Phobia taking blood pressure

by Jim

I have this problem taking my blood pressure. It's not just white coat syndrome, I have the phobia and fear when I am home and trying to take it. When my BP is taken, I go into a panic and the reading shoots up very high which causes additional fear and panic. I obsess about this night and day, to the point of panic when just thinking about taking my BP. My Dr. wants a record from home to be more relaxed but to no avail. I keep cancelling Dr's appointments because of the panic and extreme stress this causes. Diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder. I have tried many, many meds. which have not helped, just added side effects. I have had this problem for about twenty years and would like to find relief and peace. Maybe someone could give some suggestions. Seeing a therapist and psychiatrist but little progress......thanks....Jim


Phobias like this are more common than you may think. It can be really frustrating because the more you try to talk yourself out of becoming anxious, the more anxious you become.

Below are some relaxation exercises that might help because they involve re-training the body to respond differently. It takes most people a few weeks of daily practice to start to notice results.

I hope this helps!

Relaxation for Coping with Panic

Retraining the Amygdala


Biofeedback Therapy Relaxation

Deal with Squeamishness

Comments for Phobia taking blood pressure

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Oct 07, 2014
BP Phobia
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem. You are not alone. My thinking is ...I expect the BP to be high and it is. I can bring it down by continuing to take pressures until it comes down. But I also have tried various things and they don't work. It may be a deep seated fear of having a heart attack because of high BP for me. A doc now is trying to lower my TSH with westhroid. A high TSH (>3.0) can cause anxiety. Do a little research and you can see the best TSH values.

Oct 09, 2014
Me too
by: Trevor

Same here. The phobia is coupled with guilt. I've had it for 30 years and have recently decided to get anti-deps to deal with the anxiety.
I've meditated all my life and have found benefits in many areas but sadly not this one.

Oct 17, 2014
Same here
by: Anonymous

Seriously... I just think this stupid machine can make or break my day. If I could just get one good reading my day would be awesome! BIt I can't make it through the cuff filling up, I hit cancel. IF I don't hit cancel and it the cuffs stop to check my pulse and need to keep filling becausey BP is so high... I freak!!! How do I get over this? How can I get this fixed now!

Dec 22, 2014
blood pressure
by: Robbie

Nobody enjoys the idea of visiting a doctor. Studies suggest that your anxiousness levels can be a vital role in your systolic blood pressure rise. For some people it could be a difficult task to conquer the fear of blood pressure.


Robbie: EHR solutions

Jan 21, 2015
Same problem
by: Anonymous

Same problem here. I take my blood pressure lying in bed and try to relax as much as possible.
My doctor said that there is no big difference in pressure level if I sit on chair or lie in bed.
Its easier to relax in bed and pressure is lower.
The first measurement is always very high and take it many times to get it low.

Feb 08, 2015
Thought of high blood pressure can control my whole day.
by: Anonymous

I used to be able to take my bp at home and get good enough results. But just recently my fear is effecting those readings too. I just took apart my 13 yr old monitor to see if I could find something wrong with it. I saw no burnt wirings, BUT the delete instructions for the memory of readings would not make those readings delete. So I am hoping that means the machine is not working for bp readings, correctly, either. I do have some medical proof that I shouldn't have high blood pressure. Two years ago they did an echo and the tech told me it looked like the heart of a 16 yr old. (I am 66.)
I listen to relaxation tapes, which I love. I also just tried hypnotism but I am afraid that a quick fix like that wouldn't work and it didn't. It is so good to hear from others. This is a very lonely problem to have.

Feb 09, 2015
Me too!
by: Lynn

I have just found your website by chance. It is such a relief to find others with exactly the same, irrational, problem that I have re taking my BP. The problem is that it is so high when taken at the surgery that I am taking meds for high BP that I may not need. The problem is getting worse, but just knowing that I am not alone is a great help!

I won't give up and I am starting on a course of therapy soon. The best I feel is after doing a circuits class - when, bizaarely, my BP is probably at its highest. However, after physical exercise I feel more relaxed.

Feb 09, 2015
BP Phobics Group?
by: Anonymous

I am wondering if anyone is from the Chicago area. Maybe we could get together for more support? I used to be able to go to a group for phobics about 20 yrs. ago, but that is no longer available.

Feb 10, 2015
more relaxed
by: Anonymous

I feel more relaxed when I keep the Bible on Psalm 91 next to me while taking my bloodpressure. Take it a few times. Mine sometimes was high because of that fear, but I learned that God will protect me

Feb 10, 2015
So glad I'm Not Alone
by: Anonymous

It is so good to know that I'm not alone! I've been taking medication for High Blood pressure most of my adult life and started monitoring my BP at home over 30 years ago. Ive always had "white coat syndrome", so being able to bring my home readings to my doctor was a great help to her in adjusting my meds. Then, about three years ago I started having a phobia about taking my BP at home. I'm also prone to anxiety attacks and after getting a really high reading on my home BP monitor, I freaked out. Now I'm afraid to take my BP at home. I know it's not logical but it true. I am so glad I found this website. It's helped tremendously to know that I'm not alone and that I'm not crazy. Here's hoping we all get over (or get control over) this phobia soon.

Feb 13, 2015
What helps?
by: kb801

I am exactly like everyone here so i won't repeat - I just cancelled a dr's appointment for the same reason - I think finding the right doctor can make a huge difference. Also, to get the publics attention there has been a campaign to make everyone aware of high BP and I think often it is overdone and creates an anxiety that even minor increases are dangerous - they are not from what I've read. Your body can take rises to 200+/100+ and more without damage, and even then it takes time and you have time to treat it.

President Roosevelt finally died from it but he had readings of 250/150 for the last six months before it killed him. He went 4 years with averages around 195/110.

I'll try to find articles on this but its hard. If others can as well, please share.

The medical industry would cringe at what Im saying here because they are so afraid that people will think HBP is ok - its not.

But we have the reverse problem - we are way OVER afraid of it as it has become a phobia - I've pretty much had it all my life.

Keep in touch everyone! K

Feb 14, 2015
Contact Me
by: Anonymous

If anyone wants to directly contact me, so we can support each other with this despicable situation, please email me: [email protected]

Feb 16, 2015
Same here
by: Anonymous

I have white coat syndrome and like many who have posted here am now afraid of taking it at home. I can't even stand the sound it makes as the cuff inflates around my arm. I am 29 and have had GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) for 10 years.

Feb 16, 2015
Phobia Help
by: kb801

I have a doctors appointment tomorrow - wish me luck - I told him last time that I've always had this phobia and he was okay with it but every time I think about it I want to cancel the appointment but I need it for other reasons - I bought a book that at least helps some called "Master your Panic" and take back your life by Denise Beckfield - Its for panic disorder and situational phobia, which is what we have.

I read an article about WCH which indicated a study that deep breathing can bring your BP down if you have WCH, and it seems not to work for people who don't have it-among other things this book teaches deep breathing techniques, ways to stop "catastrophe" type thinking and more. It has helped me some at home to take it and reduce the fear.

Feb 19, 2015
Blood Pressure Phobia
by: Anonymous

I'm so glad that I'm not alone here...thanks to all of you for sharing your fears of having your blood pressure taken. I am 38 and have anxiety and panic attacks quite often and it appears most of my anxiousness comes from the dumb blood pressure machine. If I just look at it or think about having it taken, I can feel my blood pressure rising. It's very frustrating! I see a psychologist for my anxiety and panic disorder, and we are going to be working on this issue next week. I'll let everyone know what I find out.... Here's to a low blood pressure reading! Maybe we should all get together and practice on keeping it low! Lol....

Feb 19, 2015
Blood Pressure Phobia
by: Anonymous

I'm glad to see that I'm not alone with the blood pressure issue! I too dread going to the doctor just because of the blood pressure machine. I never think about anything negative coming out of my doctor's appointment, but a high blood pressure reading. It's frustrating! At 38 years old, I fear the worse about that dumb machine and would like to cancel my appointment too. I have been experiencing anxiety and panic disorder most of my life...some years, months, days are worse than others. However, I found this good psychologist who has a plan for me to get rid of my blood pressure phobia. We start next week working on this, so I will keep everyone posted. Until then, here's to LOW blood pressure! Maybe we should all get together and take our blood pressure, hold hands and sing Kumbaya??

Feb 22, 2015
BP phobia
by: Anonymous

Thanks for all the comments - Let me give you some encouragement - I've been fighting this most of my entire adult life. Had severe Panic Attacks for 8 years in my 40's - talking about it helped, getting off of caffeine, sugars etc. & taking beta blockers for a short time under a doctor's care also helped. In short, I'm fine with the Panic attacks, but I'm left with this ridiculous BP problem. What's the good news? I'm 76 & healthy as a horse - so you can say it hasn't hurt my overall health. Just stopped full time teaching to run my church's counseling center - which can be very stressful. Isn't that ironic - a counselor with this BP problem . However, it has helped in my counseling of Panic attacks,etc. - cause I really GET IT!!! I am going to try some relaxation tapes & read more info - this was the very first site I've tried & I'm not a quitter - Also , I am a believer & I believe God has gotten me this far- I can't, He can & I've got to let Him help me!!!!

Feb 24, 2015
Help for Blood Pressure Phobia
by: Anonymous

I think I have some information that may help - I went to my doctor (I avoided going for years because of my BP phobia) and convinced him NOT to take my BP at the office but take my readings from home -If you all think yo are bad how about a reading last month of 207/104 at the dr's office and 125/78 that evening at home - is that crazy or what?? It took me a while to just get over the home BP phobia - try beta blocker (atenolol) and deep breathing - they did a study of white coat Hypertension and found that deep breathing for minute or so would lower top number by up to 20 point and bottom 5-8 points - this DIDNT work for those who did not have the white coat affect.

Also buy a hem-sync CD and listen before taking reading - it send 2 different wavelengths of sound into your ears and produces a definite calming affect that has been verified in studies - I recommend Eben Alexander's sound CD's called "seeking heaven" it not really religious but he did have a NDE and he is trying to replicate the sounds in semi-sync - I have found that my BP is a full 20 points lower after listening for 25 minutes

And if you haven't read my previous comments about how your BP can go really high and not be an issue as long as you figure a way to have it controlled long term. When it is only experienced when taken BP they called it a "benign condition" - check out the sites I have listed below, good luck and keep in touch

Mar 30, 2015
A second reading
by: Anonymous

Trust me, I hear all of you. Lately I was at the doctors office waiting results of some diagnostic testing. Stressful, to say the least. Before hearing the "verdict" my blood pressure was very high. After finding out everything was OK, and about a half hour later, my pressure was taken again. The systolic pressure was down almost 40 points.
Do remember guys, anxiety is being found to have a strong genetic link. We need to lighten up on ourselves. You are probably brighter than most and a good deal more sensitive. Those are a gifts.

May 06, 2015
is bp phobia an abnormal behavior.
by: Anonymous

Yours are very similar to mine.I'm very nervous everytime i hear about taking bp.Everytime i see bp machines I freak out.I cannot control myself and i hate it why there's bp thing.thanks to all of you because i'm not alone with this rare feelings.Im praying that i can overcome this.Help me please....

May 06, 2015
Is bp phobia an abnormal behavior.
by: Anonymous

Yours are very similar to mine.Everytime i hear taking bp I easily freak out.When i see bp machines i feel nervous.I hate to hear about this and im thinking why there's bp thing.When i was hospitalized ,I requested my mother to tell the nurses not to say the readings so that i will not be aware of my bp.When I read all your opinions,thank God im not alone. Im praying that i can get over this. Help me please....

May 06, 2015
Is bp phobia an abnormal behavior.
by: Anonymous

Yours are very similar to mine.Everytime i hear taking bp I easily freak out.When i see bp machines i feel nervous.I hate to hear about this and im thinking why there's bp thing.When i was hospitalized ,I requested my mother to tell the nurses not to say the readings so that i will not be aware of my bp.When I read all your opinions,thank God im not alone. Im praying that i can get over this. Help me please....

May 06, 2015
Me too!
by: Anonymous

I have the same issue as everyone else.

I had a chiropractor appointment on Monday with a new doctor that was looking to the visit. Once I got in the exam room and saw the blood pressure monitor sitting there my BP went through the roof. I explained to the assistant that my BP was going to be high and explained my situation. She took it and the DR came back in and I explained my situation again and he stated it was high and that he was going to take it again at the end of the visit. I was stressed out the whole time I was there and couldn't get out of there fast enough! So much for a relaxing environment! I have a BP reader at home and am going to try taking my BP several times a day to get over this fear.

May 09, 2015
Great article but still worrying.
by: Mary

Could this be why mine keeps going up when I check it at home because I have that fear it's going to be mega high still? I suffer from severe anxiety and panic disorders and depression along with HBP. I am on metoprolol generic Lopressor and Alprazolam generic 2 mg 4x daily.
It's been shooting up higher since we just moved & seeing my BP up makes it worse.

May 19, 2015
I'm so happy to find this
by: Anonymous

I've felt so alone with this problem for so long, and it's really helpful to know that other people experience it too. It's kind of humiliating to be so afraid of a machine that's supposed to help keep you healthy! I'm trying some approaches, including phobia therapy and sedative teas, to see if they make a difference. I'll keep everyone posted.


May 19, 2015
Anyone live near me?
by: Anonymous

I am thinking that if I had a "partner", we could practice taking our blood pressures, together. Does anyone live in the Chicago area? If so, please contact me at [email protected]

Jun 19, 2015
Try This
by: Anonymous

To cope with the anxiety of having your blood pressure either taken by a medical person or yourself try the following deep breathing exercise.

1. Close your mouth and take in a deep breath through your nose. Hold for count of 2.

2. Open your mouth slightly and breath out for a count of 8.

Do this just before your blood pressure is taken. If a medical person is going to take your BP ask them to hold off until you finish your breathing exercises.

If you do this exercise multiple times one right after the other you might feel a little lightheaded for a few moments.

Jul 01, 2015
Thank Goodness!!
by: Anonymous

Everything here coincides with my experience! Doc wants me to see a cardiologist but already having gone through a battery of tests over the years, know the high reading is down to bp phobia rather than anything more sinister.Reading taken by myself earlier this evening 202/96, on third reading (within 5 minutes), 154/84. Doc refutes the idea that I can give myself 'white coat' syndrome but I know it is a reality. This site gives reassurance, thanks to you follow sufferers, just wish there was an easy antidote!

Jul 02, 2015
Major bp phobe
by: Anonymous

Read all y'all comments. I hear ya n sympathize 100%! Today my reading was 176/107 at the dentist! Lord have mercy! I can FEEL the fear. I Fear the fear! Hate that feeling of dread n panic. My heart beats so terrible fast. There's GOT to be a way to conquer this. There oughta be seminars for ppl like us where we all get educated about bp, what it means, how high can we go, then take readings all together as a sort of support group. Years ago they didn't try to fit those readings into such smaller numbers, did they? Wonder how they treated back then? Good grief I agonize for days before an appt. n sometimes cancel. It's so stupid, but also horrific. A person just has to go once in awhile for other stuff. Can't stand the stifling fear. Also don't trust many bp meds. If you read the pill book, often side effects of blood pressure meds are High Blood Pressure! So tired of this. I'm a believer n pray for help. Feel sad n embarrassed, but fearing still! A spirit of fear is not of God! UGH!

Jul 04, 2015
White coat won't kill you!
by: Kevin801

Phobias are not rational but continue her exposure with relaxation exercises eventually help - I was under the south tower on 9/11 directing and running with others while prices of the building falling on us- I guarente you my BP was Lower than at the dr office,crazy, embarrassing . I avoid having medical procedures if the take BP - had 2 hour surgery with implant cutting into gums etc but Just fine because he didn't do BP!!! So nuts. I can't give simple solution but read my previous recommendations and know that WC HBP is much less dangerous than we all believe. It goes to similar levels with exercise and your body is built to take high levels, just not constantly. Man wouldn't have survived if our body couldn't take high levels - the cave men had to run all the time,we are made this way-remember we didn't have any meds for BP in the early 1900's - Roosevelt had BP average of 195/110 for over 4 years before he died.

I'm not saying it's safe to have high BP, but white coat is called a "benign " condition in medical books. I've been in a number of emergency landings but have no fear of flying- most people with phobias are more intelligent than aver - here's to all us smart people!

Jul 07, 2015
Me too
by: Lesley

Oh boy,I thought it was just me,such a relief to read of others the same.I use a wrist monitor at home as it lessens anxiety when taking measurements,result is the same.I play Hayday or something on my iPad when doing it and tell myself so what if it is high,there is always a BP pill to lower it.Auto suggestion is the key,when you go to docs take your own readings for the last week so they can discount their machine.

Jul 08, 2015
Me too!
by: Anonymous

I thought i was alone in this. My doctor also suggested I take my pressure at home but I still feel the same anxiety. I too have avoided the doctors office because of this. I try so hard to talk myself out of this with no avail. I have tried everything and now i'm concerned how i'll ever get a true reading

Jul 22, 2015
Just Stop Checking It and live
by: Nick

Hi I just read all the comments and so glad to see more people have this issues and not just me. People don't understand what we go through its so hard having a phobia like this. I fear anything about blood pressure. I used to check mine at home and it would start high but always come down and that would satisfy me because I knew I just have WCH. I have found a good doctor who understands and he said I'm ok. This helps a lot. I had evey test done on my heart and it was ok. I have learned to just stop checking it now because I learned that when I'm calm its good and when I'm stressed obviously it's gonna be high so why check it? Anyway good luck to everyone and hopefully we can conquer this fear. It's the reaction to what the doctors say that frightens us more I think. Are they gonna put us in the hospital? Etc. I hate having to convince another doctor of my phobia and why it's high. I try to not think about it anymore. Have faith and live life. Laughter is the best medicine

Aug 03, 2015
Dread my review date!
by: Anon

It's great to read all of your comments as I have had this fear since my doctor put me on medication which made me feel ill about 10 years ago.
My husband used to take my BP at home and I told him to write it down and not tell me, as not knowing what it was helped a lot.
Since he died 4 years ago I have had a lot of heart tests and have a blocked artery which luckily has made its own bypass.
I am now on medication for my BP and last year at the doctors the lowest it went was 148/78 although he watched it shoot up and said I had white coat syndrome.
After going to the doctor today he said my BP was sky high and he got me to sit and breathe in and out slowly.
This got the pressure down to 184/84.
He then suggested a 2 day monitor which I said I couldn't tolerate, so I volunteered to take it twice a day for a month.
I am now seriously considering getting a monitor with a 60 day memory and then I don't have to look at the readings.
It would be a very good idea to have a group of people who could support each other in this and work together to overcome our fears.
Thank you for reading this.

Aug 22, 2015
We are not alone.
by: Melissa Nielsen

I've had this for 23 years. The worst us when your doctor freaks out. I am able to take mine at home now and it is around 110/70. Today it was 198/105. In the "crisis" range. I know how irrational it is but my brain takes over and I can't relax. Thinking about going to a psychologist for help. It's do embarrassing when you refuse for people to take it. They act like you're a weirdo. I always end up babbling and feel affected and judged. So happy to know I'm not alone.

Aug 29, 2015
A phobia for Life
by: Kevin B

How is everyone doing? I had a doctors appointment yesterday and, as usual was okay with everything but BP - I have found a great doctor who will not take it at the office but only my home readings, where thru relaxation, mental imagery, equi-sync binaral sound (see my previous comments about this) I can do it at home without freaking out - I do have hypertension and take meds for it but always have had White Coat Syndrome - last year was 211/97 at doctors office and 115/72 that evening at home - so I have it bad - but I have managed it pretty well by finding the right doctor - good luck to all of you

Aug 31, 2015
Tired of this!
by: Anonymous

I'm so glad I found this website! I'm 38 years old and i have this issue for several many of you have posted..... I avoid going to the doctor, dentist ect.....because I freak out when they take my BP.....i feel hopeless and i don't know how to overcome this fear ..... I've tried some relaxation things but doesn't work....but I'm glad I'm not the only one that feel this way....

Sep 01, 2015
This helps me!
by: Terri

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I feel so much better that I'm not alone with this fear. I bought the anxiety program called the Linden Method and it's been the most helpful thing I have ever done. It hasn't taken all my fear of going to the dr.'s away but has greatly helped me overall. It is an amazing program that makes perfect sense. I hope it might help you all and continue to help me too!
Thanks again for helping me feel not so crazy and alone!

Sep 03, 2015
Fed up and fighting back!
by: Fightingthegoodfightoffaith

I'm so glad I decided to do a Google search today of this topic to try and find some help. All of your posts were very comforting, just in knowing that I'm not the only one who's fighting this ridiculous fear!

It infuriates me that I am afraid of having my blood pressure taken! It used to be just at the doctors office, but, as so many of you have mentioned, it's the same way at home now. I am a Christian and I know that fear is not of God, so this really makes me mad that I'm having such a hard time overcoming this fight with myself.
I'm not afraid of anything else but taking my blood pressure. How stupid is that?! I know full well that if I just relax, my blood pressure is fine, but, when I get all freaked out it goes way high and freaks me out and the doctor. It's just so dumb!!

The sound of my blood pressure wrist cuff freaks me out so bad that it causes the cuff to show an error message because my blood pressure is too high for it to measure it! That's comforting! :p

I went to the emergency room one time a few years ago because my blood pressure was really high and my husband and I were worried. I was under a lot of stress and when I had the pressure checked there it was over 200! They kind of freaked out about it and asked me if that was normal. I said no so they sent me up to the waiting room to wait my turn to see a doctor. The emergency room was really full and I had to sit for over an hour. My husband was with me so I just leaned against him and did deep breathing and praying and calmed myself down. As a matter of fact, I felt so calm after awhile that we decided to leave and went out and got a milkshake and had a good time. When I went home I checked my blood pressure and it was perfectly fine! Lesson learned!

Now I just need to remember those things when I try to take it these days. I find comfort and peace here in knowing I'm not the only one and that it really won't kill me or stroke me out!
I'm still looking for answers.
Thanks for sharing everybody!

Sep 10, 2015
glad Im not alone
by: Sue J

the nurse took my bp this was the usual nightmare for me...ive been like this for 40 years....187/111...came down to 160/98 in a couple of have to have the dreaded machine at home...I HATE being like this

Sep 13, 2015
Me too!
by: Diane

Glad you are all sharing your experiences. I have had this problem for 10 years in the Dr office. Low readings at home. Now it is affecting my readings at home as well. Trying relaxation but still can't take my mind of that darn BP machine!

Sep 16, 2015
I am with you all!
by: Anonymous

I agree with all of the above. If would be really nice if some of us could get together to talk about this, or practice taking our blood pressures together. If anyone lives in the Chicagoland area, we could reserve a room at a library and try this out. I have to play so many mind games with myself in order to be able to take my own pressure. I don't let the "doctor" do it. Maybe IF the doctor would do it, it would be better than some of those nasty nurses! [email protected]

Sep 17, 2015
Hate it
by: Anonymous

I have to have a hernia operation but I'm more scared of them not doing it because of my blood pressure going to be high from fear of surgery. I've never had surgery before. What happens if your blood pressure is too high because you're scared and anxious? I know my bp is good normally at home but anything doctor related it goes up! Do they give you a pill that lowers it before surgery and calms you down?

Sep 20, 2015
Your Operation
by: Anonymous

It's natural for most people to have a raise in blood pressure when faced with an operation.
Just remember that you'll be put to sleep and wake up with it all over, and believe me you'll be so relaxed then from the anaesthetic that your blood pressure won't be a problem!

Sep 23, 2015
by: Luke

Have had high BP for 8 yrs or so. I'm 34. Started taking readings at home because of what might be White Coat but I still have serious anxiety about it.

Maybe I'm causing my high blood pressure with anxiety about high blood pressure. Why not?
Couldn't find much on this subject but found this site.

Nice to hear that I'm not alone.

Why isn't this possibility talked about more?

Sep 24, 2015
by: ScaredofBP

I'm 38 years old and have high blood pressure. But also have extreme white coat syndrome, so no one knows how high. I'm terrified of both having it taken at the doctors and at home. Bought a home machine and get anxious every time I look at it. My new doctor seems understanding (ie. she didn't ship me to the hospital the other day), but the fear consumes me now.

I'm glad I found this forum - your stories have helped me feel less alone in this ridiculous phobia. I'm working with a therapist to overcome it, but do worry about how long that might take.

Thanks everyone!

Sep 24, 2015
finding a doctor who understands
by: Georgia

I wish I could find a doctor's office that knew how to deal with this issue properly. My problem is that I probably do need treatment for hereditary hbp but the reaction to my overly high readings at the office have made it very difficult to take care of. The worst part is the nurses who tsk tsk every reading and when I tell them it's lower at home they say it should be low there too. I like my current doctor fairly well, but she keeps insisting I come back every three months until we can get a good reading in the office, even when I'm getting good readings at home. I passed a 24 hour test and was so happy to be able to stay on the one medication I was taking long term, but then she said I had to get blood tests and go back in another 3 months for a check up. I couldn't bear it, so her response was to not renew my medication. How is that helpful in any way?

Since then I've tried every lifestyle modification I can think of and have kept it in the borderline range. It's been higher lately at home though, so I really should go back to the doctor but am filled with dread thinking about it. I have no idea how to find a doctor who is sympathetic to this type of situation and insists the nursing staff is as well.

The reaction to a stressed out high reading in the office is fear mongering, as if I need to be scared into treatment when being scared is actually keeping me from treatment. I'm getting more stressed about it, and it's starting to make me fear the home readings as well. If anyone's found an understanding doctor, how did you do it?


Sep 25, 2015
by: Anonymous

I found a good doctor and the first thing I said to them on the phone was about my fear of having my blood pressure checked. I check it at home and keep track I told them and bring in your own readings. My doctor was cool about it and said my home reading were better then his. Everyone's blood pressure goes up when in a scary situation. It's the fight or flight response that triggers your body to go crazy and shoot up your blood pressure.
I even went to a psychologist about it and she gave me the best advice. She said why are you taking your blood pressure all the time? Did your doctor tell you to do this? Because I used to check always. I said no but I need to check it so I can have peace of mind and show my doctors it's good and not high like in the office. My doctor even got mine down after he was understanding and said not to worry it's all in my head.

The psychologist told me our bodies can't sustain a high blood pressure the way it is when we are scared to death and it shoots up at the office and at home when we're so anxious about it. This about how low it goes when you're asleep or really calm on the couch watching TV or something. The best thing to do is just try and relax and don't think about it.

If you check it don't look at the readings at all and keep doing this until you're ok with the actual feeling of having it checked then slowly u can go back after a month or so and look at the readings. I know I get alarmed at the first high reading then I freak out but the key is to keep calm and take a couple more.

Sep 26, 2015
How True, Relax
by: Anonymous

How true, Relax,

I posted earlier about havng to take my BP at home for a month for the doctor.
I was petrified at first but I took a good friend's BP first and then he took mine.
When I discovered it wasn't as high as I thought I took it again myself after a couple of minutes.
I made it into a project working out an Excel chart with a graph with blood pressure and pulse rate.
I discovered the lowest reading was in the late evening when I was sleepy, it never bothered me taking it then but in the morning it would be higher.I was determined however to get it down and on the 3rd reading I usually did.
I was really proud of my accomplishment and couldn't wait to show my chart to the doctor but on the morning of my appointment he rang and said he wasn't well and would I take an average figure and give it to him over the phone.
When in town I dropped the chart into the clinic so he would see it later.
I now take my BP occasionally when relaxed as I don't want to leave it for another year.
Before I first took my BP I had booked an appointment with a CB therapist but by the time I went there I had overcome my fear myself as I knew I had to.

Sep 28, 2015
Doctor's Appt.
by: Anonymous

I have an appt. tomorrow. It's a new doctor. So here we go again, another situation in which I have to explain why I don't have my bp taken. It's like opening a can of worms. I really do get tired of having to go through this. In previous posts I have wished that we could get together for support. I am in the Chicago area and has also included an email address. I have also placed a craigslist ad to get together with people with this problem. I feel that it is the best way for me to get over this phobia. A nurse with the problem actually replied to my ad, but then didn't follow through with a possible meeting. I had suggested meeting in a library, where you can reserve a room. But no, it didn't happen. If I could just once have my bp taken at a doctor's office, and it be normal, I would be so over this problem!

Sep 30, 2015
BP Insurance exam
by: kb801

How did you do at the doctor's office? I am trying to get life insurance but they want to send a nurse to "examine" me and I know it will screw everything up - I tired to get them to take my doctors notes on this to no avail.

I didn't go to the doctor for over 3 years because of this - Can you fill me in on what the nurse said?

At least I found this new doctor who now will take my readings from home - I had to get aggressive with his nurse but after twice saying "NO" and getting to talk to the doctor first, it worked! Finding the right doc is critical - if one give you a problem, find another one! Stand up for yourself!

You can't get over this by willpower alone or we would have it solved by now!

Oct 02, 2015
Doctor's Appt. Results
by: Anonymous

The doctor didn't care about my blood pressure. I told the new doctor that I had the problem and she didn't mind not taking it at all. But then I got bold and decided to have her do it anyway. Because I had thought if I could just get a reading done once, which was normal for me, I could take that record with me wherever I went. It's didn't work. It was high, but she didn't care, just sort of laughed (in a way). This is a "vein" doctor and I could see she was really interested in making money. I am so tired of trying to prove to doctors that I have normal blood pressure. I do have a hard time taking it at home too, but I can get a normal reading with much anxiety. My pulse goes up 20-30 over normal, so I know the bp reading is even lower, than the reading I am getting. [email protected]

Oct 02, 2015
by: Mojojojo

Just got put on bp meds today for the first time in my life. Had white coat syndrome for a while now. Took forever to get my BP down during the diuretic test. I'm laughing about it now because that's all I feel I can do. It's going to be so much fun waking up every morning now taking my BP with my trusty sphygmomanometer! Did I spell that right?

Oct 04, 2015
Wow...Others like me!
by: Ron

I always had white Coat and have routinely had doctor visits with 170/95 for years now.
I would then go home and take it...and it was OK around 130/80. So up until about 5 years ago, it was just high at the doctors....but gradually it has changed and now I am age 65... on Metroprolol 100 Mgs ER and still have "pressure attacks" at home where the pressure goes to 180/90 when I first put the cuff on. Most of the time it will go down to below 140/85 IF I sit and deep breath for about 15 to 20 minutes. Everyone tells me to relax and not think about it, but the thought of just taking it now gives me a high reading and sometimes it's a "fight" to get it down to where I can at least sleep at night without thinking I need to go to the emergency room! Funny, My Doctor wants me to take it at least 1 time a day.

Oct 05, 2015
Relief to see others in the same boat!!
by: Gilly

Like many of us fellow sufferers initially started getting high readings at docs but now just as bad at home. Latest doc has advised to stop taking it as much (previously asked to take readings six times a day and avearge out!), fortnightly now considered enough! Have seen cardiologists where nothing found so reckon its just a phobia that needs to be controlled although HOW is the big question!!? Am now scared to take at all as can feel pressure rising as soon as I put on the cuff!! Am sure I would have keeled over dead by now were it to be something serious but do wish there was some local group (I live in the East Midlands, UK) where people could meet up and try to work out how to address this debilitating problem.

Oct 05, 2015
Would be so happy to get together with others about this.
by: Noreen

One way I could get over this phobia is to go to the doctor everyday and have them take it a few times. But, as you all know, that is not going to be possible, with all the red tape and rules. But I do also think that if I could get together with others who understand this situation, it would improve. Unfortunately, I cannot find people near me. But I keep asking...Chicagoland area, [email protected]

Oct 05, 2015
Ideas And Meet Ups
by: ScaredofBP

It seems like turqoise in Chicago is super keen about meeting up with others with this issue - I'm actually surprised to have found so many people on the internet with this issue. Equally surprised there are no groups already. If I was in Chicago, I'd be open to it. But I'm not - I'm in Toronto.

I'm working with a therapist who does cognitive behavioral therapy to de-sensitize me to the home BP machine. We're also working on visualizations to help me go to the doctor and get a good reading - after I can get a good reading at home. I bought my home machine 2 weeks ago and am only now starting to feel less anxious about even going near it. I certainly have not used it yet.

My suggestion - find a therapist (if you haven't already) who does this kind of therapy and who specializes in anxiety issues. It seems to be slowly helping me, and I'm hopeful.

Oct 05, 2015
by: ScaredofBP

By turquoise, I meant Noreen. I just noticed her name, but have noticed her email on each post. Sorry about that!

If someone is in Chicago, I do urge you to reach out to her. Such a great idea.

Oct 05, 2015
Not white coat
by: Melissa Nielsen

I've had this since 1993. I used to call it white coat syndrome but now identify it as irrational phobia. I used to get a rapid pulse at home and now I'm fine. You just have to do it. It slowly becomes easier. The problem with this phobia is that you can't hide or avoid it! I've kept records of before during and after that basically proves it's just at the doctor. I think it definitely helps that it has a name and we are not alone. [email protected]

Oct 06, 2015
Yea this sucks
by: Anonymous

This site definitely helps. It's tough when you get those high readings because it sends you in panic mode and then there's just no point in taking more. You feel like you're on top of the world when the reading are good though. I find that if you exercise first like go walking or running for a couple miles and then check your pressure after a while it's the best. Something about your mood. After I exercise I'm in a good mood and my pressure is usually at its best. The morning right after you wake up is a good time to check it too because you are more calm and not anxious.

Oct 06, 2015
by: Anonymous

It's funny how I don't mind pain. Like getting my wisdom teeth removed awake as long as they don't check my blood pressure. At the dentist I'm fine too. If only they could find a faster way to check blood pressure that didn't involve putting a cuff around the arm and pumping it up. Something fast like a scan thermometer lol

Oct 17, 2015
This has just started happening to me too!
by: Judy

I've been battling high BP since 2010, and it's been successful with medication for the past 5 years. Recently I felt some heart palpitations, and after a couple of weeks of feeling them, I realized it wasn't smart to ignore this, so I went to the doctor. Well, of course my pressure was pretty high and he doubled my dose of metoprolol ER succinate, from 50 to 100. I started checking my pressure at home and I used to have no problems checking at home and got fantastic readings before, years ago. But now since this thing with the palpitations and the doubling up on the dosage, every time I try to check my bp at home, I start to feel the panic rise in my chest and I know it's going to be a really super high number, and it always is! I know it's because of the panic, and I start to try to watch something funny or listen to music to take my mind off of it, but it never helps. Like I can't trick my mind or something. I can't redo the readings because they'll just get higher and higher for me. I have no great advice but just wanted to add to the conversation and I can't believe how common this is! How are those of us with true high BP ever supposed to get an accurate reading anymore when we can't even test ourselves at home, where they're supposed to be lower? Has anyone found it helpful to take a break from it? I feel like I want to do that, but in a way, that might be dangerous and not something to ignore. My fear is it getting so high I'll stroke out or have a heart attack. I'm not afraid of the actual machine, I'm afraid of how high I'm going to see those numbers go and like someone said, it'll ruin my day because then I wonder if I have to go to the ER or something. Oh my, this is driving me insane.

Oct 17, 2015
Phobia with Blood Pressue
by: Bvear

I am so glad I came upon this site. I have BP phobia and it has gotten worse over the years especially after menopause. I am 61 and my number are very high at the drs office...and like many here, I can't take it at home without going into panic mode. I just had some outpatient surgery and my BP was high and then down a little and then spiked again. The office stressed me out so much that I had to take some anxiety meds when I got home. And until reading these posts I was having a difficult time releasing my BP fears and that something was going to happen to me. Like alot of other people here I have had a multitude of tests all normal. I have also been on all kinds of BP meds. I am considering seeing a therapist to help me work thru this...thanks everyone for your comments...I wish I could find a local support group in the Springifled, MA area.

Oct 17, 2015
by: Anonymous

I have taken a long break from checking mine and I don't miss it. I used to check it weekly and it would start a little high but I would get it down and then I thought why do I bother checking it always? It always comes down when I'm calm and relaxed so I don't have high bp. My doctor didn't even tell me to check it he agreed it's high when anxious but normal when relaxed. Everyone's bp goes up high in a stressful situation just accept that fact. Our bodies are pretty amazing and strong. They can sustain a high bp for a long time but also know that these crazy spikes from fear and panic don't last forever. Our bodies can't maintain that high intensity level and will eventually come back down to normal. Forget the constant fears and checking. A therapist told me to stop checking and throw away the machine. It became a compulsive behavior and that's not good. Take up a hobby, go to church, get on a good exercise regimen. Your body and mind will thank you and you will see great results. Don't give up and stay strong. Fear is not knowing God. With God anything is possible. So just your mind right and live a healthy happy lifestyle.

Oct 22, 2015
UPDATE to my story from last week. Happy Ending!
by: Judy W.

I want to update my experience. I went to see a PA (Physician's Assistant) today about this. I'm very glad I went and want to encourage you all to make an appt. If you are very upfront about the issues you're going through, and if you find someone who is compassionate and willing to sit and take the time with you, you can find help. You don't need to suffer alone and you shouldn't because there is help out there and good people to help you. This is a copy of the email sent to my friend just now, so it may sound a little weird in spots, but I so wanted to share my story as I think it's very important and if I can help even one person get through this horrible phobia, it will be a blessing.

Here is my story:

When I went to see the PA, she was so AWESOME!

On the way there, I had to pop a xanax because I felt my panic starting. OMG! Stoplight- XANAX!

So I walk in and the nurse comes at me with the BP cuff. I said, why don't we just wait for Denise to do that because that's what I'm here about and I'm having issues and just looking at that thing is freaking me out right now! She walked away like I was a crazy lady. I did not care. :)))

So the PA, Denise, comes in, she's maybe late 30's early 40's. Super sweet. She sits down and starts talking and I start at the beginning telling her everything, and pretty soon I'm crying like a stupid idiot. She calmed me down and we just talked and by the time she was ready to actually take my BP reading, I felt much calmer. It was like 153/84, which actually isn't so bad, considering I've been up over 100 on my bottom number before!!!

I'm glad you told me to take my machine with me. We compared it with her reading, and she said while my machine is the best and the one they recommend to their patients, it doesn't work for me. huh??? She said the way my veins in my arms are, it's very very hard to listen to those last beats and to get an accurate reading, you have to really be trained and listen. The machine doesn't do that. Remember when I told you my numbers are always better at the doctor's office? That's why!!!

We used my machine, and I was at 153/96 on it! She did it with her cuff again, and I was at 153/84 again. So....12 points off is a HUGE difference, especially that bottom number!!!!!! So, I'm still on the high side, but not as terrible as I thought. She added another BP medication for me to take when I wake up, and the doctor ok'd it, I already take the other one when I go to bed.

I hadn't eaten before I went, so even though I'd had coffee only, she considered it a fast, it was 5 pm by this time, and so they took a whole blood panel of everything. She checked my neck with the stethoscope, my heart, lungs, ankles for swelling, I mean, she was as good as any doctor ever! And sweet and patient with me! What a great experience!

So now that I know my machine is off I really can't trust it and it's brand new, so I went into Walgreens to pick up my new meds and talked to the manager about it. They'll return it for me no problem.

I have to go again next week to see her again to see how my pressure is, and then maybe do that for awhile, ya know, every week, every month, every few months, you get the picture. But if I'm not going to be checking at home anymore, it's no biggie for me to do that. I just hope they aren't going to charge me a co-pay each time!! Maybe the first couple times because I'll probably wanna talk with her, but I can't imagine that if I went in there just to get my pressure checked they'd charge me all the time, but we'll see.

So, anyway, it was a good day and I'm really so glad I went. I feel so much more relaxed now, no more panic. I felt like such a stupid idiot, crying, and she asked if anything else was going on bad in my life, and I said that no I have such a good life, it's embarrassing and crazy that I've become so fixated on something so stupid, but, ya know, she didn't seem judgey at all. She was very compassionate and I'm sure she's seen it all anyway, worse than me. So, that's what happened! :))

Oct 24, 2015
Yes, take a break.
by: noreen

The less I take my bp, the better off I am. One thing that seems to have helped, is getting the wrist monitor. Since it isn't squeezing my arm, I have less reaction and acceptable readings. A doctor suggested I get this one. And, I've seen it being used at another doctor's office. I don't let the doctor's office take my bp, anymore. I know it will be high, so why do it and ruin my day, my life!

Oct 27, 2015
Scared to check again
by: Anonymous

So I havnt checked my bp since last December and I had an anxiety attack and it was high then so my wife got fed up with me checking and took the machine away since. I've been thinking about it on and off and it's kind of good that she took it away. I used to check it like once a month and it was usually pretty good until I started worrying about it one day and other health things like moles and going to get checked at a dermatologist. I had that on my mind and was checking it and it was all over the place because I was worrying about miles etc. well miles checked out and here I am almost a year later and so scared to even check my bp again. I fear the worst that it's gonna be sky high and I should go to the hospital or something. I avoid anything medical like its the plague but I went to a new doctor last year and everything was ok. He understood my anxiety caused my bp spikes and it was usually good at home. Now I'm faced with the fear of checking it again. How can I get over this and just be normal?

Oct 28, 2015
How to cure a phobia...
by: Noreen

The best way to cure a phobia is to do that thing.
I read somewhere else, just to take the bp, but don't look at the reading. Just do it one time, over days, to get used to the action. After a time of practicing, when you are at a high moment, then look at those readings from the memory function of the monitor. This, as well as using the wrist monitor, has helped me. I seem to do better if I am paying attention to something else while I am taking my bp...talking to a friend, watching the boob tube, etc.

Oct 28, 2015
Relieved to find this thread...
by: Kelly

Like everyone else on here seemingly I thought I was the only one with this problem. Would be good to know just how widespread it actually is as some medics act as if they have never encountered it before. I was lucky to find this today as just had a horrible shock. I was supposed to have an exercise test for the ectopic heartbeats I have been experiencing for several months, and no one told me in advance that I'd need to be on a BP monitor throughout... (I'd already explained to cardiac specialist that I had phobia). They were very kind in the unit and said it would be OK if I just had one test at the beginning, and although a lovely nurse held my hand through the ordeal the result was 208/115!!! This despite fairly normal readings done at home in recent weeks.
Consequently they were unable to do the test and I am left feeling worse than ever. How I hate being like this. Have even had CBT which got me as far as taking my own readings (although I have to get someone else to look at results) but after today's shock I don't think I'll ever dare take a reading again!

Oct 28, 2015
Finally checked! Good news
by: Anonymous

So I had the machine on my living room table for a couple days and just lookin at it made me anxious. I was irritable all week because I knew I wanted to check it because I havn't in so long. It was a nice break not checking it. I started with just putting the cuff on and then taking it off for one day. Then the next day I plugged the machine in and just practiced putting the cuff on and that was that. The third day I was really anxious and said I'm just gonna check it a few times but not look at it. I felt the pressure on my arm and my heart beating fast but I did not look at the numbers. Just took it and then turned if off. Just doing this a few times made me feel better so I went for a jog and then took a shower and I was in a good mood and good spirits because at least I was taking baby steps. I sat down and checked it again a few times without looking but really wanted to peek at the numbers So eventually I peaked when I felt calmer and saw it was 140/75 which made me really happy so I slot checking it after and brought it down to 125/75 and that was that. I'm so happy now. I got over my fear with baby steps. I also would start looking at the numbers as the cuff filled up and noticed that when it pumps to about 160 or less my bp is usually good. When it pumps to over 200 it's higher. So that's another step u can take to just look at that before actually looking at the numbers. It's all mental with me and my anxiety raises mine. Good diet and exercise and being relaxed is the best advice. Also laughter helps before checking. Watch something funny. Ok sorry for going on hope everyone can get over their fears. It's just a darn machine!

Oct 30, 2015
blood pressure and phobia.
by: jim

I also lived every day of my life worrying about my 18 yrs old and after smoking 5 cigarettes in the Dr's office he told me we were going to the hospital if I did not calm down, put me on pb meds and from that point I was petrified to even see a bp kit. Somewhere down the line I started checking my own and I would check it 20 to 30 times a day and wind up going to the er because it would get higher each time I checked it. My Dr could not believe I checked it so many times every day. He put me on a low mg of stertraline and now I do not care to check it or worry about it. But if I miss a dose look out I just made my bp go to 207 over 105 by checking it. I started to panic took more bp meds and now it is down to 133 0ver 77. It sucks living like this. I worry about having a sinking heart attack for most of my life. What does it feel like not to worry about this I will never know. Good luck my friends.

Oct 31, 2015
I wish we could all meet!
by: Noreen

It would help me more than anything to get together with all of you. Again, I ask, are any of you in the Chicago area? [email protected]

Nov 01, 2015
by: Kelly

I have been looking into mindfulness as a way of overcoming my BP monitor phobia. It's about changing our relationship with fear and anxiety in general and basically accepting whatever the situation might be. I intend to give it a go and will report back if I find any improvements. Anyone interested in meantime Jon Kabat Zinn would appear to be good start. He is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. So very good credentials.There are lots of his talks and exercises available on youtube.

Nov 04, 2015
Attempting to conquer my fear
by: Hanna

I am currently undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy through the NHS to conquer my fear of having my blood pressure taken and other fears to do with having my blood taken etc. I don't fear my blood pressure being too high, I fear the feeling of feeling my pulse and that my circulation is being cut off. This is coupled with an extreme shame that I react so extremely when the medical staff try to take it. Even writing this is fairly difficult.

My therapist has been taking me through very gentle processes and exercises to try and get me over it. Unfortunately if anything has become enormously apparent although there is no magic answer. However, with very dedicated work and a supportive therapist I believe I am definitely on route to overcoming this phobia.

Every time I come across a difficult situation I have to write down the circumstances, then I have to write down my automatic thoughts / fears, the resulting feelings, the resulting emotions and my reaction. I then have to analyse it and give advise as though I were to a friend. Then I have to set myself goals and experiments of how to start moving it forwards.

The aim is to make these goals really gentle, and to take breaks between them so that you don't scare yourself further. Sometimes the act of writing down the thought itself is hard enough.

Anyhow, I have to have a blood pressure test tomorrow and it is my hope it is going to go with as positive approach as possible. Wish me luck!

Nov 08, 2015
Good Luck and Lots of Support
by: Noreen

We are all there for you, in spirit. We all know exactly what you are going through. It's a crazy phobia to have. I wish I a had a fear of flying, instead. Then, I could just take a Xanax, or something. This phobia is so all-pervasive (and intrusive).

Nov 17, 2015
AFRAID of Blood Pressure
by: joseph

hey guys! Im 23 years old and I have also the same problem with you.. I am soo afraid everytime the doctor or nurse check my BP.. I dont know Why? I just feel uncomfortable... please help me.. it saddens me really.. sometimes i ask my self why? it embarrassed me for many times... and I was so shy to admit the reality that I just afraid on the machine... help me pleasseee.... GOD BLESS US ALL..

Nov 23, 2015
Read all of the blog
by: Noreen

Joseph, reading this blog has really helped me. Because it is a lonely feeling to have this fear. I don't discuss it friends or family. One reason I don't is because I don't want to put any ideas in anyone's head to pass this problem along. It is really a nasty habit...getting a phobic reaction to that blood pressure machine. That is what it is...a habit we've hypnotized ourselves into. Supposedly, we can hypnotize ourselves out of it. It just takes practice. I've done things like when I'm going for a walk, visualize myself throwing off an anchor, symbolizing the phobia, and saying "I don't want it anymore, I don't need it anymore, and I don't have it anymore". After all it is your thoughts that are causing this. So it's your (our) thoughts that can stop it. There is hope!

Nov 24, 2015
In the same boat
by: Anonymous

I feel so stupid trying to tell people that I am afraid of the sound of that cuff beeping and then being told it's all in my mind. Well no kidding it's all in my mind. My poor doctor wants me to put on a 24 hr monitoring machine. I told her after 24 hrs of constant beeping , my head I think would explode. I have a cuff at home, and just looking at it raises my anxiety level, and I can feel my heart rate elevating. I broke my leg a few yrs ago and had to go in for surgery. Was I concerned about pain, anesthetic etc, no, all I was anxious about was after surgery they kept on taking my BP . (Which they do for every one)

How can I be so stupid!!!!

Nov 25, 2015
Me too !!
by: Anonymous UK

Read the last comments with great interest as to have the dreaded 24 hour machine fitted next week!! Not sure if it is going to prove anything other than confirm my fear of the darned thing as sure it will stay high throughout!! Am getting to the state that BP is constantly on my mind so think therapy or hypnosis might be the next step, any advice gratefully received.

Nov 26, 2015
To Anonymous from UK
by: Noreen

I hope you've read all the comments in the blog. There is a lot of helpful thoughts. A doctor suggested that I wear that 24 monitor and I declined. Why put myself in a state of panic for that long? Also who the hell can sleep with that thing on? What has helped me the most is to buy one of those wrist monitors. The one that you hold up against your heart, (not the new one that you put on your wrist and then lay your wrist on a table). Just leave it on my wrist without taking a reading, just to get used to it. Then, take the bp reading without looking. Do these things for a few days, weeks, and I believe it can help you. Remember, it is YOUR mind's thoughts that are causing the problem. The mind has to be retrained. I've tried therapy and hypnosis. That did not help me. The best way to get over a phobia is to do it. Try the suggestions I've made, (and others). You can get better! Trust me (us).

Nov 27, 2015
Try this
by: Anonymous

I have had HBP for 26 years and also have white coat syndrome. After many attempt's of trying to lower it tension was the cause. Now before i take it i have two large alcoholic drinks which puts me in a completely relaxed state and my b/p results are normal. Try it.

Nov 29, 2015
2nd fear
by: KB801

In almost all phobias it's not the first fear that puts you over the edge it's the second - the one were you fear the fear itself. If you allow the fear to take its course and not add the"oh my gosh here we go again" and you focus on the fear and make it worse. It's not easy but I you just let the first fear run its course and not add that second " omg this is afwul" and don't try to control it the fear will eventually fade.

And remember even if it's high when you take it - it will go down when you are not thinking about it/asleep etc

Good luck all

Nov 30, 2015
Being Fitted Today!!
by: Anonymous UK

Thanks for your thoughts. Monitor being fitted this afternoon so will try to keep calm and use some of the suggested techniques, will keep you updated, fingers x !!

Nov 30, 2015
Working on it!
by: JMN

So comforting to know there are others with my same issue!!
Nice not to feel so alone!
This is a rather recent phobia that I believe was brought on by the fact my dad had a small stroke (w/a BP of over 230/110). Ever since this happened (almost 2 months now) I get severely anxious just thinking about having my BP taken!
I've never had an issue w/having my BP taken before at the Dr's office or anywhere else, no history of high BP, and am a very healthy 52 year old woman-I eat right, exercise and keep myself at a healthy weight. No meds.
Now, I go into full panic mode and the adrenaline sends my BP way up whenever I attempt to get a reading (at the grocery store). Scary!

I've just purchased an audio book that was recommended to me and I am hoping this will help.
Check out; Pass Through Panic by Dr. Claire Weekes. I'm going to give it a try and am praying for success! It had great reviews, so I thought I would share.
Best of luck to all of you here....I know we can beat this!!
Thank you for your support.

Dec 01, 2015
Monitor On!!
by: Anonymous UK

Just a quick update, had the dreaded monitor fitted yesterday (just inflating now!!) and not happy!! Initial blood pressure on fitting was much higher than ever before at 219/99, reduced to 205/99 within a few minutes but pretty sure it has stayed high ever since as can't switch off from the constant waiting for the next reading!! Haven't slept at all and longing for 3pm this afternoon when it comes off!! My advice, unless really necessary, don't bother with this monitor as all it does is build the fear! Will be interesting to see what's next!! Expect to hear from the hospital consultant within a couple of werks, will keep you posted but going to look at relaxation tapes or maybe yoga!!

Dec 01, 2015
It's nice to know I'm not alone
by: Mike

Hi, I'm sorry so many of you suffer from this issue, so do I, but at the same time it's encouraging to know I'm not alone. I've had anxiety issues for all my adult life--and going to the Dr.'s office may just be my biggest trigger. Last time I was in the office the first reading came back at 190/100 and the nurse just looked at me like WTF? I'm this 5 ft. 9, 150 pound guy who runs and takes care of myself and I confessed to the nurse I'm terrified of coming to the office. He was sympathetic and a few minutes later my Dr., who knows about my issue, took it and it had come to down to about 160/100 (When I got back to my parents' house 20 minutes later or so it was down to 130/85). Lately, after reading Dr. Carolyn Dean's amazing book 'The Magnesium Miracle,' I've been supplementing with magnesium and it's really been helping to the take the edge off. She makes the point in the book that most people who have issues with anxiety and depression or often hypertension are deficient in this very important mineral (Stress depletes magnesium from the body). I'm learning not to be ashamed any more of this fear, but there are still times it kind of drives me batty. Slowly, I'm desensitizing myself more and more, but it takes time. Good luck to everybody and be well this holiday season :)

Dec 01, 2015
Slow Exposure Therapy
by: ScaredofBP

I'm working with my therapist on slow exposure to the home BP machine. Finally got it on my arm and inflated (although so loose it errored out) without going over a 5 on the 1-10 scale of anxiety.

Going to my doctor tomorrow, and am not letting her take my BP. It could push my therapy back weeks. Should be interesting, but it's my body and I call the shots. That's something else I'm working on - the doctor is there to help, but they can only do what YOU let them and what YOU are comfortable with. If you need time to work through a phobia, they can't stop you.

Dec 01, 2015
by: JMN

Thanks, Mike.
I too find magnesium to be helpful for calming me down.
I will check out the book you mentioned.
Most people are deficient in this mineral...I suggested that my mom take it for her heart palpitations and she is having great results!

Dec 02, 2015
Greetings from Australia
by: Anonymous

I am so pleased to have met you all on line and to learn that there are so many like me! I hate all medical procedures where taking my BP is necessary. I've just been diagnosed with cataracts and immediately my BP has risen thinking of the ordeal ahead, especially the reactions of medical staff when I get high readings. They really freak out, don't' they? That scares me more. Luckily for me, I am ok at the dentist probably because he is a very calm and understanding man. All your comments have helped me greatly. Thank you so much.

Dec 06, 2015
white coat
by: Pat

So glad to have found you guys 😊 I have same problems, taking BP at home or Drs office..I never had BP problems until the last few I have turned 70, and that really bothers me..I just retired from my job this year, and since then I have a phobia about my blood pressure...I get a headache and know my BP is up, and it always is..

Dec 09, 2015
Try to find others
by: Noreen

Pat, I've tried to find others, where I live in the Chicago area, to possibly get together to support each other. I think one person from this group on the blog is from Florida. Where exactly, I don't remember. I've even put an ad on craigslist. No luck so far, but I keep trying.

We all understand your problem. When you are feeling low, please reread all of this blog and I am sure you will feel better.

Dec 12, 2015
so fed up
by: Lesley

I had a stroke 18 months ago but have been lucky to recover well apart from side effects of medication and this stupid irrational fear of having my bp taken. Recently went on holiday to Florida and had to see a doctor there which worried me due to being afraid of 'the machine'. Even though I was panicking bp was 160 over 100 which was not as bad as I thought it would be. Now home I will need to see my own doc to discuss pills I'm now on and she'll want to take my bp. My fear started earlier this year when they gave me a machine to bring home and take bp twice a day for 6 days - it was a disaster and I had been perfectly OK before that taking it at home. Now hate the sight of the machine.

Dec 23, 2015
Phobia for measuring BP
by: Ademola

Thank God for being able to get all these comments from this website. I thought i'm the only person involved but thank God for the comments 'am reading here. My BP is always up anytime my doctor or my pharmacist measure it and this is due to my phobia, panicking and fear. I'm trying to measure it on my own and 'am getting it right normal but each time I visit my Doctor the panic will affect my reading and it is even affecting me when I measure it myself, pls help o.

Dec 23, 2015
Yeah me too!
by: Anonymous

Just got back from the Dr's. And as usual I was in the 170 over 100 range. Even brought in my monitor and showed my home readings of 120 83 and 115 67....doc was rude and didn't care. He said my montitor wasn't accurate. Even the nurse gave me a hassle. So they let me do my monitor and it was spot on.....then I showed them past home reading. They called me crazy for not taking the meds. Now they want to schedule another EKG..this is ridiculous. I hate living with this phobia because our society had deemed the man in the white coat with a cuff the standard health being by the approatote number. Guess I'll have to seek hypnosis . Zen ?What ever..?.

Every doctor I change and go to we go through this same routine. I'm so sick of it. I'm 52 and have been dealing with this for 30 years now.

Glad to find this site and know I am not alone.

Dec 24, 2015
Temporary high BP not dangerous
by: Kevin801

It is hard to overcome but finding the right doctor is VERY important - I have one now who just lets me bring my home readings in - Try Hemi-Sync before taking BP - check out my earlier comments on this.