Everyone has dealt with mental health issues at some point in their lives, and currently, most youths are dealing with these issues. You have probably heard of mental disorders, and anxiety is one of the most common symptoms to be aware of.
If not, read the entire article to learn more about it. People have various questions about anxiety, the most common of which is: can anxiety cause chest pain?
Most of your issues will be answered in this article, and don’t panic, because every problem has a solution. Continue reading to learn the best way to prevent being affected by anxiety-related chest pain.
1. What Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders are a type of mental health disorder that needs to be cured as soon as possible before it harms your mental health. Most of you have probably heard the word “anxiety,” but it is something that we all deal with daily.
We mean the stress we face in every situation when we say “everyday life.” Did you know stress is the leading cause of chest pain and anxiety? Apart from it, there are other factors too.
Anxiety is also a result of excessive fear, worry, or overthinking. It can destroy you so much that you are more likely to lose all your confidence, even if this causes you to lose yourself.
An anxiety attack can cause you to suffer physically as well as mentally. You can tell if you have an anxiety disorder by observing the symptoms.
2. Symptoms to Identify the Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety symptoms are not related to one factor; they are a mix of psychological and physical elements. In this article, you’ll see some of the most significant factors.
2.1. Negative Emotions
By negative emotions, we mean feelings of fear, overthinking, and uneasiness. We have no control over our emotions, whether they are positive or negative. If you are anxious or tense over minor situations, you may have acute anxiety, in which you cannot control your emotions or hormones.
2.2. Stomach Ache
It is a physical factor that develops as a result of prolonged stress. You’re probably thinking about how to acknowledge if your stomach ache is anxiety-related. According to avera.org, if your stomach upsets right after eating and you experience diarrhea, constipation, cramping, and bloating, your stomach ache is not normal and is caused by anxiety.
2.3. Breathing Problem
Anxiety and stress are intimately connected, and stress has a greater impact on a person’s heart rate. Breathing difficulties arise as a result of changes in heart rate. Breathing difficulties are a common symptom of anxiety but are extremely dangerous.
2.4. Blood Pressure
Anxiety can also cause high blood pressure, which takes place due to the release of certain hormones in the body when under stress. As a result, our heart begins to beat faster for a specific period, and our blood pressure rises.
2.5. Heart Attack
Most of you are unaware that anxiety can have serious consequences that can even lead to strokes. Hypertension increases heart rate and interferes with heart function. Heart attacks cannot be taken for granted because they can be fatal.
2.6. Panic Attack
Panic attacks are another common cause of anxiety. Panic attacks cause an individual to experience sudden chest pain or fear. Panic disorder typically occurs when a person cannot handle a situation due to past trauma.
Panic disorder is a necessary factor in heart attacks; they occur due to sudden trauma and are just as dangerous as heart attacks.
3. Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain?
Chest pain is a common symptom of heart attacks or panic attacks. You may have experienced it yourself as well. But here the question is: Can anxiety cause chest pain or panic disorders?
Yes, most people experience anxiety-related chest pain. It is one of the physical symptoms of an anxiety attack. However, this answer is insufficient because there is much confusion surrounding this topic that needs to be clarified.
3.1. Anxiety Chest Pain
Some people believe there is no link between chest pain and anxiety, but they are incorrect. Though the process of anxiety-related chest pain differs from others in that it does not strike suddenly but builds up gradually in your body,
You will begin to feel it while experiencing anxiety-related chest pain. You may feel anxious and restless before you experience chest pain.
Anxiety-related chest pain is not a laughing matter; it is a serious condition that can be frightening and painful. Whenever you feel chest pain, go to the doctor right away.
You’re probably wondering, “What if I don’t get any signal before having anxiety-related chest pain?”
However, this is not true because anxiety-related chest pain always sends a signal inside the body. Do not be concerned; these symptoms are easy to recognize. The following are the classic symptoms that will alert you to them.
3.2. Symptoms of Chest Pain Caused by Anxiety
Each person experiences different types of symptoms, so you may feel that repeating the same is unnecessary, but here are some of the most common symptoms:
3.2.1. Shortness of Breath
Breathing difficulties are common symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks. Shortness of breath directly affects your chest and causes pain; shortness of breath is the most common symptom of panic attacks.
3.2.2. Chest Pain
If you experience any pain in your chest, whether sharp, shooting, or stabbing, you should be aware that you may suffer from anxiety-related chest pain. Don’t try to avoid even minor chest pain to avoid anxiety-related chest pain.
You will experience numbness in some areas of your chest, and as a result, you will lose sensation. You won’t be able to feel anything except on the affected part of your chest because numbness is only partial in anxiety-related chest pain.
3.2.4. Other Symptoms
It includes sensations such as burning, tightness, and spasms. Furthermore, constant dull aches and hypertension are some common characteristics that you should not ignore.
4. Is Cardiac Chest Pain Similar to Anxious Chest Pain?
Both terms are very different, which is why they are named separately. Many factors are to blame for the differences in both terminology, as they each have their working criteria.
Anxiety-related chest pain is easy to detect because you will notice symptoms, and your inner intuition will warn you that it is approaching. But a heart attack occurs suddenly in the body and is considered riskier.
Though both will experience chest pain and the pain will be similar, the cause will be distinct. Anxiety or panic attacks cause short-term chest pain, whereas a heart attack causes long-term chest pain.
A heart attack does not only cause chest pain; it can also affect other parts of your body. You may be aware that heart attacks occur due to disturbances in the blood flow in the body. But did you know that the leading cause of heart attacks is CAD (coronary artery disease)?
4.1. What Are the Symptoms of Heart Attacks?
We won’t go into specifics because our topic isn’t about them. Only highlight some main symptoms to help you distinguish between anxiety-related chest pain and a heart attack.
• Neck, jaw, arm, and backache
• Breath issues
• Chest pain
5. Why Does Anxiety Cause Chest Pain?
Anxiety is a physical and mental response to stress. According to khealth.com, when we are anxious, our bodies respond with a “fight or flight” response.
The fight-or-flight response is a physiological state that prepares us to fight feelings or emotions that could cause us significant harm. Each body has its method of dealing with stress. Some cause an increase in breathing or heart rate, while others cause high blood pressure.
All of the above factors cause the body to release adrenaline and noradrenaline hormones, which cause chest pain. In some cases, all the symptoms attack simultaneously and are considered life-threatening.
Hyperventilating or rapid breathing is one of the most important causes of chest pain. Let us try to grasp this in a nutshell.
When you start breathing quickly, the carbon dioxide level in your blood changes, causing numbness, dizziness, and chest pain. A panic attack is typical during anxiety, and this increases the heart rate and blood pressure, resulting in coronary artery spasms.
This coronary spasm in the body strains the small blood vessels in the heart, increasing the need for oxygen and, as a result, causing chest pain.
5.1. How Long Does Anxiety Chest Pain Stay?
These chest pains are mostly felt during a panic attack because anxiety causes chest pain, which is alarming. Also, your body will indicate the pain to you before it occurs. It will last approximately 10 minutes; once you’ve learned to tolerate the pain, it will fade after a few minutes.
The anxiety chest pain usually does not last as long as the heart attack chest pain. Anxiety-related chest pain begins to fade after a few minutes, but symptoms may last longer. Nausea, weakness, and panic attacks are common symptoms.
However, if your chest pain or symptoms worsen over time, contact your doctor immediately and allow them to conduct a thorough examination. These pains are also unique to each person. As a result, there may be some exceptional cases.
6. What Are the Ways to Deal with Chest Pain Caused by Anxiety?
Of course, you read that correctly—you can deal with this pain in various ways. Don’t give up hope because every problem has a solution. To improve and strengthen yourself, try the steps listed below.
You already know that meditation is the most effective way to relieve stress and return to a peaceful life. It helps us maintain a calm and composed mind, and you’ll feel better after doing this. It is full of hope.
Whenever you do it, you will eventually be surrounded by positive energy, also known as “vibes.” Honestly, we all need some optimism in our lives these days. Meditation can help with so many things, not just chest pain.
6.2. Deep Breathing
Deep breaths are highly beneficial during chest pain or a panic attack. It helps to reduce anxiety as well. When you breathe deeply, your breathing and heart rate return to normal levels after having increased significantly during the attacks.
Plenty of breathing exercises exist, but inhaling and exhaling are the most effective. Try it at least ten times a day to see what happens. You’ll notice that it was beneficial to you.
6.3. Enough Sleep
Make sure you get enough sleep to keep your body working smoothly. Sleep is another essential factor that you should not disregard. For fitness, the body requires adequate rest.
You also may have noticed that you have a lot of negative or anxious thoughts and start overthinking. When you won’t able to handle your mental health, you may take an hour or two nap. You notice that you are feeling better after waking up.
Sleep is not only necessary for coping with chest pain; it is also beneficial for other bodily functions. Not getting enough sleep can lead to anxiety, depression, and other medical problems.
Make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day, as you should have read in your science textbook.
6.4. Avoid Intoxicating Substances
By intoxication, we mean you should limit your alcohol and tobacco consumption because they affect your body physically and mentally. In addition to alcohol, you should avoid smoking and caffeine consumption.
These intoxicating substances can worsen your anxiety and lead to addiction. Once you become addicted, your entire life will revolve around them, and even if you want to leave them, it will be difficult.
Deep breathing exercises are insufficient. You can compensate for them by doing other exercises to ease your anxiety-related chest pain. Anxiety makes you lazy and your brain cells inactive. Other exercises are required to make them active once again.
Exercise won’t only activate your brain cells; it also helps reduce muscle tension and makes you feel more refreshed.
7. When to Take Doctor’s Help?
Some people dismiss these symptoms or chest pain, believing that anxiety-related chest pain goes away in 10 minutes, and thus do not seek medical attention, which is inaccurate.
Instead of avoiding doctors’ help, you should seek it as soon as you notice any of its symptoms or if you have a generalized anxiety disorder. No one should wait for something to happen; instead, they should go to their doctor or seek medical attention for safety.
Chest pains, even if caused by anxiety, should not be avoided. You should seek medical attention because they will perform all necessary tests, including diagnostic and statistical manual examinations. Depending on your test results, the doctors will recommend the best treatment.
Therapists typically handle anxiety-related issues, and they can recommend some of the best therapies to help you reduce anxiety, panic attacks, and chest pain related to them.
8. What Kind of Age Group Is More Likely to Experience Chest Pain Caused by Anxiety?
According to the current situation, most teenagers suffer from mental illnesses. They became anxious in each circumstance, which is normal nowadays until the condition became critical.
Chest pain caused by anxiety is usually considered normal and non-threatening in teenagers, but if it becomes severe, seek medical attention immediately.
However, we cannot ignore other age groups, such as adults and the elderly, who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks. As a result, age groups are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is your mental health.
The more mentally disturbed you are, the more likely you are to experience such attacks.
Is Chest Pain Caused by Anxiety More Dangerous than a Heart Attack?
Chest pains are not to be avoided, regardless of their cause. However, compared to anxiety-related chest pain, heart attack pain is the most dangerous and can result in life-threatening situations.
Anxiety-related chest pain improves over time, but a heart attack does not. It worsens with time, so the pain during a heart attack is the most dangerous, and you should seek medical attention immediately.
Can Anxious Chest Pain or Panic Attacks Kill You?
Chest pain or panic attacks caused by anxiety do not result in death because they are not as life-threatening as you believe. If you ever have an anxiety attack, throw away your fear of dying.
Relax and avoid putting too much pressure on your head because there are ways to deal with it and overcome it by following the methods and instructions of your doctor.
Does Anxious Chest Pain Occur Daily?
It depends on the individual, as everyone experiences different symptoms. The bodily functions of each person differ in many aspects. Chest pain occurs daily in some cases while being mild in others.
Some people experience severe pain, while others experience only minor discomfort. Furthermore, in some cases, the individual might feel slight pain throughout the day. Therefore, each individual feels pain differently due to their bodily functions.
How Long Can Chest Pain from Anxiety Last in an Individual?
In most cases, the anxiety-related chest pain is partial and lasts only a few hours or 1-2 days, but it may also last longer. Each person has different symptoms because they vary from person to person.
Don’t be concerned; practicing breathing exercises, in which deep breathing is a must, makes you feel very relaxed. Anxiety-related chest pain rarely lasts for a long time.
Can anxiety cause chest pain? Yes, and you are now aware of it. These chest pains caused by anxiety or panic attacks are usually not serious, but if they do not go away, see a doctor. Anxiety is mainly related to stress, and you should seek therapy as soon as possible because it can lead to serious problems later on.
You can, however, try the methods mentioned above on your own to cope with it. Still, you must undergo a thorough medical examination so that doctors can indeed understand your problem and recommend the best solution.
Overall, you should not be concerned because you can overcome it. So, relax and follow all of the steps mentioned in the article, and you will notice progress in yourself soon.
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