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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: this is tough to get out....

 borninlbc - Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:37 pm

ok .....this is hard to get out...but here it goes..... (deep breath)

This question may sound a bit strange, but im sure you've probably heard worse from other people in the past.

I began having panic & anxiety at the beginning of last year and eventually was able to overcome the panic attacks at least. The first panic attack that i had back in feb of 06' forced me to drive myself to the emergency room and once they had told me it was anxiety, they gave me some xanax and sent me home. This wasnt enough for me and i was very worried that it could be some sort of heart problem because my heart was always racing. I decided to visit a cardiologist and that was a clean bill of health as well. Basically over the past year, i have become extremely paranoid about my health and it seems that no matter how many clean bills of health that i get,my mind races and races to find something to obsess over. My panic attacks are now over, however my obsession is another story. It seems as though my panic/anxiety has somehow manifested itself into "what if" thinking and obsessing all the time.

Just recently, i started thinking back to my trip to the cardiologist and suddenly realized that prior to my heart exams that they performed on me, i took a xanax pill just so i wouldnt be as anxious before going to see him. Then i started to think "what if" you're not suppose to be on anti-anxiety medication(xanax) while having these heart tests performed, and "what if" the only reason that my tests came back normal was because i was on xanax??!! For some reason i was too nervous to call the cardiologist and ask him, and ironically my dad bumped into another cardiologist a few weeks later and he got his card and gave it to me. His email address was on the card, so I decided to email him and ask him if xanax would have any effect on the results of my heart tests. He replied a few days later and he said that xanax would NOT have any effect on the results of my heart tests. This eased my mind until i noticed a typo in the question that i had emailed him. I spelled the word "received" incorrectly. I accidently typed "recieved" instead (putting the "I" before the "E")....Now i know this may sound funny to most, but for some reason this really bothered me and i started thinking "what if" xanax really DOES have an effect on these heart tests and "what if" this doctor that i emailed is lying to me because i spelled the word "received" incorrectly....

I know that this may sound rather silly, but believe it or not, it is giving me intense anxiety and i cant stop obsessing about that email i sent him. I wish that i could obsess over something positive and productive, but i need to know if this "what if" thought that i am obsessing over (THE EMAIL THAT I SENT TO THE CARDIOLOGIST) is rational or not....also, what are your thoughts about this obsessive thought? is it rational? does it make any sense? etc etc....

i apologize for the length of this email, but i felt i had to tell you in as much detail as possible....thank you for your time!
 jrlpc - Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:28 pm


First off, don't think that your post is anything awful. I've heard this sort of thing hundreds of times and it is by FAR nothing strange to some of the things I've take a deep breath and relax :)

Let me start with the email you sent to the cardiologist first. I am 100% sure that the doctor is not lying to you because of a typo. There would be LOTS of things ethically wrong with that. If the doctor said xanax wouldn't affect your test results, then won't alter the results. However, if you are really questioning that, then you could always go get a second opinion elsewhere from another cardiologist.

As for your anxiety and panic attacks. How often do they occur? Is there anything in particular that seems to trigger them? If you can keep an ongoing record (either mentally or on paper) of what you are doing or what you have been doing earlier in the day when they happen, you might be able to find a trend in what is causing them. A lot of times panic/anxiety attacks are mistaken for heart attacks because of the symptoms that go along with panic attacks.

Is there anything in particular that is causing you to obsess about health related issues? Has anyone close to you been sick and/or died recently? Sometimes that is a big trigger for people.

I strongly suggest setting up an appointment with your general practice doctor or a psychiatrist to help get you more stable. Also, therapy can be a big help as a therapist can help you find out what might be causing you to have these problems and then come up with coping mechanisms for it.

As for rational vs. irrational. In the therapy world, well...everyone has their own reality and if this is something that is bothering you, then it is rational to you. It does make sense in the fact that a lot of people obsess about different things all the time. However, it is obviously causing a disruption in your functioning and making you unnecessarily panic even more. Therefore, I STRONGLY suggest you seek medical advice as soon as possible.

As always, if you feel you are having an emergency and may be in trouble, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Please come back and let us know how it goes.
 borninlbc - Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:49 pm

well.....since the email that i sent to the random cardiologist, i have also faxed over the same question regarding xanax and its effect on my heart tests to the original heart doctor that performed the tests on me and he also said xanax is ok to take while having these tests performed.....the tests that i am referring to are the echocardiogram and stress test & stress echo.....

in your professional opinion, do you think that me obsessing over a typo and worrying that a doctor would lie to me because of that typo is rational or not..??

what kind of mental symptom is this???
 jrlpc - Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:44 am

Hi again,

Obsessing about anything can be really hard on a person physically and mentally. I really don't think that this is a matter of being rational or irrational, but really a matter of what it is doing to you.

People obsessing about things can be from a variety of mental illnesses, most commonly OCD or anxiety. I really suggest you seek professional help as soon as possible in attempts to stop this from happening.

Take care and please let us know what happens.

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