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How can I overcome my fear of blood pressure readings?

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I had a lot of stressful events going on in my life about ten years ago and had my first panic attack. I was taken to the emergency room and put on some anxiety meds. My blood pressure was high during the attack, obviously, and I have worked to overcome it without meds.

At home, I can usually get good readings, but at the doctor's office, they are high. My pulse usually goes up about 30 beats from my usual resting rate.

Recently, my dad was hospitalized and anxiety resurfaced. I now am back into the fear of checking my blood pressure and have gotten high readings. I know they are going to happen because of the nervousness I feel around the blood pressure monitor.

Last week, I purchased 'Lower Your Blood Pressure'. Is there anything that I can do to overcome this fear of the machine? Should I also see a therapist and, if so, what should their specialty be? I put off going to the doctor because of the blood pressure test.

Thanks.

This question was submitted by 'Scott'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Scott and thank you for writing in.

This sounds like a classic case of 'white coat syndrome'. It's a kind of catch-22 double-bind in which having the test to discover whether you have high blood pressure raises your blood pressure.

Blood pressure, like cholesterol levels, varies by time of day and is influenced by many things, of course. Which is why, for any accurate reading, lots of or at least some varied readings need to be correlated for any true indication to be gleaned.

I suggest you keep listening to 'Lower Your Blood Pressure', but also consider using the 'Fear of Doctors' download. When you are relaxing deeply to it, focus on training your mind to respond with calm detachment to the familiar machine.

All best wishes,

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - October 26th, 2014 in

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