The Difference Between A Panic Attack And A Heart Attack

Anyone who has experienced a panic attack knows that it can be very scary. A panic attack is a reaction to anxiety and stress that can cause a person to feel similar symptoms to the symptoms of a heart attack. Since the symptoms of heart attacks and panic attacks are so similar, it is not uncommon for a person having a panic attack to think that he or she is having a heart attack. The following are similar symptoms between panic attacks and heart attacks:

· Chest pain

· Shortness of breath

· Sharp pains through arms, chest and/or stomach

· Pain or tension in shoulders, back, and chest

· Dizziness or feeling faint

· Flushed cheeks

· Sweating

· Tremors

· Racing heartbeat

· Nausea

· Disorientation

Each of these symptoms is very stressful to experience, and it can be difficult to tell what is happening with your body. Fortunately, there are ways to determine whether you are having a panic attack or a heart attack:

Stay In Touch With Your Mood

Panic attacks are the result of anxiety. If something happens that causes you to get anxious, nervous, or upset, and you immediately begin to feel symptoms that mimic an attack of some sort, it is likely that you are having a panic attack. If you were feeling calm or not feeling anxious, do not jump to the conclusion of having a heart attack, because panic attacks can also occur unprovoked by immediate moods. This means that if you are dealing with a general, long-term stressor in your life, you could experience a panic attack unexpectedly.

Stay In Touch With Your Thoughts and Feelings

Panic attacks can happen as a result of being overwhelmed. If you are thinking about a lot, or are experiencing racing thoughts and distractibility right before and during the attack, it is likely you are having a panic attack. Being upset, afraid, or jittery right before an attack are also indicative of a panic attack, rather than a heart attack.

Know Your Anxiety

It is important to understand how you react to stress and how your anxiety affects you. Being aware of your typical symptoms of anxiety will help you determine whether you are having an anxiety attack or a heart attack. If you are struggling to understand your anxiety, consult with a mental health professional, who will be able to help you understand your anxiety and panic attacks.

When To Seek Medical Attention

Panic attacks are scary, but they will not do long term damage. However, heart attacks can be fatal if not addressed, so if you have an attack and do not know the difference between the two, it is important to seek medical attention. It may take some time to learn when and how you experience panic attacks, so if you feel doubtful or unsure of your symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

More info: HelpingMinds.com