Are you worried that you may be having panic attacks but are not sure?
People without previous experience of panic attacks may be wondering what is happening to them and they will start wondering - "Am I having a panic attack or a heart attack?"
The racing of heart is one of the common symptoms of panic attacks and hence it may lead many people to doubt whether they are having a heart attack or not.
So how can you be sure that it is just a panic attack?
First of all, you need to check whether you have a history of heart ailments or not. Do any of your family members have heart related ailments?
Secondly, there are other symptoms associated with panic attacks like feeling dizzy, tightness in chest, rapid shallow breathing, sudden and intense fear or anxiety etc.
However most of these feelings would normally last for a short time like 10 to 20 minutes. In some cases, the symptoms may stretch for longer period, but mostly they will last just for this much time.
The first step is to visit your doctor and confirm that your heart is in good condition. Second step is to confirm that the panic attack symptoms do not last for too long a duration.
If both the steps are confirmed you can be a little confident that it is just panic attacks. However you cannot still be 100% sure. In order to be 100% certain that it is just panic attacks you need a complete examination by a qualified doctor or therapist.
Until extensive examination is done you cannot guarantee it is not heart related. But to give you immediate sense of calm, the 2 steps mentioned above should be excellent for a start.
Other Differences Between Panic Attacks and Heart Attack:
One major indication of a heart attack is shooting pain in the left arm which generally occurs before a cardiac arrest. This doesn't mean that in panic attacks you should not get panic in left arm - you could.
So if you do feel a pain in left arm, do not conclude that it is definitely a heart attack. You need to take medical advice before reaching any kind of conclusion.
Caution: Since it is a matter of your health and heart, do not neglect or delay this. Get 100% confirmation through examination by medical expert that it is just panic attacks and not heart attack. Then you can rest in peace as panic attacks are not known to be dangerous.
I have given you a 2 step method to find out with little bit of certainty that it is not panic attacks. But then to be 100% sure, you have to do a complete examination of yourself at the hands of an expert.
If its really panic attack, then here is a good program you can check out to deal with it - Panic Away Program