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Chest pain and anxiety

Heart Attack or Not?

There are many different conditions which cause us to feel chest pain. Therefore, many of these are instantly connected to a heart attack, the worst case scenario. So, many people whose life is not endangered at all, choose to seek medical attention fearing for their lives while, actually, there is no reason for that. A pinched nerve, painful muscles or a rib injury, all cause chest pain, but have nothing to do with one's heart. On the other hand, there are illnesses capable of replicating all the symptoms of an ongoing heart attack, like angina, gallbladder or some pancreas problem. Moreover, mere anxiety may lead to this confusing type of chest pain, making a person think the worst. All in all, it is necessary to know how to recognize the right symptoms of an anxiety attack in order to know when you are not having a heart attack, taking into consideration the similarity between the symptoms of the two.

Symptoms To Be Aware Of

First of all, in case your chest hurts and you are not sure whether it is a heart or a panic attack, make sure you pinpoint the location of the pain. Namely, in case you are having an actual heart attack, the very center of your chest would cause you pain, which will not get worse, if you touch or press this part of your body. The pain is to remain constant for a period longer than 10 minutes. The pain is best characterized as crushing. Regardless, it does not cause you breathing difficulties.

On the other hand, chest pain provoked by an anxiety attack manifests through pain in the area above your heart. This pain is sharp and causes breathing problems, increasing the amount of air one breathes in. Here, pressing your chest may only make things worse, increasing the pain and discomfort. However, this fit is short lasting. Thus, one is to suffer from an anxiety attack for less than 10 minutes.

Interestingly enough, anxiety attacks may strike due to a heart attack. Taking into consideration that the first ones are triggered by adrenaline in our organism once we find ourselves in a life-threatening situation, it is not strange that an anxiety attack may be triggered by the heart attack itself. Then, it is necessary for one to stay calm, so as not to make things worse. Therefore, make sure you apply panic attack relief techniques every time you experience chest pain, in order to rule out the worst case scenario and thus relax.

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