Ireland Baldwin says she’s been to the hospital over 20 times for cardiophobia

Ireland Baldwin is upfront about her struggles with anxiety and frequently posts some of her worsts moments with that battle. Fans are constantly replying how much she’s helped them with their own anxiety issues by detailing what she has gone through. Last January, Ireland wrote about having the condition known as cardiophobia. It’s not very well known (as evidenced by my spellcheck trying to change it to ‘karidopita’). Cardiophobia is the fear that you are having a heart attack when you are having any kind of heart palpitations, especially those brought on by anxiety. Ireland appeared on Red Table Talk and discussed the condition. She said her cardiophobia has resulted in at least 20 hospital visits throughout her life.

Ireland Baldwin is opening up about a medical condition. The 26-year-old model is set to appear on Wednesday’s episode of Red Table Talk, and, in an exclusive clip from the interview, Baldwin reveals her experience with cardiophobia.

“You’re like, ‘What is that?'” Baldwin quips to Willow Smith. “I didn’t know either until I did a lot of research for a very long time.”

Essentially, Baldwin says, “I have a fear of my own heartbeat.” An article published by the Behaviour Change medical journal described the condition similarly, noting, “cardiophobic persons repeatedly present with complaints of chest pain and heart palpitations accompanied by fears of having a heart attack and of dying.”

“When it starts getting really fast, even when I’m slightly nervous or if I exercise or anything, I start panicking to the point where I’m convinced, not matter what anyone says, that I’m going to have a heart attack and I have to go to a hospital,” Baldwin explains. “I’ve had maybe over 20 hospital visits in my life.”

[From ET]

I’d never heard of cardiophobia prior to writing about Ireland talking about it. And yet, someone going to the hospital with an assumed heart attack only to find out it was an anxiety attack has been a trope in movies forever. Ireland’s just putting a public face to it. Thank goodness she is. Remember that her January post was showing the world her heart monitor she uses to watch her heart rate as a coping mechanism. It allows her to see she’s not having a heart attack. That’s useful information for someone who has cardiophobia. It sounds like a scary condition to have. Especially since once the fear sets in, it’s only going to make the heartbeat faster, which will cause more fear. So it’s a self-perpetuating fear. What a nightmare. And if Ireland has found ways to calm herself down, bless her for putting herself out there to pass that information on to others.

Photo credit: Instagram

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16 Responses to “Ireland Baldwin says she’s been to the hospital over 20 times for cardiophobia”

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  1. Jessica says:

    I’ve had this before but I didn’t know the name of it. I have real bad anxiety so I do get heart palpitations and it can be scary. I’ve never went to the hospital for it though.

    • BrainFog 💉💉💉😷 says:

      I have this too, and I had no idea that there is a name for it. I have it under control though. I went to the cardiologist twice in as many decades, they both said that things are a-okay and now I’m just ignoring it.
      I feel for her and I hope that she can find a way to break this cycle.

  2. Mich says:

    I totally have this! I had no idea it had a name!

  3. Lululu says:

    Yeah, I totally have this. Bought a blood pressure monitor in my 20s. My grandpa died of a heart attack at 42, when I was 12 days old, and my mom was totally traumatized. I’m sure that’s where it came from.

  4. Mslove says:

    I’m like this too, I also freak out if I have bad heartburn.

  5. Ariel says:

    I do not have what she has, but when i have an anxiety attack, i worry that i will not be able to breathe- this then physically manifests into me concentrating really hard on my breathing- and i begin to hyperventilate. It is so scary.
    When it starts to happen, i take a big xanax and try to keep calm for the 15 minutes it takes the xanax to work.

    I once woke up my boyfriend saying- i don’t think i’m having a heart attack, but would you sit with me for a few minutes? He noticed i was starting to hyperventilate and told me to breathe with him. He calmed me.

    It is all so scary.

    I am glad she has coping mechanisms, and i am glad other people find comfort in hearing her story.
    It is so much less overwhelming when you (1) have support; (2) understand what is happening.

  6. FHMom says:

    So many people here have this. It’s good Ireland is talking about it because it was not something I was aware of before. I hope you all find something to help when this starts happening.

  7. Chaine says:

    Someone in my family has this. He has been repeatedly hospitalized because he thought he was dying of a heart attack when what was actually happening was anxiety. It was really debilitating in other ways, like he would be scared to be at the house alone or drive on his own in case it happened when there was no one to help him, and being anxious about being alone of course made the episodes more frequent. Even though he now knows and in treatment and medicated for anxiety disorder, he still kind of loses it any time he gets even slightly out of breath.

  8. mj says:

    Mr. MJ has this although I didn’t know there was a name for it. He checks his pulse on his Apple Watch and it reassures him a little but not entirely. Sometimes I walk him through a checklist of heart attack symptoms and one of anxiety attack symptoms and that tends to help. He’s a 30 year old male who exercises regularly, eats reasonably well, doesn’t smoke or drink, and doesn’t have a significant family history of cardiac issues. No risk factors, but still deeply concerned that every unexpected elevation of his heart rate is a heart attack. I hate to watch him go through it but I help how I can.

  9. Polkasox says:

    I’m a healthcare provider – this is very common & people are often embarrassed about it. Glad she’s talking about it. Cardiac symptoms can be vague (especially for women – heart attacks can look nothing like the symptoms we see on TV) going to the ER with cardiac symptoms is NEVER a bad idea.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s good to know. I sometimes worry that the palpitations I get are not anxiety or panic-related but rather a real heart attack on the way. I don’t want to take up someone’s time with ‘just’ a panic attack, but it’s very real fear & very real palpitations. I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest one time.

      • Polkasox says:

        Most ERs will take any cardiac symptoms, no matter how “iffy”, really seriously. You just never know. I’ve seen lots of people go for what they were convinced was a heart attack & it was heartburn or anxiety and they’re mortified. I’m always glad to see everything was normal & then we know for sure it wasn’t their heart. I’d much, much rather people be overly cautious than stay home and have something terrible happen.

  10. Inky says:

    When I was having really bad panic attacks, I was like this. I only ended up going to the hospital once. They took it really seriously, which was reassuring. It is terrifying though. So many of my friends got panicked calls from me where they had to talk me down. It is really refreshing and reassuring hearing well known people talk about it. Makes me feel like less of a freak!

  11. Em says:

    This isn’t a phobia. You have physical symptoms from experiencing a transient arrhythmia or palpitation. Even if temporary or brought on by caffeine, anxiety, etc.

  12. JFerber says:

    I feel for her. I know her mom also has anxiety issues. Also glad she’s talking about this.

  13. Julia K says:

    How does a heart rate monitor show that she’s not having a heart attack?