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5 Ways To Know You're Just Having A Panic Attack

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by B. Logan, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. B. Logan

    B. Logan Young Member

    Aug 24, 2019
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    Practicing medicine in:
    United States

    Every year thousands of people end up in the emergency room thinking they're having a heart attack when in reality, they're just having a panic attack. Fortunately, a panic attack isn't dangerous and you'll end up walking out with an emergency room bill that will shock you for just having a spike in anxiety. If you've never had a panic attack, it's understandable to confuse it as a heart attack because you'll feel intense chest pains and fear that you're going to die. However, let me tell you that there are ways to know whether you're having a panic attack or a heart attack.

    1) The Length Of chest pain

    Normally, panic attacks only last about ten to thirty minutes. You'll feel sharp chest pain, but if it's not pressure lasting more than thirty minutes then you're simply having a panic attack. However, if you're having a squeezing pain that lasts more than thirty minutes with pain going down one or both arms or in your jaw then you'll want to seek emergency care as you might be having a heart attack.

    2) Panic Attacks Are Random

    Heart attacks normally come after exerting yourself. You might be doing yardwork and suddenly feel a pressure in your chest. However, panic attacks are completely random. They don't seem to have a trigger and can happen at any time. If you're able to breathe through it, then you're just having a panic attack.

    3) Age

    If you're a younger person with no history of heart disease then you're most likely having a panic attack. If you've had panic attacks before or have been checked by a doctor recently and have no known issues then simply try breathing through the impending sense of doom that you're feeling, as you're most likely having a panic attack.

    4) Breathing

    You might have difficulty breathing, but if you're able to take deep breaths, then you're most likely having a panic attack.

    5) History of Panic Attacks

    If you've suffered panic attacks before, then you're most likely having another one. Keep an eye on your history of panic attacks before assuming it's always a heart attack.

    It may be difficult, but you should try to differentiate between a panic attack and a heart attack before adding any additional pressure to an emergency room. If you're older and feeling chest pains then don't wait to seek medical attention. Every minute counts.


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