If you experience moments of intense fear along with chest pains, hyperventilation, shortness of breath, and sweating, stop worrying—this is not caused by a heart condition. Psychological causes of chest pains are not unusual. What you are going through is most likely a panic attack, a fairly common and relatively harmless condition though it may resemble anginal pain at times.
Anxiety Chest Pain Symptoms
Before you receive a diagnosis of anxiety, your doctor needs to rule out organic causes of your chest pains by examining your family history and running tests. According to the American Psychiatric Association, four or more of these physical symptoms of anxiety need to be suddenly and intensely present, reaching their peak in ten minutes, before your chest pain can get diagnosed as a panic attack:
Anxiety chest pains is usually localized in the center of the chest and feels dull. In more severe cases, the pain can reach all the way to the shoulders, neck, the back of the head, and into the stomach. Depending on the individual, the chest pain of a panic attack can remain constant or fluctuate.
Worrying too much about your anxiety chest pains will only create more anxiety, which will make the chest pain come back. Although some anxiety chest pains can be treated with anti-anxiety medicines, the best way to recover from this is to learn relaxation techniques as the pains typically go away once the anxiety is reduced. Seeing a counselor or psychologist will help you understand the course of your anxiety disorder, discover what triggers the panic attacks, and learn methods to gain control over your attacks. Once you begin to appreciate and understand how anxiety chest pain is formed and what happens to you that makes these symptoms manifest, you’ll soon be on your way to a dramatic and full recovery.
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