It is scientifically proven that people with pectus excavatum suffer from embarrassment, low self-confidence, and social anxiety.
All individuals with pectus excavatum are prone to overthinking, sometimes leading to depression. These psychological issues can change a person’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 sports activity.
This increases the insecure and anxious feelings of the individual. Avoiding interactions further increases the social anxiety of people with pectus excavatum.
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 working 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 members of the opposite sex. They overthink every single detail of 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 an individual’s life.
TOP 3 WAYS TO COPE WITH PECTUS EXCAVATUM ANXIETY
Worry can be a regular part of living. Everyone gets worried now and then. People usually get concerned about their finances, career, relationships, and looks.
Sometimes, pectus excavatum anxiety can be a good thing. 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 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 in the moment.
REGAIN CONTROL OVER YOUR DEFORMITY
You may think that you can only correct the pectus excavatum surgically. That’s a devastating thought, especially if you’re entering high school or college.
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 you can correct pectus excavatum without an operation. Use this post 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.
Since I started implementing gratitude in my daily life, my whole mental perspective has changed. Many people wish that they had this chance that they 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
When you feel the pectus excavatum anxiety thoughts coming in, redirect your attention to something else. 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 work out. 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 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
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 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.
They won’t fully understand what it is even if they do know. 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 about living with pectus excavatum. 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.
As I said, most people are troubled by it. They can get depressive, and anxious, or stay away from dating.
Some can get teased or bullied. Others in high school are fully embraced as part of a cool high-school social circle. Other people couldn’t care less.
They are proud of their uniqueness. That’s the path you should follow. You’ll become less anxious and self-conscious once you embrace and accept it.
TRUTH BE TOLD
There is a direct correlation between your perception of the pectus excavatum deformity and your anxiety levels. 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 time to correct the deformity non-surgically.
WHAT OTHER FACTORS INCREASE WORRY IN INDIVIDUALS?
Gender is a significant factor that can increase pectus excavatum anxiety and nervousness.
The anterior chest wall is a highly sexualized area for both males and females in a very different way. It is tough to notice the concave chest in females.
Wearing a bra can hide the deformity. In my observation, females with deformities don’t suffer from high anxiety levels.
Unlike females, males are much more prone to showing their abnormalities worldwide. 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 growing up with pectus excavatum?
SOCIAL CLASS ROLE
Even social class comes into play. Is getting a pectus excavatum surgery affordable? What about psychological treatments?
Do other stresses like fulfilling basic needs drain your mental power?
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 can afford an expensive Nuss procedure, you will feel less stressed than those who can’t pay for it.
Also, learning English will be beneficial if you’re trying to repair the deformity without an operation.
You can find everything you need on the Internet to deal with deformity psychologically and physically. That’s why knowing languages is critical for improving your life.
INTERACTING WITH OTHERS CAN BE HELPFUL
It is human nature to want to connect with comparable others. There are many online places 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. Having an in-person conversation can be challenging.
Likewise, scrolling through these supportive communities can sometimes be very motivating. Connecting with others with pectus excavatum is an encouraging experience.
Also, it can be de-isolating, which significantly helps in treating anxiety. The people who can’t pay for a pectus excavatum surgery might feel low and depressed after seeing how satisfied others feel postoperative.
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
If you have pectus excavatum, the odds are that you feel different and unique than most people. The severity of the deformity differs from person to person.
There is a high chance that you’ll vary from others who have a sunken chest too. It would be best to discover what works for you to reduce the personal feeling of isolation.
If you feel isolated, you should improve the relationships in your life, especially with your family, friends, or significant others.
You can also take the time to interact with someone with 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 post to help you eliminate the anxiety caused by this condition. Also, I’ll recommend a book if you suffer from social anxiety.
Social anxiety is a terrible thing to live with. Nobody deserves to live a life limited by fear. While 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!
- (PDF) Psychological Distress in Patients with Pectus Excavatum as an Indication
for Therapy [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 3]. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265821613_Psychological_Distress_in_Patients_with_Pectus_Excavatum_as_an_Indication_for_Therapy
- Mindfulness Meditation Exercise for Anxiety [Internet]. Verywell Mind. [cited
2022 Dec 3]. Available from: https://www.verywellmind.com/mindfulness-meditation-exercise-for-anxiety-2584081
- Dating with pectus excavatum? : selfimprovement [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 3].
Available from: https://www.reddit.com/r/selfimprovement/comments/axlye6/dating_with_pectus_excavatum/
- Bullied teenager’ nearly died after steel bar inserted to disguise his sunken
chest came within 1cm of his heart’ | Daily Mail Online [Internet]. [cited 2022
Dec 3]. Available from: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2739727/Bullied-teenager-nearly-died-steel-bar-inserted-disguise-sunken-chest-came-1cmheart.html
- Pectus Excavatum – Transgender Female, MtF – YouTube [Internet]. [cited 2022
Dec 3]. Available from:
2 thoughts on “Pectus Excavatum Anxiety : 3 Simple Coping Strategies”
Nobody is really too old for surgery! There are people in their 70’s that have had repair.
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?