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  • FIRST POST
    • Anoneemoose
    • By Anoneemoose 9th Oct 19, 8:42 PM
    • 2,065Posts
    • 2,486Thanks
    Anoneemoose
    Blood Pressure/Pulse Phobia
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 19, 8:42 PM
    Blood Pressure/Pulse Phobia 9th Oct 19 at 8:42 PM
    Hi,

    Due to a freak panic attack during a colonoscopy and the knock on effect, I developed a massive phobia of having my pulse and BP measured. This isn’t just ‘White Coat
    Syndrome’, as it’s the fear of the test that causes it, not the fact I’m at the docs etc.

    I’ve previously had health anxiety issues that mainly rooted in fear of getting cancer, but I had CBT and meds (still on them long term as have OCD too), and the CBT helped with rationalising my cancer worries.

    I’ve given this background so you can see I have had general anxiety issues but also to note that prior to the colonoscopy panic attack, I’ve never, ever been overly nervous about procedures etc.
    I had an upper endoscopy without sedation not long before and the colonoscopy was without sedation too, because although I wasn’t relishing the idea of it, I wasn’t worried or nervous.

    My doctor suggested a home BP monitor but that brings what I believe to be falsely high readings because of the panic aspect. Not asking for medical advice re: that, just adding for context.

    My question is, can anyone recommend anything, like relaxation techniques etc to try and overcome this irrational fear? I wonder if CBT might help again?

    Thanks if you got this far.
    Last edited by Anoneemoose; 10-10-2019 at 10:46 AM.
Page 1
    • Spoonie Turtle
    • By Spoonie Turtle 10th Oct 19, 10:41 AM
    • 154 Posts
    • 93 Thanks
    Spoonie Turtle
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 19, 10:41 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 19, 10:41 AM
    As hokey as it might sound, perhaps exposure would be a way to go. You could do it with a home monitor once a day or even once a week to start with, gradually build up until you can keep doing it while you're concentrating on other things - and IGNORE THE READINGS at this point! Ignore them completely until you feel comfortable doing it. So that means you might have to turn the display away, the on/off button is usually large enough to find and press without looking.

    I've had OCD in the past and still some tendencies left, so I do understand the level of fear you probably mean and am not advising it lightly. But it would mean you could do it at your own pace and with no external pressure.

    However if you're at 'panic attack' level of fear then maybe any exposure should be under professional supervision, to start with. Or even more gradual exposure, e.g. first have it in the home, then have it visible, then look at each part, then put your hand/wrist/arm through the sleeve, etc., all before you even turn it on.
    • Anoneemoose
    • By Anoneemoose 10th Oct 19, 11:21 AM
    • 2,065 Posts
    • 2,486 Thanks
    Anoneemoose
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 19, 11:21 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 19, 11:21 AM
    As hokey as it might sound, perhaps exposure would be a way to go. You could do it with a home monitor once a day or even once a week to start with, gradually build up until you can keep doing it while you're concentrating on other things - and IGNORE THE READINGS at this point! Ignore them completely until you feel comfortable doing it. So that means you might have to turn the display away, the on/off button is usually large enough to find and press without looking.

    I've had OCD in the past and still some tendencies left, so I do understand the level of fear you probably mean and am not advising it lightly. But it would mean you could do it at your own pace and with no external pressure.

    However if you're at 'panic attack' level of fear then maybe any exposure should be under professional supervision, to start with. Or even more gradual exposure, e.g. first have it in the home, then have it visible, then look at each part, then put your hand/wrist/arm through the sleeve, etc., all before you even turn it on.
    Originally posted by Spoonie Turtle
    Thanks so much for the reply. What you say makes a lot of sense. I just went in and started taking readings and then panicking!

    Iím going to try what you say. Iím currently sat with it in its box next to me. Iíll maybe take it out of the box in a day or two and so on.

    I hate having such an irrational fear! I know the test itself wonít hurt or damage me, so I suppose it must be the fear of having a heart attack or similar.
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