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Experiencing Tightness in Chest with Anxiety

Experiencing Tightness in Chest with Anxiety


Experiencing Tightness in Chest with Anxiety

by Trevor Mosley

Panic attacks are often accompanied by tightness in the chest with anxiety. Even in mild cases of anxiety, chest tightness can be experienced. This symptom is often confused with signs of heart attacks, and even though the sensations may be similar, the tightness experienced due to anxiety is often less intense than in a heart attack.

Chest tightness happens when there is pressure on the chest cavity area, and the victim experiences an accelerated heart beat coupled with breathlessness. Because the victim does not know what is happening to him, he becomes fearful of his situation. Thus, tightness in chest with anxiety is usually accompanied with a crippling sense of fear.

Difference between panic tightness and heart attack

Chest tightness led on by panic attacks are often mistaken for a heart attack. In reality, there is a difference in the intensity of the episodes. The former is of course less severe. The patient may be rushed to the hospital. Typically, when he arrives at the emergency room his symptoms will subside. Being able to distinguish between the two will help to save one from a misdiagnosis and allow him/her to deal with his anxiety sooner.

A heart attack feels more like a crushing and squeezing sensation in the chest, unlike the tightness experienced in an anxiety attack. The pain of a heart attack spreads rapidly to the shoulders, neck and jaw, and feeling lightheaded and faint. These symptoms may not be experienced in a panic attack.

How tightness in the chest happens

Panic attacks in general begin in the central nervous system when a person enters the fight or flight response to threats, whether real or imagined. When the body enters this response phase, the tightness occurs because the mind perceives the threat and exaggerates the level of threat, causing a fight or flight response to even small insignificant stressors. In this case, one should seek help for the panic attacks.

Tightness in the chest either lasts throughout the entire span of the anxiety attack or it comes and goes at intervals. The feeling of pain, one that's similar to being stabbed or pierced in the chest is endured by the victim. This pain then travels to the oesophagus, and the condition is aggravated when one lies on his back.

Treatment for chest tightness

The most effective treatment for chest tightness is exercising relaxation techniques. This includes sitting down and just breathing in through the nostrils and out through the mouth. Sufferers should focus on the act of breathing and try to keep their thoughts from the fear or threat that triggers the anxiety.

Medication from medical doctors can also help curb the symptoms of panic attacks and decongest the chest. Inhalers are often prescribed to sufferers to use in case they feel the chest tightness coming on.

The best cure is still prevention. Patients who suffer from tightness in the chest by anxiety should always rationalise their fears and try to take control of the predicament. By understanding the root causes of one's anxiety and seek prompt treatment he too can lead a life of normalcy and freed of anxiety symptoms.

About the Author:
Trevor Mosley was once a sufferer of anxiety and panic attacks. Head along to his website today in order to discover how you can defeat your anxiety and panic attacks for good.

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