Suddenly presenting certain symptoms such as hyperventilation, fatigue, sweating and especially pain in the breast can cause certain fears in people related to death. Generally, these symptoms are immediately associated with cardiovascular problems.
In this article, we will give you some tools so you can differentiate if what you are feeling is chest pain from anxiety or panic attack or if it really is a heart problem.
In fact, not many people know that it is very common to suffer pain in the chest caused by anxiety and not because of severe pathologies.
For the most part, these attacks are momentary and happen on less expected occasions. The sensations that are usually had are angina pectoris, with symptoms like a pressure in the chest, a sensation of suffocation, tachycardia, dizziness and sweating.
Many of these symptoms occur both in cases of heart attack and for other less serious reasons such as anxiety attacks.
The signs of both are usually very similar.
To avoid confusion, below we show the characteristic symptoms of each situation, as well as the differences between a heart attack and a chest pain from anxiety.
In this way, you can take the appropriate measures in case of suffering any of them.
Differences between chest pain from anxiety and a Cardiac one
Although many discomforts or physical symptoms occur in both situations, there are ways to differentiate one from the other.
Next, we will mention the symptomatic differences of suffering a heart attack and one of anxiety so that you are able to recognize it in case you get to suffer from one.
The pain felt in the chest at the time of having an anxiety attack is described as stinging. It is concentrated in the chest area and can reach both arms, legs and fingers.
The duration of this sensation is approximately 10 minutes and it does not remain constant, but on the contrary, it seems to decrease and increase repetitively.
On the other hand, when you suffer from a heart attack the feeling is a little different.
The people who have suffered from it usually describe it as an oppressive pain in the central part of the chest, although this can be reflected in the left arm, neck, jaw and molars.
The duration is a bit shorter compared to the anxiety attack.
In this case, the chest pain from anxiety can last up to 5 minutes at most and the intensity may vary.
Sensation at the Moment of Attack
While you are having a cardiovascular attack, such as a myocardial infarction, you usually have thoughts of fear of dying from cardiac arrest.
In addition, you may feel dizzy, sweating, tingling in the left arm and even vomiting and breathing is not altered unless it is due to nerves.
Instead, during an anxiety crisis, the thoughts that come to mind are often a bit irrational.
In general, people believe that they are losing their sanity or that they may be drowned.
In addition to this, breathing becomes difficult.
Causes of Chest Pain during an Anxiety Attack
Now that we know how to distinguish an anxiety attack from a heart attack, prudent and necessary measures can be taken for each of these cases.
Similarly, it is necessary to see the doctor immediately if you suspect you are suffering from some of these symptoms.
On the other hand, it is very important to know also what it is that can trigger a panic attack or chest pain from anxiety.
It should be noted that this can occur suddenly at any time, contrary to the myth that we can only suffer if we are going through a stressful situation at that time.
Excessive anxiety can generate some consequences such as a very intense pain at the thoracic level.
This is because when we are going through a risk situation, at least for our mind, the sympathetic system is activated immediately, releasing a substance called cortisol in order to prepare the body to escape and keep it alert.
The release of this substance results in extreme tension in the muscles, which can translate into a pain in certain areas of the body.
One of them may be the chest
Not to mention that the pressure of the moment generates hyperventilation, which overloads the lungs and can cause a sensation of pain in the rib cage.
How to treat it?
There is no way to avoid or treat chest pain from anxiety unless the true cause of anxiety and stress is treated, which is anxiety itself.
It is a disease on a psychological level.
That is why it is recommended to go to the psychologist or a psychiatrist.
While it is true that some people only experience these types of sensations once in their life, especially young adults, and this is never repeated again.
It is necessary to make an analysis to find out the reason why the crisis has been unleashed, both internally and externally and to attack it immediately.
If the reasons are beyond our control, there are psychological and behavioral therapies to help with this problem.
It is also recommended to practice some sport where you can drain anxiety and perform relaxation exercises constantly.
As you have seen, chest pain from anxiety is not something serious. However, you do have to go to a specialist to treat the trigger of that anxiety.