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

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: turquoisesilver@hotmail.com.

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

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/482891_3

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=master+panic+denise+beckfield

http://www.ebenalexander.com/books/seeking-heaven-sound-journeys-into-the-beyond/

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.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!

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 turquoisesilver@hotmail.com.

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 years....as 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 morning...it was the usual nightmare for me...ive been like this for 40 years....187/111...came down to 160/98 in a couple of minutes...now 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! turquoisesilver@hotmail.com.

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
Thanks!
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
Support
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?

Thanks.

Sep 25, 2015
Relax
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. turquoisesilver@hotmail.com

Oct 02, 2015
Ditto
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, turquoisesilver@hotmail.com

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
Oops
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. Missynielsen129@msn.com

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
Yea
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
Relax
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 bp.at 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? turquoisesilver@hotmail.com

Nov 01, 2015
Mindfulness
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.
JMN

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
Magnesium
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 years...now 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.

I have discovered that a big part of the fear and avoidance is being embarrassed at what nurse/doctor thinks - I have found being aggressive about it helps - we are the type of people who don't like to stand up to someone or make waves (my opinion here)

If it is only high at the doctors or when nervous at home, the fear of a stroke is way overdone - it will go lower when you stop thinking about or go to sleep - here's a stat that should be calming - my doctor said that with the bp I had at the office (211/102, highest its ever been) and cholesterol at 220, I would have a 1 out of 3 chance of a stroke over 10 years! - I figured at that reading id be dead in a couple of days! at home I'm about 135/75 which is fine, and now col at 175.

I still struggle with this fear but using this site helps a lot - keep writing your thoughts! KB

Dec 26, 2015
Fear
by: Lisa

Glad to know I am not alone. My fear started about 30 years ago when I went to the doctors (not my usual doctor). My blood pressure was 140/80 and he said it's too high And I could have a stroke any time. Ever since then my blood pressure has gone up to about 170/90 and higher when I went into hospital. Not too high at home about 160/80 and most nights it comes right down to about 120/60. Just the sight of the machine upsets me. I get sick of explaining how I feel to the doctor, in fact I put off going just so they don't take my blood pressure. The other thing that annoys me is when they say in the doctor's surgery or when in hospital "just relax". Don't they know if I could do that I would! I feel I have no control over it. I am disappointed that the people you go to for medical assistance can't be more understanding and supportive. I don't do this to myself deliberately. My dad and my mum always said to me, what are you worried about, my blood pressure is never high. All I hope is one day I will just forget about it because I do worry about it daily.

Dec 27, 2015
Down with the HBP
by: Montrealer

I'm in the same both or bath :-)

When first I was "diagnosed" with HBP it was all my fault.

My fault because when I was "diagnosed", 5 years ago, I was losing my job and Dr asked if everything was Ok at work, I said Oh yes no problems

My fault because for the 2 visits to the dr office I was in rush finding a parking and running to the dr office.

Dr's are quick in prescribing and I didn't have all the "knowledge" I have now regarding HBP so she hooked me to HTZ 12.5 mg which becomes 25 mg after a year or so.

Once I was even told that HBP medication is for life .... wow wow what psychological support.

My last visit I got 180/100 and told that she is not supposed to let me go. I told her I'm just tense since it has been awhile I didn't measure it.

Since then I'm avoiding to see her cause I don't wanna her to prescribe me some other "poison" that I have to ingest.

I'm now scared to measure it at home but I do it, it starts high then it goes down.

I don't wanna be in denial but I think the fact that the reading doesn't stay high is a good indication that maybe I don't even have HBP and that all is in my head.

I feel trapped and I regret that I didn't decline the medication in the first place.

Sometimes a laugh brings it down, sometimes surfing while measuring it ... just get busy for 5 sec and voila' 20 points or so down.

It is ridiculous.

A month ago I called the nurse to tell her that the numbers at home are not bad (around 135-145/88-95) she told me those are high, in a way she freaked me out.

I think Doctors and nurses have to study psychology first and they have to be cut for such job, it is not for whoever wanting just to make big salaries.

I use to panic when I get 160-180/100-110, now I just freak out :-) and I walk by the house while measuring it and you know what, which doesn't make sense, it goes down to 150ish ... go figure.

I'm really glad I met all of you here and I encourage you to face this phobia and to talk to your care provider that stuffing you with meds is not good, to put it mildly.

I know that a doctor has to cash in seeing the max of patient, at least here in quebec/canada, but we need a doctor that listens to us with empathy that encourage us when we do a lil better.

I'm 100 % sure that if you go to see your doctor and he/she mesures your BP and even if it is high (without you seeing the numbers) will tell you "wow you are doing great, 'm glad it is improving ... let me take another mesure" ... I'm sure he will get low numbers.

But it seems they don't really care ... more they prescribe more grants they get.

Again, Good luck for you All and 'm quite sure a good percentage among you doesn't need any meds cause you are just fine :-)

Dec 28, 2015
Good to have a friend from Canada!
by: Noreen

Keep reading and find comfort in our situation. I really wish we could all get together.

Dec 29, 2015
Great to meet u all
by: VJ

It has been really debilitating feeling for almost 2 years and am so glad i am not alone. I am 58 years old. It is not just white coat but just the sight or even the thought of the stupid machine kicks in the panic. Even a 3rd or 4th reading after deep conscious breathing never gave normal. I can actually feel the jitters when i think about measuring bp. This irrational fear is so obsessive that my day is occupied with these thoughts. My muscles are tight and a constant neck pain. I told the doctor and he said i should start taking bp meds. He believes i do have hypertention because my readings are high even at home. He also gave me Lexapro. I think i will start with Lexapro and see if it helps. Would be great to actually meet any of you. I am around Cherry Hill, NJ area.

Dec 30, 2015
To JV
by: Montrealer

I would not mind taking meds if I really have HBP.

The problem here is that we are dealing with phobia, anxiety n so on.

So we need to fix that because we know for sure that it is the root cause of the High readings.

If I was a doctor I'd refer you to a psychologist because you may only need to exocise those bad thoughts that are making u feel miserable.

Take time to talk to your doctor and if he doesn't have time for a chat find another one.
My mistake is that I accept to take meds and once u r hooked there is no way out ... they r called drugs r n't they.

Cheers


Dec 30, 2015
afraid of being afraid
by: Anonymous

Hi I've had this for years also! Went to a therapist who advised me to take it at home and always give the nurse a number don't just tell her it will be high. Well I mostly do OK until I come to periods of high stress and then it's an ordeal to take it at home too so I'm in the same boat. I need surgery in a month and have started freaking out .... just really glad to know I'm not alone!!! Thanks!!

Jan 01, 2016
High BP from anxiety
by: Anonymous

Hi, wow I can't explain how thankful I am to have come across these responses. I had my son two years ago and had to deliver him early due to high blood pressure. I am 27 and consider myself healthy otherwise. Long story short after my son was born I was not allowed to be released from the hospital until my blood pressure normalized. Every time the doctor came in to take my BP I immediately felt sooo anxious. My heart raced, I physically felt my blood pressure rising. Now TWO years later I have a fear of taking my blood pressure. I monitor it at home and get somewhat normal readings, but higher than normal. I know for a fact it's my anxiety. The doctors are another story, I have anxiety even thinking about getting my BP taken at the doctors. Anyways please please let me know what others are doing to cope! I need to get this under control... Thank you all!

Jan 05, 2016
Me Too!
by: Anonymous

I'm going on 78 and have had HP phobia since I was 25 and trying to get life insurance! No Luck!! The top of my bucket list? Trying to find a cure! Reluctantly go to doctors unless have an emergency! Example: Gall Bladder and appendix! I know my BP is not hi until I'm in doctor's office! Never left hospital & being told BP was high! BP at doc's office sky high, knowing they are taking my BP! When I leave, I am relaxed and know it's less than 140/90; my reading at home! Lately, It is getting high at home (the phobea has come home)! Went to doc and they are trying BP meds! NO Difference!! I know I don't need them! So, I' m gonna stop taking it! Taking BP anytime, I feel BP rising! They tell me to be aware of stroke! I have been active all my life playing sports, still work out at least 3 times week joggin, ridin Airdyne bike and WALK steps at high school stadium! 5'9, 177 lbs! They tell me I'm overweight! I never think about BP till havin it taken! Glad, after all these years, I' not alone!! Just relax, we'll b fine!

Jan 05, 2016
thanks Mike
by: J

I tried the magnesium for pre surgery anxiety and it does seem to help ... have the same BP phobia as everyone else and trying not to obsess about the coming doctor visits and surgery day (yeah riiight!) anyway, Thanks!

Jan 06, 2016
Beetroot juice
by: Anonymous

I'm so glad I'm not alone on this one. Like every body else I'm scared of readings, home machine, sound of it, looking at it, thought of it. So I've taken matters into my own hands after reading a British study on beetroot juice. Medically proven to lower BP much the same as medication. I drink 250mils every day as a preventative. You get used to the taste & I believe it's doing the job. Still have the anxiety problem reference to BP but to me it's like taking medication with no side effects. Trust in the beetroot.

Jan 07, 2016
Few things i started doing
by: VJ

Thanks Montrealer. Fully agree with you on 'drugs' being drugs. One thing i wanted to share here is i got my Vit D tested and it is 17.5 ng/Ml which i came to know is well below normal. Started taking supplements but not in high doses. Also started few minutes of yoga (mostly breathing excercises) daily mornings. Have not attempted checking my BP but feeling a little better mentally. It all may be a 'placebo' effect and psychological but i will continue. Its too early to say. I also looked at something called 'amygdala retraing', not tried yet but will try. My feeling is, we have to beat this ! We will attack it from all directions ! Try everything as long as it is not damaging. I wish you guys all the best. Be in touch,

Cheers.

Jan 09, 2016
Bp app phobia support group
by: JepOy

Im jepoy from the philippines. 27 y.o. Siagnosed with hypertension 2 years ago.

I have the same experience just like you. If im alone, my bp is fine. When anyone sses that im checking my bp, it goes high. Much higher when im with my doctor. Do you have any group in fb so that we can share our sentiments there. Who knows, with our support to one another, we can overcome this phobia and be normal again.

Jan 10, 2016
agree
by: j

I think a lot of it stems from 'performance anxiety' and that first time you get the 'stink eye' from a nurse. I had one run out of the room to fetch the doctor who lectured me but I stuck to my guns and refused the medicine b/c I know I don't have high BP just the phobia. But I did get some tools from my therapist who I had a working relationship with from other issues but this problem has been going on for at lest 20 years ... I can usually get a normal reading at home but under times of high anxiety like waiting on upcoming surgery and how many stink eyes I'll get it's high at home too but nothing off the charts. Luckily my personal doctor knows about it and that helps... good luck everybody a good therapist does help if only to give you 'tools' to cope at the doctors office ... sorry to say I don't know about a cure but if you can finally desensitize to a home reading then that would be all the proof you need. That's why those BP machines were invented!

Jan 18, 2016
Dr advice on this condition
by: Tauqeer

My name is Tauqeer, am from India and I never had this issue before, not sure when it kind of got into my system. I dread the same way as you all, while just looking at this machine.

Once I went to a Dr as part of Health Checkup for my new job, it was a mandatory test, which I couldnt escape, I explained this to the Dr when he saw my BP level rising, and he advised me to have a Ambulatory Device, which basically is tied to you for 24 hours and would record it once in a few hours, and at the end of 24 hours, it will give you a trend of the BP reading using which we can ascertain the correct BP.

I checked the cost of this Machine and it was found to be very expensive, but still even if I have this machine, I dont think I have the courage to wear it for 24 hours. I feel facing it again and again and getting used to it would help, but it is easier said than done. My email id is mtauqeer@hotmail.com if somebody can crack this please pass the info to me. I need help!

Jan 22, 2016
Reply to last comment regarding wearing machine 24/7
by: Anonymous

I think the problem with wearing that machine for 24 hours would be that every time you'd feel the thing tightening on your arm, you'd go into panic mode and it would read consistently high anyway, so it still wouldn't be an accurate reading. I'd thought about doing a machine like that but if that's what would happen, then why bother. It would only do more harm than good.

Jan 22, 2016
Don't Do It!!
by: Anonymous

Just replying to the last comment re 24 hour monitoring!! Recently had one of the dreaded machines strapped to me and can honestly say it was a nightmare and proved nothing other than confirmed my fear of having BP taken! BP remained consistantly high and after 24 hours without sleep felt drained and so stressed. Consultant accepted that fear played a big part in the high readings however we are now at an impasse as no real idea how to proceed. Just trying to switch off, not easy but am sure that I would have keeled over and died were my BP to be as seriously high as the readings show. Hate myself for not being able to resolve but so pleased that I am not alone!!

Jan 23, 2016
To Tauqueer
by: Noreen

When one has a phobia, the best way to get over it, is to do the thing that causes the problem.

I was advised to get a wrist monitor, the one you hold up to your heart. It is much better for me, as it is not cranking up on my arm!

Practice doing it without looking at the results. After a while, you can get used to the action and not be so bothered, so that when you finally do look, it should be good.

Anyway, this has helped me. I can usually get a normal reading. If I don't I do it a few more times and then get a normal reading.

Jan 26, 2016
Thanks Noreen
by: Tauqeer

Thanks Noreen and others for your valuable comments and suggestions, I agree that strapping our arm for 24 hours would not be a good idea, it would definetly drain us and keep us constantly stressed. But what Noreen said I think would help us all to an extent, i.e go through the entire process and never look at the readings and continue doing so, until you feel comfortable with the feeling and I think the final reading would be ok.

But I think there has to be a kind of awareness, so that the Doctors and the respective faternity would actually agree that it is indeed a fear and not that the respective people are suffering from High BP, so that they would come out with something which would help us all. I fear,God forbid, if people suffering from this issue land up in a hospital and the Doctors wouldnt buy your explanation, we feel helpless, I have suffered the same situation and had to forcibly come out of the hospital. How long can we do the same. There has to be some help from the Doctors.

Feb 01, 2016
Deep Breathing is Important
by: Kevin801

Remember everyone that deep breathing for 5-10 minutes can reduce systolic BP by 20-25 points - the studies show that it works for people with White Coat BP but not on others!!!

Feb 03, 2016
nervous in seeing BP machine
by: rj

every time i went to any clinic, i always go nervous i don't even know why even though i'm not there for the check up. it's just that i'm afraid of taking my BP. MY BP is 130/90 because when the moment the BP machine get into me, my heart is pounding very strong and very fast also for the reason that i don't know . and i can't help myself to relax even though i try

Feb 06, 2016
Thank You Candi
by: Anonymous

I found this post while experiencing extreme anxiety. I,too, check my BP dozens of times a day and it's usually high the first several times, but then goes down; it continuously fluctuates between high and normal depending on where I'm at in my panic cycle. I clicked on the first link Candi posted and by the end of reading the page my anxiety was significantly reduced. Thanks for that wonderful resource.

Feb 06, 2016
Thanks!
by: bmms

I've been dealing with this for 30 years +/- and I wish I had found this conversation LOOOOONG ago. I don't really have any other anxiety issues that I know of but my MD knows my high readings in his office are not what's really going on. I tried to get him to stop taking readings because it just reinforced that reaction but he wouldn't. He said he was showing that I had "white coat syndrome" by comparing to my readings at home. I've tried meditation and got to where I just stopped taking for long periods.

About 1989, I was diagnosed with HBP and put on meds. It took me about 10 years to figure out that I didn't really need them but I was still in the "doctor knows best" mindset. I'm not there anymore and haven't gone back to meds although I am still concerned about it. I exercise regularly but my weight has gone up a little and being older (62) might mean that I need to go back but, until I can get reliable readings, it's hard to know.

Feb 11, 2016
Dr appt
by: Anonymous

So I have my yearly physical next month at the doctors and I'm already dreading it. I think about it all the time and it's depressing. Sometimes I build up confidence and feel good about it saying it will be quick and done and I'll feel better getting it done and over with. Then I think my blood pressure is going to be high and maybe I'll get bad blood work results or something and I'll be worried. I have been weight resign all year and am definitely in better shape then the last time I had a physical. I had borderline high cholesterol but nothing bad. I just try and tell myself everything will be ok and doctors are there to help us not hurt us. My blood pressure phobia will probably kick in too but my doctor understands this about me. I checked it a couple months ago at home and it was pretty good. The usually starts out high and then comes down. That's what happened last time I was at the doctors. Ugh I wish I could just be normal and go to the doctor anytime I needed without getting so worked up about it. Thanks

Feb 17, 2016
Can't calm down
by: Anonymous

Hello all! So very glad to find this site. I never had a problem worrying about blood pressure until my dad had a stroke. Now I get white coat Hbp each time I go in. It even carries over to my home checking. I realize that I may be genetically disposed to hbp, but I want accurate readings in case I end up Having to take meds as I don't want to over medicate. And does anyone else feel like having Hbp makes them "defective" in a way? Maybe that's why we get anxious; we enter want to admit maybe we are getting old, are vulnerable, have to watch what we eat etc. I think maybe that's my issue. Also, I wore an ambulatory monitor but I had positive results: it definitely showed white coat hypertension- the rest f the reading were quite good. Everyone take care, a glad we found each other!

Feb 18, 2016
blood pressure phobia
by: Pat

I not only have the blood pressure phobia, now I've developed
hypochondriac issues as well !! I retired from my job last year and have too much time on my hands..My doctor put me on a low dose blood pressure medication, but it doesn't seem to help..I told her that I feel I'm doing this to myself because of anxiety when taking my blood pressure.

Feb 21, 2016
Anxiety and bp
by: Anonymous

I'm so glad to read this . I am 38 and diagnosed with high bp but I am struggling with bp anxiety right now. Two months ago at least the docs office I had a bp measure of 107/74 beautiful right? Months before that 118/82. This was all with taking meds and not worrying about my bp. That all changed when I got a bad blood test result about my fasting glucose. I have been waking up panicked over taking my blood sugar . Great now 2 phobias! Well the anxiety sent me over the edge and I woke up with my heart racing and thought I was having a heart attack. Took my bp and it was in the 180s! That sent me into a tailspin I kept taking it until it lowered my last reading after taking it around 20 times throughout the day was130/84. I know it is my anxiety and now I shake just thinking about taking it but I feel compulsive like if I don't take it I won't know it's high and I'll have a heart attack. I feel so stupid and weak and scared.

Feb 21, 2016
You are scaring yoursel
by: Montrealer

To "Anxiety and bp" dated Feb 21, 2016

The first time I saw 180 was 6 months ago in the doctor office.

How I got it? well it started with dr taking first "manual" reading and saying ummmhhh you have 160, that's high (actually I didn't have a chance to rest before the measurement).

Then she put me on the automatic one but the damage was done and I was really scared ... the results was 180 with the machine. Told her that it is just because I'm anxious, she said ok but normally I'm not supposed to let you go with that pressure so high.

I've been measuring it since at home and, as supposed to be since it is like the pulse, sometimes it is high and sometimes it is normal or close to normal.

You should be worried if it is always high or let's say consistently high, otherwise it is anxiety ... you will notice that most of the time systolic and pulse are related.

As mentioned in one of my previous comments, Dr's should work on the patient psychology to do an accurate measuring unfortunately they don't have time and they seem not to care.

The other thing, while you are measuring if you feel that your heart is pounding and that you are anxious stop the machine and relax before trying ... you can also get yourself distracted while measuring, like talking on the phone or watching a movie or surfing (yes I know they you have to keep quite but quite most of the time can get you anxious.

Good luck and Low with the HBP!


Feb 24, 2016
BP anxiety
by: Anonymous

I too have this problem and it's comforting to know that I'm not alone! I only have to think about having my BP taken and can feel it rising, especially if the monitor is electronic. My GP uses a manual monitor which nearly always gives normal readings but it goes sky high whenever an electronic monitor is used - even when I take my BP at home. I think it's something to do with the noise it makes then you wait for it to keep pumping knowing this means your BP is high which makes it worse! I would advise anyone with this problem to find a GP who uses the old fashioned manual machine, which are just as accurate as the electronic ones and far less stressful! Good luck to you all!

Feb 27, 2016
taking BP at home
by: j

I don't mind the wrist monitor and that has helped me ... I take it every day at home to keep myself 'desensitized' but it still goes up in the doctors office but not as bad as it used to .... I've been getting normal readings at the doctors which surprise the heck out of me but I always warn the nurse that I have white coat and I think that helps me relax. The old fashioned way of taking it scares me more than the electric but we all have our phobia quirks. I've been to a therapist for this and that helped so I would advise anyone here to try that if all else fails ... there's nothing wrong w/ getting some 'coping tools' Good luck!!

Feb 29, 2016
I'm in the same boat
by: Anonymous

Wow!! so glad I found this site. I, too, have a phobia of getting my blood pressure taken at a clinic or hospital (it's just fine when I take it at home). like many of you, just the thought of having it taken makes me panic. Even when I see a bp machine at the clinic, I panic and can just feel my bp rising. I've had this issue for many years. I'm having surgery next week and tomorrow I have to do the pre-ops. I'm dreading it because I know they will take my blood pressure.

Mar 07, 2016
HOW TO GET RID BP PHOBIA
by: BP PHOBIA

I HAVE THIS SAME PROBLEM.. HOW DO I GET RID OF TAKING BP MEASURE...I"M NERVOUS WHILE TAKING BP EITHER AT HOME OR HOSPITAL...I WILL GET NERVOUS IF I SEE BP MACHINE or EVEN IF ANY ONE TALKS ABOUT BP OR TAKING BP.. PLEASE FRIENDS HELP ME......

Mar 08, 2016
Half in my head?
by: Ron75

I always had white Coat and I just came to the conclusion that a reading of 160/90 at the doctor’s office was my normal. The important thing, it always went down when I took my pressure at home. About 6 years ago, I started to notice that my readings at home started to creep up from around 130/85 to
145 /90 so I went to the doctors to report my findings. He said, since I exercise daily (Bicycle 4 miles each morning, then walk about another mile), he wanted to put me on 50 Mils of metoprolol. This helped bring it down some, but I noticed that I was starting to get very anxious each time I checked my pressure at home with my monitor. (An Omron automatic digital). When I first sat down, my pressure was always at least 150/90. I would then sit and try NOT to think about the reading….it would always come down after about 10 minutes…..to a more normal 130/85. My doctor has since increased my dosage to 150 mils. Half in the Morning, half in the evening before bed. Even with this high dosage, I am still very anxious about taking the reading. I learned to watch the readout and stop it when the cuff gets to over 170…..thus cancelling it before it finished the check. I found that a digit inflation of over 170 gives me a reading of above 145/over 90….so I learned to just "wait" until the inflation pressure is a bit lower before I get the "real" reading. Comforting, my doctor says "spiking" is normal for many people during the day. Spiking can be even as high as 200/100!.The key is not to be spiking for a long period of time…days or even weeks….(this is rare even for those of us in here that have this cursed "arm band syndrome"). Thanks for all your contributions…. I am glad you guys are here to help put a little prospective to it. My friends and family…many…think this is just a lot of stuff in my head.

Mar 10, 2016
surgery
by: j

I have this problem and when the anesthesiologist asked me if I had a problem w/ my blood pressure I told him 'no' just anxiety so as he started to take my blood pressure he put me to sleep and when I was coming to my BP on the monitor was just fine so hopefully when you have your surgery that's what they'll do! Good Luck! I'm hoping that's the last surgery of my life as the pre anxiety was horrible and all b/c I didn't know what my BP was going to be. If you can find a doctor that understands that should help. I'm finally comfortable (as comfortable as I'll ever be) w/ my PCP and I've been getting a normal BP in her office although I still go through my white-coat spiel to the nurse every time just in case! it's embarrassing but also VERY common, We are not alone!

Mar 10, 2016
Medical Alert Card
by: Anonymous Nurse

I am thinking of making a Medical Alert Card to carry when I go to new health care settings. It will say something like this:

"I have a strong stress reaction to taking having my blood pressure taken. My primary care physician is following my blood pressure and is aware of my hyper-reactivity. His phone number is XXXXXXXXX if you need further information.
I would prefer you not take my blood pressure but if it becomes essential for my care please take it after giving me time to adjust to your office and staff and take it more than once when my heart rate has reached its normal range of 60-70 beats per minute. Thank you for your caring understanding of my circumstances."

What do you think?

Mar 10, 2016
Medical Alert Card
by: Anonymous Nurse

I am thinking of making a Medical Alert Card to carry when I go to new health care settings. It will say something like this:

"I have a strong stress reaction to having my blood pressure taken. My primary care physician is following my blood pressure and is aware of my hyper-reactivity. His phone number is XXXXXXXXX if you need further information.
I would prefer you not take my blood pressure but if it becomes essential for my care please take it after giving me time to adjust to your office and staff and take it more than once when my heart rate has reached its normal range of 60-70 beats per minute. Thank you for your caring understanding of my circumstances."

What do you think?

Mar 11, 2016
Medical Alert ID
by: Noreen

That is such a great idea.

I need to make an appt. for my "yearly" exam and I am dreading it. The doctor is nice, but I don't think she believed me that I don't have high blood pressure. I wouldn't let her take it. At home it is normal. When I was there last year, I thought she believed me, but then when I took my blood test order, I noticed she had used a code for high blood pressure for several of the tests, which really made me angry, (probably raising my bp!).

This is such an extremely annoying problem.

Mar 12, 2016
Good idea
by: Tauqeer

This is a great idea, if the Medical card can be authorised by a Medical practitioner, it would end all of our meseries and this might kind bring back of lost confidence.

Mar 12, 2016
Provider Technique
by: Anonymous Nurse

You might find the information on this AHA site informative. Notice the very specific instructions about correct measurement of BP ( BP cuff level with heart, wait 5 minutes before taking the first BP reading, take multiple readings, etc).
I rarely have my BP taken by someone who follows all these procedures correctly.

How careful are your health care providers?

http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/45/1/142.full

Mar 12, 2016
Healthcare personal needs BP training
by: Montrealer

You right Anonymous Nurse, upset me a lot when my doctor or the nurse wants to take my blood pressure. They don't respect the basic basics on how to do it correctly .... which makes my blood boils of anger :-)


Mar 13, 2016
How does a person know?
by: MelGee

Since I was 18 years old more or less I have had a bad phobia about someone (even me) taking my blood/pressure. As many of you, the placement of the B/P cuff causes mine to shoot up like a rocket. I have no pain or symptoms, other than the meter says my B/P is to high, OR once it was too low. The text book says only 120/80 is good, every other reading is bad, and could kill you any second. Of course I don't have to tell you how this can ruin your day, week or life. I have been in the hospital several times, with nothing found. Actually I did have High B/P once and the signs were hard to miss. Three days in the hosp fixed the unknown problem. Believe me they did several MRI's and many other tests, Only to find nothing. I know the meter is all they have to indicate there is a problem, so it's a no win situation. I have spent thousands of dollars on hospital visits, and medication with one problem in which I actually DID have high B/P. and believe my body knew it. I am currently past 70 years old, and who knows, there could be a real problem. One day a couple of weeks ago mine was excellent, only to find a couple of days later it's very high. All I can say is when my B/P was in fact dangerously high I knew it. My eyes wouldn't process the information being sent to my brain. I can feel for you who are cursed with this problem. I have no idea what causes it, and neither do the doctors. Maybe GOD will tell us by n by. Good luck to you.

Mar 13, 2016
Good doctors visit
by: Anonymous

I recently went for my yearly exam and my bp was pretty good. I was shocked but my doctor is so cool. He's an older man who jokes around and it so nice. He never hypes things up and always has a calm approach. He takes the time to listen and explain things. I have been working out a lot lifting running etc and also eating a small piece of dark chocolate daily really helps with bp. My advice to everyone is to find a great doctor. Ask around and if u don't like yours switch! Exercise and keep busy. Don't take your bp unless you are instructed to do so. My doctor told me I don't need to check mine. It's fine. I was so happy and everyone can be too. Stop stressing over your bp it fluctuates daily and can be high during times of stress and normal most of the time. If u do check follow the guidelines. Wait 5 min rest make sure you're doing it right. If you're nervous or anxious don't check it. Or check it a few times but don't look at the number. Practice this many times until you get comfortable. And then look at the number later. Enjoy life and don't stress over this silly thing anymore. There's bigger problems to worry about. Thanks

Mar 14, 2016
For MelGee
by: Anonymous

Dear MelGee,
The text books state 120/80 as an ideal BP but 130/70 is good as are several other readings.
As we get older it does change and our age is taken into account when having BP taken at the doctors.
As the previous contributor stated don't take it when anxious but don't avoid if asked to take readings, just take several and it will get lower each time.
As I get white coat syndrome I prefer to take my own readings over a fortnight and give them to the doctor.
I also take it occasionally when relaxed, that way it isn't a phobia anymore.

Mar 18, 2016
A case
by: Anonymous

hi, fellows.
My story:
-about 40 years old I measure pressure 150/100 and a doctor higher.
-I went a specialist. my pressure was monitored under heavy physical load. The diagnose:no hypertension.
-10 years ago I was so tired that I let a doctor measure my pressure- 175/105
-I refused medication. Doctor was so angry that wanted to prove to me. He did send me ambulatory monitoring.
-result 24 hours average 119/80
-I solemly promised to me never let measurement
-I wanted my driving licence maintained 70 years old
-pressure measurement needed- 220/110
-home measurements: 170/100 daytime, evening when very sleepy 125/68 usually at least 150/80
-now I am going to ambulatory!,,,,,

Btw: common sense and a phillosofe David Hume:
If in the you hear the voice as horse valuing thing a horse not A zebra.


-

Mar 24, 2016
Someone needs to invent a forehead scanner
by: Jill

Wow, I am blown away reading all of your comments! So comforting to know I'm not totally wacko! I am embarassed to talk about this to anyone unless I think they would be compassionate, or have the issue themselves and understand.

It has been gradual for me, as alot of you, that this came on. I always had great BP, on the low end in fact. I am 55 and it changed in the last few years. My mom died 5 years ago of a succession of heart attacks and finally strokes. She didn't take that great of care of herself, overweight and didn't exercise but boy did she enjoy her life! I feel my lifestyle is alot better than hers, I've been doing yoga for 25 years, and walk and bike ride alot. Try to eat pretty healthy with occasional junk, and don't drink much. I think watching her go thru this, and all the Dr. visits and hospital stays I went along on was the beginning of my anxiety about this. Well she passed, then my dad was alone and I watched over him for 3 years, going along on all the Dr visits and hospital stays. He had totally different issues, and was my stepdad, so no worries about health related matters. Tho I loved him like a dad, and called him that! He passed 1 1/2 years ago.

Since then I have had an aversion to the Dr. and get anxious when I have to go, which isn't much. Right now my annual pap exam is coming up, and the fear is building. I wish someone could invent a forehead scanner to take BP, because for me if it could be over quicker I think it would be a more accurate reading. I have an older style cuff at home that you pump up and it gives a digital readout. The beeping bothers me tho. My husband started checking his BP as the doc recommended and was told to get a new Omiron model, which we did. That thing give me super high readings, I can't stand it! When the cuff starts to tighten I feel my heart start to race, and then the reading throws me into a funk for the day. Such a viscious cycle! I really feel I am pretty healthy otherwise.

All of your comments have helped me to go with the idea to just go in and talk to the doc and explain, without the nurse taking my BP 1st. I am building the courage, thank you all so much for sharing! There is comfort here and I am grateful :)

Mar 25, 2016
B/P
by: Anonymous SJP

Just found your website alleluia. Have had this phobia since my eldest was born she is 37 now.My Doc then used to take the machine off the table
as I felt sick and faint. Just been hospital
visiting and my eyes are glued to the machine which reads b/p. Ive told my family if ever
I have to go to hospital they must tell the
medics of my phobia. It has stopped me going for
jobs where a medical is needed. With my second child I had to go private with my Doc writing a letter explaining my problem. All through labours my b/p was normal. My present Doc totally gets it and I just show her my b/p readings taken at home which are normal. So glad to
find out I am not on my own. I feel a freak

Mar 25, 2016
Anyone live near Chicago area?
by: Noreen

Everyone once in a while I keep asking. If there is someone, with this same nuisance of a problem, near me. I'd love to get together with them to commiserate and heal.

Please let me know: turquoisesilver@hotmail.com

Mar 25, 2016
Not as dangerous as you think
by: KB801

I want to emphasize that you can have high readings intermittantly and even if it is high all the time it takes a long time to kill you, you will not have a stroke right away as many think (you still need to keep it under control if you can) -Just read that a top number of 170, whichever doc would treat, brought down to below 140, would save 2 people out of 100 from a stroke for five years - you still want to lower it but don't have to go loco about it -

I know fears are not rational, and I still have the phobia but its gotten better so that I can take it at home and its okay. Went to doc the other day and he now only takes my home readings - nurse always want to take it and complains when I say no but you need to stand your ground on this, and find another doc if the one you have now doesn't understand

Apr 04, 2016
Finally
by: Florida11101

So, here I was thinking I was the only person with an intense phobia of getting my BP taken. I do not have whitecoat syndrome. Actually, if I go into a medical facility and I know that my BP will not be taken, I feel very relaxed and great. But, when I know or even suspect that the dreaded BP machine will latch onto my arm....I get into a really tense state. This happens days before the appointment and just builds.
So, here is how I go the phobia. I am in the military and have been for the past 18 years. I have always had great BP readings until 2009. I never even noticed my BP was being taken before that date. I went in, and I had just run up the stairs and was called in soon after. The cuff was put on and the result was a high reading. The medical technician looked at me crazy and asked if I had just run a marathon, I said no. He said "Your blood pressure is really high".
That is literally all it took to gain this fear. I do stuff in the military that is risky, stressful and instills fear. I strap on firefighting equipment, work on the flight deck of ships....etc. I have no fear of anything....except getting my BP taken.
It was so bad in 2011 that I had an EKG done and it turned out fine, just a high heart rate.
Because I am in the military, I see a different doctor each time. So, I have to explain to a different doctor every time that I only have high BP and pulse in the medical facility.
I went to the dentist the other day and my pulse rate was 159. Really high. I went to medical a few days later and my pulse was 154 with a 145/95 BP. For me, that is REALLY high. If I take it at a CVS or Walgreens by myself, I get a 110/70 or so. My resting pulse rate is about 55-70. I am not so sure that it is the actually machine, but the reading that the machine gives and the response from the medical staff. So, I know this is just a fear in my head, and an irrational fear, but I can do nothing to control it.
So, when you feel like you have this fear and it is bad, just know that a military officer, who leads over 100 people into stressful and dangerous situations has the same problem as you.

I do not have a solution for this issue, and am not aware of a solution that works. I am starting to try breathing techniques and some relaxing herbs, but too early to tell. I have a medical appointment tomorrow, so I know I have to explain this again.
Well, at least I know there are others who have this problem. Good luck to everyone.

Apr 04, 2016
Finally
by: Florida

So, here I was thinking I was the only person with an intense phobia of getting my BP taken. I do not have whitecoat syndrome. Actually, if I go into a medical facility and I know that my BP will not be taken, I feel very relaxed and great. But, when I know or even suspect that the dreaded BP machine will latch onto my arm....I get into a really tense state. This happens days before the appointment and just builds.
So, here is how I go the phobia. I am in the military and have been for the past 18 years. I have always had great BP readings until 2009. I never even noticed my BP was being taken before that date. I went in, and I had just run up the stairs and was called in soon after. The cuff was put on and the result was a high reading. The medical technician looked at me crazy and asked if I had just run a marathon, I said no. He said "Your blood pressure is really high".
That is literally all it took to gain this fear. I do stuff in the military that is risky, stressful and instills fear. I strap on firefighting equipment, work on the flight deck of ships....etc. I have no fear of anything....except getting my BP taken.
It was so bad in 2011 that I had an EKG done and it turned out fine, just a high heart rate.
Because I am in the military, I see a different doctor each time. So, I have to explain to a different doctor every time that I only have high BP and pulse in the medical facility.
I went to the dentist the other day and my pulse rate was 159. Really high. I went to medical a few days later and my pulse was 154 with a 145/95 BP. For me, that is REALLY high. If I take it at a CVS or Walgreens by myself, I get a 110/70 or so. My resting pulse rate is about 55-70. I am not so sure that it is the actually machine, but the reading that the machine gives and the response from the medical staff. So, I know this is just a fear in my head, and an irrational fear, but I can do nothing to control it.
So, when you feel like you have this fear and it is bad, just know that a military officer, who leads over 100 people into stressful and dangerous situations has the same problem as you.

I do not have a solution for this issue, and am not aware of a solution that works. I am starting to try breathing techniques and some relaxing herbs, but too early to tell. I have a medical appointment tomorrow, so I know I have to explain this again.
Well, at least I know there are others who have this problem. Good luck to everyone

Apr 05, 2016
Thanks for your encouraging words
by: Tauqeer

Thanks you Sir for your encouraging words, hope somebody somewhere finds something path breaking which would help us all.

All the best :) and thanks again for your comments.
Tauqeer

Apr 05, 2016
aGree
by: KB801

To finally new:

You are so right on-I led 20 people out the South Tower on 9/11, flames, debris falling, hysterical people, yet even though I knew we were in grave danger, I had a strange calm determination and I GUARANTEE you that my BP was lower then when'd its taken by a doctor. Part of the reason is I had no time to thin about 9/11, so there was no anticipatory thoughts or anxiety, and I had a goal to focus on.

Phobias are strange bed-fellows, and often happen to more intelligent people, so here's to us bright people. Maybe we should start a BP Phob Mensa Group!

Apr 05, 2016
Intelligence
by: Florida11101

Yes, I believe you are correct that highly intelligent people seem to have many anxiety and phobia type issues. It is because we are more aware and in tune to pretty much everything going on around us. I was a gifted child and my son has been identified. I'll wait until he is much older to talk to him about anxiety because if I speak to him about it now....it may give him anxiety!! So, my appointment was rescheduled until tomorrow (by them, not me for once). I am going to try some deep breathing stuff and see if that helps, but I doubt it. Ill go into flight or fight when I see the machine.
You do bring up a good point about remaining calm during 9/11. I think you are correct. You didn't have to think about it, it just happened, so no time for the anxiety to build.

Apr 05, 2016
Wrist Monitor
by: Noreen

Hi, All,

I really enjoyed the last couple of entries, of course for the honesty, and then the idea that extremely intelligent people have phobias, etc. I can agree with that!

The one thing that has helped me was getting a wrist monitor. The one you hold up to your heart. I have gotten success with it. It's less stressful than having something clamp down on your upper arm.

The other helpful idea for me was to "take" your bp, but don't look at the results. Just practice using the machine. It will get better.

Apr 06, 2016
Appointment
by: Florida11101

Well, went to medical today, and same result. BP was like 170/90, so really high. My pulse was through the roof. The minute I walked out the door, I could feel the relief and my blood pressure and pulse drop to normal. So weird. The technician was freaked out and made me make another appointment with the doctor to talk about this. Just what I need, another appointment to check my blood pressure!
HAHA! Anyway, breathing and kava tea did absolutely nothing for me. So, I am thinking about going to a psychiatrist to work on this. Has anyone had success with that or tried that?

Apr 06, 2016
Therapist
by: Noreen

I did try a therapist. Talking about it didn't help.

But since the only way to get over a phobia is to do it, practice taking it at home and bring the results to the doctor. If that doctor doesn't respond appropriately, find another.

I do wish to all could get together! It seems like there are several of you in Florida. Can't you guys get together to work this out?


Apr 06, 2016
BP machines and things
by: Lesley

Anyone on here who is able to take their blood pressure with no problems at home STOP worrying! at least you know your BP is OK. When you go to the doctor make them accept your home readings, YOU know that you don't need medication. I am one of the ones who cant bear a machine near me at home or otherwise and it is a real problem. I have my first appointment on the phone tomorrow with the CBT people, the first call is an assessment, I'm just hoping they can help me, I think it will take a while!!

Apr 06, 2016
home readings, wrist monitor
by: j

I think if you can get normal readings at home or train yourself to, then you're good. I went to a therapist and she's the one who encouraged me to take it at home all the time and to carry my home readings w/ me to the doctor and to tell the nurse in advance ... I'm better now (not cured!) but I still go through my verbal spiel to the nurse about white coat and that seems to calm me down a little bit by throwing it out there. Also I have a wrist monitor ... makes it easier for me

Apr 06, 2016
omg .. me too!!
by: Anonymous

I too have this BP fear... who knew there are more like me.. I've been battling this fear for just over a year.. At first my Dr. put me on high blood pressure medicine, after taking meds for 3 month all my joints became painful, "arthritic".
DR.. took me off, did home bp for 3 wks and bp was normal.. Dr did conclude I have "white coat"
It took me over 5 months to get my joints back to feeling normal. Now I am fearful of bp meds.
We humans are such complicated creatures aren't we?

Apr 07, 2016
I hear you guys
by: Mark

Hi to everyone I've been suffering from anxiety for several years and I know it drives my BP through the roof. I had a panic attacks years ago which led me to the ER. My BP was 230/110/150 they gave me an Ativan and within 30 mins it went to 130/90/100. Since this incident and after many many tests I have suffered with anxiety related BP.
My GP does not check my Bp anymore as it skyrockets in his office I bring my readings with me and they are generally a bit above normal sometimes a bit higher.
Unfortunately now I've developed a bit of a phobia about taking mine at home. The other I decided to take my BP and unusually I got a high reading of 180/90 it freaked me out and I started checking my BP constantly it has sort of ended up sending back to square one. I had several years of feeling pretty good again this is frustrating.
Does anyone else get a great reading after 40 mins of aerobic exercise? But about 30 mins later it starts to climb again which sends me into a panic. I think I will leave the machine alone for a while it's awful what you're own mind can to to you.
I feel for everyone on this forum as I understand exactly what your going through.
By the way I'm on BP medication which I don't think does anything for anxiety related BP.
If I take an Ativan it drops right down I take these rarely as they are highly addictive. Regards Mark.

Apr 07, 2016
home readings, wrist monitor
by: j

the wrist monitor is good b/c when I get freaked out about taking it at home I walk around or up and down the stairs w/ it on to distract me and it will actually come down ... the whole thing is to get used to taking it at home .. not what the number is esp. if you're having a bad episode.. been there!

Apr 07, 2016
Same boat
by: Florida11101

It seems we are all in the same boat. Some have anxiety all the time, others only during the blood pressure readings. Some have doctors who understand, others not so much. Some can take it at home and get a good reading, others cannot take it at all.
Since I do not think there is a cure for this, I think the best way has already been stated. Take your own BP readings to the doctor with you. If your doctor does not understand, find a new doctor!
I am in a bad position myself. Being military, I cannot choose my doctor. In fact, it is a different technician and doctor each time. Also, I have been lucky and they have accepted by "whitecoat syndrome" story. But, if I get unlucky and get a doctor who doesn't, then I can be medically discharged due to high blood pressure.
I think the best medicine is knowing that there are many others like us and we are not alone in this. Reading these messages doesn't make my blood pressure readings better at medical, but it makes me feel better throughout the rest of the day. Hang in there everyone! We are all in this together!

Apr 14, 2016
Big business
by: Anonymous

I keep reminding myself that blood pressure medication is a big money maker for drug companies. I suspect there are some self serving motives in the setting of supposedly normal bp rates.

Apr 14, 2016
Banquet
by: Noreen

There are so many of us, we should rent a hall and have a banquet!

Anyone, now, in the Chicago area? Email me at:
turquoise silver at hot mail dot company. (No spaces in the address. I wrote it that way so hopefully I won't get junk mail.)

Apr 14, 2016
Extreme White Coat Syndrome
by: Jana96

I have extremely bad white coat syndrome. I lived in another state for 30+ years and my doctors (cardiologist, nephrologist, urologist and primary) all worked with me on it. I found a BP monitor that had a printer so I could print out my home readings. I would take them to my doctor visits and they did not require that my BP be taken at the office. About once a year, I brought in my monitor and they took my BP in one arm and used my BP monitor for the other arm to make sure my machine was working properly. I recently moved to a new state and my husband and I chose a doctor (much to our dismay) that would not even discuss the type of arrangements I had with my other doctors of 30+ years. Since I was short on meds, I had to go through the visit. My BP reading when they took it was 210/132 and she did not say a word about it being that high even with white coat syndrome. My other doctors, on my first visit to them, always asked more questions and delved into the extremely high blood pressure readings that they get. My normal blood pressure at home is 115/60 to 125/70.
This doctor was very rude to both my husband and to me. Her staff mirrored her attitude. Needless to say we are in the process of finding a new doctor. We are not people who are difficult with doctors and have had the same doctors for many years. Two of the doctors have become friends and have been to our home and we have interacted socially.
My white coat syndrome is not only exhausting to me, but a threat to my well being since I have an abdominal aneurysm and only one kidney. I sympathize with all who have this same reaction to blood pressure. I have tried hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis, meditation, etc. and have complete control over the rest of my life, but was never able to conquer this problem.
If you can find compassionate doctors who really care about you, they will work with you so that you suffer the minimum stress.

Apr 14, 2016
Extreme White Coat Syndrome
by: Jana96

I have extremely bad white coat syndrome. I lived in another state for 30+ years and my doctors (cardiologist, nephrologist, urologist and primary) all worked with me on it. I found a BP monitor that had a printer so I could print out my home readings. I would take them to my doctor visits and they did not require that my BP be taken at the office. About once a year, I brought in my monitor and they took my BP in one arm and used my BP monitor for the other arm to make sure my machine was working properly. I recently moved to a new state and my husband and I chose a doctor (much to our dismay) that would not even discuss the type of arrangements I had with my other doctors of 30+ years. Since I was short on meds, I had to go through the visit. My BP reading when they took it was 210/132 and she did not say a word about it being that high even with white coat syndrome. My other doctors, on my first visit to them, always asked more questions and delved into the extremely high blood pressure readings that they get. My normal blood pressure at home is 115/60 to 125/70.
This doctor was very rude to both my husband and to me. Her staff mirrored her attitude. Needless to say we are in the process of finding a new doctor. We are not people who are difficult with doctors and have had the same doctors for many years. Two of the doctors have become friends and have been to our home and we have interacted socially.
My white coat syndrome is not only exhausting to me, but a threat to my well being since I have an abdominal aneurysm and only one kidney. I sympathize with all who have this same reaction to blood pressure. I have tried hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis, meditation, etc. and have complete control over the rest of my life, but was never able to conquer this problem.
Try to find a doctor who is understanding and compassionate and really cares about their patients. A doctor who works with you is so important to people with this problem.

Apr 15, 2016
Thanks for this. I'll bookmark it and come back everyone I'm in panic
by: Anonymous

Thanks for this. I'll bookmark it and come back everyone I'm in panic

Apr 20, 2016
Me too!
by: Anonymous

I've had white coat syndrome for about 10 years--and the NP that I saw was understanding about it and never made a huge deal of it--they would take it but didn't comment. I always worried about when I'd have to see a sub and they wouldn't get it--or as is going on now my NP left the practice and I am forced to see someone I do not know. I've been to other places, a dentist and a gynecologist that have been able to get readings that are normal--recently 122/I don't recall--but there have been times it has been higher depending on what I encountered before arriving or something strange going on in the office or something I am worried about approaching. Well generally it would be in the 140's when I saw my NP but with the new person--even tho I like her a lot--its hitting in the 160's and 170's and after my second visit there she starting talking about trying water pills--I don't really want any meds--I take enough for other things--and so now I worry about it and when I pick up my keys to leave my house I feel my heart leap out of my chest and the anxiety rise. I talk and talk to myself all the way there, I do relaxation techniques and I've started seeing a counselor in the hopes there will be something that will help. Since I am so worried over it I can't even take it at home--the more I try the higher it gets which in turn upsets me more. It's a cycle I can't break even though I know its irrational. I worry over all my health issues which I am sure also plays a part in driving up the b/p readings. So what do you do when a dr insists on giving you meds even though you believe the reading is elevated--but can't prove it? I am glad to know there are some others with such extremes. The woman I see now is nice--but I don't know if I can talk her out of pills.

Apr 20, 2016
Practice at Home
by: Noreen

This is what seems to work for others. Since I've been using a wrist monitor, the one you hold up to your heart, I've had positive results. Please reread some of the previous posts to see what I am referring to.

You are not alone! We are all here with you.

Apr 20, 2016
BP PHOBIA
by: Susana

So happy I found this group!!...Everytime I go to the doctor
I get really high readings..today was 170/110!!!!but at home
my reading was 123/80 . Knowing I have to see a Dr creates so much anxiety I woke up 3 times at night with palpitations and I could not breathe..I just started TM meditation and did it
before I went to the doctor felt a little better but as soon as I arrived in the office my heart was pounding with anxiety !!
I walk 5 to 6 miles everyday I feel like I am in great
physical shape, I eat really healthy, cut down salt, take a bunch of natural herbs for BP....I tried to show my home readings to the dr but he doesn't care, he says that he wants me to take BP medicine ..this always happens so I switch to a different dr..I am going to give Cognitive Therapy a tried!!
I thought I was the only one with this problem !!!!

Apr 20, 2016
BP PHOBIA
by: Susana

So happy I found this group!!...Everytime I go to the doctor
I get really high readings..today was 170/110!!!!but at home
my reading was 123/80 . Knowing I have to see a Dr creates so much anxiety I woke up 3 times at night with palpitations and I could not breathe..I just started TM meditation and did it
before I went to the doctor felt a little better but as soon as I arrived in the office my heart was pounding with anxiety !!
I walk 5 to 6 miles everyday I feel like I am in great
physical shape, I eat really healthy, cut down salt, take a bunch of natural herbs for BP....I tried to show my home readings to the dr but he doesn't care, he says that he wants me to take BP medicine ..this always happens so I switch to a different dr..I am going to give Cognitive Therapy a tried!!
I thought I was the only one with this problem !!!!

Apr 20, 2016
BP PHOBIA
by: Susana

So happy I found this group!!...Everytime I go to the doctor
I get really high readings..today was 170/110!!!!but at home
my reading was 123/80 . Knowing I have to see a Dr creates so much anxiety I woke up 3 times at night with palpitations and I could not breathe..I just started TM meditation and did it
before I went to the doctor felt a little better but as soon as I arrived in the office my heart was pounding with anxiety !!
I walk 5 to 6 miles everyday I feel like I am in great
physical shape, I eat really healthy, cut down salt, take a bunch of natural herbs for BP....I tried to show my home readings to the dr but he doesn't care, he says that he wants me to take BP medicine ..this always happens so I switch to a different dr..I am going to give Cognitive Therapy a tried!!
I thought I was the only one with this problem !!!!

Apr 21, 2016
Thank you!
by: Librarian

Thank you to everyone who has commented here. It's so good not to feel alone in this although I don't wish it on anyone. I have anxiety disorder, and medical problems in childhood are most likely a major cause of it. Needless to say, I HATE going to the doctor and having tests. I hate the way the nurses look at me like "you're about to die" when they take my BP! I never ask them what it is there but could see it on my online records at my most recent gyn annual. I saw The bottom number was 100 and don't remember the top. I usually do ok taking it at home but this year I feel like I'm starting to get phobic to it at home too. That's when I found this board and it has helped me feel so much better. The nurse's link, above, to testing info made me realize my arm was not in the ideal place. When I put a pillow under it, I got a 117/75 62 pulse. Thank you!

My phobias unfortunately extend to all medical tests, and the older I get (47 now) the more I have to get, making me absolutely dread certain times of the year for medical exams.

The rest of my anxiety is so much better. I was agoraphobic for a bit 20 years ago, but I work and lead a regular life thanks to meds and therapy. This medical phobia seems to be getting worse however, because, as someone said, we're smart... I *know* the odds of actually getting sick go up as I age.

I feel relieved to see this boad though. The BP phobia is so common! The advice my therapist gave me this week was essentially, "screw it." You know you're fine. Don't let the nurses and docs tell you otherwise. I tend to be overly polite and passive at the doctor's office. As others of you have said, we need to be more assertive and put ourselves back in control! Way easier said than done for me, but I do appreciate all the support here.


Apr 23, 2016
Be Assertive!
by: KB801

It really pays to be assertive, especially with nurses, (mine is male) that over react to our problem - I practically got into a yelling match with him on my first visit a year ago and Im so glad I did! I was normally very passive in years past, but no more. I told him I wanted to discuss my BP phobia with the Doctor before he took it - he told me the Dr. wouldnt see me unless I let him take it. I said "fine, but I want to hear it from the Dr" When I got to see the Dr he was very understanding. I did eventually let him take it and of course it was about 35% higher than at home and for the first time top number over 200 - that night at home diastolic 75! Spikes are not really harmful, or cave men would have died every time an animal came after them! The Dr. now lets me give him my home readings and NOT take it at his office - If your Doc doesn't,find one that does. It helped for me to show him this site and other comments - I printed it out on last visit.

I do take some BP meds as it helps control it (years ago "normal" was your age + 100 for systolic and anything under 100 for diastolic. So 166/99 would still be okay back then Today they have a nervous breakdown at that level.

I take atenolol which is a beta-blocker and fairly harmless with lots of benefit - it lowers your heart's need for oxygen, and also stops the physical reaction to fear a lot - And it is much easier to deal with without those physical symptoms - I used it before speeches (my other phobia) and it worked like magic.

Hang in there everyone.

Apr 27, 2016
Blood Pressure Phobia
by: Melvin

Oh Thanks reading all your comments friends. I felt better that I am not the only one I am fit and work out a little heavy as well. But when I check my BP with a doc I get into a panic situation and the BP shoots higher every time I take I dont know how to conquer this

Apr 27, 2016
Hi, Melvin
by: Noreen

Please read everything everyone else has written. I believe you will find some answers!

Apr 28, 2016
Check up today went well!
by: Judy W.

Please people don't ignore your high blood pressure. I, like you, have become very phobic about it. As soon as that cuff is on my arm, I panic and my numbers shoot up. I did however, tell the doctor and nurses and physician's assistant about it. They are all aware. They work with me. If you don't have a doctor that'll do that, shop around until you find one that will. Believe it or not, a good doctor understands. Mine did today, and he told me a lot of people have the "white coat syndrome"...then he told me to take a deep breath and exhale and relax. When I walked into the office I was 148/72. When I left, after he retook it, I was 138/74. I am on two different blood pressure medications and I think if I have those numbers at a doctors office when I'm highly stressed, I'm probably a perfect 120/70 at home. But I chose not to ignore the high bp, because it is a silent killer. It really is. You can stroke out or have a heart attack. Please don't give up. I've read some comments from some here that won't go to the doctor because of this, and that's really very risky. Please don't do that and please don't be afraid of having to take blood pressure medication. It beats the alternative.

May 05, 2016
BP
by: Anonymous

I have the same thing ,, dont know why when i see a doctor my heart is pumping automatically , with deep sound ,, when check BP 100/160, its really scared ,, when come out its normal,

May 06, 2016
Update
by: Librarian

I went to the doc today, and was up front and direct with the nurse about my BP phobia. She said, "so do we not take it?" I was surprised she offered that! I said that no, you take it, but I'm warning you it will be high. It was something over a 100, but she so kindly said, "it wasn't that high!" And, "we have a lot of people like you."

Plus, I had my "homework" - list of home taken BP with mostly 117/75 type numbers. The doctor is so nice, she talked and talked to me and quietly put the cuff back on and took it and it had gone down to something over 80. (I never remember the top number!!) She also said they have a lot of people like me, and treated it pretty matter-of-fact-ly.

I told her about this message board and how helpful and reassuring it is. I told her that sometimes the nurses look at you like you're going to die right there or something and it freaks me out. She said, "we don't do that. We KNOW there are lots of people with white coat syndrome."

I was so touched by her caring manner that I actually got teary eyed. I've had her as a doctor for a long time, but never have been quite so honest. Plus, this time I also had to talk about some acid reflux which may also be influenced by anxiety. So, we talked quite a lot and she just didn't seem like some arrogant non-caring physician. I'm grateful, and I hope the same for everyone out there.

May 10, 2016
WCHT and also at home
by: Anonymous

how amazing to find this list. i have been tormenting myself about this problem for years. very high when monitored by anyone, including me. so have no idea if it is high or not. have gotten over other phobias, but can't chip away at this one. nothing works.
my doc just started me on losartan---low dose. it is a high BP med that is potassium. if anyone finds something that works....please let us know.....

May 10, 2016
success I hope
by: Anonymous

Tonight after many months of hating my bp machine, I decided once again to have a go, I took my machine upstairs and laid on my bed. I put the thing on, put a pillow over it so I couldn't hear the horrible buzzing noise and put the telly on. I started the machine, panicked just a little and looked at the reading expecting the usual 160 or 179 over about 90 or 100. It was 121 over 67, I was so happy I took it about 20 times because I knew it would stay low. This is just as I'm about to start some therapy for the phobia! I will still go for the therapy as I know what I'm like and tomorrow I could go back to being frightened to death to take it but at the moment so pleased with myself, it's been a real problem. I haven't been feeling too well for the past week and I think that helped me make up my mind to do this tonight. Just hoping it stays this way, at least I can now tell the doc, she may even let me reduce my dose of bp tablet, it makes me feel horrible. Keep trying everyone, if I can do it anyone can!! x

May 23, 2016
I hear everyone
by: darla

I have been dealing with this phobia off and on since I was about 23 years old. I am now 58. There was a period of time in my late 30's and early 40's when it went away - not sure how but it resurfaced again around the age of 50. It's a nightmare. I have a primary care doctor who understands and has been helpful to not make me feel like a total idiot. But as we all know as you get older hypertension is not unusual. So now...both me and my doctor are concerned that I don't develop true hypertension which should be treated by medication. I am not opposed to taking the medication if I really need it, but how do you know? I don't think I have High BP. I feel totally normal and relaxed 99% of the time. But let me see a BP cuff or machine and I can feel the zinging sensations that rise the BP. This phobia makes getting my normal routine exams a nightmare. I still go to the dentist, but fret beforehand and I talk them out of even taking it. I have a doctors apt tomorrow for a normal exam for medication checkup (I have to take thyroid meds and cholesterol meds) - I told my boyfriend about my fear and he doesn't even understand. no sympathy there - which makes me feel even more weird. I was in the military in my 20's and that's when this whole mess started. I went to the hospital for a refill for my contraceptive meds and they took my BP - Ihad just walked across base and my BP was high (how high I do not know) but they freaked me out by almost telling me I had heart issues. I didn't. I did biofeedback back then and it helped a little but you have to practice that and I rather forget about the whole thing until it's time for a doctor visit. Once I fell on a hiking trip and split my head open. I self mediated my wound for fear of the BP - I am not afraid of doctors. I don't care what they want to do - just don't take my BP. Any wise words are welcome and thanks for listening.

May 23, 2016
ola fellow phobics
by: Anonymous

I'm so glad i found you! I've been through hell over my BP phobia. Its been going on for about 8 years. It started at the dentist. I also have a med phobia. So i went for a deep cleaning on one side and my bp was ok but when they were going to do the otherside I was scared. I saw the needles, remembered the pain afterwards and was scared. The hygenist takes my bp it was high she says, you could have a heart attack or stroke right now! She gets the dentist. The dentist gets on me about smoking and wouldn't work on my teeth. Scared me to death! I ran to my doctor! She calmed me down and i was fine. Now years later its a full blown phobia over some idiot dentist. I've moved to the city away from my small town doctor and its been a nightmare. So tomorrow I have a new doctor to see. I'm not going to let them take my bp. That alone will get me there. I have issues to deal with and I need to get over this fear of doctors and everything they do. Thanks for all your sharing its helped more than you know.

May 25, 2016
I made it to the Doctor!
by: Anonymous

I did it! I made it to the doctor. I was nervous and almost canceled the appointment. I was sure my bp went through the roof. I told the nurse about my phobia and asked if we could do the bp later. She started talking to me about everything. She got my history. Then out comes the cuff. She took it didnt tell me what it was but said she's seen worse and no it wasn't so high i needed the ER or anything. It's been 175/115 in the past. The Dr came in and talked to me about everything! 2 hours! He was awesome. I am so glad i found him. I have to see a specialist and asked the Dr if they had to take my bp. He said, Just tell them to not tell you what it is. Another tip, dont look at them when they take it. Tell them you have a phobia. Good luck folks. Just do it. If you believe in God take him with you and pray. A little one liner over and over works!

May 25, 2016
I did it too!!
by: Darla

I also had my doctors apt yesterday and dental apt today. My doctor's appt was at 3:30 so I had all day to think about it, but I was busy at work so didn't really think about it until the drive there. I checked in and sat in the waiting room for about 25 minutes. They called me to the back and the nurse said "Hi I'm so and so and I'll be taking your vitals today" I thought - like hell you are - hahaha. So she weighed me took my temp, height and all that. Then we went in the exam room. I just immediately told her that I wanted the Dr. to take my BP. I told her I have dealt with this for a long time with this Dr and she was very nice. She didn't get offended - talked to me about other stuff and left. The Dr came in and did my exam (well womeans) then let me get dressed then took my BP. It was 145/92 - he said - not bad for you. I told him I know how I feel when I take it (super anxious) and I know how I feel all the other time (calm as a cucumber) He said to still practice taking it at home and when I go to other places like the dentist / eye dr. Just tell them that I know it's high and my Dr does also. That helps. I wasn't as anxious about the dentist today. But I have to go back for a crown. Ugh!

May 30, 2016
the dentist?
by: J

Thank God my dentist doesn't take my BP .. I never heard of that! I would recommend taking it at home and desensitizing yourself as much as you can. Have had this for 25 years at least ... therapist helped in that she gave me tools and what to say .... I'm better but not cured but at least I can get a normal BP at home and mostly in the doctors office but I always warn them bc I can feel it go up. Good luck everybody! Doctors see this all the time and if you get a good one they'll understand

May 31, 2016
Near Me in the Chicago Area?
by: Noreen

I keep asking in hopes that a new fellow sufferer lives near me, so that we could get together and commiserate.

May 31, 2016
To Noreen
by: Darla

Too bad, I live in Dallas Texas. If I lived near you I would be interested in meeting up. We could help each other - Meet at Starbucks and take each others BP. Seriously, I know what you mean. I would love to find someone in my area for support.

Jun 02, 2016
BP Phobia
by: Manfreda

Just back from Cardiologist for the third time...Very high reading AGAIN when I am there even if I prepare myself by doubling my BP med and a tranquilizer...usually my BP is normal but cannot control it if at doctor's. All I have to do is THINK abt a BP cuff and my pressure goes up. Every doctor tells me such high numbers are dangerous, but I am ok at home. I was given Enalapril and Atenolol along with Ativan , because I suffer from extreme Anxiety and Panic. Who should I see; a neurologist? a psychologist? Help, I have been living with this for years.

Jun 03, 2016
I did it!
by: Noreen

I started using a wrist monitor a year ago and was able to take my bp at home and got acceptable numbers. So I decide to look up wrist monitor accuracy. On the Mayo Clinic website, it said the numbers might be higher than actual because wrist veins are smaller than upper arm veins. So, I took the bull by the horns and went to Walmart and bought an arm monitor, which I have been avoiding. This new one is so much better than the old arm monitor I had. It makes NO noise and it fills up quickly. IT was a very rough start, but after taking my bp about 10X over a period of about 3 hours, I "got" it down to normal. So I believe what I read from Mayo is right. Anyway, as I've said in previous posts, the best way to get over a phobia is to do that thing. Now I need to keep doing this as I have that dreaded doctor's appt. in one month. Thanks for listening, everyone. I couldn't live with this without all of you.

Jun 03, 2016
BP Phobia
by: Manfreda

Thank u Maureen for yr advise. I did buy the monitor and I am trying to "befriend" it. Right now , after having gone AGAIN to my cardio, I am terribly frightened in that office. He is nice but he makes me feel like I am going to die tomorrow with these spikes of BP. I live in a small town, concerned to change....I wish I could find one that "holds" my hand and reassures me that there is hope. He said there is not much more he can do beyond the meds (remember I am quite normal at home at rest except for the Anxiety/Panic moments). He said last night I need a specialist to help me with the phobia. What? a psychiatrist? a neurologist? a psychologist? a Phobia Doctor? I am lost/ Tx all of u, wish we could talk in person like others said. Leaving for Europe soon to visit family, along with my friend Phobia. Will keep in touch from there,

Jun 03, 2016
To Manfreda
by: Noreen

Just keep practicing. The phobia will subside. I tell myself, "I am not afraid of this machine, it's only a machine". Another thing I do is watch stuff on youtube. There are many short meditations to watch while you are taking your bp. This is what therapists will do, help you learn how to relax and to practice using that machine until the phobia lessens. Have a great time on your vacation. Forget that machine for that time.

Jun 03, 2016
therapist
by: J

My therapist told me to think of it as funny ... I would highly recommend you find one to at least talk to about this .... they will help and they've seen all kinds of phobias ... if your insurance doesn't cover it then do what the last person said... We are why they make BP monitors, for US to use at home!!! Doctors are very aware of this too ... you might need a new cardiologist if he doesn't understand

Jun 03, 2016
High Pulse Nerves in Medical Setting
by: Anonymous

Hi,

I am glad that I found this group. I thought I was the only one having this problem. I have recently brought my own bp machine and I have become obsessed taking it. I have been exercising almost everyday and I have been trying to eat healthy. I have been having this problem from a little over a year and am I only 24 years old. When I take my readings at home, they are normal. I recenty, had a panic problem where heart rate 120 beating so fast 160/90 becasue I got nervous. The second reading was heart rate 120 and 127/85. I went back today got so nervous that I told the pharmacist to leave and the reading was 125/86 heart rate 129. The second reading alone was 119/77 pulse 117. When I got home, the pulse 103 and bp 115/80. Lately my bp is alot better the only problem is I that I get nervous in a medical setting or having the nurses or pharmacist take it. I am breathing is just the word blood pressure or knowing about it makes my pulse high. My bp has been excellent I just need to get my pulse down. I am on a beta blocker but I do not think it is helping. Does anyone have suggestions? I need to get over this problem. When I talk to my mom she does not understand and she says that is crazy of me to be that way. I am trying to practice getting my pulse down. I will go to my Cardiologist on July 8.

Jun 03, 2016
High Pulse Nerves in Medical Setting
by: Anonymous

Hi,

I am glad that I found this group. I thought I was the only one having this problem. I have recently brought my own bp machine and I have become obsessed taking it. I have been exercising almost everyday and I have been trying to eat healthy. I have been having this problem from a little over a year and am I only 24 years old. When I take my readings at home, they are normal. I recenty, had a panic problem where heart rate 120 beating so fast 160/90 becasue I got nervous. The second reading was heart rate 120 and 127/85. I went back today got so nervous that I told the pharmacist to leave and the reading was 125/86 heart rate 129. The second reading alone was 119/77 pulse 117. When I got home, the pulse 103 and bp 115/80. Lately my bp is alot better the only problem is I that I get nervous in a medical setting or having the nurses or pharmacist take it. I am breathing is just the word blood pressure or knowing about it makes my pulse high. My bp has been excellent I just need to get my pulse down. I am on a beta blocker but I do not think it is helping. Does anyone have suggestions? I need to get over this problem. When I talk to my mom she does not understand and she says that is crazy of me to be that way. I am trying to practice getting my pulse down. I will go to my Cardiologist on July 8.

Jun 03, 2016
in response to 24 yr old
by: J

It looks like your BP is FINE and your heart rate is racing b/c you're Nervous ... there's no way to 'snap out of it' on cue ... try meditating etc but I've been to a therapist and that also helps b/c you feel validated and not crazy and they will give you coping tools ... you are NOT alone!!

Jun 04, 2016
For 24 year old
by: Anonymous

I had a similar problem with my heart rate,although mine was waking me in the middle of the night racing at about 140 beats a minute. This would either happen when I was stressed or when I overdid it physically. I too am on beta blockers having found a dose that works for me.
The secret is listening to your body and I think exercising every day is overstressing you, as you say your blood prssure is fine so find a hobby that you can absorb yourself in which will calm you down.
As they say don't worry, be happy!

Jun 04, 2016
BP Phobia
by: Manfreda

Hi Maureen and everyone else in same boat. Yesterday I "befriended" my BP machine and gave it a funny name...now I talk to it (my son thinks I am going cuckoo)...well, my BP went down to 123/71 (my cardio forbids anything over 129 !!!Well, in addition to that I went out a bought myself a few unnecessary items and even bought a gift for the persons that have been a major cause of my elevated anxiety. I feel better and hope to continue. I will not see my cardio until I return for my trip in October and perhaps I will have taken the BP machine by the horn. Will keep u informed, and you all let me know how u r doing. I will ck the comments from Europe. Bless u all.

Jun 05, 2016
BP and Heart rate
by: Ron75

Heart Rate could be decreased with Metoprolol. About a month ago, I started a small dose of Lisinopril (Ace inhibitor). For me the Ace Inhibitor works better for BP control and the Beta Blocker (Metrprolol)for Heart rate control. When I went to 100 Mils of Metoprolol, my heart rate went from 100-125 down to below 80 on average.I was on 25 mils at first and that did almost nothing.I wonder why A cardiologist would want your BP to be below 79/129? (unless your under the age of 50). If a Cardiologist told me my 134/82 average reading was too high, I would change doctors. My age is 65, so that is a difference.

Jun 10, 2016
How i get cured of HBP with herbal medicine
by: Austin Brian

MUST READ: HOW I GET CURE OF HBP WITH HERBAL MEDICINE!
I was diagnosed of HBP disease in 2013 and I have tried all I can to get cured but all to no avail, my life was gradually coming to an end, until i saw a post in a health forum about a herbal doctor from Africa who prepares herbal remedy to cure all kind of diseases including HBP disease, at first i doubted if it was real but with much pressure i decided to give it a try, when i contact this herbal doctor via his email, he prepared an a herbal remedy and sent it to me via courier service, when i received this herbal remedy, he gave me step by step instructions on how to apply it, After i applied it as instructed, i was cured of this deadly disease within 20-21days of usage, I am now free from the deadly disease, all thanks to Dr Oyekpen. Contact this great herbalist
man via his email: droyekpenherbalhome@gmail.com or call +2348168257144,
i believe he can also help you as well,

Thanks.

Jun 10, 2016
How i get cured of HBP with herbal medicine
by: Austin Brian

MUST READ: HOW I GET CURE OF HBP WITH HERBAL MEDICINE!
I was diagnosed of HBP disease in 2013 and I have tried all I can to get cured but all to no avail, my life was gradually coming to an end, until i saw a post in a health forum about a herbal doctor from Africa who prepares herbal remedy to cure all kind of diseases including HBP disease, at first i doubted if it was real but with much pressure i decided to give it a try, when i contact this herbal doctor via his email, he prepared an a herbal remedy and sent it to me via courier service, when i received this herbal remedy, he gave me step by step instructions on how to apply it, After i applied it as instructed, i was cured of this deadly disease within 20-21days of usage, I am now free from the deadly disease, all thanks to Dr Oyekpen. Contact this great herbalist
man via his email: droyekpenherbalhome@gmail.com or call +2348168257144,
i believe he can also help you as well,

Thanks.

Jun 10, 2016
Previous 2 entries
by: Anonymous

You are disgusting, using our blog to sell your "cure". An herb is NOT a cure for a phobia, which is what this blog is about. Get off!

Jun 10, 2016
agree
by: J

Thanks for telling that crack pot off .... I was thinking the same thing

Jun 10, 2016
To Austin Brian
by: Darla

I seriously hope that you do not EVER experience a true phobia. If you would have taken the time to read at least some of the posts here you would understand that your silly gimmick is not worthy of a post here. I hope the blog owner will delete your posts. If you have any sort of conscious you will delete them yourself. If you are trying to make a living selling these herbs, please go do it somewhere else. This is a support group for people who are dealing with a true phobia that you will never understand. Please delete your posts. Please. Thanks.

Jun 14, 2016
WOW..BIG RELIEF!!SO NICE
by: Anonymous

Its so interesting to see so many people dealing with same thing!i pick up amy omron arm monitor almost always expecting it to read high and it never dissapoints!ive gotten my self up to 190/100 and had to just pack up the monitor and throw it in the bin.forgot about it and was fine for a long time!i got to join a gym and was doing pretty fine,got encouraged to pick up a monitor again and my readings were fine till i stopped exercising and got a bit indisposed sometime and decided to check it,it got to about 186/96,then started going down after about a million trys within 2hrs!its always a roller coaster till im stable in the gym.not been to see a Dr in 11yrs cos i got the phobia from the DR's office about 10yrs ago when it read 170/100 and the Dr panicked!i stay in NIGERIA and ive just actlly been laughing and happy reading all the comments here cos ive been trying to take my readings since yestaerday and it started from 180 till it got to 140/90 yesterday,today it stayed a lot in the 150S and kept fluctuating till i got a 142/74 and quickly unstrapped it!reading people's experiences have helped reassure me im not hypertensive.twice ive been given drugs for HBP and i dint take them and i figure out if the spikes portend as much danger as i was told,i wont be typing this and smiling now!

Jun 14, 2016
WOW..BIG RELIEF!!SO NICE
by: Anonymous

Its so interesting to see so many people dealing with same thing!i pick up amy omron arm monitor almost always expecting it to read high and it never dissapoints!ive gotten my self up to 190/100 and had to just pack up the monitor and throw it in the bin.forgot about it and was fine for a long time!i got to join a gym and was doing pretty fine,got encouraged to pick up a monitor again and my readings were fine till i stopped exercising and got a bit indisposed sometime and decided to check it,it got to about 186/96,then started going down after about a million trys within 2hrs!its always a roller coaster till im stable in the gym.not been to see a Dr in 11yrs cos i got the phobia from the DR's office about 10yrs ago when it read 170/100 and the Dr panicked!i stay in NIGERIA and ive just actlly been laughing and happy reading all the comments here cos ive been trying to take my readings since yestaerday and it started from 180 till it got to 140/90 yesterday,today it stayed a lot in the 150S and kept fluctuating till i got a 142/74 and quickly unstrapped it!reading people's experiences have helped reassure me im not hypertensive.twice ive been given drugs for HBP and i dint take them and i figure out if the spikes portend as much danger as i was told,i wont be typing this and smiling now!

Jun 15, 2016
TRY THIS AT HOME
by: Anonymous

Been in the same boat with almost everyone here.i dread appointments too and ive had to plead with Drs to exclude taking my bp readings from my check ups!ive asked if there is a way to check by just drawing blood and checking at the Lab.Reading posts from people who have had this phobia for 20yrs+ assures me that im not supposed to be on bp meds that i av consistently refused anyway.i dont want to get stuck on stuff i dont need!So i tried a few tricks.1,anytime my monitor goes above 200,i cut it off.when i did this i got a reading of abt 160/100 which was normally 180+,then i read up that if you just finished jogging or running,you could go up to 190 so i if you are not hypertensive,checked after running and i got 175,big relief!then once i got in the phone with a friend and strapped my monitor on and pressed it,i got 142/70,tried it the 3rd time and got 138/68!so i played a trick on my mind and it worked!that was same day i had got 170/100.

Jun 15, 2016
I had forgotten....
by: Anonymous

I had forgotten that I used to call a friend while I took my bp and it was always normal. Then, one day I began to think it wouldn't work, so it didn't. The mind can really do strange things. But anyway, talking with a good friend can be a great distraction. She was the only friend/family member I had told that I had this problem.

Jun 15, 2016
ANY CONQUERORS YET?
by: Anonymous

So nice reading all this!i just bumped into this site in frustration just scrolling around looking for a solution to this age old challenge of bp phobia!now is there anyone who has practical steps to overcoming bp monitor phobia yet?is there anyone who isnt on bp meds or any other and has overcome this phobia?is there anyone who has had this phobia for more than 20yrs?please i'll like to know.

Jun 15, 2016
I found the below piece of Information from an Anxiety Blog, hope this helps
by: Tauqeer

It’s not your thoughts or emotions that keep you stuck and keep you suffering, it’s your constant struggle, constant searching to get rid of them that does. If your open to anything there is no struggle. Less struggle = Less suffering, Less struggle = Thoughts and emotions change naturally. You can’t force or create a particular state through struggle or personal will, this just creates more of what you are trying to get rid of.

Be open to any state

My own recovery came when I saw enough to give up this fight to control and change how I felt, the same thoughts and feelings were there for a while, but I lost interest in them, without my interest, without the constant fighting, the constant struggle I started to feel some peace and I came out of these thoughts and emotions far quicker, they felt lighter, less serious, had less impact.


If a person was able to no longer fear any state they were in then recovery is inevitable. It is your fear of the state you are in, the story you put around it, the constant struggle. So much suffering is self created through lack of understanding, yet we think it is an outside force doing this to us, it is not. So let go and have trust that your mind and body knows how to heal itself without your constant attempts at manipulation.

Jun 16, 2016
NATURAL REMEDY ACCORDING TO THIS MEMO.
by: Anonymous

Hello All,
This man claimed to have natural way to reverse HBP, I don't want to be the only one to know this, pls anybody could try him. I have not tried yet, I want to listen to you all, pls react.

To
ADEMOLA

Today at 10:05 AM





Good morning, ADEMOLA

Do you know your doctor is probably your problem?

"White-coat hypertension" is a term used for when a high blood pressure reading is caused by the stress or fear associated with a doctor or hospital visit. This can be a transient yet serious concern.

It's estimated that up to 20 percent of people diagnosed with hypertension actually only have white-coat hypertension, which means their blood pressure was only elevated because they were nervous.

The problem with our physicians is if your blood pressure is elevated due to white-coat hypertension, you may be prescribed drugs for high blood pressure that you don’t really need. The solution to this problem is simple – check your blood pressure at home or in another location where you’re relaxed to confirm the results from your doctor’s office.

Blood pressure measurements should be obtained outside of a clinical setting for diagnostic confirmation before starting treatment.


Blood Pressure Readings Higher When Taken by Doctors Compared To Nurses

When researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School analyzed blood pressure readings from more than 1,000 patients, they noticed a significant discrepancy in readings taken by doctors and nurses.

Blood pressure readings taken by doctors were significantly higher (by 7/4 mmHg) than those taken by nurses, even though the readings were of the same person on the same day.

The difference in readings was large enough to push some patients into the high-blood pressure category, which means they could be receiving unnecessary or inappropriate treatment. The researchers described the "white-coat effect" as a subconscious or reflex effect.

In short, when a doctor takes your blood pressure it may trigger your fight-or-flight response, which ramps up your blood pressure. Past research suggests older females are particularly vulnerable to white-coat hypertension, especially when the reading is taken by a male doctor.

The presence of a student or "doctor in training" has also been linked with higher blood pressure readings. It’s estimated that 75 percent of patients with high blood pressure may also be affected by the white-coat effect.

If you find yourself feeling stressed before a blood-pressure screening, to decrease your risk of being falsely diagnosed with hypertension in this situation, take a moment to calm down.

Be sure to arrive for your appointment ahead of time so you can unwind, then breathe deeply and relax when you're getting your blood pressure taken.


To learn more about our natural high blood pressure therapy click here. It is tested and proven to reverse permanent and without side effect. For Diabetes breakthrough treatment .Click here


Have a great and blessed day.


Your Friend And Health Educator,
Adelodun Dele Victor
08065187307

Jun 16, 2016
NATURAL REMEDY AS CLAIMED
by: Anonymous

You can try this man whom i'm trying to contact but I have not, let me listen to you all.

To
ADEMOLA

Today at 10:05 AM





Good morning, ADEMOLA

Do you know your doctor is probably your problem?

"White-coat hypertension" is a term used for when a high blood pressure reading is caused by the stress or fear associated with a doctor or hospital visit. This can be a transient yet serious concern.

It's estimated that up to 20 percent of people diagnosed with hypertension actually only have white-coat hypertension, which means their blood pressure was only elevated because they were nervous.

The problem with our physicians is if your blood pressure is elevated due to white-coat hypertension, you may be prescribed drugs for high blood pressure that you don’t really need. The solution to this problem is simple – check your blood pressure at home or in another location where you’re relaxed to confirm the results from your doctor’s office.

Blood pressure measurements should be obtained outside of a clinical setting for diagnostic confirmation before starting treatment.


Blood Pressure Readings Higher When Taken by Doctors Compared To Nurses

When researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School analyzed blood pressure readings from more than 1,000 patients, they noticed a significant discrepancy in readings taken by doctors and nurses.

Blood pressure readings taken by doctors were significantly higher (by 7/4 mmHg) than those taken by nurses, even though the readings were of the same person on the same day.

The difference in readings was large enough to push some patients into the high-blood pressure category, which means they could be receiving unnecessary or inappropriate treatment. The researchers described the "white-coat effect" as a subconscious or reflex effect.

In short, when a doctor takes your blood pressure it may trigger your fight-or-flight response, which ramps up your blood pressure. Past research suggests older females are particularly vulnerable to white-coat hypertension, especially when the reading is taken by a male doctor.

The presence of a student or "doctor in training" has also been linked with higher blood pressure readings. It’s estimated that 75 percent of patients with high blood pressure may also be affected by the white-coat effect.

If you find yourself feeling stressed before a blood-pressure screening, to decrease your risk of being falsely diagnosed with hypertension in this situation, take a moment to calm down.

Be sure to arrive for your appointment ahead of time so you can unwind, then breathe deeply and relax when you're getting your blood pressure taken.


To learn more about our natural high blood pressure therapy click here. It is tested and proven to reverse permanent and without side effect. For Diabetes breakthrough treatment .Click here


Have a great and blessed day.


Your Friend And Health Educator,
Adelodun Dele Victor
08065187307

Jun 16, 2016
Oh, brother
by: Anonymous

It seems you haven't read all this blog. Everyone on this blog knows what you have just written (2X). From your grammar and content it seems like you are from another country and are trying to sell something. Go away

Fellow sufferers: Our blog has been hacked several times, now.

Oh, and by the way, I have gotten lower readings from doctor's than nurses.

Jun 16, 2016
agree with above
by: J

I thought the same thing ... at least the 'links' to what they're selling didn't show up

Jun 16, 2016
Support Group :)
by: Melissa Nielsen

This is the 3rd time I have posted. I've had my phobia since 1993. The ONLY time my blood pressure is high is when I'm at the doctor. As high as 185/105 2 hours later at home it is 110/70. I check it with a wrist monitor. I wasnt always comfortable with it but after many years I am now. If my numbers were ever consistently high at home I would consider going on med but don't feel it necessary for now. This support group means so much to me! I understand every single one of you and it brings me comfort to know I'm not alone! I know my feelings are irrational but my brain doesn't care!!!! Looking for a new doctor as mine died last year. Stressed to explain my situation as I ramble and always feel emotional,crazy and judged. I'm in Salt Lake City if anyone is near:) Best of luck to everyone with upcoming medical appointments!

Melissa

Jul 20, 2016
same bananna
by: Anonymous

Got the same problem here.. but hey let us look at the bright side. This issue made me live healthier. I mean if I exercise, eat right and sleep well then chances are that my blood pressure would be on normal level. I think the only way to battle this is to live healthy. Exercise, eat right, have a good rest and just manage daily life stress levels. If you look at it, if you think you are healthy enough your fear would go away. I'm having progress now as I slowly manage to lower my stress level when someone is taking my BP. If you are confident that you are healthy, then I think this phobia will go away. Hope this helps.

Aug 09, 2016
Cuff size
by: Anonymous

I'm amazed that I have a phobia family, I thought I was the only one on the planet scared of a dopey machine. It's now hidden at the back of a very dark cupboard.
I seem to have WC syndrome as well but I wonder if it is the cuff size at the doctor's surgery. All the info says to make sure you use the correct size cuff but my doctor seems to use the same one for all, big arms, medium or small. My reading was 140 in the nurse's room and 165 in the doctor's room.

Aug 09, 2016
Too bad!
by: Anonymous

Something has happened to our blog and it's a shame. It's no longer what it used to be, which was very helpful. It's now taken over by ads and people trying to sell things. I will ask this one more time....is there anyone in the Chicago area? I'd like to get together to commiserate our problem?

Aug 13, 2016
Me too
by: Anonymous

I have been fighting this fear for years. I hate it too, it seems so stupid! My problem with machine is when it starts to squeeze again when it's a high reading. then I know and panic more. No one has mentioned this I wish machine would not do that and like everyone says we need an "instant reading" I do have high blood pressure but never know what actual reading is.

Sep 15, 2016
Hyperventilation helped me lower
by: KB801

I had to undergo an exam to get life insurance and the agent told me to try fast and rapid creating before being measured - if you've seen my previous posts you know I have the phobia big time, been as high as 200+/100+ in the office and much lower after and that evening (less than 120, less than 75).

I figured I'd never get a normal reading at the exam, but tried the hyperventilation and it was 103/83! I was thrilled! I had life insurance without the exam but it was more than 3 times more expensive than if you passed.

Reading up on it studies show it generally doesn't work well with people that have normal readings at the drs office, but those with WCH have much more significant reductions - they don't know why.

Give it a try!

Sep 20, 2016
right there with you with BP
by: Glenn

I don't dread getting a tooth pulled as much as seeing my family doc. She does let me bring in my own readings and they used to be low. Now the fear has spread to at home and work where the readings were good....not anymore....so I have no clue if I need more BP meds or not.....

One thing all of you should check is if you have lyme disease....as my lyme progressed (did not know I had it until last year) phobias and anxiety, depression got worse....I am trying Bach Remedies and they have been a large help but not in that area yet....as far as lyme get the blood test from Igenix and as far as Bach remedy it's Mimulus for "known fears"..it may help you...

Dec 28, 2016
Glad I found this
by: Anonymous

I found this board this evening as I'm going down one of my never-ending paths of freaking out over my blood pressure. I've had this phobia for as long as I can remember. I'm pretty sure it began in high school when they would pull me out of class to have my blood pressure re-checked by the school nurse. The initial reading was high-normal so they would have to re-check it. I am now 40 years old and have lived a life of complete irrational fear over my heart and blood pressure. I fear, for no good reason, the thought of keeling over of a heart attack or stroke. I am literally scared to death to take my BP. I have been kicked out of my local medial practice for missing 3 appointments in a row. Purely missing those appointments for fear of the blood pressure reading. I am not without a Dr. and haven't checked my reading in probably 60 days. If I check it and it's high I will go into a full on tailspin. Funny thing is I'm a smart guy, very successful, live a completely normal life and nobody would suspect this. I just can't get over this fear or phobia or whatever you want to call it. I have also battled generalized anxiety disorder most of my adult life. I wish so desperately that I could get this to all go away and think normal and rational thoughts again. It's so stupid, i know it but I just can't control it.

Jan 01, 2017
deep brathing
by: Anonymous

Hello. I am from Croatia. Sory for bad english. I found the way to reduce bp reading to around 90—115/60—75. When push the bottom on b.p madhine i take a deep breath counting to 4—5. Then holding breath as long as I can, and after that easy throw breath counting to 8. And suprise... every time iz apel. You can practice this tehnic gebefore takeing a readings.

Jan 01, 2017
deep brathing
by: Anonymous

Hello. I am from Croatia. Sory for bad english. I found the way to reduce bp reading to around 90—115/60—75. When push the bottom on b.p madhine i take a deep breath counting to 4—5 Then holding breath as long as I can, and after that easy throw breath counting to 8. And suprise... every time it dirka. You can practice this tehnic before teaking a readings.

Jan 01, 2017
You won't die!
by: Anonymous

When I found this blog over a year ago, it's really helped me. There are common sense opinions and helpful tips. I think one guy said that you won't die if you take your own blood pressure. The latest one that helped me was the rapid breathing done while having it taken. That really works. But also knowing that the best way to cure a phobia is to actually do the thing that you have a problem with, is the right way to go. Wouldn't we rather handle this at home and be in control, rather than wait to freak out at the doctor's office? The person prior to me, please read the blog, more than once. Don't pay attention to the interlopers who are trying to sell something.

Jan 11, 2017
high blood pressure
by: peter cole

My name is peter cole. I am 38 years old and live in califonia usa. My girlfriend told me how she was cured with dr sebi herbal healing medicine after it cured her high blood pressure but I was very, very skeptical. I suffered with dangerously high blood pressure and the thought of "consuming salt" is unheard of . After talking with Bob Butts and constant nagging from my girlfriend I decided I’d d try it for 2 days (just to shut her up)! The very first night I slept without interruption. That’s something I haven’t done in years. The next day my BP was 146/85, I couldn’t believe it! I lost my medical insurance and cant afford to go to a doctor. The only thing he’d do is prescribe medication that I cant afford anyway. I’ve been on dr sebi herbal healing medicine for 2 weeks and the affects are phenomenal. Not only is my BP at normal levels but, I have more energy, I’m more alert, have a better appetite, sleep much better and it goes on and on. For a skeptic like myself to participate in something like this is shocking in itself. I cant dispute these results and I am very excited about them. So why aren’t we told about this? contact dr sebi today to get your own cure for your HBP vai email drsebispelltemple@gmail.com or (http://drsebispelltemple.wixsite.com/spelltemple ) or whatsapp number +2348153863900 thank you doctor for you great works .

Jan 12, 2017
BP journey
by: Anonymous

I have been following this blog for 9 months, and it has helped me to realize that people from all walks of life deal with this. I was avoiding the Dr. office, and had to go when I thought my foot was broken. Of course I could feel my heart start pounding when they started getting out the BP cuff, and I know it is totally irrational. I told the doc I believe I have white coat syndrome, and to my pleasant surprise he was very understanding. He told me 1 in 3 people has it to some degree, 1 in 3!!! Helps to have company in this irrational club. Somehow just talking to him made me want to tackle this head on, have been taking regular readings at home, 130/65, which are good. Last time I went still got a high reading, 168/70, but I am determined not to let this consume me. So what if I get a high reading there, I will not be forced to take BP meds when I know it is low outside of there. I think the whole thing stems from watching my parents pass away and going to many dr. appts with them, and hearing the endless bad news. AND watching all the meds they took, I don't want to get on that merry-go-round! My mom had high BP, and a series of heart attacks and strokes, but her life style was very unhealthy. I am living very differently from her, but it's always in the back of my mind. So this is where the fear comes from. I am working on developing stronger faith that I can handle whatever comes up, part of that is facing this and going to the Dr. for regular things, like colonoscopy and female exams, and dealing with getting high readings in the dr office. Thanks for all your sharing, it is very helpful! I wish you the best in your journey <3

Jan 30, 2017
rapid breathing
by: Croatia

Hy!
I have a question, how to perform the rapid breathing technique. I know for a deep breath and it helps me, but rapid?


Feb 07, 2017
Thanks
by: Anonymous

Hi thanks a lot for comments.
It's always a relief to come across people facing and tackling the same problem. Hope we can find definitive measures to take reduce this syndrome...

Feb 08, 2017
"Rapid" Deep Breathing
by: Anonymous

Croatia - Just try faster than normal deep breathing. Something like twice as fast. There's probably more than one way to do it. Don't be afraid!

Feb 09, 2017
rapid breathing
by: kb801f

To Croatia - Yes rapid breathing, in and out, in and out fast. You may get a bit lightheaded but its not dangerous - you get more CO2 in your bloodstream this way and for reasons unknown will lower your BP - try it and good luck.

Feb 16, 2017
deep breath NEW
by: Croatia

Sorry for bad english...
What happens when you take a deep breath, and keep it for a long time while measuring blood pressure. To me, pressure is always low (70-110/45-80), but the pulse accelerate? Is it alco Co2 in blood or something else?
Thx for answer!!!

Feb 25, 2017
I did it! NEW
by: JBO

I too have to take my BP at home due to white coat syndrome. My machine broke about a year ago and I just assumed all was fine. I went to the doc yesterday and it was, of course, high. Not the usual 170/100, but that was because I took a 1/2 xanax before my appointment because my anxiety makes me a freak at the doctors. So I bought a machine, because I have to start taking it at home again. Yesterday I was so freaked out my reading was 193/108, this then brought on an panic attack like no other at work and I actually asked for an ambulance Luckily, someone knew what was happening and talked me down. Today, after reading your posts, I decided to try this and it worked. I put on the cuff, ran the machine and did not look at the numbers. I waited a few minted, did it again, and again. By the third time I could tell I was much calmer and dared to peek at the numbers. 120/60! Yes it was low, but I had taken 2 (.25) xanax and my Toprol 25 a half hour before to get up the courage. Try not looking the first few times, it worked!!! Peace :)

Feb 27, 2017
Our problems with BP Phobia NEW
by: Manfreda

Hello my fellow "sufferers" and "confused" by our common predicament. For a year I haven't contributed as I have tried to completely avoid the subject. I changed cardiologist (the former one frightened me and made it worse) even though I had all the heart tests in the world and I am OK). Changed to a real nice cardiologist that understood my problem and suggested I talk to a specialized psychologist. OK I will try that one again, but at least HE KNOWS that is all in my head. I have had many
unfortunate instances in my past that have caused me panic attacks; and that is all there is..PANIC. But how to control it. I keep on trying and nothing changes, I will give this new psychologist who apparently has helped others suffering as I am and let u know. This morning, by the way, my BP at home was in the 120s/70s. Yesterday, had a panic attack and it went up to 170/95. It goes even higher at doctor's. Let's keep the hope that we will each find what works for us. Bless u all.

Mar 03, 2017
TOTALLY WITH YOU ALL! NEW
by: diane

Some doctors are sympathetic and believe me when I say I can monitor it at home (where I still need to throw out the first reading because I freak myself out. Typically at home it's 130/80 or something in that range. At the doc's it has been as high as 177/100! I tell them it's NOT just whitecoat, it's an actualy PHOBIA. I had one doctor shout at me and say, "That is RIDICULOUS. This is a vital sign and I have to know what it is!" I told him that if I ever have a stroke someday i DON'T want it to be in the doctor's office getting my BP taken! It doesn't seem to register with people that it can be just as bad as a fear of heights or spider, snakes, anything... SO glad I found this thread.

Mar 04, 2017
try therapy NEW
by: j

I went to a therapist for this and we came up w/ 'tools' to use in a doctors office ... warn the nurse , give them a number and take home readings in .. I freak out about home readings too but I do it every day to 'desensitize' myself (per instruction) and have found the wrist monitor less scary. Once you can take it at home w/out freaking you'll feel much better ... i sometimes have to play games w/ my mind. take it while walking around or in the car, anything to just get used to it ... Good Luck!! There's also different medications for generalized anxiety and if you find an understanding doctor (they're out there!) maybe that would help too .... I take one for occasional need not every day. Again Good Luck you are not alone!! Even people in the medical field have this so it's very common

Mar 05, 2017
Attention gives things life NEW
by: Franny G

When I was in my thirties , forties, even my fifties my BP was always normal. There was ne doc who said "Youll never have trouble with high blood pressure." I took my good fortune ifor granted. Then my hair suddenly stared falling out during the beginning of menopause. I had just moved from New York Cityt to Vermont. I went to a new doc and The nurse saw a diastolic reading of 90 and went berserk. After that day I was spooked, and every time I had it taken it was high. It got worse as time went on. About six years ago I started taking a beta blocker. It helped. But it still goes up, even when I take it at home. Sometimes to the 180s. I just wrap the cuff and I can feel it elevate. There are times its Normal, 120's over 70,, but once I get tense and I see its high, it keeps getting worse. I use all kinds of tricks. Sometimes they work. Others, not. My best advice icomes a via a therapist who told a friend of mine "Your Attention Gives Things Life." The more you enjoy your life. Laugh. Get into nurturing company instead of obsessing, the more likely it is to normalize. As has already been said. This a phobia. As Rebbe Nachman of Bresliv said "Never despair. Nevet! It's forbidden to give up hope."

Apr 11, 2017
Not alone NEW
by: J

I thought I was the only person with this problem. My husband nearly passes out when they take his blood - they pamper him, put a cold towel on his neck, etc. But when I tell them I have a panic attack when my BP is measured they treat me like a freak. It's so comforting to know I'm not alone. I'm going to try EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) on this phobia. I have used it to clear lesser phobias. Wish me luck.

Apr 12, 2017
My numbers are now sky-high NEW
by: Deb

I am a 63 year old woman and have been dealing with high blood pressure for about 15 years. Because of white coat syndrome, I get a 24 ambulatory reading every 2 years. They have always proven that I just have white coat issues, though I did always need to be on medication. I just had another 24 hour test and my average reading was 166/88, with one reading of 235/115. The doc put me on another medication. I have always been about 40 pounds overweight, but last year I started the DASH diet, lost 40 pounds and kept it off, and started speed walking 3 miles a day. But my readings are way up. This makes no sense to me. I take my home monitor with me to the hypertension specialists office twice a year, and it is perfectly calibrated. I still get good readings at home, but I got horrible readings on the 24 hour monitor, and today at the doctors my bp was 210/100. I absolutely hate this. I no longer know what to believe - my home monitor or the 24 hour readings? In the past the 24 hour readings assured me I was just dealing with white coat, but now I am worried that is no longer true. I am an anxious person, but have never been on anti-anxiety medication. Now I'm wondering if that would help. I do agree that this is more of a phobia, rather than just being a bit anxious at the doctors. Anyway, it's good to talk to people that understand.

Apr 22, 2017
glad to know I'm not alone. NEW
by: Doug

I've had the same problem for years. It's good to know that I'm not alone. I was diagnosed with hypertension in my late 30s. I was a smoker and didn't exercise. I quit smoking in my early 40s and start exercising when I was 50. Even though I did cardio 3-4 times a week, and walked a mile every day during lunch my pressure was still high. Every time I just think about taking my bp at home I get extreme anxiety, it usually takes me 4 or 5 times of taking it to get it in the normal range (I'm on an ACE inhibitor and a calcium channel blocker. If anyone has any suggestions on how to conquer this I would be grateful..

Apr 22, 2017
glad to know I'm not alone. NEW
by: Doug

I've had the same problem for years. It's good to know that I'm not alone. I was diagnosed with hypertension in my late 30s. I was a smoker and didn't exercise. I quit smoking in my early 40s and start exercising when I was 50. Even though I did cardio 3-4 times a week, and walked a mile every day during lunch my pressure was still high. Every time I just think about taking my bp at home I get extreme anxiety, it usually takes me 4 or 5 times of taking it to get it in the normal range (I'm on an ACE inhibitor and a calcium channel blocker. If anyone has any suggestions on how to conquer this I would be grateful..

Apr 23, 2017
Not getting better NEW
by: LUCY

I jut got throughtakingmy blood pressure and it was 191/112. I have had pressure go as high as 260/160 in a hospital setting. Usually when I take my pressure it is in the 115/70 to 128/62. I have recently had to see some specialists and the ordeal of going through the BP readings has just made it worse. I have had this phobia for 40 years after an unfortunate over prescribing of BP which took my pressure too low, landing me in the hospital several times. By the time I got to the hospital it was sky high. It took a lot to visits and digging to determine I was being over medicated. I have never gotten over it apparently. Nothing seems to help. I also have a AAA so the high readings do not help that. I have tried meditation, hypnosis and nothing helps. I keep hoping I will wake up one day and it will be gone. lol I stopped going to the specialists and now just go to my primary care who orders all of my tests. I told him I would no longer go to all the doctors and put myself through multiple BP readings.

Apr 24, 2017
Breath deep NEW
by: Montrealer

24 hours monitor is no different than the classic one, they inflate and deflate hence they are anxiety inducer.

Let me tell you that it is more probable that you HBP is a result of you beeing anxious than anything else.

Do this and keep us posted:
Try the adomen deep respiration for 5 min before taking you BP.

Give yourself 5 min brake between deep respiration and the BP mesuring.

'm confident your numbers will b good.

Cheers

May 18, 2017
Different readings NEW
by: Chuck

Went to my physical for sherrifs department said my BP was 145 over 90 well I'm a power lifter so got a home machine come to find out the cuff is to small went to my doctor he took it said it was fine later on that day nurse at a hospital said it was 160 over 110 so went back to my doctor he took it manually it was normal went back next day nurse took it was high then he took and it was normal do t know whether to go with the doctor or the nurse

May 26, 2017
in the same boat... NEW
by: SD

Hi All,

Nice to know I'm not alone in this. I'm 39 and I've developed this fear in recent years. I went to the doc for the first time in a long time a few months ago and of course, my reading was high at the office. (140/90). The nurse and doc both reacted and scared me even more. It didn't seem like they cared when I explained how nervous I was about it. Needless to say, I don't want to go back. When I've taken it at home, its usually a bit high at first but goes down as I take it a few more times. I've dealt with anxiety since I was a kid, btw. I don't know If others can relate, but I feel like I can go through periods where I don't even think about my BP and then I'll read or hear something which will trigger my fear again to the point where I'm thinking about it daily. I have a wrist monitor but I'm afraid to use it now. When you have anxiety and this fear of BP, sometimes anxiety symptoms may trick you into thinking you have high BP. Not sure If that makes sense. Like right now, I'm thinking, I feel lightheaded and I wonder If thats bc I'm anxious or my BP might be high. But too afraid to check. Even If I do check, If I'm anxious, it will be high anyway. Ugh. Lol.


May 26, 2017
PHobia NEW
by: Anonymous

I also have this problem however it is due to the constriction of the blood pressure Sphygmomanometer that freaks me out. Then hearing my heartbeat increases the anxiety. To the verge of passing out or extreme fidgeting. This is my greatest phobia.

Jun 04, 2017
A suggestion NEW
by: Anonymous

I encountered this fear over the past year as well. This blog (and prayer) gave me the courage to face it. Almost by divine coincidence I realized that the BP cuff would take measurements closer to the wrist-measurements I could easily discount as being inaccurate bc of the location. And seeing the first (high scary) numbers pop up was less scary bc I said this is just to densensitize me not to worry about the number. I let it reread in the same spot and those numbers albeit inaccurate came down. And gradually cm by cm I allowed the cuff to move to its correct position on my arm. I hope this helps. We are a group of people that clearly have to trick our brains to not cause us fear.

Jun 06, 2017
being monitored at the moment, NEW
by: elisabeth kuhn

Oh boy, am I glad to hae read this here,
My phobia about my bp begann, when I went to a surgery, totally ignorant about bp, and asked the doctor, when I can get off the bp tablets:
She replied:
"Not in a million years, "
That was a death sentence for me, as another doctor said, she had triggered something off and I started to have a terrible phobia of taking my blood pressure and seeing a doctor.
I have been suffering terrible.
My worst thing is, when in Germany and in need of medical attention, the doctors keep me in hospital as my blood pressure is too high, last time I was on 19 Tablets plus infusion.
But there is hope, My son found a doctor, who claims that my week nerves are guilty and is treating it, it has given me confidence, but it is still early.
Last time I could not stand the monitor, this time, I need another 3 hours to the demanded 24.

Jun 07, 2017
B.p. phobia NEW
by: Anonymous

I have same problem my dear friend. For that reason today i am a psychriatic patient. No way out of that problem.we r unfornunate till our end.

Jul 06, 2017
Phobia taking B/P in Dr's Off & at home NEW
by: Anonymous

Just "ran" into these comments re. being fearful of having B/P taken...I thot. I was the Only one who had this fear; but, I see I'm NOT alone --helps, but still have fears. My B/P is very high, lately, and has been in the past in the doctor's off., and am too afraid to take B/P at home. Am on B/P med. for years, and just had the med. increased. Also, suffer from Panic Dis., OCD, gen. anxiety. I will try relaxation exer., southing music, as suggested, and prayer (tho. not religious). If I could just get a "normal," or near-normal reading would greatly help. Can't stand B/P machine, either!

Jul 10, 2017
Semi lying down BP reading NEW
by: Anonymous

When I take my BP just as I wake up and lying down but with my head and torso at a semi sitting up state my readings are around 120/85. As soon as I sit up straight and lay my arm on my night table my nervousness rises and BP goes up to 150/95. Is my first reading of 120/85 laying semi supine accurate? I took it this morning and it was 115/84 in this position. I have white coat syndrome and anxiety.

Jul 14, 2017
I'm finally posting. NEW
by: Anonymous

This is by far the most active WCH forum on the web. Wow! I finally wrote my own story to share. Feels good!

So I had a Dr.s appt yesterday morning. I have suffered with WCH since maybe 12 years old. I have terrible case of it as well. Nothing mild or faint with this guy. After I had my physical to go to college, where incidentally, my Dr. had me lay supine and he started listening to my heart, which made it speed up even more, so he kept listening, so it kept pounding faster and faster, so he listened even more closely, and my heart went even faster..Seeing a pattern?....I hate this affliction. Oh, he left the damn BP cuff on my arm. I guess it was so high when he took it with me sitting he decided maybe I should lie back and relax? Yea, relax.. Ughhhh. I still remember that. It felt like he listened to my heart, which was just pounding, getting faster and faster an faster, for 30 minutes. I was dying the entire time. Dying. The cuff on my arm as well. Knowing that was going to happen again. So, after that terrible visit, oh yea, when I was younger, I would get flushed all over my neck, chest, face. Holy hell. So that as well was something for people to talk about and look at me and wonder if I was going to die or something.
I ramble, I apologize. After that last visit still living under my parents roof, I managed to avoid seeing a Dr., or having my blood pressure or pulse measured for somewhere around 7 or 8 years. Whew. Broken bone and I had no choice but to go to ER. First time that snotty nurse took it my HR was 160bpm. She was such a *****. I even told her prior to slapping the cuff on that I get really nervous in hospitals, etc.. And those dang vital sign machines. Starts inflating...tight, tight, tight, quits...Course where it stops first time is for the average Joe...I can feel my blood pounding under that cuff, tight, tight, stops....No, still pounding...Then, to add injury to insult, after the machine finally deflates, and we all better hope the alarms are turned off, the damn thing starts up again...My pressure and HR were so outta whack, it takes another reading b/c surely the first couldn't be correct. So, miss happy to be here ratchet barks "Your heart is beating 160 beats per minute! Can you not FEEL it in your chest??" No kidding, *****? really? I had no idea it was that fast. Damn girl, I can hardly draw a breath I'm so wigged out. Then wheeled to a room where they come in every 15 minutes and strap the cuff. I told them it wasn't going to get any better. Just the way it was with me. They wanna know if I'm on drugs. HA. I wish. Another weird thing. I've always been very embarrassed by this affliction. So weird. A guy I knew was working as a tech or something and he was one that kept coming around to take my pressure every 15 min. So now, since I know him, I'm even more nervous and embarrassed. This is one weird, disturbing syndrome huh? When I was younger, I don't think anyone believed me. Believed that there was such a thing. It's now pretty widely covered in studies, meta analysis and hell, I even think they mention it to future nurses and Dr.s.
I'm getting older and I need a Dr. now. There are things a man needs as he ages. White Coat Syndrome be damned, I have to go to the Doc a couple times a year. Third time I've been to this lady. My two previous visits, my HR and BP were not super crazy. I've learned to pop a Xanax, and tell them before they ever get near me with the cuff. I mean, the two previous were well into hypertensive and tachycardia, but I was kind of impressed with myself. The way of the future is automatic readings. Well, personally, mine is lower with a manual. Something about the sound of the machine, the pulse Ox clip on your finger.... How it stops inflating only to start again b/c my BP ain't like everyone else. So, 176/106....HR-126 Damn!
Just as you think you're making progress. Doc checked it herself again later with a manual and it dropped to 160 something over 90 something. Woo Hoo.
One other thing and this long, boring post will be over. Thing is, I've never written about this. Never told my side, the real story, the whole story. Feels really good.
Am I the only one that freaks out about having pulse taken or someone listening to my heart? Same reaction as BP measure for me. Anyone else the same way?
Also, it seems there are people with WCH that don't even know they have it. How lucky are they? It's mild, so they don't even know they're nervous. That kinda blows me away. I sure know when I have a Dr.s appt. Weeks in advance I start freaking out.
Hope this maybe opens some new discussion. So good to know I'm not alone!

Read more: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/high-low-blood-pressure/1035523-white-coat-hypertension-scourge.html#ixzz4mohW5hTw

Jul 14, 2017
I'm finally posting my story! NEW
by: John H.

I have watched this thread for years. Most active WCH thread online I believe. Who knew there were so many of us? I copied it from my post in HealthBoards earlier I think? EHealth? Somewhere:)

So I had a Dr.s appt yesterday morning. I have suffered with WCH since maybe 12 years old. I have terrible case of it as well. Nothing mild or faint with this guy. After I had my physical to go to college, where incidentally, my Dr. had me lay supine and he started listening to my heart, which made it speed up even more, so he kept listening, so it kept pounding faster and faster, so he listened even more closely, and my heart went even faster..Seeing a pattern?....I hate this affliction. Oh, he left the damn BP cuff on my arm. I guess it was so high when he took it with me sitting he decided maybe I should lie back and relax? Yea, relax.. Ughhhh. I still remember that. It felt like he listened to my heart, which was just pounding, getting faster and faster an faster, for 30 minutes. I was dying the entire time. Dying. The cuff on my arm as well. Knowing that was going to happen again. So, after that terrible visit, oh yea, when I was younger, I would get flushed all over my neck, chest, face. Holy hell. So that as well was something for people to talk about and look at me and wonder if I was going to die or something.
I ramble, I apologize. After that last visit still living under my parents roof, I managed to avoid seeing a Dr., or having my blood pressure or pulse measured for somewhere around 7 or 8 years. Whew. Broken bone and I had no choice but to go to ER. First time that snotty nurse took it my HR was 160bpm. She was such a *****. I even told her prior to slapping the cuff on that I get really nervous in hospitals, etc.. And those dang vital sign machines. Starts inflating...tight, tight, tight, quits...Course where it stops first time is for the average Joe...I can feel my blood pounding under that cuff, tight, tight, stops....No, still pounding...Then, to add injury to insult, after the machine finally deflates, and we all better hope the alarms are turned off, the damn thing starts up again...My pressure and HR were so outta whack, it takes another reading b/c surely the first couldn't be correct. So, miss happy to be here ratchet barks "Your heart is beating 160 beats per minute! Can you not FEEL it in your chest??" No kidding, *****? really? I had no idea it was that fast. Damn girl, I can hardly draw a breath I'm so wigged out. Then wheeled to a room where they come in every 15 minutes and strap the cuff. I told them it wasn't going to get any better. Just the way it was with me. They wanna know if I'm on drugs. HA. I wish. Another weird thing. I've always been very embarrassed by this affliction. So weird. A guy I knew was working as a tech or something and he was one that kept coming around to take my pressure every 15 min. So now, since I know him, I'm even more nervous and embarrassed. This is one weird, disturbing syndrome huh? When I was younger, I don't think anyone believed me. Believed that there was such a thing. It's now pretty widely covered in studies, meta analysis and hell, I even think they mention it to future nurses and Dr.s.
I'm getting older and I need a Dr. now. There are things a man needs as he ages. White Coat Syndrome be damned, I have to go to the Doc a couple times a year. Third time I've been to this lady. My two previous visits, my HR and BP were not super crazy. I've learned to pop a Xanax, and tell them before they ever get near me with the cuff. I mean, the two previous were well into hypertensive and tachycardia, but I was kind of impressed with myself. The way of the future is automatic readings. Well, personally, mine is lower with a manual. Something about the sound of the machine, the pulse Ox clip on your finger.... How it stops inflating only to start again b/c my BP ain't like everyone else. So, 176/106....HR-126 Damn!
Just as you think you're making progress. Doc checked it herself again later with a manual and it dropped to 160 something over 90 something. Woo Hoo.
One other thing and this long, boring post will be over. Thing is, I've never written about this. Never told my side, the real story, the whole story. Feels really good.
Am I the only one that freaks out about having pulse taken or someone listening to my heart? Same reaction as BP measure for me. Anyone else the same way?
Also, it seems there are people with WCH that don't even know they have it. How lucky are they? It's mild, so they don't even know they're nervous. That kinda blows me away. I sure know when I have a Dr.s appt. Weeks in advance I start freaking out.
Hope this maybe opens some new discussion. So good to know I'm not alone!

Read more: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/high-low-blood-pressure/1035523-white-coat-hypertension-scourge.html#ixzz4mohW5hTw

Jul 14, 2017
BP Phobia NEW
by: Zulfiqar

Hello Friends, can anyone tell me, my BP high when i take my BP at home or Dr. office, i know its Anxiety, can anyone tell me how control anxiety.

Jul 14, 2017
very common NEW
by: J

This is very common and doctors who don't understand don't understand about mental health. Be proactive in your approach. This is why home BP monitors were made. If you can learn to take it at home this will be your best defense ... I used to take it in the car while I was driving so I would be distracted ... also a wrist monitor works better for me ... less scary .. plus I take it every day to help desensitize myself per therapist's orders and take those numbers to doctor although I found a doctor who's sympathetic so I never need to pull those numbers out anymore. Good Luck! There ARE doctors out there that understand! I seem to have better luck w/ female doctors and yes I'm female

Jul 15, 2017
sitting vs lying down NEW
by: SD

To the comment above regarding taking bp while sitting vs lying down..... I'm experiencing the same thing. When lying down its natural that the pressure would be lower but If you get a good reading, its still a good thing. Someone with serious hypertension would likely not be able to get a good reading without meds sitting or lying down.

Jul 16, 2017
I'm glad I found this page NEW
by: vittoria

I have suffered with this phobia and a phobia of death for over 25 years now. I hate it and it makes me feel powerless. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one. I also have chronic depression and I've had it for over 35 years. I like reading about the experiences of other sufferers and will ask my doctor about some of the ideas I've read on here. I thank each and every one of you for commenting and offering your insight. It really helps. I appreciate all of you and hope that we can improve with this. I know there is no easy answer.

Jul 18, 2017
Love you all NEW
by: Anonymous

This is the most therapeutic thread I have ever seen! Thank you all! I can't add anything significant. It has been covered. Makes for some great reading. Keep up the great work everyone!!

Jul 18, 2017
To John H NEW
by: Darla

To John H
I have been reading this site for years since I suffer from the same issues...your post has to be the funniest I have read so far. I feel you man. You hit everything right on. All I can say is find a Dr who understands and is sympathetic and understanding but concerned. There are a lot of good ideas on here, but the best thing is to just be able to know you aren't alone. I am with you on the fact of how embarrassing it can feel. I start conversations in my head days before my dr's apt of how I will ask/tell the nurse that I only want the dr to take my BP. I don't want to offend them on the other hand I am scared. I went to the dr a few weeks ago - he listened to my heart - I know it was fast and furious, he just calmly said "A nice strong slow heartbeat" I just laughed and said BS - but he put me at east so when he took my BP is was only 134/86...pretty good for me. All of this crap started with me 25 years ago when a military dr got bent out of shape because my BP was a little high. Anyway - thanks for the laugh. You should write more - it relaxes me. Thanks

Jul 19, 2017
Fear of BP machine at DR NEW
by: TNgal

I have suffered from this fear of blood pressure cuffs for over 30 years. Having panic attacks, migraines and other ailments aren't enough (HAHA)! When the cuff goes on it feels as though I am trapped and this sudden rush of FEAR, DEATH and THAT LOOK the nurse gives you when your BP is 160/120??? I have made up my mind to keep taking my BP until I get used to it!!

I think I had the trauma of a caring for someone with BP issues or something because till this day it still sux. I downloaded an APP on Adroid called Calm which seems to help reduce it tremendously but being consistent is a problemo.

Pray and hope for all the best!

Jul 26, 2017
To Darla:) NEW
by: John H

Darla,
Thank you so much. Never considered myself a writer. This IS the DAMNEDEST affliction I could possibly think of. I found this thread years ago. Honestly. One of the first "forums", help groups, whatever you want to call it, I had ever seen. For many years, I did think I was the only one. A lot of Docs out there aren't super sympathetic to us.
Since this thread, and putting a few years behind me, I'm not as embarrassed by it as I once was?? I've found telling the person attacking me with the pressure cuff, up front, that I get REAL nervous and my HR and BP are gonna be a bit elevated:) That alone brings it down a few notches anyway. Sometimes.
I switched to a female Dr., and I think that helps. I'm just more comfortable with her. The nurse usually uses auto, which for me, makes it even worse. The inflation, the stop.....The deflation....Oh, no..Not me, my blood is still pounding under that cuff preset to 180. More inflation. Now, the nurse, tech, provided they don't remember or know you do a double take at you and machine. That F'ing helps huh? The sound when the cuff starts to inflate......Ahhhhhhh
Thanks for the shout out:) Means a lot to me. Try and keep it real:)

Aug 08, 2017
Freak out over BP machine NEW
by: Anonymous

Me too! I'm 43 and very active and healthy. I'm 5 foot 7" and 129 pounds. There is no reason for me to have high blood pressure as it really doesn't run in my family much. When I take my BP at home it's usually around 105/70 unless I'm really stressed or upset and then it can be 130/90, but when I go to the doctor I sit there freaking out and my heart starts racing to like 135 beats per min and my BP always reads around 170/105. It makes me mad and embarrassed. I put off going to the doctor all that time for that reason and that reason only. I try to calm down, but usually make it worse and get light headed. Totally messed up!! I'm so thankful I'm not alone at all! I just wish my doctor would tell me it's common to get whitecoat, he usually just acts shocked at how high it is.

Aug 12, 2017
wcs support NEW
by: JD

Im so glad I found this thread. I had my blood pressure taken a few months ago at my doctors office while i was panicked and it was 140/100. I had never given high blood pressure that much thought as I went through two pregnancies with monthly testing and virtually no issues. My doctor was immediately concerned and wanted to go on medication but she noticed my heart rate was sky high so she had me do an EKG and all was fine. She told me to watch what I eat and exercise (which i already did) and monitor at home. i developed sever anxiety to testing my BP. If i see a high number i immediately think death is imminent. I get panic as soon as i look or think of taking it. On the few occaisions when i was calm enough i could get readings of 130/80 which made me happy and my fear started to dissipate but last week I choose to take a reading knowing I was ultra nervous and im back to extreme fear. Im 34, i run, cycle and eat very well. I dont smoke and I drink wine but not crazy. HBP is sending me into a downward spiral of anxiety which im struggling with. Deep down I know its wcs but part of me fears death and so I think about it day and night.

Sep 11, 2017
fuckin fear! NEW
by: Anonymous

hi everyone i am 24and glad im not alone.
just like u guys i am dealing with this kind of problem WCS..im really scared to death seing and even hearing about bp coz i always have a high result i feel so hopeless like no one seems to understand me like i was trying to share it to my friends and they would just laugh at me..and says hahahaha ur wierdo men! its just pretty annoying...can sumone help me ??wat am i suppose to do to stop this phobia??

Sep 11, 2017
fuckin fear! NEW
by: Anonymous

hi everyone i am 24and glad im not alone.
just like u guys i am dealing with this kind of problem WCS..im really scared to death seing and even hearing about bp coz i always have a high result i feel so hopeless like no one seems to understand me like i was trying to share it to my friends and they would just laugh at me..and says hahahaha ur wierdo men! its just pretty annoying...can sumone help me ??wat am i suppose to do to stop this phobia??

Sep 11, 2017
fuckin fear! NEW
by: Anonymous

hi everyone i am 24and glad im not alone.
just like u guys i am dealing with this kind of problem WCS..im really scared to death seing and even hearing about bp coz i always have a high result i feel so hopeless like no one seems to understand me like i was trying to share it to my friends and they would just laugh at me..and says hahahaha ur wierdo men! its just pretty annoying...can sumone help me ??wat am i suppose to do to stop this phobia??

Sep 11, 2017
Thanks God, I am not alone ! NEW
by: Anonymous

Thanks God that I am not alone.

I bought a blood pressure machine, first time I used it, my BP was extremely high and I almost called 911. and I took it again and again and slowly my BP came back to close to normal.

This is the 2nd week now, Still every time I pick up the BP machine, I feel my heart pounding heavily and a heat wave moving up in my body, and needless to say, my BP is high.
Thanks to everyone for sharing your experience, that comforted me a lot !
God bless you all !

Sep 12, 2017
Wcht is not problem: scientfic meta-analysis NEW
by: Tuomo Kortesmaa

I have had this phobia, seems very common,lot of posts.
I think that it helps to know that there is scientfical meta-analysis telling
Wcht , rise of blood pressure because measuremen is not any risk.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17921809

hypertension (WCHT), masked and sustained hypertension in comparison with true normotension.
Methods: We searched for individual studies, in which the adjusted relative risk of incident cardiovascular events was assessed in patients with WCHT, masked and sustained hypertension versus normotension in the same study population. For each type of hypertension, the weighted overall hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.
Results: Seven studies were identified, involving a total of 11 502 participants. Four studies were performed in the population, two in primary care and one in specialist care. Two studies were exclusively on treated hypertensive patients; individuals on antihypertensive treatment were included in all the other studies except one. Cut-off blood pressure was 140/90 mmHg for office blood pressure in all studies and 135/85 mmHg (83 in one study) for out-of-office blood pressure. The average age of the study populations was 63 years; 53% were men. The endpoint consisted of cardiovascular death in one study and of various aggregates of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events in the others. During an average follow-up of 8.0 years, there were 912 first cardiovascular events. The overall adjusted HR versus normotension was 1.12 (95% CI 0.84–1.50) for WCHT (P = 0.59), 2.00 (1.58–2.52) for masked hypertension (P < 0.001), and 2.28 (1.87–2.78) for sustained hypertension (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: The meta-analysis indicates that the incidence of cardiovascular events is not significantly different between WCHT and true normotension, whereas the outcome is worse in patients with masked or sustained hypertension.onside

Sep 12, 2017
Scientific meta-analysis: rising bp wcht is not riskhypertension (WCHT), masked and sustained hypertension in comparison with true normotension. Methods: We searched for individual studies, in which t NEW
by: Anonymous


All of us including me have sffered without any reason.


Objective: To perform a meta-analysis on the incidence of cardiovascular events in white-coat hypertension (WCHT), masked and sustained hypertension in comparison with true normotension.
Methods: We searched for individual studies, in which the adjusted relative risk of incident cardiovascular events was assessed in patients with WCHT, masked and sustained hypertension versus normotension in the same study population. For each type of hypertension, the weighted overall hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.
Results: Seven studies were identified, involving a total of 11 502 participants. Four studies were performed in the population, two in primary care and one in specialist care. Two studies were exclusively on treated hypertensive patients; individuals on antihypertensive treatment were included in all the other studies except one. Cut-off blood pressure was 140/90 mmHg for office blood pressure in all studies and 135/85 mmHg (83 in one study) for out-of-office blood pressure. The average age of the study populations was 63 years; 53% were men. The endpoint consisted of cardiovascular death in one study and of various aggregates of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events in the others. During an average follow-up of 8.0 years, there were 912 first cardiovascular events. The overall adjusted HR versus normotension was 1.12 (95% CI 0.84–1.50) for WCHT (P = 0.59), 2.00 (1.58–2.52) for masked hypertension (P < 0.001), and 2.28 (1.87–2.78) for sustained hypertension (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: The meta-analysis indicates that the incidence of cardiovascular events is not significantly different between WCHT and true normotension, whereas the outcome is worse in patients with masked or sustained hypertension.


Incidence of cardiovascular events in white-coat, masked and sustained hypertension versus true normotension: a meta-analysis
Fagard, Robert H; Cornelissen, Véronique A
Journal of Hypertension: November 2007 - Volume 25 - Issue 11 - p 2193–2198
doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e3282ef6185

Oct 26, 2017
Sudden Fear When asked to take BP NEW
by: Anonymous

I nurse friend one day took my vital Sign(BP) she Exclaimed! "what happen?" what is the Matter?". It took me a momment to understood why she exclamed. It appeared to her that my BP was too high.

Since that time i have been having sudden fear when asked to do BP.

Nov 03, 2017
huge relief NEW
by: Anonymous

I feel that the Lord led me to this site. I've had this issue since young. I think most of my doctors realized it was WCH, so never suggested meds, thank heaven.
I bought blood pressure cuff many year sago and my bp is normal when taken at home most of the time. Occasionally it is high, but when I retake several times, it does come down. I keep hoping I can beg the tech at the doc's office to not take it there when I first walk in. I now want to have varicose veins treated and my ND has sent me to have a complete cardiac work up. Since I'm 70, I am fine with getting these issues looked into, but just knowing about my soon appointments has elevated my home bp. sigh..
Oh, speaking of sighing and breathing, the Resperate device is fantastic for me. When I use it twice a day, it relaxes me and like the person above said about breathing (in 2 seconds and out 8) before having bp taken, this will help with long term high readings.
Such comfort in knowing all of you share this phobia. I am mostly a relaxed and healthy person. I have just lost 30 pounds and eat really healthy organic foods. But my para sympathetic self wants to be phobic about doctors!

Nov 12, 2017
Thanks I'm not alone NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm from the Phils. My phobia in taking my bp in clinic/hospital started 2011 when I got my medical for pre-employment. When the nurse took my bp it reached the high of 250/150 anr I can't imagined that high. The next day I visited a doctor to consult and bp then still high. So everytime I had my APE i always hesitant to do it. And tomorrow it will be my another APE and my fear starts over again. I have my home bp monitor and it's not that high from pre-hypertension to normal, highest is 153/103 lowest is 118/76. Hope it has the same result tomorrow in clinic. Good luck to me. God bless us all.

Nov 13, 2017
Breath! NEW
by: kb801

I put up a suggestion last year about rapid breathing in rapidly for 10-15 mins prior to having BP taken - It seems to work for WCH (to bring it down) but not for those without it!! You may get a bit lightheaded but don't worry as this means it is working

Try it, it has worked for me - and might I say Ive had the fear for 4o years, and, though I still have some fear at the doctors, it is managable, unlike the many years I just didn't go the doctor or call 911 even when I fell down 15 steps on the stairs. Yes, it is very embarrassing as well, but ignore what the dumb nurse says or thinks, or sighs.

So there is hope even for the worst fears - I sure don't sing a happy song when I go to the doctor and there is still some fear, but that is SO much better than it was ( I also have found a doctor who will let me bring me home readings in, which I used to be afaind of as well, but try NOT LOOKING at the numbers as it inflates, even put on music so you dont hear the cuff - you'll still feel it in your arm but it eliminates 2 or the 3 fear triggers.


Nov 14, 2017
Try taking Blood Pressure when first waking up.... NEW
by: Anonymous

None of us are abnormal about this fear and I will tell you why and yes this is also me who is quite perturbed with the medical world for not addressing the serious problems they have caused which is mass hysteria and mass anxiety.
We continually hear on the radio, the tv and on social media as well as from the doctors we do go to and nurses as well about how high our blood pressures are and how dangerous this is meaning: heart attack, stroke and death...Now, a normal person like we all are here have some fear of death and also of heart attacks etc...I would suggest that you call a doctor or ask your present doctor to understand that your fear is a legitimate fear caused by people like him as well as the American Heart Association, etc and therefore it's up to them to solve the problems they created for all of us...I once asked if the doctor would please just meet with me and not do ekg and blood pressure and the person on the phone said no he won't even after I told her I had white coat syndrome so..ask for the doctor himself to call you and speak to him or her and if they have some compassion they will understand why your BP is so high and then atleast you'll feel you have more control over your own life...they need to address the problems they created and I know they mean well, but it's not our fault to fear being tested by a person who will tell us life altering news...keep plugging along and try the natural routes too; exercise, lose weight, deep breathing and don't take your bp until you think it's somewhat normal for yourself...

Nov 17, 2017
Different Mechanism NEW
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem you all speak about and have been taking meds for 30 years...I am only 50. I even searched out a doctor who specializes in patients who seem to be somewhat resistant to medications...they give me more and more meds and it still remains too high. I put myself on a low sodium diet(I cook all of my own food unless in a pinch or out with friends), I take garlic tabs, apple cider vinegar and flax seed each day. I am 5 feet 10 inches tall and 175 pounds. And...my pressure is still too high. It's a works in progress. I would love if I could get my blood pressure taken, effectively, without using a standard cuff. My machine is automatic, and my expectation of high results, results in a high pressure and then it gets higher because my anxiety kicks in. Is there another type of machine, or another administration type, that will effectively take my blood pressure? Any help would be appreciated.

Nov 21, 2017
More common that doctors let on NEW
by: John B

It's a bit heart-breaking to read all of the posts here and realize just how significantly and adversely this condition affects each poster's life. We can all see the common threads here: one or more traumatic triggering events earlier in life that start the phobia coupled with the maltreatment and widespread ignorance of it by medical practitioners that only exacerbates the phobia and seriously interferes with proper medical treatment over one's lifetime.

I suspect my BP phobia started when I took a physical exam for the Naval Academy during senior year in high school in a shoddy clinic at a nearby Navy airbase. I'd been taking large dosages of cortisone injections for several weeks prior to control an allergic reaction that caused severe facial swelling. When the corpsman took my BP, he announced loudly to everyone within in earshot "Man, your BP is 160/90! I've seen lower readings on dying 90 year olds. Something's terribly wrong with you." Needless to say, the Naval Academy was no longer interested.
In the decades since, I almost always get high (150 to 170 systolic) BP readings in medical settings, followed by the usual consternation and even panic from the staff and doctor. Fortunately, my home readings are almost always around 125/75.

Nov 22, 2017
BP fear group NEW
by: Anonymous

Is the poster from Chicago still around? That is a good idea. To get a group of people together

Nov 22, 2017
mental health NEW
by: J

WCS is a phobia which is mental health and I don't know if the doctors are to blame exactly but healthcare IS a business and all the tests and scares are money makers. I almost think the news etc. promotes disease and we thinkers act on their suggestions and get sick. Anyway this is a mental health issue as it is an anxiety disorder and we should expect our doctors to be educated on this. Keep taking it at home and go armed with your home readings and go to a talk therapist if needed. I did and it helped. We're NOT alone!

Dec 03, 2017
Me too NEW
by: Anonymous

Thanks to you all, I dint feel like such a freak ( I know you understand). So, my therapist says to not take my BP as it obviously is doing me no good (I can feel it rise just thinking about it); however my medical person suggested twice a week. Do I try to desensitize or do I just try to enjoy life. But the hard thing is to "let go and move through " the fear. Any advice? Thank you!

Dec 14, 2017
What we should do..... NEW
by: SD

Of course the goal is to desensitize our fear of the process and monitor itself. We have to accept that It will be high If we are anxious when taking it and that does not mean we have a disease or will die. Its the same as exercising and taking it right after but our minds will totally accept that high reading but won't accept a high reading due to anxiety.

It doesn't make sense to keep taking it until we change our mindset and thinking towards this problem. IT IS ABSOLUTELY NORMAL FOR OUR PRESSURE TO GO UP WHEN WE ARE FEARFUL.

My brother is a cardiologist and when I told him that I had a high reading at the dentist, he didn't think twice about it since he knows how anxious I get.

Dec 14, 2017
to Me too NEW
by: J

If I were you I would keep taking it at home until you're comfortable with it on you... I used to walk around or drive with the cuff on taking my BP .... Anything to distract me!! and after a while I learned to relax and now I can take it at home and it's not as bad in the Drs. office either (not like at home though!) . This was on the advice of a therapist. The main thing is to not look at the numbers but to get relaxed while the cuff is inflating, once you conquer that you should be OK (at least at home) Good Luck!

Dec 30, 2017
Wow! Others like me NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you for all the comments. I am a 51 year old male who has been battling this for many years. I was in the Marine Corps and do not have a problem with fears or phobias. Health concerns do not enter my mind. However get me near a blood pressure cuff and everything changes! As soon as I put the cuff on my arm it is on and I can barely breathe. Now I know I'm not crazy or alone. I can accept it now. Thanks

Jan 29, 2018
not to take bp NEW
by: Anonymous

Can you just ask them to no take it?

Mar 10, 2018
Me too! NEW
by: Lindy

I have asked a couple of times for the nurse not to take mine. I had been able to take mine at home but because of a nurse's reaction and comments by a doctor a few years ago, I developed the fear of taking it myself. I used a method found in "The anxiety and Phobia Workbook" and was able to take it again myself. But just recently, I had a similar "reactionary" experience, only much worse. A blood pressure reprimanding, accusatory, interrogation by one of the staff members while preparing me for surgery put me in a very bad place, enhancing quilt, evoking tears and fears. It's an embarrassing,guilt riddling, problem causing problem and how health care providers "handle" it makes a huge difference. Hopefully they will get a clue. Thank you for sharing and good luck to all of you. Lindy

Mar 21, 2018
Same experiece NEW
by: Anonymous

I got into this website by chance and found that i am not the only one experiencing this. This is really something annoying in life especially i need to get the right BP reading for my upcoming job promotion test. I am working as a police officer and that required physical ability test to be passed for promotion. Only a right BP reading can allow one to start the physical ability test. It is so difficult for the GP in my country to understand my condition. They just find me weird and started prescribe me HBP medication.

Mar 22, 2018
If Only NEW
by: Joe

if only there was a way we could always get our bp reading over our sleeve all the time. i would invent a hidden cuff that is under your shirt sleeve. if you ever get your bp taken, the cuff always reads a number under 120/80. this way you fool tge doctors, fool yourself, and you never havr to worry about a high reading again.

Mar 30, 2018
Read the linked article, if nothing else NEW
by: Anonymous

Glad I found this thread. We all know this is a real phobia. I wish all medical personnel understood this. If you haven't read this article, I suggest reading it and taking a printout when you visit a doctor:
"Could Blood Pressure Phobia Go Beyond the White Coat Effect?" by K. Dillon https://academic.oup.com/ajh/article/28/11/1306/250730

Just like the other commentors, I've dealt with (or not dealt with, in reality) this phobia for many, many years. I've avoided any sort of medical treatment and been afraid to take my BP at home. It's always there in the back of my mind. Branching into the fear of "what if I need to see a doctor for something else and I can't?" I have zero fear of dentists, but have avoided them for years, because they take my BP there.

I believe a number of factors contributed to my phobia. As a child I recall very unpleasant trips to the pediatrician. My mother had high blood pressure, and once was urgently admitted to hospital for it, though part of me thinks THAT may have been over-reaction to this same phobia, as she has always had very, very high anxiety (and is now treated for it). In high school health class, the teacher once gave every student, one by one, a blood pressure check, in front of everyone else! I'd always had VERY high anxiety about speaking in class or being the center of attention -- you could imagine this put my BP through the roof. This single, awful experience may have been the biggest contributing factor.

At 40+ now, I've finally decided it's time to get past this. What's helped me most recently is: privately journaling to acknowledge the phobia and explore what triggered it in me and my desire to address it. Finding forums like this and articles like the link above and realizing I'm not unique. Realizing that, even if I have high BP so does 33% of the population. Learning to PROPERLY take my BP at home (arm supported on a cushion, at heart level, feet flat, back supported, urinate first) so that I don't see incorrectly high readings. Understanding that, even when I do get an elevated reading, it's not reason for panic, alarm or shame. I literally had to work my way up from just looking at the machine, to taking it out of the closet, slipping on the cuff without running it, etc. over time.

Another thing that helped A LOT was a service thorough my employer benefits that recommends a doctor AND actually makes the appointment for you all via a website -- no high-anxiety phone calls to make! I used the service and was able to include a note to the doctor beforehand that I get extremely anxious and have very high readings when taking BP. When you do see a doctor, take the article printout and also make sure they check your BP correctly (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/11/20/564832694/odds-are-theyre-taking-your-blood-pressure-all-wrong)

I know this is very difficult to get past -- if it were easy I'd have done it decades ago. My own comments probably wouldn't have helped me much a year ago. But I hope this helps someone.

Mar 30, 2018
PTSD War...BP Phobia NEW
by: Anonymous

My husband has similar trouble at home and at the doctors office.

He was a marine in a small patrol always volunteering for point who experienced frequent extreme engagement.

The trauma of witnessing blood pressure loss is one trigger for this high anxiety and inaccurate readings.

I wonder if over medicating a transient high blood pressure is causing damage.

Mar 30, 2018
PTSD War...BP Phobia NEW
by: Anonymous

If you have been exposed to sudden trauma causing PTSD such as combat related deaths talong blood pressure reading is a likely trigger. Cognitive reorientative therapy may help.

My husband a marine with PTSD has experienced far to much war related trauma as many have. His blood pressure readings are not predictive of his resting state. You have to wonder if treating a transient phobic traumatic memory is relevant without being able to obtain true resting readings.

Apr 04, 2018
Same here! NEW
by: Bev

I never thought there were so many of us! I really thought I was a rare bird. Hate to say it but it is comforting to know I'm not alone. My blood pressure reading is by far the worst part of any doctor's visit and/or procedure. I have an appointment this afternoon and am already experiencing major anxiety. That's how I found this site...trying to find a way to calm down this morning! I get great home readings and carry them around with me to PROVE I don't need more BP medication. My appointment today is with my vascular surgeon. My last visit there my BP was 220/112! When the monitor starts pumping up the second and third time I just about come unglued. I'm so anxious to get out of there because I know it will start coming down as soon as I can leave! I have cancelled and delayed many appointments because I just could not handle the stress of it all. I feel like I would be much better off if they just would not check it everywhere I go......and have ask them not to! Of course that's a ridiculous request. They must think I'm nutty! I've been "labeled" as having CLINICAL HYPERTENSION. This is all over my charts but it still puts everyone in an uproar and most of all me. It's always the center discussion of all my visit's. God bless you all. Wish me well today. If anybody understands you..it's me.

Apr 26, 2018
Me too! NEW
by: Anonymous

I was about 43 yrs old when at a physical test appointment my BP came unexpectedly irregular. Up to that time, my BP was always ok, or so I thought. All I can remember is that the reading was 146/85. Sure I was under a tremendous stress over personal issues, as everyone else. Far away from home, my brother recently past away really hit me. I didn't pay too much attention to it after those events.

Then, we had to move to another country, for job reasons. The company who hire me booked me for a complete routine physical test which, of course, included the BP measuring. By the time I arrived at the building everything was just fine but after looking all the people and nurses around, my anxiety started the loose control. I was inside the BP measure room, put the cuff and the machine started to read then hitting the 160/90 BP. I felt like confused, lost, everything. The nurse bombing me with questions about if I am a high BP or take medication, whatever. All that made my system collapse and they sent me outside to catch my breath and proceed with the rest of the tests. I went back to take the BP reading again but it was useless 177/100.

Long story short, I went to a cardiologist for a certificate; BP outside the clinic was normal and went into medication since then. But every time I have to take physicals or go to the doctor, HBP is there. I have managed to control it at home, so my readings are normal for my age 51 (130/80).

Now I know I'm not alone. I wanted to share my story with other people to see that you are not alone as well. Relax as much as you can, forget about troubles, listen to good music, take a deep breath and your BP would be fine.

Apr 26, 2018
Me too! NEW
by: Anonymous

I was about 43 yrs old when at a physical test appointment my BP came unexpectedly irregular. Up to that time, my BP was always ok, or so I thought. All I can remember is that the reading was 146/85. Sure I was under a tremendous stress over personal issues, as everyone else. Far away from home, my brother recently past away really hit me. I didn't pay too much attention to it after those events.

Then, we had to move to another country, for job reasons. The company who hire me booked me for a complete routine physical test which, of course, included the BP measuring. By the time I arrived at the building everything was just fine but after looking all the people and nurses around, my anxiety started the loose control. I was inside the BP measure room, put the cuff and the machine started to read then hitting the 160/90 BP. I felt like confused, lost, everything. The nurse bombing me with questions about if I am a high BP or take medication, whatever. All that made my system collapse and they sent me outside to catch my breath and proceed with the rest of the tests. I went back to take the BP reading again but it was useless 177/100.

Long story short, I went to a cardiologist for a certificate; BP outside the clinic was normal and went into medication since then. But every time I have to take physicals or go to the doctor, HBP is there. I have managed to control it at home, so my readings are normal for my age 51 (130/80).

Now I know I'm not alone. I wanted to share my story with other people to see that you are not alone as well. Relax as much as you can, forget about troubles, listen to good music, take a deep breath and your BP would be fine.

May 09, 2018
Me too! NEW
by: K. in MA

Boy am I glad to find this website. I am about to lose my mind!
My ordeal started with perimenopause, when I started to get anxiety disorder. Up until then, my BP was always on the normal side, even at the Doctor's office. I did have white coat syndrome due to trauma in my early childhood and painful hospital and doctor visits, but it only ever expressed itself with nervousness and racing heartbeat.

The only medication I ever had to take was only recently: Levothyroxine for hypothyroidism, and Wellbutrin for depression/anxiety. (I used to be on Celexa but I gained a lot of weight)

My first high bp reading at the doctor's office came right after my mom got dementia, which made my anxiety disorder worse.
The reading was around 145/85 (can't remember the exact number). My doctor didn't worry too much at that time because she knew about my disorder and about my mom.

But after that, my BP taken at annual visits always remained high. Never above the 150s/80s, but enough to cause my doctor to finally decide she had to send me for blood work, EKG, heart ultrasound, and a 24 hour bp monitor. Everything came back normal, except the 24 hr monitor. Even though the average of all readings was 120/75, there were several spikes that went above 150/80.

Thing was, the monitor day happened right on a day where I had to do a lot of running around, and had a job interview. Now you can imagine that a person with anxiety disorder at a job interview isn't going to result in a normal bp reading.

So from that point on, my doctor started to mention bp meds. Of course I told her no, because my home readings on my monitor were always normal, and sometimes even on the low side. She had me bring in my monitor to see if it read correctly (it did) and had me take my bp at home every day for 3 months and keep a log which I had to bring in.

Aside from the usual spikes after exertion or an anxious episode, all was normal. So we left it at me monitoring at home and letting her know if there were any changes.

Next doctor visit (the one before my last one) she again needled me about meds. I had already begun to dread any visit because I KNEW that my bp would be high and that we would have the same go around again.

After that visit, I started having trouble with taking my bp on my monitor at home. If I thought about what I was doing and why (and try NOT to think about it!) my reading would be in the 130s/80s and the more I tried to calm myself and re-take it, the more anxious I became and the higher the reading got. I stopped when I had a 157/92 reading and had to take half a lorazepam.

I stopped monitoring for a few months until I could venture into the process again without immediately stressing out. For a couple of months, I actually did quite well. I had lost 25 lbs (went from a lifetime high of 160 to a 135), had cut out alcohol and salt, all in the hopes of having normal home readings and a not so high office reading. Home readings were back to normal, even a bit lower than they used to be because of lifestyle changes.

Then I had my doctor's visit (only a follow up for my anti depression meds) and my reading was 156/90 after the nurse took it. My doctor was alarmed, of course, and mentioned that she had read studies that even labile hypertension could be dangerous in the long term and really we should start on some meds, but low dose so I wouldn't 'bottom out' at home. She then took another reading which was by then 170/95.

Now I was beginning to think that there was no way to avoid it anymore and my fate would be to drop dead at home because of the bp drugs. My doctor asked if I could go home, take a reading and call it in right after I got home. Of course I ended up with 162/95 because I was still reeling from the visit.

This was three days ago. I have not had a normal reading since then, (even bought a brand new monitor) because every time I even put the cuff on, I get butterflies.

So now I'm at the end of my rope. I don't want to measure my blood pressure anymore. Not at home, not at the doctor's office. If I can be 51, a healthy weight at 5'7", eat rabbit food, exercise every day, and my physician STILL thinks I need to be on medication, what's the point anymore? I wish she would entertain some other avenues to find out just why my bp spikes like that instead of immediately jumping on meds.



May 10, 2018
Not doing it NEW
by: Anonymous

38 years old and can't stand it. I bought a machine to test myself at home, but could not do it.

The sight of it literally scares me.

Due one shortly for work, think I might flat out refuse. I figure them telling me it's high will make it higher, that can't be good.

May 15, 2018
omg I'm not alone NEW
by: Anonymous

any SF bay area here? I am scared of BP machine. Just thinking about taking BP makes my palm sweat. I am getting anxious now reading this post.

May 15, 2018
Snuck up on it! NEW
by: Anonymous

Same problem as everyone else. No solution until the other day. Quite by accident to, Was sat doc's office for routine stuff.

I had previously told all the medical people about my problem and they were content with me telling them "My bp is ok - I checked this morning before coming in (I hadn't just a little white lie)."

I'd been doing this for over a year.

Anyway, as I was sitting there - Crystal (my very good nurse) had the little finger thing on checking my pulse. I'd already told her my 'white lie' once again and she was just getting my vitals (but not bp).

I looked at the pulse thing and it read 64 and I commented - I know my bp is fine cause if it wasn't my pulse would be up because it always shoots up with my bp.

She said, "good." And then in a matter of 2 seconds she whipped out the stethoscope and stuff - and said - "let's check it real fast." Which she did "really quickly" and told me - yeah it's 130/85 and smiled at me.

I was STUNNED!

She had 'snuck up on me' - not gave me time to stress out or anything and got a NORMAL reading.

Truly a once in a lifetime moment and one that can not be duplicated by me (again) or anyone for that matter.

What it took was (1) me knowing (that morning) that they was not going to take my bp. (2) a quick thinking/acting nurse.

Thing about it. How could I duplicate this again? I can't.

I wish there was a way I could duplicate it again - and I really wish there was a way all of you people could duplicate it. But of course that can't happen because we stress ourselves out "thinking about it."

Anyway, maybe something can come from this for the rest of you.

I hope so.

May 26, 2018
Stay away from Doctors NEW
by: Anonymous

The only way to combat anxiety and stress is to stay away from Doctors and medication (unless
there is an emergency)

My GP of many years insisted
I take meds for hypertension and
hypothyroid....I refused and never
felt better...
I am active and happy and healthy
I play golf daily...go to fitness ...
walk and eat healthy.
BTW I am in my 70’s.
I have an Omni machine in my drawer and haven’t taken BP
in over a year. To hell with it!
Trust me much of this is psychological and Doctors love to
prescribe...it’s their business.
Listen to your body and mind.

May 27, 2018
Cured! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi guys! I know this is an post but I used to Google phobia of taking blood pressure because I had this phobia. I couldn't even take it at home. It happened after having extremely high readings at doctor's before and the way they reacted. I know have a new doctor who knows I have this. I just take my meds and don't my pressure. But a few months ago, my doctor was worried that my meds weren't working and wanted to up them! No way! I'm already on metoprolol and lisinipril. Anyway, I started eating better and lost about 8 pounds in 3 weeks. No exercise. I'm also a smoker, btw. I knew I needed to be able to take it at home. I realized I have control issues. And this was part of the problem. So one day, I put the cuff on and pressed start. Immediately my heart started racing and I felt panicked but I forced myself to do it. Surprisingly, it was only 165/95 or something even tho I expected it to be worse under those conditions. It relaxed me so I did it again. It started coming down. After the 4th try it was 119/65! I now knew foe sure my meds were working and that I could take my pressure at home. When I went to doc I took my monitor with me and showed him the readings. It was still high in his office and probably always will be. But now I know it stays normal most of the time. I hope you that suffer from this will practice doing it at home until you get over it. It works!

Jun 06, 2018
Panic is my middle name. NEW
by: Anonymous

I have had anxiety most of my life. (I'm 67) For the last few months, I've added 'Panic attacks' to my resume. I can feel them rising up in my body, even when I'm not having negative thoughts. My heart starts to beat fast and my BP goes way up. I'm also afraid to check it and stay put until I get a lower reading. I take Xanax for these episodes, however, the Xanax only lasts for a few hours and then, I can't take any more at that point.

Jun 07, 2018
not embarrassed anymore NEW
by: Jay

I had emergency plastic surgery 2 days ago and my BP was up and I warned them and besides who would be calm? I noticed that despite the stress it doesn't embarrass me anymore this is SO normal for a lot of us and I know it's normal at home and my primary physician understands so go to a therapist if you need to talk this out ... I did years ago and in the meantime I don't let anyone bully me (most understand) because we are NOT alone ... just work on getting a normal one at home for your own piece of mind. I've posted here many times and I use a wrist monitor which is less scary for me .... Good Luck everyone!!

Jun 21, 2018
BP and Pulse rate NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 71 and have had this phobia for almost as long as I can remember, both at home or in a clinical setting. I also don't feel comfortable for anyone to put their hand on my wrist to take my pulse, or put the stethoscope on my chest to listen to my heart.

I haven't noticed that there are any other comments so far about pulse and stethoscope. I have a wrist device for blood pressure readings, and it also displays my pulse rate. I can take my pulse on my own before a reading, and it will go way up when I put the bp device on my wrist.

Once in a while as a fluke, I don't react with fear to any of this, and not sure what makes the difference, but those are the times I get very normal readings.

Jun 29, 2018
Blood Pressure Phobia NEW
by: M. J. Cummings

I have had BP phobia for many years. Like you, I find that my BP is abnormally high even when I measure it alone in my home.

On one occasion, I plied myself with beer and wine. When I was pretty well juiced, my blood pressure was normal.

Still, my blood pressure skyrockets in the doctor's office. Fortunately, he understands my problem and says I don't need BP medicine.

Jun 30, 2018
Any solutions? NEW
by: Anonymous

Same thing. I’m 23 and have been struggling with taking my bp for about 3 years. It all started one time that I was really anxious and the bp read a bit high. Before that I had never had a high reading. But something about that time triggered the phobia and now I can’t take it without starting to feel extremely nervous. I can feel my bp rise as I put the cuff on.... I’ve had moderate and even normal readings when I’m calm but most of the time, especially at the doctors, it is way too high for my age... I hope to get over this one day :(

Jul 02, 2018
Oregon NEW
by: Pattie

Wow so glad I found this site. I thought I was alone. Reading the comments is exactly the way I feel, thank you for sharing this. Thank you again.

Jul 11, 2018
New Zealand NEW
by: Anonymous

Love this post!!!

I can so relate to all of this! Thank you

Jul 27, 2018
Need compassionate docters NEW
by: Pete M

I'm a 50 year old man ,living with this problem for most my adult life. It started when I was about 21, I was out with friends drinking a bit too much the night before a physical for my job.I didn't sleep much but went to a early dr appointment. When the dr took my BP it was high as should of been expected scinse I didnt sleep and was drinking too much a few hours ago.Well that dr didn't believe anything I said and went on a speech about how this is terrible and I should be very concerned of not living long if I don't address this. I walked out of a job physical in a state a fear. That situation created my phobia of having my BP taken and terrible white coat syndrome. 30 years later I can't get a normal reading at a docters office. I recently went to a oral surgeon for a procedure and was to be given iv sedation, but when the nurse took my BP with a automatic machine my BP was ridiculously high. I was sent home cause they could not do anything while my BP was high. The Dr didn't listen to a word I was trying to tell him. When I got home and took my BP it was normal. God help us.Educated professionals on mental health are far and few

Aug 02, 2018
I'm struggling NEW
by: Anonymous

I, too, have been terrified of having my blood pressure taken since I was young. My readings are always scary high- even at home unless I repeat it over and over. Even seeing a blood pressure cuff triggers my anxiety. I refuse to have my blood pressure taken at the doctors office because I know it will just cause me to spiral the rest of the day. I work in a hospital and I am an RN; however, I can't stop this visceral reaction to having my BP taken. If anyone out there wants a buddy to talk about it with when you're struggling feel free to email me at tmooney1@kent.edu. I know how nice it is to have someone you can talk to that actually understands what you're going through and I could use the support as well.

Aug 14, 2018
Yup, Me too NEW
by: Andy

- I have no idea if this is a credible web page, but this discussion group of WC is certainly a good one. I occasionally google this topic after I have a docs appt where my WC really acts up, as happened today.
- I'm 49 and I've been dealing with this since my mid-30's. I have anxiety, though I'm doing quite well - I'm a CEO and I'm in very good shape - I competed in weightlifting for years and do lots of cardio.
- But, I think if u r prone to anxiety and this gets into your head - it is the ultimate negative feedback loop and it is next to impossible to get over. You are trying to stop your body's reaction to fear of death that is being quantified for you in real time.
- I frankly have given up trying. My docs for years have been very good about it. My readings at home are normal, and they've been accepting of that. I have had readings in the doc's office that set the alarm off on the BP machine, though usually when in the doc's office I'll get 140-150/80-100. I've actually had times when I've been knocked out for a procedure or surgery and am so relieved to see a normal BP reading on the monitor when I wake up. It's a really crappy thing to be so anxious about.
- My WC was set off by a horrible doc who told me he got a high reading from me (it was actually like only 135/85) and sent me for more and more tests. Kiss of death. At one point he put me on a halter monitor that made me so anxious I threw it across the room b4 bed time. He got the results and sent me for an echo of my heart because I had no "nocturnal dipping" in my BP. I told him that I took it off at night, so that made no sense, but he sent me anyway. U get the drift.
- Some tips for those having a hard time w this: (a) definitely tell whoever s taking the BP that it will be high due to anxiety - that helps, (b) take it at home but not frequently, (c) recognize HBP is normal when u r under stress, and if u think a HBP reading is indicative of ur impending doom, well then u r definitely going to be stressed. But people wired like us are just wired to think that way.
- I have become convinced that the whole argument that WC HBP can lead to real problems is bull. If someone puts a gun to your head, your blood pressure is going to be 200/100. For some people, having your BP taken creates almost the same amount of anxiety as having a gun to your head. That's normal fight or flight.

Aug 16, 2018
Longtime BP Phobic NEW
by: LenaR

Hello comrades,

I have read through most of the comments on this great site, and they have been a comfort to me. Had no idea blood pressure phobia was so common. I've been dealing with this issue for over 30 years and have just recently gained some ground, so I wanted to share my thoughts. Hypertension runs in my family and I have been on 25 mg per day of hydrochlorothiazide for many years. I take my bp at home (I avoided that for a long time as I was too afraid to take it) and my average reading is 108/68. I moved to the south four months ago and had to leave my doctor, who understood my phobia and accepted my home readings. I just went to a new doctor here who is not very sympathetic and who insists I bring my home wrist monitor in and compare it with the clinic's cuff. My reading at his office was 188/99. He said I was in the "stroke category"--naturally that panicked me more. Now I am worried that my bp monitor will have different results than theirs. Of course, readings in doctor offices are not always accurate. Sometimes, for instance, they use the wrong cuff size on you. In any event, I am trying not to get ahead of myself, trying to take life one moment at a time. I was put on Paxil for anxiety three years ago and that has really helped my overall anxiety level as well as curing my acid reflux. I strongly recommend Paxil. For those of you who fear taking your bp at home, I get that, but I encourage you to take a reading anyway, let it be whatever it will be and know you can handle it. If you check it a few minutes later, it will be lower because you faced your fear. I think the biggest problem for bp phobics is the lack of understanding in the medical community. An understanding doctor trained in phobias is a godsend. Please continue to share any thoughts you might have as they benefit us all.

Aug 16, 2018
Oh my BP NEW
by: Anonymous

After all my searches, this is the first time I've come across this post. I've always figured that I am not alone in this, but I am shocked at just how many people experience this.

For the past two years I've been dealing with with BP phobia. During my pregnancy with my son, the fear over my blood pressure increased as I would not be able to deliver with midwives if it didn't go down (140/90). I obsessed. I took it multiple times a day, multiple times each session. Some good readings, some not too good. The more anxious I was the higher it would be (naturally right?).

When I finally went in to labor, I was transferred to the hospital because it was high (of course). It ended up being a blessing in disguise (long story).

After the birth of my son, I was getting reasonable at home readings. One morning before a checkup it was 115/75ish. Perfect right? Well at the visit it was 150/90. The rest of the visit the doctor scared me so bad, completely disregarding what my BP was earlier that day. He started talking about medication, which I turned down, and told me he would hate to hear that I had a stroke! Really? Before I left, they took it again and it had gone down (140/82). However, that was it. I went into a severe depression/obsession after that for months. Obsessing about taking my BP. I worked with my PCP and tried a few BP meds one of which sent my pulse in to the 30s!! After that I was done with meds. It wasn't until I started working with a Naturopathic Doctor and stopped taking my BP so much that it finally started to come down. I made a point to only check it in the morning because that is when I felt most grounded. Good readings most of the time. I stopped taking it so much. Then as my annual physical was approaching, it started to creep up. I knew she would talk about my BP. The fear came back, and guess what? My BP started to spike again! :( It's been an incredibly difficult summer. The fear from the BP and my hormones have been all over the place from starting the breastfeeding weaning process with my son. I finally stopped obsessing about my BP again, even though it was 150/88 a few weeks ago at a new naturopaths office (reasonable readings at home). She is great though. She was more concerned about getting my anxiety under control. I take something called l-theanine before stressful situations now. It is supposed to keep your BP from spiking so high under stressful situations. I would do some research before taking it, but from what I understand its safe in most cases.

When I take my BP now, like before, I always do it in the morning when I am most grounded. I know if I do it before bed and get a high reading that it will keep me up. I am working with my naturopath to try and get my anxiety under control. Some things that have helped me: Magnesium, EPA fish oil, acupuncture, meditation, l-theanine, a mixture of herbs, eating well, exercise. I recommend working with a naturopath if you can. They really understand the big picture and really work to get to the root cause. Hopefully I can eventually get this under control and so can you! I feel like most of the time my BP is OK, so taking it and getting a high reading is unnecessary. Good luck to all.

Aug 24, 2018
Another one here..... NEW
by: Anonymous

I have had this problem only for a week and a half. I am a 64 year old male with a history of high BP but controlled. That was until a week and a half ago, all of a sudden! I don't see very many people mentioning what meds they take for their BP. I was taking Atenolol 50mg for 35 years plus! Once in the morning. Along with Hydrochlorithiazide (water pill) 25mg as well. Again for 35 years plus. A week and a half ago I wanted to check my Pulse only cause my heart was beating funny (palpitations) when I use my home BP monitor it also shows the pulse rate. The pulse was ok but the BP OH MY GOD!! Never seen it this high. The question would also come up well maybe you were on those meds for so long, maybe they don't work that good anymore?? Perhaps. When I checked it it was 190/102!! Then I waited a few minutes and checked it again, and again, and again, which I should Not have done! The 2nd reading was 200/100. Then you know the rest after you keep checking it over and over. Up Up and Away it was going!! Then I started getting bad panic attacks, heart racing, face very flush, shaking, etc. Then I ended up checking it Too often for the next few days! Again you know the rest. I went to Urgent Care and had it checked, was high. But after talking with the Nurse and Doctor for about 15 minutes, it went to Normal! So all the Panic went away for now, cause I was just talking to someone that time. I also went and bought a Oxymeter (like the doctors office has) for measuring pulse and Oxygen in the blood. This is helping now too. That Meter was only $18.00 for a reliable one. After Urgent care I was able to see my Own Doctor as well that evening. Same thing, High BP when I first got there, after Dr visit, was normal again!She put me on another water Pill Spironolactone (been used since the 60's she told me, lol) Cheap price too. So I have been taking that now 2x a day since this past Monday. Checked BP yesterday, still High. Called nurse there told me to see how it is by Monday...then I have to call them again if still high. Anyways when checking my BP yesterday after the High reading, checked it in 5 minutes again, this time I did the Breathing excersize, and the BP went down a little! Doing this exercise while I took the 2nd reading. So I have to keep doing this to calm down in general and when checking BP on a normal basis.One thing the Doctor pointed out to me about checking it at home.......she said, CHECK IT ONLY A FEW TIMES A WEEK!! Lol!! Anyone share the meds you take as well also can help others here? Good Luck to all of You, and Me!!

Sep 07, 2018
Bp phobia NEW
by: Jam

Same problem here Ive been struggling this since my 20s and now Im 31,Im from Cebu City.Its nice to hear that Im not alone.Sometimes I get good result but most of the time its really high because Im freaking out everytime I see or somebody took bp on me.I know just psychological,anxiety.Hope we could help each other and lets conquer this fear,

Sep 14, 2018
Glad to Know I'm not Alone NEW
by: David T

It's 4am and I can't sleep because I'm obsessing about my bp. I googled "Fear of Taking Blood Pressure" and found this site. I'm so relieved to know others - many others - have this problem too. I can feel my bp going down just reading all your comments and knowing someone else completely understands what I'm going through. I've had anxiety/panic disorder for decades, and have struggled with fears of flying, dying, speaking, closed places, high places, crowds, leaving the safety of home, etc., etc. I've basically overcome them all, to one degree or another, EXCEPT my fear of the cuff. I got my own bp machine years ago because I kept getting sky-high readings in doctors offices. The nurses would always freak out, which only made things worse. The doctors put me on bp meds because of family history of hypertension. I did fine taking my own readings at home - they were almost invariably normal. Then one time during an especially stressful period I checked my bp before going to bed. I knew it was a mistake to do so because I was too anxious. The reading was 170/110. I completely panicked. I couldn't sleep because I thought I should go to the ER, but I knew if I went my bp would skyrocket along with my anxiety level. It took me a long time to start taking my bp at home again, but I gradually got better and things seemed to be ok- until they weren't. I'm going through another stressful period and I've started obsessing over my bp again. I checked it tonight, hoping it would be ok.
Big mistake. As soon as the cuff tightened, the old feelings of dread and anxiety and despair came back. The reading was 168/108. No surprise, really. But I'm so depressed because this whole cycle is repeating itself. Fear of the cuff causes my bp to go up, which raises my fear and causes my bp to go even higher. I keep thinking my readings will eventually go off the scale. I can't function fully because I'm always obsessing about my bp. If I could get one normal reading I would feel so much better, but just looking at the cuff (or even just thinking about it) causes my heart rate to jump and my stomach to contract. Knowing this fear is irrational doesn't help. But knowing I'm not alone does. Thank you all for your comments and thank God for this site. I'll be visiting it often.






Sep 14, 2018
Fear of the Cuff NEW
by: David T

I've struggled for years with this problem, sometimes taking my blood pressure 25-30 times a day. I'd get a good reading and think things were fine, but an hour later I'd worry that the reading was wrong and I'd have to take it again. Going to the doctor only made things worse. The nurses would always freak out at my high readings, which, of course, only made things worse. Now I've developed a fear of my own machine. Just looking at it will make my heart rate rise and my stomach contract. I think if I can just get one good reading, I'll be ok, but I'm too anxious and can never get a good reading. I can't seem to find a medical practitioner who understands this problem, so I suffer with the fear that I'm a walking stroke or heart attack. I'm on three blood pressure meds and an antidepressant. When I'm not anxious or depressed about my bp, I get good readings, usually 110/70 - 130/80. But the anxiety shoots it up to 170/110 or more. When I'm in the throes of really bad panic, I fear that my bp will keep rising until it kills me. Going to the ER is completely out of the question - that would cause my anxiety and my bp to skyrocket. I don't know how to cope with this problem, but it helps to know I'm not alone. Thanks for this web site.

Sep 17, 2018
Be Positive NEW
by: FSP

I am terrified of taking my blood pressure. The negative thoughts go something like this: if it is high everything I am doing is not working. So I will have to go to the doctor who will suggest a million tests and these will reveal more problems. Help! My life will spiral out of control. But I know ONE thing. Monitoring my blood pressure is the only way to stay in control. So while I take a reading I tell myself I am doing the right thing...but I will only take a reading once a week. My doctor says obsessing makes you more anxious. The other strategy I am going to implement is to make the day before the reading my "give it everything I have got" day. So I will make sure I excercise, drink plenty of green tea and have all my herbal remedies plus a good night's sleep the day before. Next day I can expect that the reading will not alarm me. Also if i make it a habit to "give it my all" at least once a week I think my bp will improve in time. BP=Be Positive

Sep 18, 2018
Practical Tip NEW
by: FSP

I love this site and it is such a relief to discover how many people share the same feelings about taking their blood pressure.

I posted yesterday and I am posting again today because I really believe we can all help each other and I want to share whatever works for me.

BP can have physical causes but for the most part it has a lot to do with our ability to handle stress. I am working on re-training my brain and I recently got a good tip.

First, learn to observe your stress triggers such as when the doorbell rings or the phone rings or an annoying person walks in, or the BP machine starts to fill the cuff again. Such things trigger alarm bells because we expect bad news. The BP machine tells us what we fear the most, that the reading will be high.

So what we have to do is think of that trigger as our cue to relax. The moment the machine starts up again, tell yourself...ah, there it is, my cue to relax! Then use that moment to go to whatever is your happy place in your mind.

I hope this practical tip is useful for someone. I have just started to apply it and so far I have noticed it makes a difference between freaking out and actually feeling calmer. Good luck and good health everyone. Stay healthy and happy!!!

Oct 25, 2018
Same issue here... NEW
by: oawad

I have been dealing with this issue for a while now, I am relaxed and fine till I see a blood pressure machine I get nervous and my reading are high, the doctor told me to buy a device and do my own reading and I did, same problem at home standing or sitting or laying, keeps getting high reads. very frustrating issue.

Nov 04, 2018
Panic - I'm taking my blood pressure NEW
by: Ann

Hi. Well I have just read this blog and boy has it helped me. Why, well many of the comments is me to a tee and whilst it is a very serious topic I laughed and laughed and then my husband said to me "Come on I'll take your blood pressure" so he did and it was down to 143/79.
A few days ago I went to the Dr and he told me it was very high again and he asked me to monitor it at home so I have and the readings were round 175/98 etc so I stopped because of my anxiety and since then I've felt better. My thanks to you all. Try what I have just tried and see how you go. Remember I know what it's like to panic. If I go to have an operation my blood pressure goes to about 200.

Nov 04, 2018
Me Too! NEW
by: Pat

I just found this website. It has already helped me so much. I have had the same BP issue for many years - have had a nurse at my doctor's office embarrass me about it - found that I started getting nervous a whole month before the appt. worry about my BP reading in his office and found my pressure starting to rise every year a month ahead of the appt. Now I find out some dentists are taking BP and someone was even sent home and not serviced because their BP was high. I have a dentist appt. tomorrow and am scared to death that maybe my dentist is going to start taking BP. I feel stressed, scared, trapped and do not know of a way out of this. How bad will this get. After reading how many of you share the same thoughts and experience, I just wonder if there isn't someone who can tell our doctors to just "lay off" the BP when we tell them to. It helps to read about each of you, but, when the morning comes I still have to go to my dentist. Wish there was some help out there. HELP!!!

Nov 05, 2018
refusing bp NEW
by: Anonymous

I have the same phobia, and my pressures can get scary high at a doctor's office or in the ER, etc. I have a hypertension specialist, and a family doctor who work with me and "get it". So I tell almost all other doctors and even the dentist (who has now started taking bp) that I am refusing to have my pressure taken; that I am under the care of a hypertension specialist; that I regularly take pressures at home (and I bring a week's worth with me to show them); and that the reading they get in their office will not be accurate to what my normal pressure runs. So far, that has worked, though some doctor's offices give me more grief than others.

Nov 07, 2018
What has worked for me NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm so happy to find this thread. Over the past few months, I have had this problem. But it really started when the dentist started taking my BP a few years ago. I've always had low numbers and started to see it over 120. Well, this got into my head and one time my heart rate jumped during blood pressure (number not high though). they freaked out and told me to see my doctor. Well, the next time I went in (it's every 4 months for cleaning). I dreaded it days before. So I went to check my BP in drug store and for the first time the top number was 150. Needless to say, my BP was high and luckily had an understanding hygenist. I made the mistake of going to the doctor only to have a panic attack and have it jump even higher. She freaked out and took an EKG which was normal.

I left there knowing I needed to figure out if my BP is indeed high at rest. I bought a Qardio machine which is FDA approved and syncs with my phone. I was nervous and got a reading of 140/70. Ok, not bad. Then before bed, it was up to 150 and I couldn't sleep.

So I decided to change it to take 3 measurements over 3 minutes and not look at the numbers. I swear I did this for 2 weeks without looking at the numbers (just clicked the home bottom on my phone knowing the numbers were stored there). I started to feel pretty calm because I didn't look at the result. I feel that is the thing that causes the stress -- the pressure of the number. So when I finally looked at it I was nervous but found most of the time my numbers where below 120/70.

I still have to deal with my doctor and plan on changing (she won't accept home BPs and wants me to start a program where a nurse checks it). All my research shows me that the office blood pressure measurement is the least accurate. It's better to have a repeated measurement at the office and 24-hour monitoring is the gold standard fpr diagnosing hypertension. We need to start standing up to these medical professionals who need to understand this is real and get with the times. 30% of people have white coat -- and 10% have masked hypertension which is normal at the doctor but high at home. I plan to write more about this so stay tuned! Maybe it's not us, but them!

Nov 19, 2018
Me too! NEW
by: Anonymous

I am so happy I found this site! I have White Coat Syndrome, not only at the doctor's but whenever I look at "that" machine at home!

I've been on Atenolol for a year or more but after some stressful times early this year my BP was higher than normal so my doc sent me for an echocardiogram to check my heart.

This showed moderate valve leakage but the cardiologist thinks I could have been born with it and as I have absolutely no symptoms (73 yo female and healthy as a horse otherwise with good exercise capacity) no treatment is needed at the moment.

He's changed my medication to Perindopril which reduces BP and protects heart and kidneys. All well for the first few days, BP was coming down. But one day last week I got stressed and my BP shot through the roof (200/100) and I have been freaking out every since.

Every reading has been high and now I can't even look at the machine but the cardio wants me to take my BP EVERY day! I've never had panic attacks before now but I can't stop thinking about having to take my BP, heart racing, sweating, trembling, I'm sure many will know what I mean.

So I haven't taken it for a couple of days ... perhaps tomorrow after reading everyone's experiences!

Nov 29, 2018
New here! Just reading these blogs are helping... NEW
by: Barb-in TX

i think mine started about 10 years ago. tt may have been triggered by the death of a dear uncle who passed at 50 yrs young of a heart attack. Ever since, I have been on a roller coaster ride with major anxieties. I can look at the bp monitor and my hands get sweaty. my heart beat so hard i swear the nurse can see my chest raising. Last time i tried deep breathing and squeezing a squishy ball...i think my hands got stronger but it didn't help the bp readings. I have bp machines at home that are hidden away. I too have cancelled several dr appt..even ones that don't require a bp test. i get anxious about an upcoming dr appt months before...i have tried deep breathing, trigger point, eft tapping...all nada. but just writing this is helping, so the journey goes on<>

Nov 29, 2018
So many of us NEW
by: Renee

As others have said, I thought for a long time that I was pretty alone is this irrational fear. There's some comfort in knowing that's not true.

I didn't go to the doctor for almost 5 years because of my fear of taking my BP. I did go to the dentist, and he never took BP readings UNTIL I had to have a tooth extracted. Of course, it was sky high (in the dentist chair about to have a tooth yanked out! Hello!!) Surprisingly, he went ahead and did the extraction (which another doctor couldn't believe).

I had had a cuff monitor at home, sitting in a closet for many years. I would 'try' it and as soon as it double inflated, I pulled it off.
So I went to my primary doctor (after almost 5 years, she had to be talked into taking me back). BP was high, of course, and I was put on meds.

Well, to make a long story short, I finally was able to take BP at home - just kept doing it even if the first try it reinflated (now, THAT's scary, isn't it?). I took it over and over and it kept coming down as I relaxed. I found a very short video on YouTube that actually helped me a lot. 5 tips for overcoming phobias. The two that resonated with me were - face your fear (that's why I kept taking it again and again) and what's the worst that could happen? (You have to take BP meds.)

I got more and more relaxed taking my BP at home. I was on meds (and a diuretic) and started getting really low readings - like 105/48. So I stopped the meds, keeping the diuretic, but still they were very low. So I stopped meds and my readings are still great.

Bottom line, I do not have a BP problem, I have an anxiety disorder. No one in my family, no one, has/had high BP. Had a doctor appt yesterday, took my sheet of readings for the past month showing when I stopped meds and the really low readings. When the assistant pulled out the BP cuff, I said, no, we're not doing that today. She just said OK and put it back. THen the doctor came in and we talked about my readings and she said let's take a reading. And I said - well, I AM still in a doctor's office (smiling). Lo and behold it was 122 over something (can't remember as I was so blown away by the 122 number).

FYI, here's the short YouTube video that really helped me:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDjwfFmXwfE


Nov 29, 2018
24 hour ambulatory in a few days NEW
by: Deb

I am having a 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure done this coming Monday/Tuesday. The phobia I go through at a doctors office getting my bp done, happens also when I do the 24 hour testing. Every 20 minutes that cuff inflates and I hear/feel it and I can feel my pressure rising. So now it feels like I can't even get a "true" reading with the 24 testing. I know the doctors consider that test the gold standard for those of us with "white coat" issues. HELP! Does anyone else go through this with the 24 hour test? Have you found anything to help?

Nov 30, 2018
test NEW
by: Anonymous

test

Dec 04, 2018
test NEW
by: Anonymous

test

Dec 17, 2018
Me too! NEW
by: Niko

Hi, I'm from the Philippines and it's inspiring to read all the comments that I am not alone. It started 9 years ago up to now. Just thinking of the having your bp taken makes me stressed and my blood pressure keeps rising. My doctor prescribed me losartan and I'm hoping it can work. Also thinking to see a psychiatrist, maybe they can help. We can do this guys!

Dec 30, 2018
Not Alone
by: Anonymous

I see this post was 5 yrs old but I'm guessing its fairly current, regardless. I suffer from the EXACT same problem that you have described and it is very frustrating. It started out only occurring at the Drs office but has graduated to ANY time I want to test my BP. It's like severe test anxiety no matter who is taking the reading, including myself, at home. I'm positive that it is anxiety induced HBP as as soon as I even THINK about taking it I start to get that anxious, panicky feeling, worrying that it will be high and not what I expect. So, of course, it is high, and then the high reading causes further anxiety and even panic attacks. It makes it impossible to regulate my pressure and BP meds. Fortunately my doctor understands the problem however is as at a loss for a solution as I am. Keeping my BP normal is priority as I have a coiled cerebral aneurysm and the ONE directive by my neurologist 12 yrs ago was to keep my BP down. Therefore, regulating the meds and getting at least fairly accurate readings is really important. Although I'm glad to read that I am not an unusual case, I was hoping maybe someone might have some tips besides "just relax". I have anxiety disorder and am on clonazepam (an antianxiety drug) in order to avoid or treat anxiety/panic attacks that raise my pressure and cause unwanted stress to my coiled aneurysm but I don't want to have to rely heavily on them and especially not to just take my BP. I got my last normal reading of 117/72 by taking a clonazepam and sitting on the couch for an hour or so - then taking it without getting up. So I know that my relaxed BP is OK. (Clonazepam isn't a BP med so it wasn't the pill that lowered my pressure. It was the pill relaxing the anxiety). KNowing all of this doesn't help the problem, unfortunately.

Jan 02, 2019
to Deb NEW
by: Andy

I looked at this page again because I got really anxious about my BP reading at the doc office today and low and behold, 160/100. Ugh. Anyway, I saw Deb's note about the ambulatory monitor and I had the same issue. I would get horribly anxious every time the cuff filled, all friggin day. Finally when I was in bed and trying to sleep, I took the device off and threw it across the room. I knew it wasn't going to be accurate because of my anxious reaction. So my doc (a lousy doc at the time) sent me to get an echo cardio because he was concerned about the readings and of course, everything was normal.

Jan 06, 2019
Phew! I’m not the only one!
by: AJ

I am so glad to have found this blog and all of the comments have been so helpful for me. After feeling like a freak for so long, I have accepted that this is a legitimate phobia no matter how silly it may seem. I have a doctors appt coming up and I am terrified. I have been taking my BP at home the past few days and at first the readings were so high which sent me into a panic for the whole day. I told myself I am going to gain control of this fear and took readings repeatedly. Even just sat and watched a 30 min TV show with the cuff on the whole time and took a few readings after. They were low! This helped give me a little more confidence. It is a work in progress but trying to desensitize yourself to the machine itself, the sounds it makes, and feeling of the cuff tightening will work if you just keep doing it. I also found that breathing in and out fairly rapidly (as someone else suggested) while the cuff is inflating brought my number down even lower.
As an anxiety/panic sufferer for many years I have a theory that people with this type of disorder are extremely sensitive to even the slightest change in how our bodies are feeling which is why even looking or thinking about the machine can provoke a full blown panic attack and it can be impossible for us to relax fully after this.
I wish everyone success in conquering this phobia and so happy I am not alone!



Jan 09, 2019
Same here NEW
by: Manzo

I am glad we are not alone. I am 42 and have had this issue for the last 4 years. It began with a panic attack and the nurse at the hospital took my BP which was high; it definitely doesn't help that nurses/doctors freak out when they see a high number instead of trying to calm you down; mine is due to anxiety and the anxiety has turned it into a phobia. The result is countless doctor visits, countless home BP measurements with a low average but with random spikes (due to stress and anxiety of having a high reading), 4 cardiologist visits, 3 echo, 4 ekg's, 1 stress test, hormonal tests, etc, etc with the doctors repeating on and on that it is simply anxiety and there is no hypertension anywhere and no structural damage to the heart. Finally, my last cardiologist, a very good one, told me it's time to get rid of my blood pressure machine and not measure it unless there is a real need for it and more importantly not before I have managed to deal with the anxiety. There is no reason why I should drive myself insane and cause these blood pressure spikes unnecessarily. He told me to donate my blood pressure machines (Btw I used to have three different machines because I started to doubt readings)...so I did - I got rid of all of them just last month and I actually went through a withdrawal of not measuring it, which actually told me it had become an obsession and a malignant vicious cycle. So now I am trying to work on CBT to get rid of this phobia and overall OCD behavior and trying to exercise, do cardio as much as I can to reduce the anxiety. To those who have the same issue, get rid of your machines and don't measure your BP unless you truly have hypertension as in your BP never goes to normal levels and averages in the high range. I have wasted 4 years of my life doing it and I am trying to regain control of it and not depend on a stupid machine. Cheers.

Jan 09, 2019
BP NEW
by: Anonymous

I just left a new dentist a few hours ago because they insisted on taking my BP. I am going back to my old dentist, who charges more because of insurance issues, but does not force me to take BP. My family doc is OK with my wife (RN) taking my BP at home and accepts those results. The only good part I see is I have been so adamant about not visiting an ER or Urgent Care that my body seems to respond to that will and I am rarely sick. I am 59 and this has been going on for decades. Swimming helps overall anxiety and sometimes meditation. I do have obsessive tendencies which I believe feeds this with of course anxiety. From what I understand exposure therapy is the only thing that works. But that may only work at home, in a medical setting it may not. To top it off I work in a hospital. Over the years there has been no improvement at all. So truly I have no idea what my "real" BP is.

Jan 23, 2019
Fear of checking BP NEW
by: Anonymous

Glad to know that I am not alone. I get so scared when I check my BP even at home and my pulse rate also rises rapidly.This results in a high systolic figure. However, once when I took a 2nd reading after listening to a relaxation tape about 1/2 an hour later, my systolic bp had come down by 6 points.

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!

May 15, 2019
HBP
by: Anonymous

I am from the UK and just came across this site. Have read all,the comments from years back to this year and I honestly think I could have written most of them. They are all so real to me.
I have always suffered with HBP after being told at a routine check in my twenties that I had raised BP and would suffer in pregnancy and when I am older. I am now 56 and just nursed my Mum through dementia and a stroke and then another one that finally was too much and she passed away Feb 2019.
I haven’t thought about my BP as was too busy looking after Mum but now I have a bit more time I checked it and it was 180/100 then got higher. Been to dr and they increased meds but I know it’s elevated cos of WCoat. Actually feel it rising when thinking about it. I can be at work and have a stressful day but know my BP would be ok if It could be read without me knowing.
It’s just having it taken is more stressful than anything else I do. And I do a lot worse at work. Real emotional stuff as work at a vets and always calm and professional in all sorts of situations.
Just need to get head around this.
I also feel pulse in my ears when anxious about it. Telling me to calm down has no effect and makes me worse. And they look at you and say Relax. I am going to buy a wrist cuff as think that will be better. If I was told it was perfect and not worry until next check up I would skip all the way home and not worry and get on with my life instead of constantly thinking about it.
Thanks for listening and to all the other sufferers like me. I wish you well.

May 26, 2019
Same as all of you NEW
by: Francois

Dear all,

I was very glad to read that I am not the only one. Since i was young my doc told me I had HBP. We did an exam and a 24h check and nothing came back. My doc got me on anti depression meds.
But everytime I changed jobs and country over the last 6 years I had HBP, " years ago when I was ok I had a 130/80 ! But then I get 180/11 or something.
I started meds12 days ago and got 200-12 then 180/11 and 145/95 but yesterday I started stressing out about it, thinking it will creep back up, that the meds don t work etc.... And today 165-107, then 180-11 when repeated of course.
It is very frustrating to see yourself go stressed, my heartbeat goes from 80 to 120 when I think of taking it !
Then you think of course that you are very sick, or that the drugs don t work and it is a vicious circle.
Before I had to do all these exams (for buying a house) I was ok, but that set me up in an anxiety mood and it now feeds itself.

My doc even told me we have all the time we need to get it back down but I would like to have it down now and not to stress about it anymore !!!!

When the house will be mine, the move done and I can settle I will start a therapy. They MUST be a way to deal with it.

I think we can all live with HBP for as long as life will have us. But the fear of the fear is to be dealt with.

All the best to all of us,

Francois

Jun 09, 2019
If they only knew NEW
by: Judy

Allopathic medicine is not my way of life, but the few times I was stupid enough to go to an urgent care center, I was scared to death. I have tried to explain that taking my pressure was not a good thing, but was totally disregarded! I don't like to have to defend myself to some doctor or nurse as to why I have this condition. I am under STRESS! They just ignore this. This is how my body responds! It's just how I am. I do not like to be judged as incompetent in making my own observances and opinions!

Last Friday, I had a tooth extracted. Do you think one might be anxious? His nurse looked at me with great concern, but I know my body and how it responds. They take away your self confidence and raise your self doubt. The response is usually condescending, although this dentist was quite accepting of me and I am grateful for this experience.

And, yes, i have been like this for over 30 years!

There is a chiropractor on YouTube that is AWESOME! He has a 5 part series on BP and a few other single videos. His name is John Bergman. I think you'll love him. He cuts a person some slack and gets down to body functions and types of stress. He is GREAT!

Like most of you, I can't even look at a BP cuff without getting a racing heart. I also can't take a reading at home. I get all nervous each time the cuff inflates!

I don't have an answer to this, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that stress and anxiety cause high BP no matter what some of the MD's (medical deities) say.

I feel that much of the reason lies in the fact that we feel threatened when we express ourselves and are challenged by those "who are experts". Please allow me my opinions and respect my beliefs. Stop pushing my bounaries!

Thanks for hearing me. I found this site at just the right time.

Bless you ALL as I know your dilemma!

Jun 20, 2019
BP phobia NEW
by: MJ Cummings

I have BP phobia. One night, I drank enough beer to dull the fear, then took my blood pressure. It was high at first. But as I continued to sip beer, my BP fell. Eventually, I got normal readings. I went from 190 over 90 to 125 over 64.

Jun 25, 2019
Nice to meet everyone.
by: Gary

Glad I found this place. I am 60 yrs old. I went in for my first prostrate test up the ying yang at 52. Saw the glove and tube of jelly lying on the examination table. Well the nurse came in and took my reading....210/114....lol.. Doctor came in and same thing. Now I never thought I had HBP in the past. She right away slapped me on drugs. I bought a home monitor and started it at home. My first reading would be super high (200+ / 100 +) then over the course of 30 or so minutes and about 10 more readings I would get it down to the 120s / 80s. She didnt believe me. Last year I switched the meds up because of side effects. We are still trying to tweak them.. I am down into the 140's / 80's.. But she isnt happy.. Its like a game to her. She always says... Gary we can get lower...Its becoming very draining and time consuming. But they have you held captive. They dont give out scripts without you bringing in readings.. I hate it.. Been doing this for 8 years.

Jun 26, 2019
Panic and anxiety
by: Carol

I have the same problem in fact I had to have my blood pressure taken at my gp’s today and I got into a terrible state. It has got that bad now I don’t want to visit my go anymore. I constantly worry about this problem which I know makes it worse but I don’t know how to stop it. I feel pathetic and feel I have no control over this whatsoever. I would be grateful for any advice..

Jul 01, 2019
relieved NEW
by: Anonymous BP

Hi, I am sooo relieved to find this page! I have been freaking out about high BP readings. Glad to know I am not alone. Thanks for the tips. I also suffer from bad anxiety and now seems to be BP anxiety. Hoping and praying we can all get some success over this annoying and stressful condition. I am currently trying a bit of éxposure therapy'with myself by just keeping on taking my BP over and over until I don't even think about it. Happy to hear any other tips. :)

Jul 02, 2019
High Heart Rate NEW
by: Anonymous

Hello Everyone,

What a sigh of relief to know that I am not alone. This phobia has crippled me for the past 10 years. I hate going to to doctor and completely avoid it unless I absolutely have to. I used to have elevated blood pressure when I went to the doctor, however now I suffer more from elevated heart rate when I go to the doctor. My blood pressure is more often than not normal-ish, however my heart rate is always through the roof! When I leave the doctors office, it always goes back down to a normal rate. I explain this to my doctors, but they just don't seem to get it. I wish doctors were more empathetic to these kinds of issues. My doctor is referring me to a cardiologist. I have avoided going for the past several months, but I made my appointment and I am going in a couple of weeks. I feel like the best way to get over this phobia is using exposure therapy. Forcing yourself to take your BP and pulse so many times until it starts to be less and less fearful over time. However, when you only go to the doctor 2-3 times a year at most it seems impossible to practice this therapy. I wish doctors prioritized mental health as much as physical health...

Aug 14, 2019
Thank god for this thread! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hey all,

WOW. I’m not alone!?

31 year old female here and I’m pretty tiny. First "diagnosis" of hypertension was 10 years ago when I had a doc appointment a few hours after a pretty traumatic experience (family cat passing away in front of you is... yeah). I was 21. From then on, I started to have elevated readings here and there... even in college my doc had me on diltiazem, took me off my birth control pill and has me doing home readings. This would not bode well for the future of this specific anxiety!

Fast forward to 2015, fiancé deploys to Afghanistan and things just hit the fan... panic attacks put me in the er and as expected, the Bp (I don’t even like to type bp, let alone say it or think it) gets me sent to a cardiologist who does a full workup (stress test at 25!?) and finds I have a pfo (congenital defect NO ONE would’ve otherwise found). So, that’s great. Also important to mention, my fiancé-turned-husband is a doctor... who told me to NOT listen to any of this nonsense from the civilian cardiologist (before we were married). I should mention as well during this time I had extensive workups for renal artery stenosis, etc.

Several primary care docs later once married, I get sent to nephrology. Did the 24-hour pee test for aldosterone levels, which did come back high. But meantime, they sent me home with that devil ambulatory monitor. That thing made me so anxious having it on I SET MY TOASTER OVEN ON FIRE. Aldosterone levels were high, so they took me off my birth control and later made me do TWO saline suppression tests (google it). INCONCLUSIVE. This was 2017.

Move to a new base last year, immediately doc wants to change my birth control to a non-estrogen method... okay, fine. But every reading since has been through the roof and it always will be, even at home... I’m terrified! The techs joke like why would you have white coat, you’re married to a doctor! You idiots... it is SO MUCH deeper than that... the sound of the cuff, the words, the thought... I will never really know what my bp (cringe) is.

Last week I had an appointment for my routine adderall refill, and my numbers were deathly high. Don’t you love it when techs are like OH MY GOD and then chitter chatter in the hallway!? Now, I understand and I wouldn’t want anyone’s license at risk. But when you tell me we need to be testing my organs for end stage failure... and you won’t fill my script (reasonable!)... it is hard for me to not be terrified for my appointment this week and as you can imagine, my home readings have been a littleeeee high. I can take Ativan before my appointment (which I didn’t last time), but there’s no reasoning with my blood pressure. It has a mind of its own.

I hate this. My husband says I don’t have high blood pressure (thank you, Nostradamus). But I’ll never really know. Thanks to everyone for this thread. Maybe you’ll help me a couple points... wishful thinking.

Aug 19, 2019
I am all of you NEW
by: Anonymous

I've been on and off reading this thread for a few months after stumbling upon it white Googling "white coat" and man, has it made me feel sooooo not alone! I've suffered from this since I was 13 years old.... 13!! I'm about to be 35 now. Over 20 years being scared of this dumb machine. I was overweight as a child and remember being taken out of class freshman year of high school to get my blood pressure, height and weight checked. As an overweight teen, this freaked me out. My blood pressure was high and the nurse then called my parents. I was taken to the doctor where I remember the doctor trying to sell my mom on sending me to a fat camp and putting me on a diet. It scarred me for life. Literally since that day, I don't remember a time my blood pressure has ever been deemed "good" in a medical setting. I avoided doctors for years. I took it upon myself to lose upwards of 90 pounds in my early 20s, so I deemed myself pretty healthy. It wasn't until I experienced what ended up being my first panic attack in my mid-20s that I found myself having to visit a doctor/cardiologist. I was put on blood pressure medication which made me almost faint in the shower. I did all the usual heart tests, EKG, echo, bloodwork -- she even sent me for a renal doppler to check my kidney for damage from high blood pressure. Everything was normal. My phobia over this stupid machine has put me through a lot of unnecessary anxiety that I just can't seem to get over. As I've neared my 30s, my issues with anxiety/health anxiety have gotten worse. I've been on 3 different medications now to try and level myself out. I'm in a pretty decent space mentally as of lately, better than I've been, but my fear of the cuff is still there. I've come to terms with visiting the doctor for my yearly appointments and whatnot but still have the same issues each and every time I go. It's just a pain to ever have to go see someone new and explain myself. I bought my own blood pressure monitor and I know to check it the 1-2 weeks leading up to my appointments. But even I'm at the point now where my first reading is high and it takes some deep breathing and a second try to get it lower. I don't know what it is. Everyone always asks why I get so worked up over it and the truth is, if I knew why, I would try to fix it. But I. don't. know. why. As soon as I hear that velcro sound of the cuff opening, it feels like I want to jump out of my own skin. I can't breathe properly, I feel my adrenaline pumping and I just know it's going to be high. I've taken a lot of tips from these threads - including the hyperventilation technique (mostly works for me when I try it at home) and also trying a beet root supplement (just ordered one). Somehow we can fight this!

Sep 01, 2019
Thank you NEW
by: Anonymous

My BP has me so handcuffed . I can't enjoy life. I love being emotional but taking my BP makes my so blahs. I cant have no emotions because Dr feels I'm to stressed. I keep telling them I feel great but they make me feel so sad. All I hear your going to have a stroke if you dont calm down. Do you want to see your kids grow up? This and many other comments have left my anxious and scared within myself. I workout like a mad man but that machine gets my body hot. Thank you for these post

Oct 10, 2019
Bp phobia NEW
by: Sherrie

I have the same problem. At one point I over came the phobia until I had a bad experience at the hospital with my blood pressure and the anxiety came back. Im currently suffering from postpartum Hypertension and taking my blood pressure sends me over the edge. I can never get a good reading because of my anxiety. Im constantly worried about my blood pressure because i always feel stressed. Currently looking for help...Thinking about trying meds for my anxiety.

Oct 12, 2019
fast HR
by: kb801

To those who have fast heart rates, get a beta blocker and if you are concerned just use it for dr visits - Mine used to be high (120+) but on atenolol only goes up to high 70's even under great stress from the dumb BP machine at dr's - at least it will take care of part of the problem

Oct 12, 2019
Tips to calmdown NEW
by: MG

Hi,
I have the same problem. When I get the thought of taking blood pressure my heart beats fast and I get very anxious. My reading went goes 130/90 , 140/95 170/110 185/112 and so on.
What I did is I bought a BP monitor machine at home.
For relaxation I did some meditation from youtube. Breathe in exercises. Did some painting job in my garage until my mind was calm down. After 1 hr I check.It started coming down 140/90 120/80 etc. All you have to is make sure you dont get panic or anxious while taking. Try for 4-6 times. Good luck.
Thanks,

Oct 30, 2019
Having a phobia taking bp NEW
by: Bhedz dee

I have the same problem and it starts 8 years ago.
Reading a comments helps me a lot. I thought I'm just the only one having this kind of problem. I used to have a medical yesterday and this problem occurred..

Nov 04, 2019
Well, seems I have the same problem NEW
by: Lawrence

I'm in the UK and have just found this site. I had lived in France for 15 years before moving back to the UK in September where 4 years ago I was diagnosed with T2 Diabetes which was a shock as I had no symptoms at al and this resulted in 3 monthly HbA1C blood checks and blood pressure checks which were always normal. Well the T2 is under control and stable but my GP here in the UK said I should attend the surgeries Diabetic Clinic which I did and when my blood pressure was tested it was very high (it was completely normal 8 weeks before on my last check in France). Was told to come back in 2 days and check again which I did but it was even higher so was put on BP pills and told to buy a monitor and keep a diary of the twice a day tests. Spool forward to today and I've written a letter to the doctor saying that I won't be doing any more testing at home as it's too stressful and panic sets in just looking at the BP monitor (rapid heartbeat, thumping in my chest, shaking and ringing in the ears) so it's impossible to get a sensible reading even when testing several times over 30 mins, it either goes up or stays the same but with increased pulse rate. I suppose the problem is that I can never get a sensible reading to see if the pills are actually working or not either at the surgery or at home. I tried the deep breathing and relaxation thing but it just doesn't work for me as it doesn't seem to make any difference.

Nov 14, 2019
in the club NEW
by: Anonymous

I have checked this blog off and on over the past few years, keep hoping someone comes up with a "solution" to our problem. My story is very similar, good BP at home, but over the years it has gotten worse with dr. visits. Began with a PCP that freaked over a slightly high BP, and started sending me to a cardiologist. Have a different PCP now, and I'm fortunate that both he and my cardiologist accept my at home readings, but it STILL continues to escalate in a medical setting. I've tried 2 hypnotists, but both of them were more interested in giving me self help books, then really addressing my problem. I am convinced the right kind of hypnotist (the kinds that can make you squawk like a chicken) has possibilities. The only other possible solution I can come up with is some sort of immersion therapy, wish there was a non-judgemental medical setting I could stop in every day to have my pressure taken. Thanks for listening, and am so glad to know I am not alone!

Dec 03, 2019
Pregnant and Fear of Blood Pressure NEW
by: Anonymous

So, I've had the fear of getting my blood pressure taken since I was in the 6th grade. I remember hyperventilating on the pediatrician's table. Now years later, it's the much more important for me to have good pressure readings because I am now pregnant. The doctors don't help. My blood pressure is high because they are putting so much pressure on me to have non-preclampsia blood pressure. The more I want it, the higher it goes as I don't want to have to deliver early because of something that is only in my mind. It's starting to really cause anxiety in my life surrounding the pregnancy. I was told I can take my pressure at home and they are now okay with that. But I've found myself freaking out at home too. I'm trying hypnosis later this week. I'd love some advice.

Dec 03, 2019
same here NEW
by: mike

Same here. I can't take it at home, either. The first time it happened my doctor wanted to start me on meds that moment, but I declined. I tested mild high. But I seem to sense that my BP might actually be low and that taking meds might do serious harm. So I just don't sweat it. My new doctor doesn't give me the test. I'm almost 78 an have never had any physical indications of high BP damage, in fact just the opposite.So beware of meds and the mostly phony BP test.

Jan 22, 2020
same problem NEW
by: Anonymous

i have 230/120 when im taking my bp at home. 180 at doctors office. this is my problem for 16 years now. my lab test are ok my heart rate is ok. i just have high triglacirides and boundary sugar that will spike if i ate a lot of carbo.but normaly i have 117 to 137 fasting. 140 to 187 after eating... I was not hospitalized due to blood pressure. i was hospitalized due to the medicine exforge that i experience etreme dizziness that i hought i was in a mild stroke. but all my lab test ang CT sccan returned negative. i told the doctor that it was becuse of exforge. but he didn't accept. so take it again. i experience the extreme dizziness again. so i stop and taking meds again. and i stop monitoring my bp. atleast i diet, exercise. my bp still the same so i throw it away. its been 20 years now but i still activew in my 60s than in my 40s

Jan 26, 2020
How I’ve learned to cope. NEW
by: Anonymous

This is a big problem for me, too. Having been pregnant twice, I’ve had to find ways to deal with it though. The best things for me have been a combination of creatively facing the bp fear and also accepting that it’s a problem. I have learned to take my bp at home by putting a post-it note over the numbers so I can’t see them rise and fall. I realized that it’s the moment when the numbers appear that I dread the most, so I just cover them up and instead only pay attention to the light color. When the measurement is over and the cuff deflates, I see only the color of the light beside the top and bottom numbers. If it’s red, I know it’s high, and I don’t even look. There’s no point. I just take a deep breath and try again. When it finally turns green, then I look (and only then). I would give myself an hour to take my bp before doctor appointments and have always made sure to use doctors and midwives who are understanding, and who trust me to monitor and educate myself. My bp always comes down. Also, my bp spiked after the birth of my second baby in the hospital. It was only white coat and hospital anxiety, but at the time, the doctor just treated it like anxiety and high bp. They said even if it’s caused by anxiety, it’s still a physical problem, so they treated it. They gave me Xanax for the anxiety and bp meds to address the high readings. The day I got home the meds made my bp plunge because it had been artificially elevated by the anxiety. BUT, at the hospital, simply acknowledging and treating the problem as if it was real actually helped. I now have meds I can take before doctors appointments to help lower my anxiety and bp. I am still afraid of the cuff, but accepting the problem as "real" instead of just "all in my head" and finding understand f doctors willing to treat it as an acute medical problem (rather than assuming something is wrong with me mentally) really helped so much.

Feb 12, 2020
Same problem NEW
by: Blair

Hello,

I just want to know how's Jim now?

Can we have a group chat in facebook?

my facebook name is Bryan Blair Ruwenz. please invite me so could have a support group im still 41 years old, have hypertension since 24 years old. but just 2 months ago i have a reading of 230/120 due to worrying my bp. i used to have 160 down to 145 systolic last year....Im very worried about children they are still very young. Hope we could have a chat group to support each other

Feb 14, 2020
BP Phobia NEW
by: Anonymous

I feel so relieved to read this because I thought I was alone. I've been struggling with this for years and only one doctor believes me that I dont have high blood pressure. Honestly I think I will have this problem for the rest of my life.

Feb 18, 2020
boxer with hypertension NEW
by: Anonymous

even Luiz Ortiz have hypertension more than 200 systolic but still fighting as a boxer, even kod twice by wilder

Mar 06, 2020
Just my realization NEW
by: Anonymous

These BP reading machines aren't around back in the Primitive times. Those people lived longer than us.

May 07, 2020
More harm then good NEW
by: Kel

I feel like taking it causes more harm then good sometimes...I took mine last year and had the biggest anxiety attack I've ever had during it BP was 110/203 heart rate 135. Ever since then even the thought of it sends me into a panic attack, even now reading the comments and thinking about it gave me that flushed anxious feeling. I've lost over 40kgs since then heart rate has dropped from average 85ishbpm now to a good 64bpm. Eye tests all normal (don't forget they can pick up on blood pressure issues) so I'm going with everything is fine our bp will always rise and fall it is just normal human biology.

May 16, 2020
You can overcome this! NEW
by: AJ

This happened to me a few years ago while visiting a Doctor friend that was treating me my anxiety with natural medicine. He decided to check my BP which had always been good and find out it was slightly higher 130/90. The problem was that he didn't reacted well and even suggested my anxiety was related to my high BP condition. This caused me great concern and became over preoccupied about the increased BP. As you can imagine it became an issue to me to take the BP due to my overthinking about it. Took all the steps to "treat" from a natural way, improve eating habits, resting, stress level, exercising more, taking garlic and other supplements. He wanted me to see a cardiologist which I did and he said that its not big deal, you will be prescribed a pill and that will take care of it, What? this was even more frustrating. To make long story short I decided to ignore this advice and trust in my body and following a healthy lifestyle. Bought a BP machine but at the beginning it was stressful, so I gave it a break. With time I took my BP at home without anticipation of an specific number, just accepting whatever number it gave me without feeling fear or scared of the result. Slowly it began to give me better results. Some months passed by and with tome I gave it less importance to this issue. Focused on good eating habits, rest and exercise. Today the readings are normal and I feel more confident in taking the test, even at the Dr visit. For some time, every time I went to the dentist I advise them not to take the BP, I'll take it at home and its fine, and the dentist was fine with that. Its just a reading, not a verdict ..view it as a guidance but there are other factors. Its all in your mind, reality is different and you can teach your mind to stop creating a different reality. Hope this helps, I feel your pain. Sending you greeting and hope you find relief! :)

May 16, 2020
Still anxious
by: Anonymous

I have commented last year. I am from the Uk and have white coat blood pressure
Have stopped doing it for a few months but going to try tomorrow. Another thing that worries me now is in our news (uk) they keep saying a high risk of corona virus is having high blood pressure so now I am panicking about it making me a high risk candidate if I get corona.
My husband says I worry too much. I never use to be such a worrier. Wish I could be like him. He just doesn’t worry. If I do his blood pressure and it’s a bit high he just says it will be ok if you do it again in a few minutes and it is. If mine is high and I do it again it goes even higher.
Just wish it could be a thing when worrying doesn’t effect the results.
It’s been on my mind that I am going to do it. I was going to do it sad week but put it off.
Hopefully will be able to do tomorrow without getting freaked out.
Sounds so silly as I am writing this and wish I didn’t suffer from it xx

May 25, 2020
Over common fear NEW
by: Anonymous

I have found the best way to overcoming your fear is to take your blood pressure many times take it every day about 3 to 4 times a day knowing that it will be high Because of your anxiety take three or four Readings each time after a few days you were find it will help you to relax The best way to overcome fear is to face your fear easier said than done but true

May 29, 2020
Bp frustration NEW
by: Anonymous

I wish I would have come across a this website years ago. I finally feel like I am not the only one suffering with this affliction. I have battled bp anxiety for 25 years. I am 44 now and need to be under 155/95 for my job. I can easily clear that at home but shoot 170/90 sometimes in the office. I have tried to donate blood numerous times and after high pulse and bp numbers 170/105 the nurse looks horrified and starts to say something to the other nurse and then inform me that they will not be able to accept my blood with those numbers. I hang my head and walk out as my pulse and bp are nice and low by the time I get home. I hate two say it but I have quite a collection of BP monitors at home. I never seem to trust them when they read really low or really high. However I have settled on a wrist cuff which I love because of its speed. I just sit in the same location every time. When I get stressed and it is really high even at home I lie in bed all night imagining what kind of damage I am doing to my organs. I just think of all the literature always calling it silent killer etc just naturally puts a phobia in you. I also love how on the cuffs it says if you are above 190 seek medical care immediately. That of course doesn't help ones anxiety. So now I get really low readings at home when not stress so I just mentally block out the high readings knowing they are stress related. Sometimes relaxation techniques increase my heart rate and make me more anxious if I am trying to do it before an office visit. Thank you everyone who has posted.

Jun 07, 2020
Thank you NEW
by: Stuart

I can't tell all of you that have posted here, that it is so nice to hear I'm not alone. I genuinely don't think I have high blood pressure, or at least not as high as when I go to to the doctor, but it is so nice to feel not alone! Thank you, all of you!

Jun 19, 2020
It's ALL in the Head NEW
by: Mark

I have been diagnosed with Anxiety disorder since October 2004, I remember the day I had my first panic attack, I thought I was having a heart attack and I rushed to ER, only to be told that it was a Panic Attack, at which time obviously my blood pressure was soaring. Follow up visits with my Dr always returned HIGH BP results, so of course they put me on blood pressure meds.

I then decided to buy my own blood pressure monitor, it was a digital one but it was a manual pump. I was obsessed with my blood pressure from that point and constantly took it at home, at first my readings were perfectly within the normal range, but then as I obsessed more my numbers seemed to rise and i became more anxious which raised my blood pressure readings more.

I eventually bought a digital automatic blood pressure monitor, again at first I was getting decent readings, a lil on the higher side but nothing too bad. Until...one day I got a higher than usual reading, I guess i was a little more stressed that day, but since then I have had a real phobia of even taking my BP at home but of course even worse at the Dr's office....blood pressure readings would soar including the bottom number into the triple digits, at which point they up my meds.

Taking blood pressure at home with the automatic cuff now makes me real anxious, just listening to that lil motor inside making the noise as it fills the cuff with air, i close my eyes but i always end up looking at the number its going up to....when I see it creeping up to 190-200+ before its even taken my blood pressure I KNOW my reading is going to be high, so of course my head tells me it will be high, so guess what IT IS HIGH. My heart races to well over 100 bpm, like 120-130bpm and I have just told myself that my blood pressure is high so the body responded. Ughhh, it is irritating and down right scary.

This was until yesterday (6/18/20) when I for the last 2 days attempted to take my BP and either stopped the BP monitor before it filled with air, or just sat there for ages with the cuff on deciding when to push that button, trying to calm myself down...but the time doesn't come when I feel ready...every time I go to push the button my heart starts racing....so yesterday, I told myself ENOUGH is ENOUGH...this is ridiculous, I am not going to be ruled by anxiety for the rest of my life so I googles and found this forum and was actually relieved to find other people have this same problem...I felt a bit better, so what I did is played some Tibeten Chakra Singing Bowl music in the background, grabbed my MANUAL blood pressure monitor (The automatic one makes that noise that makes you more anxious) and just thought SOD IT...im going to take it, yes my heart started racing a bit but not as bad as it would have been with the automatic cuff, but my reading (while anxious) was 157/90...I instantly calmed down and told myself, that isnt bad at all considering how anxious you are right now...so I became more confident and just took it several more times afterwards, boom.....I got down to a nice 122/79 with a 73 pulse....perfect in my eyes. I am 44 so thats pretty good for my age. I am here today and I am going to take my blood pressure again in a few mins....i feel confident and not anxious like yesterday, I am no longer going to be ruled by this Anxiety. I discovered IT IS ALL IN THE HEAD. Try it....invest in a Manual cuff instead of an automatic one if you dont have one, it eliminates that darn scary noise as its pumping which is part of the anxiety build up, then just tell yourself ok this first reading is going to be high, I know this...but after that I will calm myself down with a few more readings, you will eventually talk down your blood pressure and tell yourself you have nothing to worry about.

Jun 24, 2020
I've found my people
by: Anonymous

9 years ago, I had my twins through an emergency c-section. High blood pressure was the culprit. After a few days and with medication, it went way down and I've been off of them until two days ago. I had my blood pressure taken and I quickly remembered all those high readings. When my mind registered the machine's noise, it went up. I can feel it when it's up. I had all tests done and everything came back great. I'm currently monitoring my bp and like three hours ago it was 112/82 without medication. Now, its 140/99. It's insane. I don't get it.

Jun 26, 2020
Been trying to work through this fear
by: Lindsey

I’ve been reading through these comments, and they all describe me to a T! I’ve developed a phobia of going to any doctor and of having BP taken due to a terrible experience at my oral surgeon’s office in 2018. Been working w/ a therapist over the phone for the past few weeks to build up my courage to take my BP myself or have my mom take it w/ 1 of those wrist monitors but can’t even bring myself to do that! Earlier this month I’d asked her to take it while I took a nap and it was normal, 130/95, pulse 51. The other night I sat in my rocking chair listening to music which always relaxes me and planned to take my BP without looking at the number, couldn’t do it, later asked my mom to press the on button while she walked past me but I didn’t even have the courage to let her take it! The only time I’m okay with having it taken is if I’m completely unaware of it, which obviously would be while I’m asleep. I want more than anything to conquer this fear but it’s SO difficult!

Jul 05, 2020
Just had to chime in! NEW
by: Jackie

Omg! Thank heavens I came across this forum! Last September after I was supposed to have my fractured wrist reset (but didn't because it was too late), I was in the orthopedic surgeon's office getting my blood pressure taken. The look and reaction of the nurse when she read my reading of 220-225/120 scared the daylights out of me. Fortunately, it was my sister, whom I called in from the waiting room to share the numbers with,that told me to calm my ... down that helped to bring it down. She didn't seem worried and told me I wasn't going to die. I have since been taking my own readings at home after having been put on medication. My bp usually stays in the 134/70-80 range. Until after my best friend passed away (him being my rock who helped me take it on my own), it shot up again. While getting cranked up talking on the phone to a friend, my bp went up to 183/105. I freaked. I have been afraid to take it since:(

Jul 05, 2020
Just had to chime in! NEW
by: Jackie

Omg! Thank heavens I came across this forum! Last September after I was supposed to have my fractured wrist reset (but didn't because it was too late), I was in the orthopedic surgeon's office getting my blood pressure taken. The look and reaction of the nurse when she read my reading of 220-225/120 scared the daylights out of me. Fortunately, it was my sister, whom I called in from the waiting room to share the numbers with,that told me to calm my ... down that helped to bring it down. She didn't seem worried and told me I wasn't going to die. I have since been taking my own readings at home after having been put on medication. My bp usually stays in the 134/70-80 range. Until after my best friend passed away (him being my rock who helped me take it on my own), it shot up again. While getting cranked up talking on the phone to a friend, my bp went up to 183/105. I freaked. I have been afraid to take it since:(

Jul 10, 2020
BP READINGS NEW
by: RS

Focusing on Panic attack symptoms developed into unnecessary fast heart rate even during times of excitement and times when one would normally be a little nervous.

Still to this day my heart races when taking BP at Dr and reading high.

Yesterday at Dr 1st reading was 147/100 pulse 109.
Waited two minutes took again, 134/81 with 70 pulse. F ing wish I could overcome this.

Jul 10, 2020
BP READINGS NEW
by: RS

Focusing on Panic attack symptoms developed into unnecessary fast heart rate even during times of excitement and times when one would normally be a little nervous.

Still to this day my heart races when taking BP at Dr and reading high.

Yesterday at Dr 1st reading was 147/100 pulse 109.
Waited two minutes took again, 134/81 with 70 pulse. F ing wish I could overcome this.

Jul 10, 2020
BP READINGS NEW
by: RS

Focusing on Panic attack symptoms developed into unnecessary fast heart rate even during times of excitement and times when one would normally be a little nervous.

Still to this day my heart races when taking BP at Dr and reading high.

Yesterday at Dr 1st reading was 147/100 pulse 109.
Waited two minutes took again, 134/81 with 70 pulse. F ing wish I could overcome this.

Jul 25, 2020
Hello! NEW
by: Carmen

Hi,
I will write more soon as I have same issue as all of you and it's nice not to feel alone...but I was wondering/had a question for Mark who posted "Jun 19, 2020
It's ALL in the Head"....I see you suggested a manual cuff instead of automatic (I've always just had automatic and I agree that sound causes more stress. What brand/type of manual cuff would you suggest is best/easiest to use? Thanks so much!

Aug 05, 2020
Glad I am not alone NEW
by: Shannon

Reading all of your comments. I have BP phobia after a scare at an infusion. I have always been nervous but it now is a full blown panic every time I check it or a medical professional. So I avoid as much as possible. Tomorrow I have a 24 hour monitor booked. I have already cancelled this 3 times. Ughh can I go and do this lol?

Aug 06, 2020
BP is extremely high NEW
by: Anonymous

So glad I found this. The fear is wearing me out and I thought I was alone with this problem. I have tried everything and nothing works. I am at a loss as to what to do. I can’t even look at a BP machine without panicking and blood pressure spiking.

Aug 13, 2020
In the same boat in India NEW
by: Meher

Hi All,
Can't tell you how relieved I feel to have found kindred souls. I live in Mumbai, India. About two weeks ago, I felt unwell so took my BP at home and was horrified to see a reading of 210/110 at night. Had it checked by a Doctor the next morning and it was 200/110. He told me that this was a dangerously high reading, which set off more panic. I was on Telma 20 per day, which has been bumped up to Telma 80 per day. Despite that, the numbers are still high but not alarmingly so.This leads to more panic.I'm supposed to take a reading once a day but I am terrified to do so.I know that my BP spikes at the thought of it but I just can't control that.Sometimes, I've put the machine off before the reading registers!Having found you all, makes me feel so much lighter and less scared. Thank you for your posts and for being there.

Aug 13, 2020
In the same boat in India NEW
by: Meher

Hi All,
Can't tell you how relieved I feel to have found kindred souls. I live in Mumbai, India. About two weeks ago, I felt unwell so took my BP at home and was horrified to see a reading of 210/110 at night. Had it checked by a Doctor the next morning and it was 200/110. He told me that this was a dangerously high reading, which set off more panic. I was on Telma 20 per day, which has been bumped up to Telma 80 per day. Despite that, the numbers are still high but not alarmingly so.This leads to more panic.I'm supposed to take a reading once a day but I am terrified to do so.I know that my BP spikes at the thought of it but I just can't control that.Sometimes, I've put the machine off before the reading registers!Having found you all, makes me feel so much lighter and less scared. Thank you for your posts and for being there.

Aug 20, 2020
dilemma NEW
by: Anonymous

Hello, I am writing from Turkey. i have also smilar symptoms. I visited cardiology, nefrology many times and my blood and urine tests were perfect. Doctor also monitored my bp 24 hours with a BP ambulator and BP levels were all below 12 / 8 except for midnight. ( It was 14/9 two or tree times at btwn 2-4 am). Doctor also tested my kidneys, kidney veins and adrenal glands (24 hours Vanil test. All were normal before 2 months. But now ı am trying to monitor my bp it seems 14 /9 14/10. I am very afraid of this phobia. When I visit doctor smilar numbers seem at his office. Two days ago I visited psychiatrist and am diagnosed with genel panic /anxiety disorder, ilness anxiety disorder and expectancy disorder. I have started with a SRRI and betablocker. Beta will help util the effects of SRRI occurs.

Aug 20, 2020
Group chat anyone? NEW
by: Meher

Hi,
Is there a group where we can 'speak' to each other in real time?
It would be so helpful to connect with someone who understands, when we are experiencing the fear.
Meher

Aug 24, 2020
Cuff inflation triggers panic NEW
by: AK

Thanks to all you wonderful people for posting your experience. So glad to know I am not all alone.

I have been home monitoring for a while now and my BP was around 135/90 on average.

However one day recently it started showing high readings and I got very anxious. My heart started racing and every single reading was going up 150--> 160 --> 170 -->180 continuously

ever since then I am experiencing extreme anxiety and nervousness checking my BP. Ecery time I press the start button and the cuff starts to inflate, my pulse goes to >100 and I start dreading. It consistently shows high readings. I am not sure how to get out of this phobia.

For some reason I think I will feel better at a Drs office as I know the Dr will take care of me if something extreme happens during the reading. But at home, I am scared especially if I am measuring when all alone.

Sep 05, 2020
So I am not alone NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Everyone,

I have stopped checking my BP at home because it gives me severe panic attack and anxiety.
I had to give out my blood pressure machine but I follow all healthy lifestyle

1. Exercising Regularly (walking & cardio exercises)
2. Breathing Exercise
3. Eating healthy diet
4. Drink alot of water
5. Sleeping and waking up same time daily and
6. AvoidingQ any anxiety triggers
7. Repeat 1-6 daily

With this, I have my sanity and i can function well at work.

My Dad had same situation 10years ago and he stuck to the same routine above and he is still kicking strong at 70yrs with no complications

Sep 20, 2020
Conquering BP phobia NEW
by: Banani

Hey all, glad I am not the only freak with this problem, which has been bothering me for the past two years.

I have low BP in the 90’s/60’s zone, but after having witnessed the death of a coworker two years ago, I started excessively measuring Bp until I finally scared myself to death with very bizarre measurements.

I have recently started exposing myself to this fear. My fear is not so much about measuring the blood pressure, but knowing the numbers afterwards.

At first, I would tape up the panel so that I wouldn’t be able to see the numbers. On an occasion I decided to remove the tape and check the numbers in the memory , they were like Perfect!

However the problem is getting anxious when measuring BP without the panel covered, meaning that knowing the number (might be high) is my root fear.

I started doing this experiment with myself a week ago- measuring Bp and looking at the numbers right away.

I was getting like 160’s/90’s for like 5-6 days. I was trying to habituate myself to the situation, but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped.

Then I came across this article :

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ie/blog/all-about-anxiety/201906/why-exposure-therapy-isn-t-enough

It says mere habituation is not enough! You need to welcome your fear and tell your anxiety that you want more fear!

So when I was doing my daily exposure this morning. The first measurement was the same old high reading, and I got fed up, I turned the machine over facing myself and I told it to give me higher numbers...! I was actually watching the number going up and then down to the result. I know this sounds crazy, but as I started doing that , the number started to drop dramatically. I got 116/76 within 5 minutes.

I was psyched! As this is only my first time getting a normal reading in like two years I need to see if this is to stay in the long run.

Also to get an idea of how to want more fear and anxiety, the following YouTube series is very helpful!

Search for ‘ the noise is your head’!

Please let me know if it is also working for you!

Let’s get through this together!

Sep 20, 2020
Conquering BP phobia
by: Banani

Hey all, glad I am not the only freak with this problem, which has been bothering me for the past two years.

I have low BP in the 90’s/60’s zone, but after having witnessed the death of a coworker two years ago, I started excessively measuring Bp until I finally scared myself to death with very bizarre measurements.

I have recently started exposing myself to this fear. My fear is not so much about measuring the blood pressure, but knowing the numbers afterwards.

At first, I would tape up the panel so that I wouldn’t be able to see the numbers. On an occasion I decided to remove the tape and check the numbers in the memory , they were like Perfect!

However the problem is getting anxious when measuring BP without the panel covered, meaning that knowing the number (might be high) is my root fear.

I started doing this experiment with myself a week ago- measuring Bp and looking at the numbers right away.

I was getting like 160’s/90’s for like 5-6 days. I was trying to habituate myself to the situation, but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped.

Then I came across this article :

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ie/blog/all-about-anxiety/201906/why-exposure-therapy-isn-t-enough

It says mere habituation is not enough! You need to welcome your fear and tell your anxiety that you want more fear!

So when I was doing my daily exposure this morning. The first measurement was the same old high reading, and I got fed up, I turned the machine over facing myself and I told it to give me higher numbers...! I was actually watching the number going up and then down to the result. I know this sounds crazy, but as I started doing that , the number started to drop dramatically. I got 116/76 within 5 minutes.

I was psyched! As this is only my first time getting a normal reading in like two years I need to see if this is to stay in the long run.

Also to get an idea of how to want more fear and anxiety, the following YouTube series is very helpful!

Search for ‘ the noise is your head’!

Please let me know if it is also working for you!

Let’s get through this together!

Sep 22, 2020
Try this NEW
by: Oztinato

As the band tightens around your arm take three slow breaths, then take a deep full inhale and hold your breath until the band releases.
You'll be surprised.
Use only a tester that slowly tightens and then fully releases.
Never use a kit that tightens, releases slightly and tightens again.

Oct 24, 2020
High BP Phobia too NEW
by: Morlissa

I am so glad I found this. I have had white coat syndrome for years, but in the last few years have developed an out right phobia to going to a doctor. Its hard to get past the beginning of the visit if they wont stop discussing the BP numbers. Now I just think about going to the doctor and get a wave of panic. A few years ago I had lower stomach pains and ended up in the ER. My BP was 225/107. The good news is I didn't sit in the ER very long. They had me in and admitted asap. The bad news, I had a perforated bowel and 2 weeks in ICU and surgery to remove 12 inches of my bowel later..... I have high BP, I tried to ignore it, but I really think that's stupid so I started taking meds again. The ones I were on got recalled because they were from china and killing people. I stopped taking BP meds (I don't take any other ones) We moved to Florida this year and I got hit with really bad vertigo and I thought I was having a stroke or something. 3 days in the hospital and ALL the big tests say I am fine. Back on BP meds. Now I need a new doctor, have an appointment and just the thought of going in and getting my BP taken causes horrific panic attack, making the vertigo awful. I have read these threads so this is what I am going to do. I will take my BP at home (I think I am still ok doing that) and show them the results and let them know I have a phobia. If they don't go along with the program, I will find a doctor who is more understanding.

Nov 01, 2020
Research project NEW
by: Matthew

Hi Everyone,

I'm a final year university student studying product design at Loughborough University in the UK.

I'm looking into the redesign of blood pressure monitors to aid those with a phobia of measuring their blood pressure, in order to get more accurate, comfortable readings.

I've been reading though these comments and have learnt a great deal about the problem, however it would be great if I could interview/discuss some of these problems in more detail with people who are currently suffering.

If anyone is interested in having a quick online chat/interview regarding blood pressure phobias then please contact me via email.
I'd really appreciate any time you could spare!

m.j.yeoman-17@student.lboro.ac.uk

Many thanks,
Matt

Nov 13, 2020
Still Interested?
by: Kevin

Matt,

I sent you an em about this and haven't heard - If you are still interested in discussing my em is kb801f@gmail.com

Nov 15, 2020
Hi everyone NEW
by: KM

I found this page after going in for a COVID test this afternoon. First, I am a highly anxious person. Second, I believe I have White Coat Syndrome that has even started to make taking my own BP at home difficult. Three, I was stressed about the test and wasn’t expecting them to check my BP.

I think it was 174/91. The girl acted freaked out, which made me freak out. She kept taking it, changing arms, changing cuffs, calling the nurse in (I don’t even know what the girl giving the test was, I had assumed a nurse...). Needless to say it went up and I think at its highest was in the 190s/109 or something. I was panicking inside, they kept talking to me, I was trying to play it cool but it felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I tried some deep breathing which was very hard to do with two people standing there acting like I’m at death’s door. I got it back to 174/89 and I guess the nurse decided it was panic and told the other girl to proceed with the COVID test. I’m supposed to fu with my doctor.

I’m still not calm. I did take it when I got home and it was 159/87. Then I took a bath and now I’m lying on the couch trying to relax. I have got to get this under control. I’ve had high BP and been on Lisinopril/HCTZ, just Lisinopril, just HCTZ, currently nothing. Eventually my bp starts to get too low which is why all of the changes over the years.

Many times at home it is normal, I also have periods of very low, and periods of too high. I did have a cardiologist appointment in the last year for palpitations and everything is fine. I did a holter monitor and stress test. The dr said the palpitations are benign.

I have a very stressful job that contributes to it. I’ve been working remotely for 8 months. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s this week. My daughter is a nurse working with COVID patients and my son is at his dad’s. My only social interaction has been caring for my elderly parents since March.

I’ve recently bought a Resperate. I’m just bad about remembering to use it. I avoid home BP readings often because it stresses me. Idk what to do.

Having found this forum is reassuring.

Nov 24, 2020
Me too NEW
by: Anonymous

Glad I found this site. I developed a phobia for blood pressure testing about 3 years ago. I was on holiday in Thailand and a local village doctor was testing villagers. My wife suggested I had a check. The reading was 180 / 105 and it freaked me out. He checked again twice more on the following days and it was similar. I was so worried and each time was worse as I could feel my heart racing as the cuff was put on. I went to another doctor in the provincial town for another check and it was 140 / 80. It was a relief. I had another check in a doctor's office again 2 year ago and it was 140 / 80 again and that was ok. However last week we were cleaning a friends house and they left a home BP machine on the kitchen table. I thought I would give it a try and I had 3 readings of around 180 / 105. My heart raced each time I took a test. I am now scared to go near a machine and keep thinking I need a doctor. I am 44, slim Andy have no known health issues. I have a phobia for having my BP tested though and it's horrible.

Dec 03, 2020
This is definitely me! NEW
by: Chris

28 male, getting older now. I had my first encounter with potential high blood pressvure when I had my first panic attack after not having one at since I was 15 which was 11 years later.

The paramedic scared me, saying it was really high for my age. This obsession become compulsary. My doctor saw me a few months before regarding my anxiety and he believes it's normal range for someone with my intense anxiety. It was 140/80 exactly, but the first one was 185/85 and it got me scared. I relaxed, I trusted him. He says it seems to just spike!

Then, I got into healthy lifestyles due to my anxiety and this again triggered my anxiety so I got blood tests and a blood pressure check and it was 160/82 both times on two visits. This got me scared, I had enough I'm thinking what if the HPB is causing the anxiety and not the other way around. How can I CHECK I be CERTAIN that I don't have a ridiculously high BP because my anxiety spikes?

Then 2 weeks later, my doctor reassured me that due to my age the chances of me having HBP are low and just to check it at home (my wife has one) and I went home that day checked it twice 120/80 /119/82 because I felt confident it would be normal. Then I panicked just recently because I checked it this morning and it's 170/82 because I feel really anxious about it.

I start thinking what if the reading was wrong both times? I was drinking alot of water that day so maybe it is really 160/80 most of the time but I have no way to confirm it.

Just thinking about getting my blood pressure done, watching the strap cut off my circulation feeling my heart rip out of my chest for 30 seconds is terrifying. I never get the same result. It varies between 120/80 - 175/90 when i take it at home.

You're not even allowed to take beta blockers, but they definitely stop me worrying.

I don't know what to do, I just want reassurance I am healthy and don't have some undiagnosed problem the hospital and doctors didn't pick up last year when I went to A+E. So frustrating! Life is not simple!

Thank you for your comments people you're all lovely.

Dec 07, 2020
who said anxiety NEW
by: montrealer

Well, my doctor doesn't wanna hear when I say 'm anxious n that instead of filling me up of meds maybe it is time to talk to shrink.

Jan 28, 2021
I have the same thing with BP NEW
by: Ric Dallas Texas

I can certainly relate to what you are going through. I get some really crazy reading when at the doctors office. They understand my anxiety and just ask if I feel dizzy? I tell them the truth. I don't feel dizzy I feel the adrenaline surging my center core and pushing me towards fight or flight panic. I got two things to blame this one. One is I was beaten as a child. Chairs, belts, tree limbs, fist and old 8mm film projectors - were some items I was beaten with. SOOOO - I am now 50 and I live on guard. I am ready to be struck at any time. I live in tension. Secondly - it is my fear of death that makes me hate to get my BP. I believe I see the BP reading as an indicator of how close to death I am. I am fairly healthy, but this is just my reality and how my brain is wired. PS - DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR ME. I tell you these things just to say.
You are not alone. It is a frustrating phobia because you can never get a good BP reading. Just live your life and dont worry about your BP. Or you can sit around and worry constantly. For me - Live and live as happy and fully as I can. Thats all I can do.

Feb 14, 2021
high blood rpessure NEW
by: Anonymous

I am glad that I am not alone . I put my blood pressure up just by thinking about monitoring it. What should I do about it or is there any simple answer

Mar 24, 2021
40 year phobia
by: Craig

As many have written" me too" and for 40 yrs. it started when I had been hired as a Flight Attendant. I had a physical a week before going to the learning center and my BP was normal. Then knowing I would have another physical during training I asked a friend what he thought might cause me to be eliminated. He said maybe if you had high blood pressure- that was it. At my physical exam my BP was high and they were going to eliminate me However, my mother died that night and I had to leave though I could come back after a few weeks. When I went home my cousin took me to one of the best cardiologists in Beverly hills( what can I say? He’s rich) and my BP was high. But after he checked me out he said it was that I got anxious and to have the examiner call him when they did another physical- which they did and were going to eliminate me. I told them to call the Dr and he did and he passed me. ( good to have friends in high places)However, it has followed me all my life and has kept me from doing things I always wanted to do physically. I’m on meds but at dr’s office it is always high unless I’m distracted and then they freak cause it’s low. Just thinking about it gets my blood pumping. I can’t look at my home BP cuff and just forget it at dr’s. I have even tried taking a Xanax before physical and nope, nothing- even when I had cancer. I go for not thinking about it and then when someone has stroke.... I get so tired of it. It’s good to read others have a problem with this- I really thought I was one in a million. I hope someday a study is done about this phobia that can relieve it. Thank you for your stories.

Apr 05, 2021
So glad to Find This Forum! NEW
by: Digory

Reading all these posts is and knowing I'm not alone is very comforting. I have all the same issues as many of you: Afraid to visit doctor's office due to taking of blood pressure, which will inevitably result in shocked and panicked faces when they see the readout, and send me plunging deeper into panic, etc. Years ago I was hooked up to a 24 hour monitor which showed my bp was normal at home. However, I've developed a phobia with taking my own readings. It's been quite some time since I took my own, and now I'm here with fresh batteries in the monitor, too afraid to continue all the way through the measuring cycle without hitting cancel. UGH! Too bad there isn't a chat room we can all support each other in real time.

Apr 05, 2021
So glad to Find This Forum! NEW
by: Digory

Reading all these posts is and knowing I'm not alone is very comforting. I have all the same issues as many of you: Afraid to visit doctor's office due to taking of blood pressure, which will inevitably result in shocked and panicked faces when they see the readout, and send me plunging deeper into panic, etc. Years ago I was hooked up to a 24 hour monitor which showed my bp was normal at home. However, I've developed a phobia with taking my own readings. It's been quite some time since I took my own, and now I'm here with fresh batteries in the monitor, too afraid to continue all the way through the measuring cycle without hitting cancel. UGH! Too bad there isn't a chat room we can all support each other in real time.

Apr 09, 2021
BP Phobia NEW
by: David T

I completely understand this problem because I've suffered with it for more than 40 years. Just when I think I might have it under control, something happens that upsets me and I fall back into the syndrome. Very discouraging It's so good to know many other people are dealing with the same thing. I know I'm not alone. Thank you.





Apr 15, 2021
Wow NEW
by: Anonymous

I thought I was rhe only one going through this. I wish there was a way I could conquer this. I am tired of always having so much fear and always having a very high reading makes my heartrate mega high and my blood pressure shoot up to the scary figures at the doctors. Then at home after retesting like 5 times it gets super low😭😭😭.. I don't want this anymore in my life.. I don't want to die with this fear!

May 05, 2021
Frustrating NEW
by: Anonymous

This is really helpful reading others deal with this too. I've had this for 20 years. It has caused so many issues of fear and avoidance. I'm actually going through a panic/anxiety moment currently as my new doctor freaked out when seeing my BP. I can't even take it at home anymore without feeling the surge in adrenaline which causes the increase in BP. I'm think of having my wife take it when I'm sleeping so I can't get anxious about it.

If anyone has any potential solutions to this I would love to hear them.

May 27, 2021
Me too NEW
by: Anna

Thank God ! Today I realized that I am not alone. I have the phobia of taking bp, Because of this problem I was scared to go to a hospital even to visit somebody. When I see the apparatus my heart beat will increase and bp shoot up. This will haunt me all the day and night. I am scared of taking bp at home also, the thoughts about the high values are horrible and hospital the face of the doctor/ nurse when they see the reading will increase the fear. Today I have to go for corona vaccination but I am worried about the check up before vaccination. I thought I am alone in this and it’s very happy to see you all here. I hope we together will manage it.

May 28, 2021
Success Story
by: Lindsey

I found this site last year, back when I was having a crippling phobia of taking blood pressure and going to doctors. I just want to tell you all DON’T GIVE UP, you WILL overcome this phobia! No one was more frightened of doctors than I was, but I had a successful checkup yesterday! When I got there I just politely asked the nurse if I could talk to the doctor beforehand and have him take my BP since I have a phobia, they were great about it! It was still high (in the 180s), but he said not to worry, it was just anxiety. A few days before the appointment my fiancé helped me practice taking it at home which also helped, the numbers were high at first but lowered the more I got used to taking it. My biggest words of advice are 1.) Just talk to your doctor beforehand and let them know EXACTLY how you feel. If they’re unsupportive, find one who is 2.) Always breathe deeply and slowly whenever you take your BP, it never fails at relaxing you and helping to get the numbers down!

Jun 06, 2021
Panic if monitoring bp when Dr want to see my bp number. NEW
by: Phobia

I have the same problem of monitoring bp Since the day i start knowing how high is high. My heart keep beating fast when i hear the sound (zzzzzeeeeee)and the heart beat much faster. My face are hot and flashing like after chicken face. Everyone is asking why you so afraid? I said i don't know. I try practice everyday i still have the same problem. Until i keep monitoring and it will come down slowly from 10-20 number everytime. That depend how Relax my mind during the time. It can go up very High go down from 198-110 after an hour when i feel relax. Where you don't need to get serious.Many ppl talk into me explain very hard i still can't change it. My mind are too frighten.
That my most anxiety in my life.

Jun 09, 2021
Same here NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi, I’m 20 and I’ve always had a fear of the doctors omg ever since I was little. To top that off to make it worse I was diagnosed with lupus which made doctor visits even worse. I get so anxious to take my bp and it’s embarrassing. My readings are always in the 130’s. I get so scared and anxious. Please feel free to contact me : bridgetoppong@rocketmail.com . I need some coping mechanisms.

Jun 12, 2021
I am not alone NEW
by: Anonymous

Its super awesome to know you guys have the same condition I have. I am guy 30 years. I didn’t have this fear before. I am actually of a health conscious person, but it sucks that I have this phobia. It is so embarassing and one more thing that is embarassing is I am NURSE and I was so used to this thing. I havent practiced it though til recently. I’v had a few physical where it would be really high but all my blood test are very normal. What they do is they will make me relax by deep breathing as my bp is being taken at some point it goes down. I am very athletic I train and eat right. Some people are afraid of snakes, spiders and others things. We just happen to be afraid of this motha... effin.. thing!!
But guys never let this decide your life..: This is common and dnt forget to be happy! Somebody has iit way more worst somewhere!

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