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Doctor insights on: Am I Having A Heart Attack Or Panic Attack

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Dr. Creighton Wright
1,184 doctors shared insights

Myocardial Infarction (Definition)

Myocardial Infarction means some of the heart muscle dies because of insufficient oxygen supply. Most often this occurs because the coronary artery is blocked by plaque & clot. Other causes include tears in the artery wall, extremely high oxygen demand (eg, rapid arrhythmia, heart valve disorder, or severe systemic illness.) Prompt treatment can minimize heart damage & ...Read more


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How do i know if im having a mini heart attack or that i have anxiety or panic attacks ?

How do i know if im having a mini heart attack or that i have anxiety or panic attacks
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Panic vs. Heart: The symptoms for both MAY look the same. Please go to your doc to rule out any medical condition and then see a mental health pro who treats anxiety disorders. He/she can teach you strategies to deal w/panic if that is what's going on. Peace and good health. See www.relaxationresponse.org for some self-help. ...Read more

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Last night, I had a dream that I had a heart attack--with a feeling of chest tightness and my heart skipping. Did I have a heart attack or panic?

Last night, I had a dream that I had a heart attack--with a feeling of chest tightness and my heart skipping. Did I have a heart attack or panic?

Unlikely MI; panic?: It is unlikely you had a heart attack (MI). Dreams can be very vivid, dreams of dying are often very frightening. If you awoke without chest tightness or pain, or heart palpitations, or shortness of breath -- probably scary dream. Do you have family history of heart disease? At your age unlikely, but if you continue to worry - please see your doctor for an EKG and checkup. Good luck! ...Read more

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I'm scared I might be having a heart attack my left arm went numb heart palpitations troubled breathing what to do? I am known to have panic attacks

I'm scared I might be having a heart attack my left arm went numb heart palpitations troubled breathing what to do? I am known to have panic attacks

Palpitations: Although these can be signs, it is very rare for someone your age to have a heart attack. The same signs occur with panic attacks. Based on your history, you have had similar episodes before, so you probably had a cardiac work-up in the past. Were previous tests normal when you felt like this? Call a doctor who knows you well for a safe and accurate assessment and a plan for recurrences. ...Read more

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Can you have a heart attack without pain. Wat would i heart attack feel like?

Can you have a heart attack without pain. Wat would i heart attack feel like?

Yes. No symptoms: Yes, it's possible to have a heart attack or myocardial infarction w/o having any pain (unlike classic redd foxx in sanford & son). More often, rather than chest pain radiating up jaw and down arm, patient might complain of bad heartburn that won't go away, difficulty breathing or catching breath as if elephant sitting on chest, nausea etc. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-attack/ds00094. ...Read more

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Can you suffer a heart attack from a panic attack?

Can you suffer a heart attack from a panic attack?

Panic attacks: No usually not, though it can feel similar sometimes with chest pressure, sweating, palpitations etc. ...Read more

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Did I have Atrial Fib. or Heart Trouble? I'm SCARED. My heart/chest vibrated, I felt weird, & cold flush. Was this a panic attack, or a heart problem?

Did I have Atrial Fib. or Heart Trouble? I'm SCARED. My heart/chest vibrated, I felt weird, & cold flush. Was this a panic attack, or a heart problem?

Usual suspect: Anxiety is the likely suspect. Especially at your age w/ your medical history. If youthful cardiovascular problems are in your family history you'd know and should be examined, or if it's part of a syndrome you suffer - like Marfan's - you'd be being monitored for heart issues regularly already. It's a good idea to consider CBT therapy for skills in dealing w/ issues like anxiety, OCD. It works! ...Read more

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Why am i so scared incase i have a heart attack or get heart problems?

Why am i so scared incase i have a heart attack or get heart problems?

Worried at 30: You have few more decades to worry , about getting an heart attack , very rare in a healthy person at your age.You have other real issues your job , family etc , but you can postpone or even prevent for few more decades , by your good life style , by balanced healthy diet , weight reduction if over weight , regular exercises , avoiding smoking drinking and drugs , sometimes may need prof. help ...Read more

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So im either having a panic or anxiety attack or im havin a heart attack im shakey feel like i cant catch my breath but doin 15 a min and im dizzy?

So im either having a panic or anxiety attack or im havin a heart attack im shakey feel like i cant catch my breath but doin 15 a min and im dizzy?

Panic Disorder: “im havin a heart attack, shaky feel like i cant catch my breath, and dizziness” are likely due to Panic Disorder. This does not seem heart attack. Breathing 15/minute is normal. Feel Blessings of 3 Million Air Sacs in your lungs due to which you have Breath of Life every 4 seconds. Discuss with Psychiatrist: •Diagnosis •Ativan or Xanax (alprazolam) for Panic •Therapy for Stress •Relaxation •Visual Imagery ...Read more

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Am i at risk of having a heart attack?

Am i at risk of having a heart attack?

Cardiac risk : that is difficult to answer without more information about your medical and genetic history ...Read more

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Could I be having a heart attack?

More info needed: You do not specify if your dizziness, numbness and palpitations are new. If these symptoms came on suddenly and/ or you have chest pain, go to the hospital emergency room. ...Read more

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Can you have a panic attack with shortness of breath but not a racing heart beat?

Can you have a panic attack with shortness of breath but not a racing heart beat?

Yes!: There are a bunch of symptoms one may have during a panic attack--one may feel dizzy, faint, or weak, experience numbness or tingling in the hand and fingers , feel sweaty, have chest pain, feel a loss of control, but there is typically that scary feeling of impending doom, that one is having a heart attack and is going to die. And this is all unrelated to the real situation happening around them. ...Read more

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I have been having episodes of chest pain, skipping in the night, nausea, can't sleep, very fatigue. I think I have coronary artery disease i'm terrified a heart attack is imminent. How would i know?

I have been having episodes of chest pain, skipping in the night, nausea, can't sleep, very fatigue. I think I have coronary artery disease i'm terrified a heart attack is imminent. How would i know?

See your family doc: It sounds more gastric or. Esophageal to me. See your family doctor and have appropriate tests run . A ct scan of your coronary arteries is a non- invasive way to check your coronary arteries. Also, a GI doc can check you for gastric and esophageal causes. I would also add in sleep apnea into the differential diagnosis due to skipped beats, anxiety or depression insomnia and daytime tiredness. Good luck to you. ...Read more

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How can I discriminate if I have panic attack or angina attack? Both include chest discomfort, rapid or irregular heart beat and anxiety.

How can I discriminate if I have panic attack or angina attack? Both include chest discomfort, rapid or irregular heart beat and anxiety.

Cardiac Evaluation: One condition is potentially life threatening, angina, and the other is not. You should be evaluated by a physician to exclude life threatening causes of chest pain with testing such as an EKG, labs, and stress test. ...Read more

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I am having heart attack symptoms, could it be anxiety or my acid reflux?

I am having heart attack symptoms, could it be anxiety or my acid reflux?

Yes: Yes, the symptoms could be medically based and/or have a psychological component; suggest individual see pcp first, & if recommended a cardiologist; if not medical, see a mental health prof. To evaluate for possible anxiety, stress, &/or depression. ...Read more

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I was diagnosed with a small PFO and atrial septal aneurysm. My heart is racing and palpitating since. Could I have a stroke or heart attack? Scared!!

I was diagnosed with a small PFO and atrial septal aneurysm. My heart is racing and palpitating since. Could I have a stroke or heart attack? Scared!!

With a PFO and: atrial aneurysm there is the potential for a paradoxical stroke or heart attack but the odds are extremely small. You've had this your whole life and made it 28 years without issue so it is unlikely to occur immediately upon diagnosis. Your health care providers will manage this appropriately and in a timely fashion. ...Read more

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I had an ekg because I'm having heart flutters. I have panic attacks but what would have made "widespread changes " in my ekg?

I had an ekg because I'm having heart flutters. I have panic attacks but what would have made "widespread changes " in my ekg?

What ARE the changes: It really depends what these changes are ... some are more worrisome than others. The word "widespread" would mean that the changes are seen in multiple leads suggesting that the finding is seen in multiple areas of your heart. But what the changes are...t wave inversion, ST depression, etc is much more relevant. It may mean nothing much or need further testing. Ask your doctor to interpret. ...Read more

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Does difficulty breathing mean I am having a panic attack?

Does difficulty breathing mean I am having a panic attack?

Not always: Difficulty breathing can come from many causes. Sometimes heart problems; lung disease such as asthma or copd; sometimes anatomic problem like when pregnant, plus others. If you've have had a full medical checkup and none of these other things are going on with you, then it's very possible that difficulty breathing relates to anxiety. Not all anxiety is a panic attack, but can feel scary. ...Read more

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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

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

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. ...Read more

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Was having a bad panic attack after I ate so I took two beta blockers but I still feel it pounding somewhat. Am I having a heart attack?

Was having a bad panic attack after I ate so I took two beta blockers but I still feel it pounding somewhat. Am I having a heart attack?

See your doctor: It is very rare for someone your age to have a heart attack. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and appropriate treatment. Avoid the use of caffeine especially high energy drinks. If you smoke, quit. Palpitations can be a symptom of panic and anxiety. Your doctor can order an EKG and check your thyroid. Avoid any illicit drug use especially stimulants such as meth or cocaine. Best wishes! ...Read more

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Panic attacks that present with the exact symptoms of a heart attack, so how am I to know each time if I'm not actually having a heart attack?

Panic attacks that present with the exact symptoms of a heart attack, so how am I to know each time if I'm not actually having a heart attack?

Panic symptoms like: Heart attacks. (shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweating, etc) with normal ecg. Learn2relax your breathing. Practice when u r not having a panic attack so that when it occurs u will B prepared2use the relaxed breathing2calm yourself. At the same time remind yourself, it will pass, UR not having a heart attack or other physical problem. Psychologist can teach u relaxation techniques. ...Read more

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How to calm down from a panic attack I constantly have them and feel like I'm having a heart attack, and it freaks me out a lot they last hours atimes

How to calm down from a panic attack I constantly have them and feel like I'm having a heart attack, and it freaks me out a lot they last hours atimes

Try some: deep breathing exercises. There are a number of these programs on the newer "smart watches"......

I also recommend counseling and you should start with a frank discussion with your Primary Care Provider!
Hope this is helpful!

Dr Z ...Read more

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Panic attacks are starting to feel like i'm having a heart attack. Almost passed out at work a few times. I need advice. Very hard to get a psych appt?

Panic attacks are starting to feel like i'm having a heart attack. Almost passed out at work a few times. I need advice. Very hard to get a psych appt?

Panic: I really appreciate that you have the insight to know that your mind is causing your physical symptoms. When we panic or have anxiety we often hold our chest muscles too tight, and breathe too shallow making a vicious cycle of muscle fatigue and low oxygen add to our sense that something is wrong. Learning breathing techniques, learning how to manage these anxious feelings is how to live well. ...Read more

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Been having panic attacks almost daily now for a week. last from a few mins to 10. Feels like I am having a heart attack. See a doctor or wait a longe?

Been having panic attacks almost daily now for a week. last from a few mins to 10. Feels like I am having a heart attack. See a doctor or wait a longe?

Get help: Don't try to fight this yourself as the stress and anxiety level may worsen rather than subside and your physical health will suffer. You need professional help from your physician or a psychiatrist. Stress management is needed and medication may be prescribed at least short-term. ...Read more

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What too do about panic attacks? I thought I was having a heart attack I went to er they said my ekg was normal and so are my lungs I still get panicy

What too do about panic attacks? I thought I was having a heart attack I went to er they said my ekg was normal and so are my lungs I still get panicy

Panic vs. Heart: The symptoms for both MAY look the same. Please go to your doc to rule out any medical condition and then see a mental health pro who treats anxiety disorders. He/she can teach you strategies to deal w/panic if that is what's going on. Peace and good health. See www.relaxationresponse.org for some self-help. ...Read more

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I'm scared I might be having a heart attack my left arm went numb heart palpitations troubled breathing what to do? I am known to have panic attacks

Palpitations: Although these can be signs, it is very rare for someone your age to have a heart attack. The same signs occur with panic attacks. Based on your history, you have had similar episodes before, so you probably had a cardiac work-up in the past. Were previous tests normal when you felt like this? Call a doctor who knows you well for a safe and accurate assessment and a plan for recurrences. ...Read more

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I've been experiencing severe panic attacks right before going to bed. I feel as if I can't breath, like I'm having a heart attack and will die. I also have physical symptoms such as a bad pain in my left arm and back, tingling in my hand and sweating.

Be careful: Be certain that the cause is truly a panic attack: this a "diagnosis of exclusion." first you need to be checked carefully for other, more ominous causes. See your family doc if you haven't already. If it's deemed to be panic, consider relaxation techniques like transcendental meditation, yoga, self hypnosis with or without assistance from a tranquilizer (under the direction of your doc). ...Read more

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What distinguishes a panic attack from a heart attack?

You can not: Chest pain from a heart attack lasts longer than 20min, so can panic attack.If so a patient should call 911. ...Read more

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How can panic attack cause heart attack/arrest?

How can panic attack cause heart attack/arrest?

It does not : Panic attacks do not cause heart attacks. According to the nimh, panic disorder is one of the most treatable of the anxiety disorders, responding in most cases to medication or cognitive psychotherapy. People often ask if panic attacks cause death. No, they do not. ...Read more

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Can you suffer a heart attack from a panic attack?

Panic attacks: No usually not, though it can feel similar sometimes with chest pressure, sweating, palpitations etc. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a panic attack and a heart attack?

What is the difference between a panic attack and a heart attack?

Panic attacks: Panic attacks are psychologic reactions which can have symptoms which mimic those of heart attack. A real heart attack is caused by a heart blood vessel blocking off and damaging a part of the heart. Heart attack can be fatal. Panic attack usually isn't fatal but can be psychologically incapacitating. ...Read more

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Hoping you can tell me, is panic attack similar to a heart attack?

Hoping you can tell me, is panic attack similar to a heart attack?

No: The symptoms can sometimes be similar, but a panic attack is an anxiety disorder while a heart attack is due to injury of the heart muscle from compromised blood flow to the heart muscle due to blockage in a coronary artery. ...Read more

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Panic attacks with the exact same symptoms of a heart attack, help?

Get help: You did not provide enough information, do you have a diagnosis of panic attacks? If you are having persistent chest pain you should call 911 or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room. ...Read more

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What would a heart attack feel like in comparison with a panic attack?

What would a heart attack feel like in comparison with a panic attack?

Can feel same...: unfortunately. Both can have chest pain, feeling short of breath, heart racing, scared, sweaty. You should get checked out in emergency room first. They can tell you if you are having heart attack. Since you are 24, likely it is panic attack, but please get checked out first. If you know it is a panic attack, then you can get treatment for that. ...Read more

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How can you distinguish a panic attack from an overdose or heart attack?

How can you distinguish a panic attack from an overdose or heart attack?

Go to the ER: If the person has never previously been diagnosed with panic attacks or panic disorder, some type of evaluation is needed to rule out potentially life threatening causes such as overdose or heart attack. ...Read more

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How can you tell the difference between a heart attack abd panic attack?

How can you tell the difference between a heart attack abd panic attack?

Sometimes very hard: A panic attack looks a lot like a heart attack...They are quite difficult to tell apart. Thus, if you have symptoms of a heart attack, even if it ends up being a panic attack, you should not hesitate seeing a doctor or calling 911. Heart attack symptoms can be chest pain, trouble breathing, dizziness. These can be the exact same symptoms of a panic attack. ...Read more

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How do you recognize panic attack from a heart attack when it's happening to someone?

How do you recognize panic attack from a heart attack when it's happening to someone?

Doc Recognize: Panic attack vs Heart attack is something doctors deal with a lot. For a patient I would say that you should not make that difference. If you having chest pain or shortness of breath GO TO THE ER. Let us determine if you are having a panic attack or a heart attack. We are trained to tell the difference between the two, by asking questions, doing a physical, running EKG's, test etc. ...Read more

Panic (Definition)

Panic is a psychological and somatic state of anxiety usually involving extreme fear, characterized by symptoms such as shortness of breath, rapid pounding heartbeat, sometimes dizziness or light-headedness, tunnel vision, a sense of unreality, and a feeling of needing to escape from ...Read more


Dr. Creighton Wright
3,969 doctors shared insights

Heart Attack (Definition)

A life-threatening condition in which the blood vessels that supply the heart becomes occluded and thus the heart itself is not longer receiving any blood flow. Without this blood flow, the heart muscle dies and cannot pump blood to the ...Read more