Could Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome Cause Panic Attacks and Anxiety?
Sample E-mail Answer by Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, DCC
Mitral valve prolapse, according to Google Health, is a heart problem in which the valve that separates the upper and lower chambers of the left side of the heart does not close properly.
A Mitral valve prolapse, especially when someone has not been diagnosed with it, can be a frightening event even though rarely dangerous, and people often then develop temporary fear about it. However, your symptoms sound much more pervasive and seem to be related to your fear of public speaking.
Public speaking is one of the most common anxiety and phobic reactions for people. Even though it is very uncomfortable it is not unusual and can be treated effectively. But the way you described it makes me more concerned than usual. It seems as if the anxiety has spread to school in general. This could be crippling to your future if not addressed.
Often, there is a hereditary basis for Anxiety Attacks, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Phobias. Ask your family if anyone else has suffered from anxiety, phobias, or depression. I agree that you probably need to see a psychiatrist for medication evaluation and a counselor for psychotherapy. The good news is that that these problems are readily helped by treatment.
Usually a person is given an anti-depressant such as Paxil, which restores the balance of neurotransmitters. At times they are given a tranquilizer, but since most of these drugs are just short acting and of only temporary symptom relief, it is only done if the problem is quite severe or not amenable to other treatment. Vitamins, diet, amino acids and some herbs can also prove helpful. It would be the job of the psychiatrist to determine this.
The therapist would help with relaxation techniques, hypnosis, or desensitization. Often NET™ (Neuro-Emotional Technique) and Applied Kinesiology are very effective with this problem. Past traumas can also be involved in the problem, and NET™ and EMDR™ (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) are very productive with these.
I hope this has been helpful for you. Please share this information with your parents and good luck.
Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, DCC