More

Phobia taking blood pressure

by Jim
(Louisiana)

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

Answer:

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

Anchoring

Biofeedback Therapy Relaxation

Deal with Squeamishness

Jan 26, 2019
Glad to have found this site! NEW
by: Anonymous

So glad to find a forum where other folks understand. My phobia started during my pregnancy where I had an episode of hypertensive crisis. Since that time over four years ago I cannot get a normal reading at the DR office even though my blood pressure is controlled at home on medication. I consequently avoid going to the DR or constantly cancel appointments. Case in point I had my annual physical this past week. Reading before leaving the house was 115/73. Reading at doctors office was 160/100 and when she insisted on taking it again it shot up to 185/124. In my case the phobia is linked back to PTSD from my pregnancy and being so scared of what was going to happen to me and my then unborn child when I experienced the hypertensive emergency. But four years after the fact my body has this conditioned response that it refuses to let go. I've tried talk therapy and anti anxiety meds to no avail. My next plan is for hypnosis and I will keep you posted on how that goes. If anyone wants to keep in touch I'm at denden3368@msn.com

Feb 08, 2019
Phobia taking BP at home or at the doctor's NEW
by: Janet

I have read about Jim and others regarding a phobia when having my blood pressure taken. It goes sky high as I feel my body go into an adrenaline rush!

Feb 10, 2019
shall i say "Me Too" too?? NEW
by: Anonymous

I am laughing in relief to see my craziness reflected in normal people.

Part of my problem has been the Raised Eyebrow Syndrome in nurses taking my readings. You know your body. If I get told in a knowing manner, "Oh, we'll take it again after you see the doctor, it'll be lower then," and I say, "No, it'll be higher," guess who's right? It doesn't help my cause, the b.p. is way higher, as are the eyebrows of doom.

It's the judgment, it's the fear of being medicated when you don't need it, it's the fighting for your body when no one believes you.

I feel it as fight or flight mechanism which swings its fists like a helpless child every time I see a cuff, every time I think someone will tell me what to do because of my numbers. You hear about being in the moment and about "Surrender" from a metaphysical perspective. Man, if only we could "surrender" at will, we would all have glorious readings. I believe this.

On one office visit, I decided to stop fighting, and to resign myself to taking meds if this doctor I trusted thought I should. I refused to let the nurse take my readings; I wanted my doctor to.... Well guess what? My reading was 132/85. Unbelievably low for an office visit.

It is a struggle, and the feeling of helplessness to prove your point to people who have a sort of power over you is a terrible thing. If we could only divert that power to ourselves!! When self-determinism happens, it's random, I wish I could call it up as needed.

... And if I mention acupuncture, as something that has helped me, that might lead to its own set of phobias, but if you can handle it, give it a try. Acupuncture heals body/mind/spirit, and if you like going, you might want to ask your acupuncturist to take your readings. Not saying it'll work for you, but it's worth trying if you can. (btw, the "needles" are much like cat whiskers and do not "pierce" like you might expect.)

Peace.


Feb 20, 2019
Blood Pressure Phobia NEW
by: Anonymous

My problem is that I am anxious about the result of BP during testing, so my heart raises. And eventually, abnormal result would come out. Sometimes, my heart rate is in 120s, and bp in 145/90 during testing. I know I don't have high bp but mere seeing the machine, visiting a doctor or medical facility or having someone testing me raises my heart rate. This inflate bp machine is the worse because of the way it grabs and folds my arm. My body system is too sensitive to such things.
But I needed to know my true measurement when I am not confronted with scenarios I mentioned earlier. I am not afraid to take medication if I indeed have high bp, my fear is being treated for bp when I don't have one. I bought a sport watch that measures HR and BP, consistently, the device has been giving me nice results that correspond to how I feel generally. Wait! How do I know if this device is measuring well? I purchased a conventional inflatable bp machine and wear both at the same time to take measurement, the watch that has been giving me good results also read high bp solely because of the inflatable machine I attached to my arm.

But I will overcome this, it will not limit or deprive me of great destiny ahead of me. I eat well, exercise well, not drinking, not smoking...it is just this bp testing. I feel 1000% better when I don't visit doctor or hospital or when I am measuring..lol

Feb 20, 2019
115/73 NEW
by: Montrealer

Hello,

Ih you get 115/73 at home then you are more than OK.

99% of doctors are responsable of induced HBP because the n their nurses are the cause. They should study psychology before starting to practice. You declined to take BP and they should respect your decision ... the fact that they took it any way push it that high. So please don't worry, doctors make mistakes especially last years since they go to med school not for the good of their patients BUT only for the prestige n the money. Again u r good n your bp is perfect.

Feb 22, 2019
GAD white coat syndrome NEW
by: jacqui

Also remember that if you are aware that your first reading will be high just accept it. Take it again and it will be normal. I'm currently taking my bp at home for two weeks now so I can submit readings to doctor as bp always higher at doctors rooms. One thing to remember and I know its hard when the cuff starts inflating to relax but just know you cant die from high blood pressure unless you have had it for a few years with very high readings 200/120 and if it is genuinely high they can treat it so you would be fine. I can tell you now that most of us have completely normal BP. I am an extremely anxious person with GAD and have now gone onto an antidepressant called lexamil which didn't seem to have to many side effects and fourth week in now and I can start feeling a difference. I'm feeling more relaxed which is great. I am increasing my dose to 15mg from 10mg. All the best to you all and remember you not alone in this

Feb 24, 2019
Oh My Gosh! Me too!!
by: KP

Wow, I can’t tell you how happy I am that I found this thread. The last year I’ve had anxiety while going to the drs and my heart rate is generally 140 (I know, it’s high) when the nurse starts to freak out about how high my heart rate is I then start to freak out more and it’s just a vicious cycle. I don’t have a high heart rate regualarly so I know it’s just anxiety. But going to the drs and then telling me to relax makes it worse as well.
I’m just glad I’m not alone. Hoeeever, I don’t know how to get over this. I want to eventually have kids (I’m 27) and the thought of going to drs visits and then having to take my BP upsets me.

Feb 27, 2019
Still Phobic NEW
by: Anonymous

Hello all, this site has really helped me put my problem into perspective. The greatest benefit is that I have learned how many others suffer from this. I thought I had made some progress, but went to the doctor today and my BP was 172/107. They took it later and of course it was no better--180/110. They were skeptical of my home readings, not willing to accept that they are so low at home, example (108/68/60). Some of us are just more much emotionally sensitive than others. What depresses me today is that I did not feel panicked, just uncomfortable, but the body will do what it will do. Even though I felt calmer, I guess I wasn't. It's such an embarrassing affliction.

Feb 27, 2019
WCH After Cancer Misdiagnosis NEW
by: Anonymous

I was going into a panic spiral until I found this forum! I've taken my blood pressure at home today at least 10 times already. Each time it is high, I panic then take it again hoping to get a lower reading and when I don't my anxiety increases, and so does my BP. Sounds like you all know exactly what I'm talking about. Despite having anxiety issues, my BP was always low until I was misdiagnosed with breast cancer about 12 years ago. I went to get a second opinion and after the nurse took my blood pressure, she asked if I was nervous. Duh, YES, why? Because my BP was elevated. Turned out I did NOT have breast cancer, but ever since I have had WCH. I was always able to get readings in the 120's at home, so I stopped taking it at home, but after my last physical when BP was high, I promised to start again. I got a new cuff yesterday and my first reading was 140/85. Of course, that made me anxious so the next was 156/91! After I tried some relaxation, I got a reading of 115/75. Now today, they've been around 140, and I've become obsessed with taking readings. I was so thankful to find this forum and website. I will definitely try some of the relaxation tips. I take CoQ10 and Hawthorne, I don't smoke, and not overweight, I do yoga, drink maybe a little too much red wine but could cut down, maybe take up jogging? I want to avoid meds but also don't want to have a stroke! I am a 56 year old woman, and my dad had his first heart attack when he was 43.

Feb 28, 2019
BP Printout NEW
by: Shirl32

I have white coat syndrome. BP at home si controlled on BP meds and is 110/65 to 130/70 with a standard pulse of 60 . At the doctor's office, it was always 180/110 to as high as 230/140. I finally no longer have my BP taken at the doctor's office, but take in my BP readings. I initially took my BP monitor to the doctor to check its accuracy. I bought an Omron BP monitor that has a small printer that will print out individual readings or a series of readings giving an average BP. This has saved me from having to hand log the BP and I am sure they carry more weight with doctors. I still get high first readings at home due to anxiety, but they eventually go down. I have had this problem for over 40 years due to misdiagnosis when I was young. It is awful and when I have had to have surgery, they always have to get my BP down before operations. Good luck to those of you with the same problems. By the way, I have tried hypnotherapy, meditation, biofeedback and no help.

Mar 07, 2019
Try not to worry NEW
by: Janet

To all you young people who have anxiety regarding HBP when in a medical setting, I am 81 years old. I have lived with this for the past 31 years. I have had my blood pressure rise to over 200/110. It has happened whenever I had it taken no matter the setting. I have been on meds for HBP but still had the problem whenever the dreaded machine came into sight. I do take it at home where it is from 110/68 to 120s/70s. Recently, my cardiologist decided to add another med because of how high it can go. It is 5 mg. of Amlopidine. For the first time in 30 years, my pressure in his office was 130s/80. I am otherwise a very healthy person. I have no heart disease, never had an operation, and do not suffer from any other cronic ailment. I am blessed. Please know it is not a killer unless it is a sustained very high reading under any circumstances. Do not be afraid to take meds, if you do need them. They are life savers and I am here to prove it!

Mar 08, 2019
BP monitoring NEW
by: Anonymous

Me too! I did a random search for BP phobia and so pleased I'm not alone in this. Phobia started 12 months ago when I had a dizzy spell at home, checked my BP which was high and was sure I was having a stroke. The problem being you check these ranges on the Web site, they advise the reading is in crisis range and to get to a hospital immediately.

Suffice to say I had every test possible and in perfect health,but kept my BP high in emergency as I was so anxious, dizzy spell was just due to tight neck muscles! Unfortunately now always get high readings in doctor's office. When at home the monitor, always high initially does return to normal if I keep the cuff on for awhile to get used itbp and take a number of readings watching a comedy on TV.

I have a 24 monitor booking with the doctor in a couple of weeks and building myself up into an anxious state about it. She is only concerned about checking the numbers during the night and I'm sure I'll keep myself anxious during this, which is stupid but unfortunately fears are not rational. My doctor laughs when I keep asking her on every visit will I have a stroke from these spikes. She said they only worry about consistent high BP that does not drop down. The neurologist offered good advice, do not take your BP if you are anxious and when you feel relaxed and take your BP aim for an average of 70 per cent of readings under 140/85. Hate my home monitor now and it lurks in the corner of the room awaiting my next reading which if good will make me feel fantastic and if high triggers the fear again.

I did have to laugh tho as put the cuff on a couple of weeks ago, felt something on my arm and saw a large spider crawling across it. Jumped up screaming with the BP monitor flying across the room, best place for it I think. Think we all have to laugh a bit more and just chill. We will all be OK. Take care and best wishes

Mar 08, 2019
GAD NEW
by: Anonymous

I also have this problem, I’m 19, when im anxious i get 135/97 with pulse 130 when im relaxed wich only happened two times since i bought the machine i get 114/70. Does the pulse help diagnose hypertension?

Mar 08, 2019
GAD NEW
by: Anonymous

I also have this problem, I’m 19, when im anxious i get 135/97 with pulse 130 when im relaxed wich only happened two times since i bought the machine i get 114/70. Does the pulse help diagnose hypertension?

Mar 08, 2019
GAD NEW
by: Anonymous

I also have this problem, Im 19 when Im anxious it’s 135/97 pulse 130, when im relaxed which i only was two times it was 114/70, do you think the pulse can help diagnose hypertension?

Mar 13, 2019
same phobia NEW
by: Eline

I decided to leave a comment here because I'm almost desperate because of this problem.

I take meds for high blood pressure since about 3 years now.
The first two years I was able to take my BP or let the doctor take it.
Meds have been increased a few times.
But about a year ago after a reading of 194/103 something 'snapped' and I'm not able to take it since then because of freaking out/panic.
I did not measure for about one year now.

My fear of having my BP taken or take it myself has now turned into a phobia and complete avoidance.

The fear is there 24/7 and up to the point that I think that I could have a stroke every moment.

My age is 48 now and I was first diagnosed with a panic disorder (with agoraphobia) when I was 14 y/o.
It was under control with meds, but the last few years the whole bloodpressure 'thing' began, despite all meds.

At this point I avoid to go to any doctor. I'm afraid to have my blood checked or my heart checked because when something is not right they want to take my BP and I freak out only by the idea of a sky high reading.

I'm seeing a therapist and have EMDR therapy but no change at all in this phobia.
It's driving me mad.

My decreasing sight worries me because my eye pressure is too high (glaucoma runs in my family) and I think that that is caused by high blood pressure but I'm afraid to go to an eye doctor because of my BPP.

But my biggest fear is to get a stroke and to end up completely disabled in a nursing home.

I'm so very scared, it ruins my life.
Naturally I'm a positive and easy laughing person, I still am when I'm able to push the fear aside and to find distraction from the fear (which I try my best all the time). But I'm having a very hard time to cope with this.

It is a relief to read from other people that have this issue, although I don't wish this to anyone!

Anyone who is in the same place, please feel free to contact me ( maanglitter7@gmail.com )

Mar 13, 2019
same phobia NEW
by: Eline

I decided to leave a comment here because I'm almost desperate because of this problem.

I take meds for high blood pressure since about 3 years now.
The first two years I was able to take my BP or let the doctor take it.
Meds have been increased a few times.
But about a year ago after a reading of 194/103 something 'snapped' and I'm not able to take it since then because of freaking out/panic.
I did not measure for about one year now.

My fear of having my BP taken or take it myself has now turned into a phobia and complete avoidance.

The fear is there 24/7 and up to the point that I think that I could have a stroke every moment.

My age is 48 now and I was first diagnosed with a panic disorder (with agoraphobia) when I was 14 y/o.
It was under control with meds, but the last few years the whole bloodpressure 'thing' began, despite all meds.

At this point I avoid to go to any doctor. I'm afraid to have my blood checked or my heart checked because when something is not right they want to take my BP and I freak out only by the idea of a sky high reading.

I'm seeing a therapist and have EMDR therapy but no change at all in this phobia.
It's driving me mad.

My decreasing sight worries me because my eye pressure is too high (glaucoma runs in my family) and I think that that is caused by high blood pressure but I'm afraid to go to an eye doctor because of my BPP.

But my biggest fear is to get a stroke and to end up completely disabled in a nursing home.

I'm so very scared, it ruins my life.
Naturally I'm a positive and easy laughing person, I still am when I'm able to push the fear aside and to find distraction from the fear (which I try my best all the time). But I'm having a very hard time to cope with this.

It is a relief to read from other people that have this issue, although I don't wish this to anyone!

Anyone who is in the same place, please feel free to contact me ( maanglitter7@gmail.com )

Mar 13, 2019
same phobia NEW
by: Eline

I decided to leave a comment here because I'm almost desperate because of this problem.

I take meds for high blood pressure since about 3 years now.
The first two years I was able to take my BP or let the doctor take it.
Meds have been increased a few times.
But about a year ago after a reading of 194/103 something 'snapped' and I'm not able to take it since then because of freaking out/panic.
I did not measure for about one year now.

My fear of having my BP taken or take it myself has now turned into a phobia and complete avoidance.

The fear is there 24/7 and up to the point that I think that I could have a stroke every moment.

My age is 48 now and I was first diagnosed with a panic disorder (with agoraphobia) when I was 14 y/o.
It was under control with meds, but the last few years the whole bloodpressure 'thing' began, despite all meds.

At this point I avoid to go to any doctor. I'm afraid to have my blood checked or my heart checked because when something is not right they want to take my BP and I freak out only by the idea of a sky high reading.

I'm seeing a therapist and have EMDR therapy but no change at all in this phobia.
It's driving me mad.

My decreasing sight worries me because my eye pressure is too high (glaucoma runs in my family) and I think that that is caused by high blood pressure but I'm afraid to go to an eye doctor because of my BPP.

But my biggest fear is to get a stroke and to end up completely disabled in a nursing home.

I'm so very scared, it ruins my life.
Naturally I'm a positive and easy laughing person, I still am when I'm able to push the fear aside and to find distraction from the fear (which I try my best all the time). But I'm having a very hard time to cope with this.

It is a relief to read from other people that have this issue, although I don't wish this to anyone!

Anyone who is in the same place, please feel free to contact me ( maanglitter7@gmail.com )

Mar 15, 2019
same phobia NEW
by: Eline

I decided to leave a comment here because I'm almost desperate because of this problem.

I take meds for high blood pressure since about 3 years now.
The first two years I was able to take my BP or let the doctor take it.
Meds have been increased a few times.
But about a year ago after a reading of 194/103 something 'snapped' and I'm not able to take it since then because of freaking out/panic.
I did not measure for about one year now.

My fear of having my BP taken or take it myself has now turned into a phobia and complete avoidance.

The fear is there 24/7 and up to the point that I think that I could have a stroke every moment.

My age is 48 now and I was first diagnosed with a panic disorder (with agoraphobia) when I was 14 y/o.
That was under control with meds, but the last few years the whole bloodpressure 'thing' began, despite all meds.

At this point I avoid to go to any doctor. I'm afraid to have my blood checked or my heart checked because when something is not right they want to take my BP and I freak out only by the idea of a sky high reading.

I'm seeing a therapist and have EMDR therapy but no change at all in this phobia.
It's driving me mad.

My decreasing sight worries me because my eye pressure is too high (glaucoma runs in my family) and I think that that is caused by high blood pressure but I'm afraid to go to an eye doctor because of my BPP.

But my biggest fear is to get a stroke and to end up completely disabled in a nursing home.

I'm so very scared, it ruins my life.
Naturally I'm a positive and easy laughing person, I still am when I'm able to push the fear aside and to find distraction from the fear (which I try my best all the time). But I'm having a very hard time to cope with this.

It is a relief to read from other people that have this issue, although I don't wish this to anyone!

Anyone who is in the same place and want to talk about it, please feel free to contact me ( maanglitter7@gmail.com )


Mar 15, 2019
same phobia NEW
by: Eline

I decided to leave a comment here because I'm almost desperate because of this problem.
I take meds for high blood pressure since about 3 years now.
The first two years I was able to take my BP or let the doctor take it.
Meds have been increased a few times.
But about a year ago after a reading of 194/103 something 'snapped' and I'm not able to take it since then because of freaking out/panic.
I did not measure for about one year now.
My fear of having my BP taken or take it myself has now turned into a phobia and complete avoidance.
The fear is there 24/7 and up to the point that I think that I could have a stroke every moment.
My age is 48 now and I was first diagnosed with a panic disorder (with agoraphobia) when I was 14 y/o.
It was under control with meds, but the last few years the whole bloodpressure 'thing' began, despite all meds.
At this point I avoid to go to any doctor. I'm afraid to have my blood checked or my heart checked because when something is not right they want to take my BP and I freak out only by the idea of a sky high reading.
I'm seeing a therapist and have EMDR therapy but no change at all in this phobia.
It's driving me mad.
My decreasing sight worries me because my eye pressure is too high (glaucoma runs in my family) and I think that that is caused by high blood pressure but I'm afraid to go to an eye doctor because of my BPP.
But my biggest fear is to get a stroke and to end up completely disabled in a nursing home.
I'm so very scared, it ruins my life.
Naturally I'm a positive and easy laughing person, I still am when I'm able to push the fear aside and to find distraction from the fear (which I try my best all the time). But I'm having a very hard time to cope with this.
It is a relief to read from other people that have this issue, although I don't wish this to anyone!
Anyone who is in the same place, please feel free to contact me at maanglitter7 at gmail.com


Mar 15, 2019
Only thing tighter than the cuff was my spincter while taking BP NEW
by: Anonymous

I have a moderate discomfort of tight objects around my limbs and neck. Ties and watches for example.
I went for a checkup today for the first time in a decade. I was ok with the cuff, but when it started tightening i started to panic. This was minutes after having a wart peeled to fresh skin with a razor knife, then frozen with nitrogen, all of which caused little to no anxiety.
The doctor recommended i try at home with a personal machine.
Are there any ways of measuring BP without a cuff?

Mar 18, 2019
Could Blood Pressure Phobia Go Beyond the White Coat Effect? NEW
by: Montrealer

Hello Friends,

In a effort to understand this BP "Phobia", I'd like to share with you an excerpt from the following site https://bit.ly/2FmCBF4 which I advise you to read the whole study:

"1308American Journal of Hypertension28(11)November 2015Dillon et al.Lastly, as well as providing descriptions and origins of their symptoms, individuals often posted acknowledging they had similar experiences to others on the sites and offer-ing support. Many had tried remedies themselves and had suggestions for dealing with their fears including: anxiety medication; traditional psychological therapy (e.g., cognitive behavioral, guided imagery, exposure, and systematic desen-sitization); alternative therapies (e.g., meditation, acupunc-ture, yoga, biofeedback, and hypnosis); distraction methods; self-help books and tapes; positive exhortations or remind-ers; and finding an accepting medical provider.CONCLUSIONIn this preliminary archival study, we observed that some individuals posted they had significant negative reactions to the measuring of blood pressure that were associated with intense fear and preoccupation and they felt led to avoid-ance and seriously affected functioning, including delaying or avoiding treatment for medical problems, and restricting academic, occupational, or family planning choices. These symptoms are consistent with Specific Phobia according to the DSM 53 criteria.While similar to white coat hypertension, BPP, we argue, is a different phenomenon in that the focus is on avoidant behavior as a consequent and that it is independent of actual blood pressure. For example, someone truly hypertensive could, in addition, have BPP, further inflating their blood pressure reading and leading to the unneeded prescription of a higher dose or additional blood pressure lowering medi-cation as well as adding to noncompliance.Previous studies have shown that Specific Phobias often begin in childhood.2 This was also reported by some indi-viduals in this study. There is currently a controversy over whether to screen for hypertension in children and adoles-cents. In addition to the fact that the definition of hyperten-sion in these groups is not well defined, the issue that anxiety caused by its measurement might be harmful is of relevance here.16Other individuals reported the start of their problem was later than childhood, but also saw the medical environment as a precipitating factor. Based on a recent review and meta-analysis, Clark, Horvath, Taylor, and Campbell concluded that white coat effect (defined as an elevation in the normal blood pressure of any patient) is significantly greater for doc-tors than nurses.17 Individuals in our study reported alarm reactions of both groups to their blood pressure readings. Although these reactions were probably unintentional or designed to be motivational, with some patients, they may be counterproductive. While this type of fear is more likely to be seen in a medical environment, posters also reported this experience in home monitoring, ambulatory monitoring, and store monitoring situations indicating that the medical environment is not the sole causative factor and also making the true measure of blood pressure even more daunting.".

Thanks and good luck to all of you and
... remember that it is highly likely you are not hypertensive and that a visit to a shrink may be of help.


Mar 28, 2019
!! NEW
by: Anonymous

I also have this problem, last night we were taking blood pressure of all the family and group of friend, all had normal blood pressure, there was a fat guy who is over 100 kg ang he smokes and drink, he is 42 guess what! He had 122/80 and i didn’t take my blood pressure cause i know it would be high although im 18 i don’t smoke nore drink and im skinny, and this guy had many risk factors but didn’t have anxiety for sure and i just have anxiety and i get like 145/85!!!

Apr 05, 2019
My Contribution NEW
by: Bryan

Let me first start by saying that I read every single comment on all 12 pages and I can relate to everyone exactly! I am 29, 5'10", 160 lbs, don't smoke, don't drink, eat healthy unprocessed foods, sodium intake is under 1500mg/day, try to eat lots of potassium, no coffee or caffeine, exercise regularly, etc.... basically there is no reason for me to have high blood pressure. I'm not sure where or when my phobia began, but I definitely get nervous very easily. Lately, it's gotten worse because of my hyper-sensitivity. One of the only things that calms me down or helps fight the anxiety is to exercise. I love to push myself in the gym, hike mountains, etc but lately I've become aware of my heart beat and how easily it is to feel it with my hand on my chest. Just standing up, walking around, doing dishes I can place my hand on my chest and feel my heart beating. This, accompanied with high BP readings, has me freaking out that I'm going to have a stroke or heart attack, which in turn has made me stop wanting to exercise, which has made my anxiety worse and made my BP spike even more! What a nasty spiral. I've also noticed for the past few years that I can see my pulse in my neck. I am not sure if these are me being hyper-sensitive or if they are real problems, but I'm so scared to visit the doctor because of the BP phobia. My Doc also hasn't been very supportive of the phobia and instantly just wanted to put me on meds, which I refused.

Anyways, in my research, I've discovered that we may have overactive sympathetic nervous systems, which is basically the nervous system that controls fight or flight response. People with this phobia may benefit from learning to trigger their parasympathetic nervous system when the sympathetic system is kicking in. I've just discovered this so I am not sure yet, but it seems hopeful and I thought I'd share and at least be one more person to share my story and let everyone know that this is more common than we often think. Check out a podcast called "decoding they sympathetic nervous system" or look up Emily Fletcher who works with meditation. They don't discuss links to BP, but I definitely think these things are tied to our phobia in some way.

Apr 05, 2019
My Experience NEW
by: Bryan

First, I've read every single comment on all 12 pages. I tried to comment previously but it has not shown up, so some of this may be repeated. I suffer from the same phobia with the same symptoms as the rest of you. I just feel compelled to share my story as it has been very frustrating and life consuming. My doctors have always taken my BP without telling me the numbers and used common sense to tell me "its a little high but you're just nervous". I have always been active, healthy, exercise regularly, not overweight, don't drink or smoke, etc. Well, I had to switch doctors in the past couple of years and my new doctor, without even questioning it, took my BP during one visit and already began discussing medication with me. I refused, because I know I am an anxious person. I bought a machine for home and have extremely mixed results! I have seen numbers as low as 107/70 and as high as 150/90 all in the same evening! I'm frustrated that my Doctor, who is supposed to be a professional and someone whom I trust, didn't even ask me any questions about mental health, anxiety, how I feel otherwise, taking more tests. He went straight to the pill! Lately my phobia has progressed and I'm struggling to get decent readings, which always has me worried that maybe I really do have high BP, but who knows! I've joined the discussion and I'll keep doing research, hopefully we find some kind of solution here soon.

Apr 08, 2019
JUST CAN'T DO IT! NEW
by: Anonymous

Ever since I had a lumpectomy 14 years ago, for some reason I developed this problem about having my blood pressure taken. With me, it's definitely the machine. As soon as it starts to get tight I freak out and my bp goes sky high. I bought a machine to practice with at home and it's no better. I yank it off every time as soon as it starts getting tight! Now I won't even use my home machine. And I dread going to the doctor because of it.

Apr 15, 2019
BP phobia NEW
by: Janice/Boston

I am so happy to read all these comments and know I am not alone! I started having this fear of taking blood pressure years ago when my Dad died in front of me after being released from hospital! Ever since then I obsess daily about my blood pressure and dying! I can’t get a normal reading if anyone comes near me with a BP machine! It’s to the point I cancel physical and won’t go to doctors! I finally made appt last week to see doctor because I need to face this awful fear! Please pray I can make it tomorrow! I have decided I will do whatever doctor advises!
Feel free to contact me at 4friedels@gmsil.com

May 04, 2019
I freak out NEW
by: frank

so glad to have found this web site, I am in the same boat as everyone here..taking my BP is so stressful..has been this way for over 20 years..just looking at a BP monitor or even my at home wrist BP monitor I can feel my stress levels rise and feel my heart pound...it's crazy but I just can't control the fear...Thanks again to all for sharing your stories.

May 04, 2019
Might Help NEW
by: Anonymous

I have had the same experience as most others posting. This includes the time when my GP "forced" me to go directly from his office to the local ER because of 210 over 111.

For the last 25 years I have dreaded doctor visits and ended up in that vicious cycle where the more you anticipate and worry about it, then sure enough, the worse the reading.

A few years ago, the same doctor recommended that I use a home monitor. I bought one, and it caused significant stress. As some have mentioned, the worst thing for me was the progression of noise and tightness. It seemed like there were multiple steps as the machine kept going "upwards", with each step bringing more tightness and the horrid certainty that this was not good news and that the reading was going to be higher, and then another whirr and another squeeze and, this is bad... and it usually was.

I pretty much stopped using it. I then went for two years avoiding my "annual" physical. But when I finally went the last time I told the Nurse Practitioner that I wanted the doctor to take my BP. This caused a slight huff, but she consented. However, bad news as usual when the doctor took it, and my medicine was upped.

The doctor once again recommended home monitoring and I bought a new Omron monitor. This tine I decided to change my tactics.

The first thing was to accept that the first reading would probably be bad, so I decided to "play with it". On the very first reading I tried to think myself into getting the highest reading I could just by using my mind. The reading was high. I then tried to beat that, and the second reading was not as high. I then did ten more readings seeing how much I could influence the level just though thinking.

I then did 40 readings one after the other trying different positions - sitting on the couch, sitting on the floor cross-legged, and standing,

Next I measured the time between when I pressed start and the read-out time to see the impact of that. I had always thought that the longer the machine runs, then the higher the BP will be, but that has not proved to always be true.

The next thing really helped me. The machine measures the pulse and for several runs, I focused on lowering my pulse rate. When I did this I got significantly lower BP readings and I found it much easier to just focus on lowering my pulse rather than trying to influence/lower my BP.

Overall, in the first day that I bought the machine, I must have made over 200 runs. My wife thought I was crazy, but it has really helped. By "playing" with the machine I have set the edges and now feel like I am in a more comfortable world. This compares to before when I was scared of the machine and avoided it. Now, there is no area/region of the machine's world that I have not walked around in.


One thing my multiple runs on that day and since (yes, there have been hundreds of experimental runs since) have shown me is how much the variations can be for people like us - 187 to 143 in a ten minute period etc. It really brings home to me how meaningless the measurements at the Doctor's can be.

Anyway, I have now lost a lot of fear, and I hope this experience is of some use to others.


Mike


May 05, 2019
Same Here! NEW
by: Anonymous

As i search through the web if I ever have a hypertension, I stumbled upon this forum and is relieved to know that I am not the only one suffering from this. I don't know what to do :( . I'm an athlete, and because of this, I almost can't join any tournaments since some needs medical check ups. I hope I could find a way to lower my blood pressure whenever I'm gonna get a HBD check up...

May 07, 2019
Same NEW
by: Anonymous

The very same for me too. I found a lot of relief reading the first page of comments from 2015. I found strength in those stories that were so similar to mine. Then I realized there were 11 more pages all the way up to now!

Back to Inner Health Studio Home

Protected by Copyscape DMCA Takedown Notice Infringement Search Tool

privacy policy