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Has anyone out there experienced skipping or paused heartbeats?
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An_247744 posted:
Hello everyone,
I'm new to this community and have been suffering from Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia for almost 2 years now. I have been in CBT treatment without meds for about a year. I am 31 yrs old, and my panic is bad enough that I had to quit my job; I also don't drive. I have never been able to solve one question or even find anyone else who has experienced this, and I believe it is imperative for me to understand this symptom in order to rid myself of this. I have "skipped" heartbeats (it feels like there is a pause in my normal heart rhythm and can be felt in my chest and in my wrist if you take my pulse) which have been confirmed by a cardiologist through a 24 hour monitor. She has stated numerous times that this pause is nothing related to my heart. My question is, has anyone else out there had this symptom? This symptom alone is responsible for my panic because it is a very uncomfortable feeling. Does anyone know what exactly it is that causes this to happen? It happens all day every day, out of the blue and is extremely strong when I'm experiencing panic. I just want to know that it will eventually go away. Any advice is welcome and appreciated.
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Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
The skipped beat can be indicative of stress and I have known individuals who were executives and under a great deal of pressure even though they thought they were handling it well. The remedy was some exercise, meditation and a brief stint in CBT. No meds needed and it went away.

It is usually felt as a skipped pulse beat and I have felt it in patients who complained of it.

The remedy would seem lifestyle changes and you and your CBT therapist should be working on this.
 
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An_247744 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
Thank you for your help, Dr. Farrell! I would definitely agree that stress is a factor for me (I have two kids, enough said)...I actually do aerobics and/or yoga almost every day and I eat very healthy and it doesn't seem to change anything...Everyone keeps telling me that it's related to the panic disorder. Do you happen to know what it is that is causing this, i.e. a chemical released in the brain or something on that order? The skipping has been there for almost 2 years, so I'm beginning to feel hopeless, and that I just have to learn to live with it....It's very frustrating that nothing I've done has helped...
 
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Patricia Farrell, PhD replied to An_247744's response:
It must be frustrating for you. When you say "everyone keeping telling me that it's related to the panic disorder", to whom are you referring; friends or healthcare professionals?

Despite the fact that you are doing yoga and eating well, that may not be addressing the stress from things in your home. So, there may be things that you are either not able to change much, or never realized were affecting you. Give it some thought.

Yes, there is a brain hormone that can bring on panic attacks, but I don't think it brings on skipped beats. The brain hormone is orexin.

Dr. Farrell
 
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JenH38 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
I was referring to healthcare professionals (cardiologist and therapist) telling me that it's related to the panic disorder. My cardiologist mentioned that when she read my 24 hour monitor results, what she was seeing was the kind of result that someone would have if they were running around a track. Could adrenaline have anything to do with it?

This is the symptom that started my panic attacks that led to the disorder in the first place, so I don't think I will ever be able to just ignore it until I fully understand it. Could this end up being harmful if it doesn't go away? It's literally there all of the time, whether I'm stressed, in an active panic attack (much, much worse in this instance) or sitting relaxing. It's a very frightening feeling, and I feel like I could make so much more progress with the CBT and agoraphobia if I knew for certain that it wasn't something that could be harmful.

Thank you so much for your help,
Jennifer
 
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Anon_163882 replied to JenH38's response:
Hello Jenifer; I hope it's ok 2 reply in regards 2 Ur discussion.Happy 2 hear that U're coping w/ professional help.I'm a homeopathic First N Foremost.I use professional opinions 2 gain perspective N understanding of that which I'd like 2 change N the thing that changed I want reversed.Been this way since early yrs as I come from a camp of where there's a WILL there's a way.The way isn't always 1 I like.But the opportunity of choice puts ME in charge again...Even if I've gotta change what I want or feel I need.All that in mind I'll offer U this:certainly tooo much of anything can B harmful- consider aromatherapy the scent of lavender causes a calming effect chemically in the body, low tones can change a heart rate; it's medically in practice this yr!The sound of a slow drum beat in the back ground of Ur day can actually cause calm 2 occur, w/children I luv the 2yr olds- but I use them as a tool in MY day when possible.Try asking them 2 play a game w/ ya... C how long U all can all move in slow motion, speak in slow motion N the like.Do ya kno that U can cause a chemical change in the brain w/ regards 2 emotion just by using cold water on Ur face... hence the phrase: "Take a cold shower." Our mind N body (listed separately as they can function independently) R amazing!Learn more N I suspect U'll feel more in control.Stick w/ the professionals but remember they're R others whom have experience N knowledge mayB U've learned all ya can from the ppl U've hired N need new ppl.Curious have ya had a dietician or Ur thyroid checked?A functioning brain scan?Possibly the imbalance in the physical U can B targeted- NOT treated. ;}
 
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Patricia Farrell, PhD replied to JenH38's response:
I'm not an MD and I think the cardiologist has to figure this one out and provide some answers to you.
 
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sickofsick52 responded:
Big YES! I"ve had anixity for 12 years and my heart drives
me mad. Years ago I had value prolaspe so I had the test done
to rule that out. Dr said my heart didn't rest like it's suppose to but it's fine. I said, you think? It's worse when I lay down to sleep. When you are aware of you're heartbeat you know it's acting up. You can have a perfectly healthy heart, but anixity makes it act up. If I do anything that requires a little strengh it goes into what feels like heart failure, but it's not. Feels like the bbloods not flowing. I have steady anxity. At times I'll have attacks where I shake bad & can't really control myself. Just take deep breaths, let it out very slow. This slows down the heart. It's one of those wonderful things that anxity does to the body. It's like working out, without working out.
 
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sickofsick52 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
It is part of anixity disorder. Anyone that has had it for quite some time knows it very well. It has nothing to do with stress etc. I've had stressful jobs, I was calm at home. this is all anixity related. It's a package deal
 
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Patricia Farrell, PhD replied to sickofsick52's response:
Thanks for your input, but stress has been well-documented as a cause of skipped beats.


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