Feeling Alone w/ Anxiety, Depression + Unexplained Chest Pain

Posted by kaitlynottum @kaitlynottum, Mar 14, 2021

Hi, my name is Kaitlyn, I’m 27 years old and lately it’s been feeling like I’ve been struggling, I have a therapist I talk to and I have some support from my family but sometimes my symptoms are too much. I’ve been having a lot of chest pain, it goes to my back and in my arm and I’ve been to the ER several times this month alone feeling like I’m going to have a heart attack or some kind of heart thing happen. Every single test they’ve done, they find nothing at all and of course that’s reassuring but then I got home and the pain came back and came on worse, I’ve tried talking to my aunt about it but she gets angry with me when I bring up my chest pain and my palpitations because I’ve been to the hospital so much for it and they’ve never found anything.

I had my first cardiac cath done when I was eighteen and it’s been an on going problem since then. I have had CT’s, scopes done on my esophagus, a few echos, a ton of EKG’s, event monitors, holter monitors, lots of blood work ups and a lot of x-rays as well. Every time I go to the ER they always come back normal, nothing is ever wrong which don’t get me wrong I’m thankful for but then again it’s frustrating not to know why I’m in constant pain every single day and why sometimes it gets worse and why it changes. Cardiologists always tell me I’m too young, I have risk facts like obesity, HBP, diabetes but they continue to tell me they think I’m too young. I’ve been on several pain medications that don’t help with this pain and I’m on several medications now to help with the HBP, cholesterol and my anxiety, have been on so many different ones since I was 13. I don’t know if this pain is my anxiety manifesting itself like people have told me but I’m scared and I feel like I have nobody right now. I have been diagnosed with chronic anxiety, severe depression, panic disorder and a few other things.

Sorry if this post was triggering for some, I just feel like I could use people who can relate.

Thank you.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

Hello @kaitlynottum and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You are so brave to reach out and seek support, outside of the support you already do have, especially when you feel like you need more tonight. I am sorry you are going through this and feeling alone on top of that.

First, let's get you connected to other members who may be able to share their experiences and provide you with some much needed support. Members like @kimcvi @led and @nla4625 are all members who have recently been discussing depression in another discussion.

That said, and while we wait for others to join, you will notice that I have updated the title of your post to share more about your symptoms and also included it in the Heart Rhythm Conditions Group to allow more members to connect with you.

In the meantime, do you happen to live alone or with family/friends? What type of support seems to help you most when you are feeling alone?

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@kaitlynottum I'm sorry that you feel alone. "Chronic anxiety, severe depression, panic disorder and a few other things," has to be a lot to handle.

What I'm hearing is that you have sought adequate medical care but your symptoms still persist. It sounds like your medical providers are telling you that your symptoms are anxiety. You said that you see a therapist. May I ask what the level of therapy is? Are you seeing this person outpatient?

If you are already not doing so, likely you need more acute (intense) care for your anxiety. Anxiety often manifests into debilitating physical symptoms, this is especially true for women.

Has residential treatment center, partial hospitalization, or biofeedback even been suggested to you?

You haven't talk about the origins of your anxiety. Do you have extensive trauma history and an unstable childhood? Have you ever done trauma work such as Trauma Focused CBT or EMDR?

It sounds like you have supports but they don't know how to help and you need additional support to help get the treatment necessary. You are still a young woman. Getting your mental health under control, sooner rather than later, is extremely important. You need help.

May I ask if you are you at all connected with your local county? May I ask if you have an adult mental health case manager? If you do not have an adult case manager, you may wish to contact your local county and request one. These individuals will assess your situation and help coordinate your care.

Below I have linked information on the State of Minnesota and ARMS workers (mental health case managers).
– Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services (ARMHS) https://www.dhs.state.mn.us/main/idcplg

Is this something you are currently utilizing, and if not, would this be something you'd consider?

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@kaitlynottum Just checking back. How are things?

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Hi Kaitlyn,
I know exactly how you feel. I’ve had chest pain, chest sensations, headaches, blood pressure spikes, and heart rhythm issues since having to wear a mask. It gets dismissed by doctors and nurses; and at this point, they basically tell me to stay home and die because they won’t see you if you can’t wear a mask. It’s awful to experience scary physical symptoms and get dismissed. Prior to the mask requirements, I had a lot of aches and pains and things that affected my blood pressure, and I was pre-diabetes. Plus I had fluctuations in thyroid. But, I stopped eating sugar, dairy, and wheat. I first went on a healthy keto diet which was lots of vegetables and healthy protein with olive oil and coconut oil. I lost weight really easily, and I wasn’t hungry. It was surprising because for 20 years, I had tried different diets, but I couldn’t lose the weight. Anyway, after a few months I started having heart palpitations, so I added in a little fruit and wild rice. I stopped losing weight at the same rate, it was much slower, but the palpitations stopped. As far as diet, I remember one time I ate some Sees candy, and I had horrible symptoms. My heart raced, my blood pressure spiked, I couldn’t sleep, and I had a horrible time with breathing. It was very scary. I went to emergency, but they couldn’t find anything to explain it. But, since I made the dietary changes, it’s never happened again. I’m sorry for what you are going through. I hope this helps. Bambi

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Hi Everyone,
I've struggled with anxiety, depression, and other various mental illnesses since I was just a little one (9 or 10 I would say) and as I got older my obsessive thoughts about my health got to the point where my doctors had to put in a treatment plan at the ER and recently it's gotten bad again. I've been having frequent episodes of dizziness and chest pain, I've had so many extensive tests done and blood work, several hundreds of EKG's and many workups, everything is a hundred percent normal on every single test and recently I've been having a lot more pain and I feel like I'm going insane and I'm afraid every doctor thinks that way too and most of the time I feel like they don't believe me anymore and even my own family is starting to tell me I'm just crazy, that I'm making this all up but I know it's all real because I can feel the pain but I have no idea what to do, it's like my anxiety and mind don't wanna believe any of my doctors or any of the test results. Am I alone in this?

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@kaitlynottum

Hi Everyone,
I've struggled with anxiety, depression, and other various mental illnesses since I was just a little one (9 or 10 I would say) and as I got older my obsessive thoughts about my health got to the point where my doctors had to put in a treatment plan at the ER and recently it's gotten bad again. I've been having frequent episodes of dizziness and chest pain, I've had so many extensive tests done and blood work, several hundreds of EKG's and many workups, everything is a hundred percent normal on every single test and recently I've been having a lot more pain and I feel like I'm going insane and I'm afraid every doctor thinks that way too and most of the time I feel like they don't believe me anymore and even my own family is starting to tell me I'm just crazy, that I'm making this all up but I know it's all real because I can feel the pain but I have no idea what to do, it's like my anxiety and mind don't wanna believe any of my doctors or any of the test results. Am I alone in this?

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Hello @kaitlynottum and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am really sorry that your reality is not understood by those around you and that you are going through this to begin with. I am sure you are both scared and frustrated.

As a way to get a better picture about your past and present, are you willing to share what medications, if any, you are taking? Also, can you better describe your pain in terms of where you feel it and if it is a muscle, bone, and/or nerve type pain?

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@kaitlynottum

Hi Everyone,
I've struggled with anxiety, depression, and other various mental illnesses since I was just a little one (9 or 10 I would say) and as I got older my obsessive thoughts about my health got to the point where my doctors had to put in a treatment plan at the ER and recently it's gotten bad again. I've been having frequent episodes of dizziness and chest pain, I've had so many extensive tests done and blood work, several hundreds of EKG's and many workups, everything is a hundred percent normal on every single test and recently I've been having a lot more pain and I feel like I'm going insane and I'm afraid every doctor thinks that way too and most of the time I feel like they don't believe me anymore and even my own family is starting to tell me I'm just crazy, that I'm making this all up but I know it's all real because I can feel the pain but I have no idea what to do, it's like my anxiety and mind don't wanna believe any of my doctors or any of the test results. Am I alone in this?

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I have had major depression to since I was age 7. I suffered a lot through most of my years but they really exploded when my fiancé died when I was 20 years old. After that I suffered a lot of losses like deaths of relatives. But I did not want to go and see a psychiatrist because I was fearful. I was afraid I would be locked up in the institution. My continued suffering for about 10 years and lost many jobs due to my lack of functioning which only made me feel worse. What I did not know is that there was real help for me and it did not involve going to an institution. What I needed was therapy and medication. The therapy gave me a lot of relief. The medication also gave me a lot of relief. If you have not seen a psychiatrist I hope you will. And if you saw one but did not like the person then go to another. I began treatment in 1983 but today many psychiatrist only do medication management. If you find one that does the talk therapy and medication that is the best of all worlds.But if the person does medication management only then you will need that and also go to a psychologist. If you do not have insurance, find a way to pay for it even if you have to borrow money. Otherwise you may continue to suffer for the rest of your life. Emotional suffering can be worse than physical suffering. And if you do not have insurance like I said, after treatment you will be Far more functional and productive and able to pay that money back.

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@kaitlynottum

Hi Everyone,
I've struggled with anxiety, depression, and other various mental illnesses since I was just a little one (9 or 10 I would say) and as I got older my obsessive thoughts about my health got to the point where my doctors had to put in a treatment plan at the ER and recently it's gotten bad again. I've been having frequent episodes of dizziness and chest pain, I've had so many extensive tests done and blood work, several hundreds of EKG's and many workups, everything is a hundred percent normal on every single test and recently I've been having a lot more pain and I feel like I'm going insane and I'm afraid every doctor thinks that way too and most of the time I feel like they don't believe me anymore and even my own family is starting to tell me I'm just crazy, that I'm making this all up but I know it's all real because I can feel the pain but I have no idea what to do, it's like my anxiety and mind don't wanna believe any of my doctors or any of the test results. Am I alone in this?

Jump to this post

I honestly feel like I'm going crazy sometimes with anxiety and panic attacks, nothing feels like it's helping and no matter what advice I take from my therapist I still constantly have fear. I have chest pain constantly and have had many, many, many trips to the ER and cardiologist and several tests done and things to rule out my heart but no matter what I always feel like it is my heart and I have these impending doom thoughts and sometimes I get so scared of the pain that I can't sleep or am afraid to sleep and it's getting to the point when I go to ER with these symptoms, they do an EKG and tell me I'm fine, sending me home, sometimes blood work is done but not always. I've been to several ER departments trying to find out if there is any cause but any of them tell me everything is normal and to follow up with my PCP but they can't even tell me what it could be. I feel like a lost cause sometimes. I just have no idea what to do anymore with these feelings. I just wish I could go one day without feeling this pain or feeling like something awful is going to happen to me. I really hope I don't sound like a maniac.

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@kaitlynottum

I honestly feel like I'm going crazy sometimes with anxiety and panic attacks, nothing feels like it's helping and no matter what advice I take from my therapist I still constantly have fear. I have chest pain constantly and have had many, many, many trips to the ER and cardiologist and several tests done and things to rule out my heart but no matter what I always feel like it is my heart and I have these impending doom thoughts and sometimes I get so scared of the pain that I can't sleep or am afraid to sleep and it's getting to the point when I go to ER with these symptoms, they do an EKG and tell me I'm fine, sending me home, sometimes blood work is done but not always. I've been to several ER departments trying to find out if there is any cause but any of them tell me everything is normal and to follow up with my PCP but they can't even tell me what it could be. I feel like a lost cause sometimes. I just have no idea what to do anymore with these feelings. I just wish I could go one day without feeling this pain or feeling like something awful is going to happen to me. I really hope I don't sound like a maniac.

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Hello @kaitlynottum. Feeling like this has to be all-consuming at times. I am sorry you are dealing with these feelings. I have a few questions to get started and so that I may connect you with others who may be able to understand as well.

Have you followed up with your PCP post-ER visits?
Are you under a good amount of stress regularly?

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@kaitlynottum

I honestly feel like I'm going crazy sometimes with anxiety and panic attacks, nothing feels like it's helping and no matter what advice I take from my therapist I still constantly have fear. I have chest pain constantly and have had many, many, many trips to the ER and cardiologist and several tests done and things to rule out my heart but no matter what I always feel like it is my heart and I have these impending doom thoughts and sometimes I get so scared of the pain that I can't sleep or am afraid to sleep and it's getting to the point when I go to ER with these symptoms, they do an EKG and tell me I'm fine, sending me home, sometimes blood work is done but not always. I've been to several ER departments trying to find out if there is any cause but any of them tell me everything is normal and to follow up with my PCP but they can't even tell me what it could be. I feel like a lost cause sometimes. I just have no idea what to do anymore with these feelings. I just wish I could go one day without feeling this pain or feeling like something awful is going to happen to me. I really hope I don't sound like a maniac.

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Have you tried anti depressants that help anxiety?Also have they prescribed Klonopin or Xanax for to use only in a panic attack. My psychiatrist prescribes Zoloft and Klonopin. The Klonpin is a small strength to get me through.

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@kaitlynottum

I honestly feel like I'm going crazy sometimes with anxiety and panic attacks, nothing feels like it's helping and no matter what advice I take from my therapist I still constantly have fear. I have chest pain constantly and have had many, many, many trips to the ER and cardiologist and several tests done and things to rule out my heart but no matter what I always feel like it is my heart and I have these impending doom thoughts and sometimes I get so scared of the pain that I can't sleep or am afraid to sleep and it's getting to the point when I go to ER with these symptoms, they do an EKG and tell me I'm fine, sending me home, sometimes blood work is done but not always. I've been to several ER departments trying to find out if there is any cause but any of them tell me everything is normal and to follow up with my PCP but they can't even tell me what it could be. I feel like a lost cause sometimes. I just have no idea what to do anymore with these feelings. I just wish I could go one day without feeling this pain or feeling like something awful is going to happen to me. I really hope I don't sound like a maniac.

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You probably have “health anxiety disorder” which used to be called Hypochondria.” It can be a very scary disorder. There are several good meds for your anxiety. Please see your Dr. and don’t go to the emergency room. You can overcome this feeling….you are in good health…really.

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@dianecostella

Have you tried anti depressants that help anxiety?Also have they prescribed Klonopin or Xanax for to use only in a panic attack. My psychiatrist prescribes Zoloft and Klonopin. The Klonpin is a small strength to get me through.

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I use the same 2 to help me.

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