One of the most frustrating things about panic attacks is never knowing if it is a dangerous situation or not. As you age, panic attacks begin to become even harder to decipher. When you are twenty, the odds are pretty darn slim that you are having a heart attack. When you are forty, that assumption can kill you.
Having suffered from a serious anxiety disorder problem for close to twenty five years, I can tell you a thing or two about panic attacks and heart attack scares. I have had my share of them over the years. I have been to the emergency room countless times over the years certain that I was about to have a heart attack, only to be told that my heart was fine. I have had CT scans, MRIs, heart stress tests, and virtually every other cardiac test known to mankind. Still, I find myself worrying over this problem.
I have asked the question a million times to a million health professionals. “How can you tell a heart attack from a panic attack?” The answers have been varied over the years. Here are some common answers I have gotten:
Please do not take these as medical advice, as they are only answers I have gotten over the years. I am not a doctor, only a fellow sufferer like yourself.
- When you have a heart attack, you will know the difference.
- Heart attack pain is generally a crushing pain, whereas anxiety is usually not as severe.
- Heart attacks usually will also have a shooting pain down your left arm, though not every time.
The vast majority of health care professionals simply said that an anxiety attack and heart attack are close enough in similarity that you should get checked each time. If I went and had my heart checked every time I had a panic attack, they would have to simply provide me a residence. I have them every day, and sometimes several times per day to varying degrees.
The truth is, the medical community has no right answer to the question of anxiety attack or heart attack yet. As discomforting as this is, I can tell you that I have spoken with many many people that has suffered with heart attacks, including some that have had anxiety and panic attacks.
They all have said that the heart attack was very very different, and they knew beyond all doubt that they were having something other than anxiety. That is small comfort, but hopefully it can give you some peace of mind.
If you have anything to add, please leave it in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you.
Also, do not forget to subscribe as I will be posting every day. Most of all, God bless you and know you are not alone. We will fight through this together.