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Why do I feel like I am going to have a heart attack when I have a panic attack?

13 Answers
Last Updated: 03/27/2017 at 8:02pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
South Africa
Moderated by

Lisa De Regt, BSc Psychology (Honours)


Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
June 17th, 2015 5:04pm
The physical reaction your body has when you have a panic attack often is very strong in your chest. A symptom of panic is a racing heart. These feelings that sit in your chest along with your beating heart can become almost painful and mimic the feeling of a heart attack, or make you worried that you're about to have one.
March 8th, 2015 9:20pm
Usually panic attacks cause you tell feel certain ways the best thing to do is calm yourself and go for a walk or do something to calm yourself down.
March 8th, 2015 10:43pm
Because maybe it's not a panic attack, maybe is an anxiety attack, it comes with something called tachycardia and your brain could asume it as a heart attack, because you feel disturbed and desperate.
April 20th, 2015 7:37pm
Panic attacks sometimes do not just effect a person mentally but physically as well. Your heart usually will start to race and your breathing will become rapid. These are very normal signs of panic attacks and should go away once the panic attack subsides.
May 24th, 2015 2:41am
Because the symptoms are almost identical. Panic attacks arise from a great fear of present or future events. Your body gets overloaded with adrenaline so you can do the "fight or flight" thing. However, your body over does it and you kind of just short circuit yourself.
May 5th, 2015 6:14am
That's the nature of a panic attack, it makes us think we are dying. Also our heart can beat very fast along with intense chest pains.
July 27th, 2015 7:28am
I have panic attacks and I understand they are very scary. When you have a panic attack, your natural instincts kick in and you want to hide and protect yourself like prey. It's very scary.
March 7th, 2016 1:34am
You feel like this because of anxiety. When you worry you breathe slower and less. So all of that missed breath is needed and your body decides to make you feel that way so you can get more breath since you are not getting as much as you need!
May 3rd, 2016 10:46pm
A panic attack is not just panic in your mind like people tend to think, but it has physical symptoms as well. Some of them include shortness of breath/hyperventilation, a high heart rate/racing heart, pain/discomfort on your chest. Those are all symptoms that can feel like a heart attack. As a matter of fact, a lot of those symptoms alone, so without someone having a panic attack, can be confused with or even symptoms of heart issues or a heart attack. As if that isn't enough, a panic attack could also include a feeling like you're getting detached from your surroundings or even a strong fear of dying. If you get one or multiple of the symptoms which looks like a heart attack during (from) your panic attack, it will therefore look even more like you're having one.
May 9th, 2016 7:36pm
You feel this way because, when you are having a panic attack it can get so bad that your heart races and then it may feel like you are having a heart attack.
July 18th, 2016 11:37am
because when we experience there will be change in heart beat level, we observe we feel that going to get a heart attack
October 24th, 2016 2:30pm
Many people report feeling the same way during a panic attack. Our bodies are just overwhelmed by all of the activity in our brain and nervous system. Rapid heartbeat, chest pain, and trouble breathing are common symptoms of both panic attacks and heart attacks.
March 27th, 2017 8:02pm
Adrenaline is released when our limbic system is activated. This is preparing your body to run or fight so more blood is pumped to the muscles resilulting in your heart working much harder. If you experience any unusal or painful always get it checked out.