How can I tell the difference between a panic attack and a heart attack?

10 Answers
Last Updated: 11/21/2017 at 7:54am
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Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I am a psychodynamically trained clinical social worker. I find assisting women and families through difficult times an extremely rewarding and collaborative process.

Top Rated Answers
TEMI4LIVE2
July 7th, 2015 12:51pm
Whenever you’re in doubt about your symptoms, seek care without delay. Only medical tests can rule out the possibility of a heart attack. Once a heart attack is ruled out, seek effective treatment such as talk therapy and medication. Similarities are below; Panic attacks and heart attacks can feel frighteningly similar: shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, vertigo, feelings of unreality, numbness of hands and feet, sweating, fainting, and trembling. Some people describe this experience as feeling as if they’re losing control or going to die. A panic attack occurs spontaneously or a stressful event can trigger it, but it poses no immediate danger. A heart attack is dangerous, and it requires prompt medical attention. In women, though, heart disease symptoms are sometimes mistaken for a panic attack. Panic disorder is diagnosed in people who experience panic attacks and are preoccupied with the fear of a recurring attack. Like all anxiety disorders, this one is treatable. On 7cups there are some Self Help Guide that can help, Kindly visit the two(2) links below; http://www.7cups.com/panic-attacks-help-online/ http://www.7cups.com/anxiety-help/
Loquaciouslaur
May 19th, 2015 2:35am
A panic attack affects multiple senses. Your thoughts will race and your mind won't be spinning out of control, as a panic attack is a physical and mental thing. A heart attack will be complete with really just physical symptoms, like sharp pains in the chest, back pain, nausea, etc.
TheWeepingWillow
July 14th, 2015 11:38pm
This is difficulty because heart attacks and panic attacks have the same symptoms. Also symptoms of heart attacks and panic attacks are different for everyone. You know your body better than anyone. The only difference that I can think of is that a full blown heart attack is a debilitating pain in your chest.
Anonymous
November 21st, 2017 7:54am
Not having had a heart attack, I couldn't tell you my differentiation between them, but during my panic attacks, I feel no pain in my chest. Tightness and quickened pulse rate, and racing thoughts, but no sharp pains.
Anonymous
June 9th, 2015 11:16pm
When you are having a panic attack, you cant breath and feel weak. But when you get a heart attack you got this big presure on your cheast and it feels like you heart is being ripped out of your cheast
DragonFlyQueen
June 17th, 2015 11:22pm
A panic attack is usually caused by a situation you know you'll be uncomfortable with. But if it happens when you're least expecting it, know that a panic attack is caused by breathing in the wrong way. Try to focus on inhalinh through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, think happy thoughts or if it really helps, pinch yourself to focus on something else. If you're experiencing chest pains too, that is again, because of the breathing situation. Try focusing on the pain to locate the right area, usually during a panic attack it's higher up your chest.
Richie15
March 8th, 2016 1:46pm
A lot of the signs and symptoms are similar. Without any medical experience, the only way to be certain is with an ECG. If you think you might be having a heart attack, I'd recommend calling an ambulance.
deepclouds
June 27th, 2016 9:17pm
the feeling in your chest during a panic attack is general sharp or stabbing, or a fleeting pain, however with a heart attack it reaches its peak within a few minutes and doesnt go away.
Anonymous
October 17th, 2016 4:20pm
Heart attack is pain down your right arm, difficult breathing, pain in the jaw and unable to move. A panic attack is when you find it hard to get your breath and you feel shakey and due to unsettle Ness or panicking
Dawn04
April 25th, 2017 4:18pm
They do share a lot of the same similarities, but I would say trust your gut. If several of the symptoms of a heart attack show, then seek the help of a medical professional. Even if it turns out to be a panic attack at least you are still safe and probably every doctor would fine with checking you out and finding out it's something not as life-threatening.