According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect around 40 million adults every year. This includes 6 million adults who suffer from panic disorder.
Unfortunately, it’s possible for atrial fibrillation (AFib) to be mistaken for a panic attack, and vice versa, as they have similar symptoms. If you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, or dizziness how do you know if it’s a panic attack or a heart problem?
One clue may be in what came first. Did you experience something stressful that triggered a physical response? Or did your heart suddenly start beating erratically and that caused you to start feeling anxious or panicked?
Another clue is in the heartbeat itself. With AFib your heart may feel as though it’s skipping a beat. During a panic attack, your heart will start to beat faster but the rhythm will stay steady. Even knowing these differences it may be hard to tell what you are experiencing. If you are in doubt, our team is here to help you figure it out.