It’s important to realise that panic and anxiety attacks share many symptoms with heart attacks, but they have different causes and are treated quite differently.
Common Symptoms: You may feel one or more of the following – light-headedness or dizziness, tingling and chills (especially in the arms and hands), palpitations, rapid heart beats, difficulty breathing – as if an elephant is sitting on your chest, nausea, abdominal pain, and tense or rigid muscles (to name just a few).
Distinguishing Symptoms: the primary differentiation is the duration of these symptoms. If you are having a heart attack the symptoms usually don’t stay around for hours… you experience the symptoms, then you have an attack which usually leaves behind some weakness. In the case of panic and anxiety attacks the symptoms increase in severity, and then can continue for a few hours, but once the attack passes the symptoms also pass and there are no further problems… until the next attack.
Sometimes people are reluctant to accept that they don’t have a heart condition, even after their doctor has run exhaustive tests because it seems as though a physical condition is easier to deal with than stress, plus there is still a lingering sense of shame at the idea of being overwhelmed by stress.
Chinese medicine treatment may be able to assist with stress.
You may need to make changes to aspects of your life and take more time for yourself, but things can improve if you take your health seriously. Talking to your practitioner is also an important part of the solution. We all know the saying that a problem shared is a problem halved, and it can be an enormous relief to unload on someone who is outside the problem, understanding, yet totally trustworthy.