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Cardiac Arrest or a Panic Attack?

But if you have more than a couple of these episodes, it’s time to start thinking about mindfulness meditation. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society and professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, developed the practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), which helps relieve panic disorder, among other stress-related ailments. In his book Full Catastrophe Living, he explains that by becoming aware of our situations and ourselves, we can restore proportion to our reactions. We can also learn to find ease in discomfort. For example, with mindfulness, “Oh no! I can’t breathe! I’m sweating! Am I dying?” sounds more like “I feel hot and am having trouble breathing. I’m having an anxious moment, but it will pass.”

Be Easy at Heart
When you’re having a spell of full-body discomfort that includes chest pain and lightheadedness, it can be really hard to determine whether you’re having something as serious as a heart attack or as relatively mild as a panic attack. To do so, it helps to understand the symptoms associated with each condition and to understand your own history of anxiety. That’s advice you can take to heart.

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83 comments

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4:43AM PST on Nov 12, 2013

Well, the first time I had a major attack they put me on xanax but it messed with my head really badly and I had memory issues. My discharge papers noted that while medicated by it I had little to no acknowledgement of externally inflicted bodily harm/pain. What I do remember is waking up the next day with a swollen ankle and multiple bruises that hurry like hell from walking into things or just letting the car door close on me.
Later, someone recommended me this treatment, and I’m very grateful with it, i can go anywhere i want without problem, no anxiety, no panic attacks, i'm a new person. Read this article, it helped me a lot!! : panicsolutionkey.com

2:29AM PST on Mar 6, 2012

thanks

12:29AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

thanks

7:39PM PDT on May 8, 2011

Thank you for this. It definitely hits home. I have had panic attacks and I believe I suffer panic disorder. I deal with panic on a regular basis. I have also thought I was having a heart attack. No fun! I hope I can one day put panic attacks behind me...

7:36PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Please check out the important info on this site:

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0215/p743.html

A simpler screening tool for panic disorder, consisting of a single question, also has been developed. The question is, “Have you experienced brief periods, for seconds or minutes, of an overwhelming panic or terror that was accompanied by racing heartbeats, shortness of breath, or dizziness?”10 The physician must remember that panic disorder and significant arrhythmias are not mutually exclusive, and that cardiac evaluation still may be necessary in patients with suspected panic disorder. In addition, some patients or physicians may find it difficult to determine whether the feeling of anxiety or panic started before or after the palpitations. Therefore, true arrhythmic causes must be ruled out before the diagnosis of anxiety or panic disorder can be accepted as the cause of the palpitations.1,11,12

7:30PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

I agree with some of this article but pls do read Janya Barrish's article as that is extremely relevant too.

7:12PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

I agree that its very important to know the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest versus a Panic Attack. I agree with the spirit of what this article says, but please note that a Panic Attack is NOT not dangerous. Lately, I have been reading on several sites that Panic Attacks do not pose a danger, but from someone who has chronic panic attacks and has had them to a lesser or greater degree for the last 7 years - PANIC ATTACKS with uncontrolled Tachycardia (racing heart, rapid heart beats) can be very dangerous. I once had a panic attack, where my heart just took off and would not stop racing. I was nauseous, could not breathe and began to turn blue- my finger nails and my face especially. I was counting my last moments. When EMS arrived, they said my pulse was racing at quite at quite a high level. They gave me an exercise to perform in such moments which is basically bearing down on as if you were going to the bathroom, as when constipated. Also splashing your face with cold water or a wet towel on the face helps. If I had not somehow got my ticker back in some semblance of normal rhythm, I would not be around today, writing this. Remember, that panic attacks can arise of out of many reasons. People with MVP (Mitral Valve Prolapse) have panic attacks. There are several types of Tachycardias, some of which are dangerous and can be misdiagnosed as supposedly simple Panic Attacks. Again, one must distinguish between feelings of panic, versus a real Panic Attack.

7:05PM PDT on Sep 29, 2010

very good article. many people do not easily distinguish the difference between panic, anxiety, or even a heart attack. I found this site to be very useful http://curepanicattacks-anxiety.com

4:37AM PDT on Aug 13, 2010

Good info,thanks.

3:04AM PDT on Apr 13, 2010

i suffer from panic attacks!
I'm pretty better now! I can have a normal life!
thanks for the article!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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