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,
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral