A member asked:
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lately when i try to go to sleep i feel like my heart is going to stop or im gonna stop breathing, like im having a heartattack is it a heart attack, or panic attack ? i have had them before just sitting around the house but never when im going to sleep

2 doctor answers
Dr. Heidi Fowler
25 years experience Psychiatry
You : You may be experiencing panic attacks. Panic attacks usually last ten minutes or less. Some possible symptoms which might make you think you are having a panic attack include: chest pain or chest tightness; a pounding or rapid heartbeat, rapid or difficult breathing, nausea, sweating or numbness / tingling in your lips or fingers/ toes. People often believe that they are having a heart attack during an episode of panic. Other symptoms can include feeling very afraid and / or anxious; trembling, feeling really hot or cold or feeling dizzy or faint. If a person wakes up in the middle of the night gasping for air then they might be experiencing sleep apnea. I can not diagnose you. You should see your doctor for a full medical evaluation, to ensure that these symptoms are not due to a medical condition. If you do in fact have panic attacks, there are medications which can be prescribed to help and you can also see a psychologist to learn ways to control or prevent these symptoms that do not require medications. Good luck.
Answered on Oct 3, 2016
3
3 comments
8
8 thanks
Dr. Heidi Fowler
25 years experience Psychiatry
Provided original answer
Thank you Dr. Werner. Heidi
Nov 25, 2013
Dr. Bennett Werner
44 years experience Cardiology
Dr. Fowler, I think your answer is exceptionally thoughtful and I agree with it. I can't see Member's answer but I'm sorry that person didn't appreciate your time and effort.
Nov 24, 2013
Dr. Heidi Fowler
25 years experience Psychiatry
Provided original answer
Member - You didn't need to be rude on your response. Doctors take their time to try to help people on this site - not to be abused.
May 9, 2013
Dr. Elizabeth Finley-Belgrad
34 years experience Child Psychiatry
Sounds like panic: It sounds more like a panic attack but you definately need a medical evaluation to rule out medical causes which are not uncommon in panic symptoms.
Answered on Nov 25, 2013

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