I am 33 years old. I have had issues with depression before but choose to work through things in my mind without medications. I usually do not have a problem with this but lately my thoughts have been a little harder to control. I am constantly afraid something bad is going to happen. I have a huge fear of dying or someone that I love is going to die. I have definitely been under a lot of stress in the last year. From the passing of my step-daughter, to my father being sick, to moving from two different states, to starting school for a master's degree, to having my step-grandchildren move in. However, I am starting to have physical symptoms. My heart has been palpitating and I was recently seen in the E.R. and they did all kinds of tests and determined that it was stress-related. It is hard for me to understand that stress could cause my heart to do that. My question is: Could my constant fear that something bad is about to happen really just be stress? What if it isn't? How do I distinguish abnormal thoughts from a premonition?
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.