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Nellen, August 15,  2019  6:44am EST

White Coat Hypertension - Anxiety

 Hi 👋 

Hope I’m in the correct place. I am 48 and have had hypertension for about 3 years and am on amlodipine 5mg ... at first this brought my bp straight back to normal levels however in the last year or so when visiting doctors office it’s been getting a bit higher so that it’s been borderline high again ... now it’s worth mentioning I also have diagnosed GAD and panic disorder. I tend to panic over health issues real or imagined.... now I ALWAYS get high readings in the doctors office even though the doctor had me do my own BP monitoring for a week at home and the readings were normal level. I seem to have developed a phobia around BP readings at the doctors office which produces high readings every time now but later at home it will read normal. Yesterday the nurse caught me off guard as I went in for a routine Pap smear ... she took my BP before the exam (in hindsight this is the most ridiculous time to take it... I felt the adrenaline kick in before she took it and the reading was crazy high ... like 150/100 or something ... now I was freaked ... she did my exam and then retook it and it was even higher !!! They had me sit in nurses area for 10 mins and then retook again ... it was still high but had come down to like 138/100. They rang my doc whom said just go take at home and ring back if still high ... at home and much more relaxed the reading was 125/88... so much better. The whole BP thing has my anxiety triggered and it’s now a vicious cycle... unfortunately heart disease is in my immediate family and because I lost a parent young to this I have always had a big anxiety around anything heart related. ....I don’t smoke, rarely have any alcohol, I walk 3-5 times a week and I eat healthy and eat a low sodium diet ....although I do have too much weight on which is a constant struggle.

Im not sure what I expect anyone to say ..  I think I just needed to get this out of my head and write it somewhere as I’m just so worried.


5 Replies
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, August 15,  2019  7:49am EST

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I think this article, the Ups & Downs of Blood Pressure might be of interest to you. I also agree, taking BP right before a Pap might have been unfortunate timing :) Best,  Katie 

  • SkopjeMK
    SkopjeMK, August 19,  2019  6:31pm EST

    I got to say at first I thought I read my own review. I also take the same meds as you, and my BP went in very good range, averaging at 112/70 almost every day. But, every time I want to measure my pressure my anxiety kicks a lot and its high. Then, I try to calm down, and it gets better, its all about how you control your anxiety. I travel a lot, so I don’t take my BP machine with me, but after I come from vacation, I shake from fear before measure myself, and its high. That’s why I tent to measure 3-4 times in range of 5-10 minutes just to see what’s happening, and after several measurements, the BP is lower. I totally understand your dilemma, you are not alone.

  • Nature1992
    Nature1992, August 27,  2019  11:00pm EST

    This helped me a lot. I am 45 ive had high blood pressure for 10 years. I was on 3 diffrent meds. I decided to go a natural route since the meds were not really working and I was tired of the side effects and long term effects. My normal BP was 150/90 after 3 months of using a nutriceutical it came down to 117/74 and i was able to come off all my meds. The drugs just treat the symptoms and an end point not the underlying reason. If you want more info you can email me at

  • EMON1
    EMON1, September 28,  2019  2:30pm EST

    I'll spare you the long story, but way back when, before I had 'high bp', as silly as it sounds I had a panic attack that launched a high reading which mushroomed into white coat syndrome and anxiety. The whole thing fed on itself. Being a smoker, the Dr. profiled me and started the bp meds. The side effects increased my anxiety, which lead to a self fullfilling  situation...   just sayin 

  • anna76
    anna76, October 7,  2019  8:21pm EST

    Hi Nellen,  I have White Coat Hypertension as well.  I see that machine and tell them it's going to be high.  

    I am trying to change my mindset.  It's tough, I take deep breaths, but yet does not work most of the time at the doctors office.

    Week ago my reading was 146/82  wth?   I told her I did not take my Meds. yet and had an hour to wait.   She's tough, may adjust or change one she said.

    I firmly believe it's all me. I also have anxiety attacks with panic at times.  They can come at night too.

    Take care


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