Pectus Excavatum Anxiety – 3 Simple Ways to Cope With It

Evidence Based This post has medical citations

pectus excavatum causes social anxiety

Does Pectus Excavatum Cause Anxiety?

It is scientifically proven that people with pectus excavatum suffer from embarrassment, low self-confidence, and social anxiety.

All sufferers are prone to overthinking, which in some cases even leads to depression.

These psychological issues can change the patient’s life on a deep level.

Some teenagers with pectus excavatum shy away from showing their “flawed” body when going for a swim, or other sport activity.

This increases the insecure and anxious feelings of the patient.

The avoidance of interactions with people further increases the social anxiety of pectus excavatum sufferers.

They compare their physical appearance with “normal-looking” people.

This leads to lowered self-assessment and feelings of inferior status.

If you suffer from pectus excavatum anxiety, I highly recommend you work with a psychologist.

I knew plenty of people that changed their lives, after a few sessions of psychological problem therapies.

Usually, their biggest problem is attracting the members of the opposite sex.

They overthink every single detail in their appearance.

The feeling of inferiority to other males or females is the most devastating thing they can feel.

Getting rid of that emotion alone can make a lot of difference in a patient’s life.

Top 3 Ways to Cope with Pectus Excavatum Anxiety

Worry can be a regular part of living. Everyone gets worried every now and then.

People usually get concerned about their finances, career, relationships, and looks.

Sometimes, pectus excavatum anxiety can be a good thing.

Look it as a call to action. The deformity isn’t just a cosmetic problem as many people think.

It can cause many health problems, like heart and lung issues.

Use anxiety to motivate yourself to act in correcting the deformity without surgery.

However, stress is terrible for your mental health in the long run.

Check the five best tips from the world’s most exceptional therapists below.

They will help you lower the intensity of the anxiety almost instantly.


Focus On Your Breath

When anxiety takes over your mind, reclaim control over by taking a few deep breaths.

Sit down and inhale deeply through your nose and out of your mouth.

Try to inhale with your stomach.

That’s the best way you can inhale as much air as possible.

In these moments, bring back your sense of personal control.

Get present to the moment.

You can also try doing bioenergetics.

Even though it helps in coping with anxiety, bioenergetics also helps to correct the pectus excavatum trouble with breathing.

That’s a great stretching and breathing technique that will make inhaling very natural.

After doing bioenergetics, I recommend you do the following simple breathing exercises.

You’ll feel much more relaxed afterward.


Regain Control Over Your Deformity

You may think that pectus excavatum can only be corrected surgically.

That’s a very devastating thought to have, especially if you’re entering high school or college.

The idea of living with two titanium bars beneath the sternum for three years is an excellent source of anxiety.

Please take the time to read this study.

It proves that pectus excavatum can be corrected without an operation.

You can do that with physical therapy, wearing orthoses, stretching the tight musculature in your chest, and doing vacuum bell therapy.

Use this website to start the journey. All you need is the discipline to follow the non-surgical correction method.

Substitute the anxiety by shifting your attitude.

For example, stop worrying about the severity of your deformity.

Focus on how grateful you are to live another day on this planet.

Ever since I started implementing graditude in my daily life, my whole mental perspective changed.

Many people wish that they had this chance that you take for granted.

That’s what you need to do to regain control over your pectus excavatum deformity.

Doing that will significantly reduce your anxiety levels in the long run.


Do Something That Stops Anxious Thoughts

Whenever you feel the pectus excavatum anxiety thoughts coming in, redirect your attention to something other than that.

The best way to do this is to reach out to your friends.

Also, you can participate in some entertaining activities or hobbies.

If you’re at home, you can put on some motivating music. 

You can also do a quick mindfulness meditation session.

If you do it correctly, no thought will go through your mind during the session.

This is my favorite thing to do as soon as I get anxious. 

Prayers work well too.

Also, you can go for a walk and listen to self-improvement audiobooks. 

Use anxious thoughts as fuel to workout.

A quick pectus excavatum workout session will have three significant benefits.

First, it will keep your mind away from anxiety. 

Second, it will help you build muscle mass and make the deformity much less noticeable.

Thirdly, your body will release chemicals called endorphins.

Those will trigger a positive feeling in your mind and body.

Suffering from pectus excavatum can be isolating

sunken chest deformity is isolating

People that don’t suffer from the concave chest condition won’t ever feel how it is like living with it.

Sometimes even nurses and therapists have never heard of pectus excavatum.

Luckily, pectus excavatum is generally hidden beneath clothing.

If you don’t take your shirt off, people won’t even know that you suffer from a deformity.

That is the main reason why the general public is not aware of its existence.

There is a high chance that even some of your friends or family members aren’t aware of your chest condition.

Even if they do know, they won’t fully understand what it is.

Generally, your deformity isn’t as worse as you perceive it to be.

Your mind can trick you.

It can be your worst enemy on many occasions.

Usually, the people in your life will feel curious about your deformity.

It is up to you to educate them about it and tell them how living with pectus excavatum is.

Sometimes, this doesn’t feel very comfortable, especially if you don’t enjoy talking about it.

However, this will break the barrier and make you more comfortable about your insecurities.

All individuals suffering from pectus excavatum will experience it differently.

Like I said, most patients are troubled by it.

They can get depressive, anxious, or stay away from dating.

In high school, some children suffering from the indented chest get teased or bullied.

Others are fully embraced as part of a high-school cool social circle.

Other patients couldn’t care less.

They are even proud of their uniqueness.

That’s the path you should follow. 

Once you embrace it and accept it as it is, you’ll get less anxious and self-conscious.

Truth to be told

There is a direct correlation on your perception of the pectus excavatum deformity and the anxiety levels you have.

If you consider it as severely deformed, you may feel very anxious.

How deep is the dent in your chest?

Is it looking symmetrical?

Is your breathing shallow?

All these factors can severely increase your concern.

Don’t worry about it.

If you’re under 45 years old, you still have plenty of time to correct the deformity non-surgically.

What Other Factors Increase Worry in Patients?

pectus excavatum sufferer anxious about his body

Gender is a significant factor that can increase pectus excavatum anxiety and nervousness.

The anterior chest wall is an extremely sexualized area for both males and females in a very different way.

It is tough to notice the concave chest in female patients.

Wearing a bra can hide the deformity.

In my observation, females that have the deformity don’t suffer from high anxiety levels.

Contrary to females, males are much more prone to showing their abnormalities in the world.

Showing their imperfect bodies in front of others will increase worry and nervousness.

Transgender people with pectus excavatum will surely relate to their physiques differently than cis-gendered people.

Age is another factor, both physically and mentally.

Are your bones still pliable enough for treatment?

Did you lose all your self-confidence as you were growing up with pectus excavatum?

Even social class comes into play.

Is getting a pectus excavatum surgery affordable?

What about psychological treatments?

Is your mental power drained by other stresses like the fulfillment of basic needs? 

Do you have what’s required (languages, insurance, education, internet/computer access, etc.) to find resources to fix pectus excavatum?

If you know that you have the finances to afford an expensive Nuss procedure, you will feel less stressed than those who can’t pay for it.

Also, knowing English will be beneficial if you’re trying to repair the deformity without an operation.

On the internet you can find everything you need to deal with the deformity both psychologically and physically.

That’s why knowing languages is critical when it comes to improving your life.

Interacting with Other Sufferers Can Be Helpful

social conversation reduces pectus excavatum worry

It is human nature to want to connect with comparable others.

There are lots of places on the internet where individuals suffering from pectus excavatum go to chat.

Usually, they do this on social media.

For many, that’s the best way they can socialize with each other.

Having an in-person conversation can be challenging.

Likewise, scrolling through these supportive communities can sometimes be very motivating.

Connecting with other sufferers with pectus excavatum is an encouraging experience.

Also, it can be de-isolating, which significantly helps in treating anxiety.

The patients who can’t pay for a pectus excavatum surgery, might feel low and depressed after seeing how satisfied others feel postoperatively.

Those looking to get inspired and become optimistic, may not want to see how others have struggled psychologically for years.

That is why interacting with others who suffer from pectus excavatum isn’t always an encouraging experience.

Embrace the Uniqueness of Your Indented Chest

embrace pectus excavatum deformity

If you have pectus excavatum, the odds are that you feel different and unique than most people.

The severity of the deformity differs from patient to patient.

There is a high chance that you’ll vary from others who have a sunken chest too.

You must discover what works for you to reduce the personal feeling of isolation.

If you’re suffering from anxiety caused by the concave chest deformity, you should improve the relationships in your life in general — especially the relationship with your family, friends, or significant others.

You can also take the time to interact with someone else who has a similar relationship to their pectus excavatum condition.

Speaking to a therapist can also be very helpful.


And this probably goes without saying.

If any person ever makes you feel bad about having pectus excavatum, stay away from them.

Often, isolation is a great thing.

Besides showing you how to fix your pectus excavatum without surgery, I created this book to help you eliminate the anxiety caused by this condition.

Also, I’ll recommend a book if you’re suffering from any type of social anxiety.

Social anxiety is a terrible thing to live with. 

Nobody deserves to live a life limited by fear.

While I was suffering from pectus excavatum anxiety, I followed Dr. Richards’ tips.

He explains in full detail how to get rid of anxiety, what causes it, and why you should be worried about it.

Please take the time to check the book. It can be a life-changer for you!

Article by:

Mihail Veleski

My name is Mihail Veleski. I used to suffer from the pectus excavatum deformity during my teenage years.

2 thoughts on “Pectus Excavatum Anxiety – 3 Simple Ways to Cope With It”

  1. I’m now 43, had surgery when I was 10. I still have rib flare and pot belly. Please tell me these braces and stretches can work?


Leave a Comment


Learn everything you need to know about the pectus excavatum deformity from A-Z. See how I managed to improve my pectus excavatum deformity non-surgically.

Sign up and discover how you can improve your physical and mental wellbeing once and for all.