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    Panic attack or heart attack?
    jbrantley73 posted:
    I am a 41 year old female with bad anxiety/panic disorder. I just went to my doc today to get back on antidepressants. I am worried that I am having a heart attack instead of a panic attack. I have a funny feeling in my chest and my heart is racing even when I'm at rest.... I'm so tempted to go to the ER! I know panic attacks can seem like a heart attack, but for some reason my brain is thinking this is different... Help!
    panicked1 responded:
    I too am a 41 year old female with severe anxiety/panic disorder. I feel comforted coming here and reading other people's stories. I noticed you posted this a couple of hours ago and I was wondering how you are feeling now. If you need someone to talk to, feel free to message me back. It may help just to talk to someone.
    sw3tflower responded:
    I have actually gone to the ER and just sat in the waiting room until my panic subsides! You don't have to sign in. Once I went to my daughters pediatrician's office and sat there.....they were great and I felt safe. The key is going somewhere you feel safe, where you know help is near. Like you said, your brain is reacting to the symptoms you are having and making you think 'heart attack' when in actuality the adrenaline your body released is actually causing the symptoms.
    Try the above...or take deep breaths and try to relax your shoulders and neck muscles. Remember, you have had these symptoms before and they went away. They were caused by a panic attack. Keep reminding yourself of that. You will get through it.
    Take care
    Oh, for the racing heart....this works. Dunk your entire head in a sink full of COLD water or jump in a COLD shower. If you are experiencing an arrhythmia, this will shock your heart back into a normal rhythm. Believe it or not, I used to be an RN in the cardiac care unit at UC Med Center. Stress can happen to anyone.
    jbrantley73 replied to panicked1's response:
    Well as you probably guessed it wasn't a heart attack.... That was a bad panic attack! I've been having a lot of those as of late and that's why my doc is putting me back on antidepressants. I stopped taking them a couple months ago, and have only been taking Ativan. Obviously that didn't work.... I have reached agoraphobia and have been quite miserable. Hoping to feel better soon! What are you taking for your attacks? Thank you for responding
    panicked1 replied to jbrantley73's response:
    Glad to hear it wasn't a heart attack! I take Xanax only on an as-needed basis. It does help me, however, it takes a while to "kick in". My Dr. told me for faster results to stick it under my tongue. This is not a good taste but does get it into my system faster. Some other things that seem to help me are taking a hot bath, going outside for some fresh air and yoga. I try to find other solutions besides taking medication. I've read a lot about it and experts say, "don't try to fight it, just go with it", well, I guess I'm not there yet because my first reaction is to try to control it or fight it. I hope this has been helpful. Take care.

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