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anxiety or heart attack how do you know
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anxiety or heart attack how do you know

How do you know the difference between having anxiety or panic attack, I have been to the er a couple of times  ekg comes back fine they say it is acute anxiety, I saw a doctor she prescribed anxiety pills, havn't taken them yet my cholesterol was high sll but some levels I am on cholesterol meds, for about now three months, I don't know today I feel funny I think a little dizzy a little pain here and there, can someone tell me if I should go to er again?
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1687176_tn?1321401609
If you are experiencing any symptoms that are concerning (chest discomfort, shortness of breath, etc) and continue to persist with disruption of your daily activities, you should always have this evaluated further by a licensed physician (either in an outpatient office setting or an emergency room -- if it is acutely concerning). Unfortunately, it is impossible to say just by description alone what could be going on. A complete history and physical examination with appropriate diagnostic testing would need to be performed to make an accurate diagnosis.  An anxiety/panic attack can present with a variety of symptoms including (but not limited to) a feeling of impending doom that is associated with shortness of breath, palpitations, chest discomfort, nausea/vomitting and/or difficulty with concentration. They are often acute in onset, abrupt, and short in duration.  
4 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,

Unless your experiencing some physical discomfort that you feel is immediately life-threatening, I would avoid the ER.  Start taking the anti-anxiety medication and see how you feel.  Keep in mind, most anti-depressants take roughly 3 weeks to be fully effective.

Everyone's panic attacks aren't necessarily the same.  The best difference between a panic attack and an actual heart attack I guess would be the presence of pain.  I have never had a heart attack but from what I've learned in school (Paramedic training), there is always some varying degree of pain present.  None of the panic attacks I've ever had were painful, just extremely frightening with very weird echoic sensations all around my body accompanied with shortness of breath.

As I suggested before, I would take the good doctors advice and take the anti-depressants.  If your not feeling better after a few weeks, consider seeing your family doctor or other general practitioner for further care.

Be well and don't stress!
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Avatar_f_tn
If you do NOT have crushing chest pain--and I mean like a ton or two of elephants sitting right in the middle of your chest--if you can walk around your house, or even go up and down stairs without barfing, and if you are NOT drenched in a whole-body, ice-cold sweat--then you probably are NOT having a heart attack.

As a victim of panic attack myself, I would suggest you read, read, read about panic disorder and join the anxiety community here:

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Anxiety/show/71

And then, make an appointment with a mental health counselor or psychiatrist who specializes in panic.  You will feel a lot better once you put yourself in the hands of the right specialist.

By the way, your cholesterol and cholesterol medications should have no effect whatsoever on your panic.

Take those anti anxiety medications!
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Avatar_n_tn
You don't say how old you are or how high your cholesterol is...If you are under 50, I'm thinking most of this is anxiety and what the other two people have responded makes sense. If you are a woman, though, a heart attack may not have any strong pain symptoms. I had no pain symptoms...only a sudden shortness of breath and tingling in my upper arms one day last January and discovered four arteries were blocked. AND my electrocardiogram was NORMAL! i think a nuclear stress test might be in order, where they inject dye into you to see if your arteries are clogged...it's less invasive than a cath scan and more diagnostic. And remember, every hand that touches you is a healing hand.
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