Is it a Panic Attack or Heart Attack? Know the Difference!

This press release will clear up the confusion and differentiate between the two. Upfront, I just want to say that people don’t die from panic attacks.
By: Jason Ellis
May 27, 2009 - PRLog -- It’s a pretty common scenario for most first time panic attack sufferers to immediately think they’re having a heart attack.  After all, one of the most prominent symptoms of a panic attack is a POUNDING heartbeat that seems to flutter out of control.  It’s pretty terrifying. Plus, if you’re unfamiliar with the symptoms of a panic attack, a heart attack seems like a natural conclusion to what you’re feeling.

Because it’s so common to mistake the chest pains that normally accompany panic attacks for a life threatening heart attack, this article will clear up the confusion and differentiate between the two.  Upfront, I just want to say that people don’t die from panic attacks.  

So even though it feels like your heart is going to pop right out of your chest during one of these episodes, the fact is, attacks like these are analogous to intense levels of cardio exercise with one major safety net.  Extreme cardio exercise may potentially lead to heart attack whereas a panic attack will force you to pass out or faint before any real damage is done.

That’s because the physical symptoms of a panic attack are triggered by an offset in breathing (usually hyperventilation).  Your heart isn’t being strained; it’s being thrown into a natural fight or flight response.  Also, your heart isn’t what’s causing the panic attack – your mind is.

The fear combined with the physical sensation creates a natural sense of urgency.
Every year, thousands (if not millions) of people having chest pain, difficulty breathing, pain or numbness in the left arm and tingling throughout the body end up in a hospital emergency room because they believe they’re having a heart attack. Typically, a few tests are run, and the patient is sent home because the nature of the attack he or she experienced is one of panic, not coronary.

Here, I’ll outline the symptoms of both a heart attack and a panic attack so you can see their subtle differences.

The two share several common symptoms. For instance, the chest pain from a heart attack is focused in the center of the chest and is crushing, as if a heavy weight is sitting on top of the chest. It is usually persistent, may radiate to the left arm, neck or back and lasts longer than 5 - 10 minutes. Heart attack victims don't hyperventilate (unless the person's fear of heart attack triggers a panic attack), any tingling they experience is usually confined to the left arm, and vomiting is common.

During a panic attack, chest pain is localized over the heart and described as "sharp, and comes and goes. The pain usually intensifies with breathing in and out, and pressing on the center of the chest. Panic attack may cause nausea, but vomiting is very rare. If tingling is present, the entire body tingles. Hyperventilation almost always precedes panic attack symptoms. If the location of the pain moves to the center of the chest, doesn't go away within 10 minutes, is accompanied by more than one incident of vomiting or diarrhea, or goes away and returns a few minutes later, you should immediately get medical attention.

Now, if you’re having panic attacks, you may be inclined to worry about how these episodes are affecting your heart long-term.

Panic attacks don't cause heart disease, and some experts say that they actually affect the heart similarly to the way cardio exercise does, by causing the release of adrenaline, increasing the heart rate, and expanding blood vessels. On the same note, heart disease doesn't cause panic attacks, although a person with a history of panic attacks who is actually having a coronary may also panic for fear of worsening the heart damage, dying or being disabled.

That said, stress is NEVER good for your overall health so it’s important to start treating your panic and anxiety right away.  You won’t hear me say that stress benefits your health of course but try not to think of stress as some terminal condition.
The truth is if you don’t have traditional risk factors – you’re not a smoker, you don’t have high blood pressure, obesity, have a family history of heart attack, your risk should be very low.

If you’re having panic attacks, chances are you have high levels of anxiety and this kind of constant stress can lead to obsessions about your health.  I’m here to tell you that if you take care of yourself with exercise and proper eating (something you should be doing anyway), you don’t need to worry about heart failure during a panic attack.  It simply won’t happen.  The two scenarios (panic attacks and heart attacks) are completely separate animals and should be treated as such.

Now that said, just because you won’t die from a panic attack, that doesn’t mean you should just live with the debilitating anxiety it creates.  There IS help for you.
Using the correct techniques and exercises, you CAN learn to control and even completely eliminate panic attacks.

I’ve made it incredibly simple to start taking control of your anxiety right now with a FREE video I’ve created on my website.  The video is called “Anxiety Free Tactics” and it shows you step by step how to overcome anxiety and panic using 21 natural techniques you can learn in minutes.

The tactics will give you relief instantly once you put them to use.  I can’t believe this information isn’t being published in more places.  The strategies taught in the video truly turned my anxiety on its head and gave me peace of mind from the moment I started using them.

Start watching the video right now at

No one should have to suffer with panic attacks and anxiety.  You have all the control to make these negative emotions go away.  You just have to learn the techniques and take action towards achieving your goal of complete mental serenity.  Check out the life changing video and take the first step towards anxiety recovery.

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Jason Ellis has been helping people overcome their anxiety and panic for years. His expertise deals with controlling the symptoms of stress and anxiety by applying proven, natural treatments for panic that bring results in minutes. You can find all of Jason's natural treatments for anxiety exclusively at
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Tags:Panic, Attack, Heart
Industry:Mental health
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