem to get very anxious about anything at all anymore, which has also been bad in a way. I do have to say that the old overclocked ticker used to get me going when things needed to be done. The new and improved, 'calm-hearted' Jim isn't quite as speedy and efficient.

    Thanks

    Jim

    Leave a comment:

  • Bill
    Junior Contributor

  • Bill
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    Some of us are reluctant to discuss anxiety attacks because anxiety attacks usually have a psychological cause -- they result from unreasonable fears. Let's say you suffer from agoraphobia; you leave the safe confines of your home, step outside, are overcome by an unreasonable fear of open spaces and you get a huge adrenaline rush that makes your heart pound, makes you pant and gasp for air, and fills you with terror.

    For some with HCM, your body gets fooled into thinking your heart isn't delivering enough blood, so you get a huge adrenaline rush designed to make your heart work harder. The side effect of that is that your heart pounds, you pant and gasp for air, and you become filled with terror.

    Your body can't differentiate between a PSYCHOLOGICALLY caused adrenaline rush and a PHYSIOLOGICALLY caused adrenaline rush. Anxiety results in either case. But HCMers don't benefit from Valium or counseling (well maybe SOME of us do)...

    :P

    I'm not a doctor and I certainly don't mean to present this explanation as medically accurate. This is just the way I've come to understand my own symptoms.

    Bill

    Leave a comment:

  • Glen Beamish
    Super Contributor

  • Glen Beamish
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    Hi Jim,
    1) Yes, 30 years ago I went to several Cardiologists before being properly diagnosed. They all said I was just suffering from anxiety attacks and that I should go to my GP and get some meds for that
    Actually after I was diagnosed they got worse for awhile.
    2) Personally in my case I don't believe there was an existing anxiety condition, I believe it was brought on by the HCM and the bodies natural response to some thing going wrong. Back then I did not have the experience of knowing what was happening so anxiety came as it pleased, but over the years you learn what to expext and how to handle it and it has been many years since I had an anxiety attack, and yes they do feed off one another.
    3) Yes, I believe so.

    Leave a comment:

  • Darren1
    Ventricle

  • Darren1
    replied
    Posting a Poll?

    Perhaps someone with permission to post polls could create one something like this...


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to HCM, I have had anxiety and/or panic attacks for more than 1 year.

    Yes (I have had anxiety/panic)
    No (no anxiety/panic)
    Not Sure
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Leave a comment:

  • Darren1
    Ventricle

  • Darren1
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    It's a bummer to hear that so many of us have to deal with anxiety as well as HCM! I'm no doctor.. or shrink for that matter. However, I have seen a few of each over the years and think it's difficult to discern anxiety as a symptom of other issues, and as it's own illness. Perhaps some people are predisposed to it while others couldn't get anxious if they fell out of an airplane without a parachute. It is great to hear from all the brave ones who are sharing their experiences with anxiety/HCM. While my first experience with anxiety began durning a VERY stressful time in my life (and perhaps if I was not "wired" such that I am vulnerable to attacks then it would have eventually just gone away), this led to a full blown panic attack during which I was SURE I was having a heart attack. Looking back, I do doubt that I had a problem with my heart (that caused me to panic that day). The ER folks checked my heart and saw nothing abnormal on the monitor. (of course a couple irregular heartbeats caused by HCM just prior to the panic attack could have helped me freak out and increased my anxiety to the point that a panic attack occured). Bills post earlier in this thread describes the circle of anxiety/increased hear rate/more anxiety/even more increase in the hear rate. It doesn't seem like too large a stretch to think that anyone with a problem with their heart could also have it effect their mind (blood flow issues.. less than perfect oxygen supply to the brain..etc). I personally had panic attacks and anxiety YEARS and YEARS before I knew about HCM. I also learned to skydive (with a parachute) during that time in my life (perhaps to try and prove something to myself?). At any rate, I was able to become certified at skydiving but the anxiety persisted and now at 34 years of age, I've learned that I have HCM... go figure (the anxiety/panic has been managed with meds for years now and (thank The Lord) I outgrew skydiving after only 33 jumps). The number of responses to this thread seem indicate some sort of relationship between HCM and anxiety... I think I will start a poll so that anyone who is less than comfortable talking about mental issues can at least anonymously share if they have had any long term problems with anxiety/panic and also have HCM. Thanks again for the comments. Maybe it's my cynical side, but I definety think that the Lord has a sense of humor.. personally, the last person that I'd give a "nervous" disorder would be someone with a bad heart. Such is life, I guess that He just gives the challenges to us because we can handle it! Sorry I got so long winded! Look for the Poll and VOTE.

    -Darren

    Leave a comment:

  • Sarah
    Brave Heart

  • Sarah
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    Dear Roxann,

    I'm glad you have good support around losing Chuck.

    I can't tell you how many times I've had (or heard about) a doctor saying "oh, well, that [clearly not supposed to be that way thing] is normal." Like a lump in your breast, or stabbing pain, or a dilated kidney, or take your pick.

    The worst part is that it just isn't possible to challenge a doctor on every little thing; it is impossible to go back and say, "if onlly we'd known." Well, if we had medical degrees, we might have. Yes, I'm clearly bitter as most of my family is either dead, disabled, or damaged from medical malpractice --and we were seeing "the best" in our area.

    That being said, their are good --and great-- doctors out there and Lisa vets each and every doctor she recommends.

    You have my sympathies; I know a bit about how you feel.

    take care,
    S

    Leave a comment:

  • roxann
    Junior Contributor

  • roxann
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    This is a very complex issue. I do kind of hesitate to talk about this--but, in an effort to help others--I will. My husband suffered from some pretty serious mental issues these last 3 years--even probably the last 6 years. He had started suffering migraines, having disturbing thoughts, depression, anxiety--lots of anxiety. They did a CAT scan after he had some pretty severe migraines--one an ocular one--where he lost his vision for a brief time. They found a "spot" on his brain--they just dismissed it--which bothered me--I mean--that's not normal--right? Anyway--in talking to my son's psychologist--who is helping us deal with Chuck's death--he said "I wonder if he didn't suffer from a physiological breakdown?" There are so many correlations between one health condition and another. I think if you have this condition that you should really be so aggressive in trying to find out what's going on. I look back now--hindsight, you know--and wish I knew then what I know now. Knowledge IS power. Explore every avenue. Best of luck to you all,
    Roxann

    Leave a comment:

  • mtlieb
    Brave Heart

  • mtlieb
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    I agree... this is a great thread!

    Allow me to try and sort this all out in my head. Is it the general concensus that...

    1. Some of us were misdiagnosed with anxiety disorder, when in reality the symptoms we've always experienced (rapid heartrate, etc.) were actually the result of our HCM, and we don't really have anxiety disorder at all? Or...

    2. Does having HCM, and all the wonderful symptoms that go along with it, simply contribute to an already existing anxiety disorder, and the two feed of each other? Or...

    3. Does HCM, by it's very nature, and with all the uncertainties that go along with it, cause anxiety disorder?

    Jim

    Leave a comment:

  • Millie Acosta
    Shy Heart

  • Millie Acosta
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    Well everyone, I learn something knew everytime I'm on this site. Learning has helped me attempt to know what my 10 year old son must feel at times. Since his diagnosis, he is startled, panicky, and anxious at times, and doesn't like to be my himself. We never knew why I just assumed it is attributed to the different medications he takes. He's a child, so clearly he reacts differently than you guys, but he gets palpitations and perhaps more frequent than he lets us know.

    Now, I know that perhaps when he seems panicky/anxious I'll know to ask him if he's having any palpitations. Thanks for the onsight.

    Leave a comment:

  • Glen Beamish
    Super Contributor

  • Glen Beamish
    replied
    Re: HCM, Anxiety and Panic.... Is there a correlation?

    Lisa, I agree, this is probably one of the best threads I've seen here.
    It gets down to the very reason why this site is so valuable to HMCers.
    Many HCMers who do not monitor this site would simply go thru life not relating the two and not realizing once you do know you can work on reducing the anxiety and fear and that you are not the only one experiencing it.
    Thanks Darren.

    Leave a comment:

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