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Why Do I Feel Like This?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

Hey, I sometimes feel like there is a weight on my chest a heavy rock as if someone if pressing my chest I feel anxious and uneasy, sometimes I can’t even give a name to my feelings and I sit there wondering what do I have, I have some symptoms of OCD for example in a shop I so I’d touch dresses and if I touch one with my left hand it has to be touched by my right hand as well in the same manner there are many more examples of such things but I have never had an anxiety attack. What is this? (From India)

Why Do I Feel Like This?

Answered by on -


Thank you for writing us. Chronic physical pain in your chest can happen for many reasons. Before you try guessing at what might be the cause I believe ruling out a medical reason is the first order of business.

Get yourself a very thorough physical from your physician. Be sure he or she knows that you have the symptoms and explain how long and how severe they’ve been. You don’t want to be looking for psychological reasons when there might be a very clear and easy to treat medical condition or situation that is causing it.

As a quick check on the internet will confirm, chest pain can come from a variety of sources including muscle strain, peptic ulcers, an injured rib, asthma, a collapsed lung, hiatal hernia, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and angina. Notice these are only a few of the possibilities that can cause it and these are physical rather than psychological. The psychological ones, like panic attacks and anxiety disorders, weren’t even included in my initial list. You don’t want to be treating something like a psychological symptom when the real culprit may be medical. This is often a costly mistake in terms of time. People needing medical attention sometimes wait too long to get diagnosis and treatment medically because they believe something else is causing it. Don’t let this be true in your case. See your physician sooner rather than later.

To help your physician keep a journal of the times when you get these pains. When do they become more intense? What were you doing just before they occurred? How long did they last? what eventually relieved it? Going in armed with this information can give your physician a very good starting place to diagnose and treat it if it is physical. If it isn’t, he or she can refer you to someone who can look at these symptoms through a psychological lens and help you find the right solutions.

For a more complete list of symptoms related to medical causes of chest pains check here. For more information on anxiety disorders check here. There is also a quiz where you can assess your anxiety level here.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Why Do I Feel Like This?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Why Do I Feel Like This?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 4 Jun 2019 (Originally: 6 Jun 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 4 Jun 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.