Irregular Heartbeat and Anxiety

Therapy Couseling for Generalized Anxiety, OCD, Hoarding, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia, PTSD, Post-partum Anxiety, Social Anxiety
Panic Disorder, Hoarding, OCD, PTSD, Social Anxiety, Post-partum Anxiety, Phobias, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia, Fear, Stress

Those experiencing an irregular heartbeat should first be checked by a medical doctor to rule-out any heart-related problems or other medical conditions.

An irregular heart beat is not necessarily something to be concerned about and fairly common. All types of arrhythmias occur in healthy people, and a recent study by Dr. Harold Kennedy in The New England Journal of Medicine found that healthy people with frequent and complex irregular heart arrhythmias are at no more risk of physical ailments than the average population.

Many times, those with an irregular heartbeat may not even know of its existence until a physician informs them. For anxiety sufferers, however, an irregular heartbeat is a symptom they are very aware of and a common complaint. It may not actually be that anxiety sufferers have a higher rate of irregular heartbeat but that anxiety sufferers are more aware of its occurrence. Many with anxiety problems tend to have a heightened sensitivity to feelings in their body (heart beat, breathing, hot/cold, dizziness, etc.) and, as a result, are more likely to end up in the doctor's office or emergency room with complaints of anxiety-related symptoms.

Having acute anxiety can be such an intense and sometimes terrifying experience, similar to trauma, to which our body may develop an acute awarenses to anything associated with its occurrence (racing heart, shortness of breath, etc.). Hence, the condition of anxiety has the ability to cloud our judgment of the severity of these symptoms (thinking we're having a heart attack, feeling like we're out of control or going to die, etc.).

The irregular heartbeat is a real, physical symptom, but the debilitating fear and apprehension some experience as a result should be recognized as a psychological response. Those individuals that have ruled-out any medical condition may benefit from deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation to help their body and mind counteract the stress response.

 

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