May 23

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Learn How to Tell Apart a Heart Attack From a Panic Attack

Learn How to Tell Apart a Heart Attack From a Panic Attack

Learn How to Tell Apart a Heart Attack From a Panic Attack

Your heart is beating fast, and you are panicking about the chest pain. You feel sick, in pain and are worried it may be a heart attack. However, could it be a panic attack instead?

Panic attacks run deep in my family; from my grandmother, mother, sister and niece to myself.   My mother often thought she was having a heart attack and insisted to go to the hospital which always found she had a panic attack.

Before you scare your family or friends, you may want to learn these tips for telling them apart.

How Can You Tell Them Apart? 

Although the symptoms of a heart attack and panic attack can overlap, it is important to understand that they are not identical and to seek help if it is necessary. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reveals that educating yourself is the first step and getting medical help may be required.

If you have been diagnosed with anxiety or panic attacks, then you may want to try practicing stress-relief techniques first. Breathing or meditation may help you stop or slow down a panic attack. However, these techniques cannot stop a heart attack, so you should get immediate help if they are not working.

Evaluate Your Pain

One of the key ways to tell apart a heart attack and panic attack is to evaluate your pain. During a heart attack, your chest pain will increase and will be constant. During a panic attack, you may have chest pain for a few seconds, and it will not radiate to other parts of your body. The pain should not last for a long period of time if you are experiencing a panic attack.

It is better to be examined by a doctor and have him or her confirm that you are having a panic attack instead of a heart attack. You do not want to take the risk of overlapping symptoms that causes you to ignore a serious cardiovascular problem. If you think you are having a heart attack, then you should immediately call 911 and get help.

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