Abrupt palpitations, dizziness, nausea, and shaking. When these symptoms appear abruptly, they can feel frightening. It might be challenging to distinguish between a panic attack and a heart attack due to their comparable symptoms.
If you experience these signs, you might be curious as to what is going on and whether you need to consult a doctor. The causes and symptoms of panic attacks and heart attacks are discussed, as well as what to do if you believe you are having either, by Marin Nishimura, MD, a cardiovascular disease specialist affiliated with Sharp Grossmont Hospital, and Brian Miller, MD, a psychiatrist affiliated with Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital.
What Exactly Is A Panic Attack?
According to Dr. Miller, a few indicators can typically be used to diagnose a panic attack, also known as an anxiety attack. The primary symptom is a sudden, overwhelming sense of despair or anxiety. Some people describe it as having the sense that something is wrong but being unable to identify it, he explains.
Physical symptoms associated with panic attacks include:
- Heart flutters
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shakiness Breathlessness
- I’m feeling confused
- Uncomfortable stomach
Panic episodes can be terrifying even though they are not life-threatening. These episodes can happen at any time and typically come “out of the blue.” A panic attack can also make a person worry having another one, which starts a vicious cycle of anxiety.
Who Is Susceptible To Having A Panic Attack?
There are 6 million Americans who suffer from panic disorder or recurrent panic episodes. The likelihood of experiencing them is twice as high in women as in men.
Risk factors for panic attacks typically include stress brought on by catastrophic life events, loved one’s death, or other significant life changes. Another aspect to consider is a family history of panic episodes.
Can A Panic Attack Be Stopped?
The best treatment for a panic attack, according to Dr. Miller, is education. The worry of inexplicable anxiety is typically worse than the panic attack itself, according to research.
According to Dr. Miller, a panic attack can be prevented from getting worse if a person learns what it is and can see it soon. He advises discussing developing a treatment plan together with your doctor.