Anxiety Heart Attack – How to Tell the Difference Between Heart Attacks and Panic Attacks

For first time panic attack sufferers, the experience of these attacks could easily be mistaken for that of a heart attack or a stroke. No doubt both are terrifying, extremely uncomfortable and highly distressing situations to be in. Thousands rush to emergency rooms all across the country only to be told later that their hearts are indeed in perfect working condition.

Some people call this an anxiety heart attack, but the correct term is panic or anxiety attack. Anxiety attacks and heart attacks have surprisingly similar symptoms but both are quite different from each other. So how do you tell the difference between a heart attack and a panic/anxiety attack? Here is some helpful information:

o    During an anxiety attack, pain does not usually follow the rapid heartbeat symptom. Heart attacks, on the other hand, will have pain accompanying the rapid heartbeat symptom.

o    These attacks will have the sensation of numbness on the left shoulder and arm (or on one side of the body, in general). This would not be present in an anxiety attack.

o    Sudden trouble seeing (in one or both eyes) is present in a stroke but not in an anxiety or panic attack.

o    Sudden loss of responsiveness is observed during cardiac arrest, while a person undergoing panic attacks is still actually capable of staying alert and responsive.

o    Fingertips or fingernails that have turned a bluish-color are not symptoms of panic/anxiety attacks.

Anxiety heart attack symptoms that are commonly mistaken for a heart attack includes:

o    Rapid or Increased Heart rate, dizziness, lightheadedness and breaking-out in cold sweats.

o    Tightening, discomfort or pain in the chest area or stomach.

o    Rapid breathing or shortness of breathes, or the sensation that one is unable to breathe.

If you are unsure that what you are experiencing is an anxiety heart attack or an actual heat attack, stroke, or cardiac arrest then do not hesitate to call for emergency assistance immediately. A panic or anxiety attack will be gone in about 10 minutes but you do not want to waste precious minutes deciding if it is something else.