12 thoughts on “What is ‘Hypervigilance’ and How Can It Cause Anxiety?

  • June 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Wait, seriously? I guess I haven’t given it that much thought but I really did think everyone else heard/felt these things too! Last night every little sound – the air purifier, roommate clicking the remote, dogs’ nails on the kitchen floor – seemed to echo throughout the whole apartment. Of course, on top of this, my breathing and heart beating were almost deafening. It is nice to know that even if this isn’t something everyone experiences that at least *someone* else does.

  • June 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Do you think there might be a reason why you became vigilant at that time ? whats the story? You dont have to tell me just be curious, being hypervigilant doesnt tell me or you what you are really anxious about.

  • June 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I really related to this post. When my son was in the throes of severe OCD, it was a very stressful time for me and I also had a lot of anxiety. I ended up seeing a cardiologist for all the reasons you described. I felt constant flutters, palpitations, and a heavy-beating heart. My holter monitor results were the same as yours, and now that things have calmed down for me, I rarely notice my heartbeat. It never ceases to amaze me how our mental health can affect our senses and our physical health. Great post!

  • June 27, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    It is also a symptom of ptsd. If you experience hyper vigilance, you should check with a professional.

  • June 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you!! I am VERY aware of my body – especially my organs. A chiropractor once told me my body was hypersensitive – and I was aware of things others didn’t even know exist. I just though I was weird – or it was just more of my “craziness”. It feels good not to be alone and know it has a name. Thanks for sharing!

    The Wizard

  • June 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Hi Summer: Very Insightful article. Can there be hyper-vigilance sensitivity in the workplace by
    a manager who pushes hard to manifest a vision,
    yet feels or senses–perhaps wrongly–the staff is against him or her? Please advise.

    I have a daughter who is enduring great angst and anxiety and no longer enjoying her work as educator and principal of two Catholic schools. After she turned around one school academically and then from an enrollment perspective, she launched another “gifted” school on another campus as a pilot program: One principal two schools, two campuses. Both staff and schools have won accolades. Yet, it’s been difficult to sustain this success, and to continue to push forward and upward. My daughter’s staff is balking at not only more work, and more enriched and exciting work.

    My daughter just wants to leave…to what she believes a more peaceful setting. I don’t see this as the answer to her anxiety. Is she suffering from her own hyper-viglilance sensitivity? And, what to do about it? Please advise. Thank you.

  • September 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Nice reference to Peter Gabriel. Well done.

  • August 25, 2014 at 6:20 am

    I think i have the same condition and what triggered it is fear of having a heart attack. What happened to me was i suddenly felt a tiny pain on my chest, which caused me to panic. While i’m on panic mode i was actually thinking that am i having a heart attack???, which makes you panic more. Heart beats faster and stronger. Of course i took some tests and all came out fine. After that incident i think i became hypervigilant. Like, you can always feel your heart because you are paying to much attention to it. Like your monitoring it on your own. I still sometime’s have panic attack’s after working out, but have learned to control it, as i’m just assuring my self that i am fine and then everything will just calm down.

  • September 2, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Thank you! Thank you! I just thought I was the only one going through this! I hate listening to my heartbeat, and like you, I have a palpitation that makes me think I’m going to have a heart attack and die. I feel my heart pumping and I can also hear it. It bothers me, but every time I go to the dr office, My vitals are normal. I sometimes feel like it’s going to jump out of my chest. I’ve been told that I’m having a panic attack and was prescribed Effexor. But I can’t be having a panic attack ALL the time. I’m just happy to hear that I’m not alone.

  • March 14, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Wow, that’s crazy what the human body can do. I have the same things I have. It started when I was trying to deep breathe and I could feel my heart beat in my chest, it made me nervous because I had never felt like that before. Ever sense then I became hypervigilent!

    • May 5, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      I’m experiencing the same problem. I have had my heart checked up and everything’s normal. I just feel so scared when I can feel my heart beats, I don’t know what to do to distract myself…..I have tried to take deep breathe, but it wouldn’t help, I think one day I’m going crazy if I’m still feeling so scared and panicked like this… I need help!

  • May 9, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Thank you for this! I am not alone after all! I have struggled with health anxiety for years and especially anxiety about my heart. I notice every little movement which can make me feel even more anxious and thus the cycle continues. Im surprised with all my googling i havent come across anything about being hyper-vigilant, but now i am much more relieved. It makes sense!


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