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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Heart "problems" or anxiety?

 mahart - Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:16 am

For the last few months I was having some heart "problems". I put problems in quotations because I am now pretty positive it is just anxiety problems. Anyway about four or five times since then I have awoken from sleep and had hallucinations. Just a shape sort of floating somewhere in the room. It fades away after a few seconds but I don't know what to make of it. It is more vivid than just a spot in my vision or anything like that. I don't get any other hallucinations or anything so I don't think I'm totally bonkers. Also I should note that the first 2 or 3 times it happened I woke up having an anxiety attack. I am not on any medication and this has never happened before. Any thoughts or help would be appreciated especially from a doctor.
 Shannon Morgan, CMA - Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:54 pm

User avatar If you are having any heart irregularities, it's best to get that checked out first, to rule out any physical problems. Also it would be a good idea to see your GP or internist regarding any anxiety; thyroid problems can cause palpitations and anxiety, so you will need a blood test, plus a routine chemistry,CBC and whatever else he thinks necessary. He will also do an ECG when you are there to look at your heart function.

If all physical problems are ruled out; it is probably anxiety and your doctor or a psychiatrist can treat you for that as well.

In the meantime, these are some things you can do to reduce anxiety/stress and probably any palpitations you are having.

Avoid caffeine, tobacco, sugar and alcohol; they make anxiety and palpitations worse, and alcohol will cause you to wake in the middle of the night.

Exercise every day at least 20 minutes; gives a feeling of well being, you'll sleep better too.

Get at least 8 hours of sleep, when you're rested you function better physically and mentally.
 mahart - Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:20 pm

I should have said so before but I did have blood tests and they ruled out thyroid problems. They gave me an EKG and that was normal. The only irregularity in my blood test was high bilirubin which my doctor wasn't too concerned about. I don't smoke, I almost never drink, I don't drink caffeine, and I don't eat much sugar. Anyway can these hallucinations be brought on by stress and anxiety. As I said it only happens when I awaken from sleep and it is always a sort of startling awakening. It only happens within an hour or so of going to sleep so I am not in deep sleep yet. I don't really freak out from it anymore but it happened again a few nights ago and I wanted to know what it meant.
 Shannon Morgan, CMA - Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:30 pm

User avatar Hallucinations (seeing shadows) can occur when you are not getting enough sleep regularly (less than 7-8 hours every night) combined with stress and anxieties. In addition to already having panic attacks waking you at night, you really should see a psychiatrist to get an accurate diagnosis of your problem and the most effective way to treat it.

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