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PLEASE HELP!! Short of breath, heart racing, etc.
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lyns87 posted:
Hello,

I've recently been having a lot of issues so I'll try to quickly and sufficiently summarize them....
Symptoms:
Feeling like I'm not getting enough air
Gasping for air
Feel like my heart is racing
Feels like my heart is skipping beats
Worse at night when I am lying down
Trouble swallowing when I feel short of breath and when I'm eating

Also, I don't know if this helps anything but in the past 7 years or so I've had a few grand maul seizures. Never diagnosed with epilepsy since they never did get a seizure recorded while I was being tested, but they were definitely seizures. Only had about 5 or 6 though over the years not really a huge problem I guess...but it's weird.

Anyway, I just want to know if this is actual anxiety I'm feeling or a more serious heart problem. I definitely feel it throughout the day but it is worse at night for sure. Also it's been increasingly bad the last couple of weeks. I am to the point where I'm afraid to go to bed at night because I know i'll feel that jolt in my chest, have trouble breathing and go into an all out panic. I really feel like my heart is going to stop and I'm going to die. I know it sounds melodramatic but it's scaring the hell out of me. Please help!
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lyns87 responded:
Also, I am a 24 year old female if that helps.
 
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Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
Whenever anyone has symptoms such as you are describing both throughout the day and at night when you try to go to sleep, I know that it's very upsetting and I don't believe you are being melodramatic. You're concerned and that's normal, especially since you had been diagnosed with having had several seizures.


I'm not an M.D., but in view of the fact that they were never able to get a seizure recorded while you were being tested and yet you say you had several of them, I'm wondering if they ever considered that these might be psychogenic in nature. This means that the seizures are brought on by anxiety and there are several very good, well-known medical websites that do address this disorder. You may wish to take a look at them to see what information might be useful to you.


Certainly, the concern you have about going to bed is associated with the symptoms that you have been experiencing when you lie down. This is something that is self-reinforcing because the anticipated symptoms increase your anxiety and it creates a loop which drives the anxiety. The thing that must be done is to help you with breaking that loop. I believe this would be best handled with a cognitive psychologist who is familiar with your type of symptoms.


I'm hoping that you have had a medical checkup recently and that they have not discovered any reason for this problem. As I said, please take a look at the major medical sites or here on WebMD to research psychogenic seizures.


Dr. Farrell
 
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doxielover10 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
Hi,

Sounds like panic attacks, I have them and they sound exactly how you are describing them.

Allison


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