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Difference Between Panic Attack and Heart Attack

Panic Attack vs Heart Attack

Panic attacks and heart attacks are two different layman’s terms for two different illnesses and symptoms. To quickly differentiate between the two, a heart attack is a disorder of the heart while a panic attack is just a symptom of another condition.

Heart attack is also known as myocardial infarction. It happens when the muscle in the myocardium dies due to insufficient flow of rich blood containing oxygen that is needed by the heart to function. Since the heart pumps blood, once its mechanism stops, instant death can happen. But before that, signs and symptoms will manifest such as severe chest pain that may radiate to the jaw or to the left arm. It may also spread from the nape up to the back. Often times, it can also manifests as indigestion or a stomach ache. But the truth is, you may already be having a heart attack. Heart attack is not a symptom but rather an illness.

A panic attack, on the other hand, is brought about by different things mostly related to disorders of the brain. It involves psychiatry and psychology to explain a panic attack. Furthermore, panic attacks are a condition in which the person feels like they’re experiencing an impending doom or feels like they’re at the verge of dying. Some report feelings of having a heart attack. Some go to the emergency room, but when nurses and physicians check on them, they are normal. In panic attacks, the patient feels like there is something wrong with them. They are having palpitations; they feel dizzy and nauseated. When panic attacks occur, always it is already called a panic syndrome.

A heart attack is treated with different combinations of drugs. There are anti-hypertensive drugs to lower the blood pressure of the patient. There are blood thinners which prevent the formation of clots. There are also anti-cholesterol drugs which reduce the bad fats that are circulating in the patient’s system. With panic attacks, there are only a few drugs to keep the patient calm. These drugs reduce the anxiety the person is experiencing. The patient experiencing this is also taught deep breathing and relaxation techniques because this can greatly help whenever symptoms seem to be experienced.

Myocardial infarction is caused by a lot of factors such as sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, high and uncontrolled blood pressure. Panic attacks are caused by long-term anxiety, heredity, people with mitral valve prolapse, and some drugs. Myocardial infarction is fatal but panic attacks are not.


1.Heart attack is also known as myocardial infarction while panic attack does not have a medical term.
2.Heart attack is a fatal condition while a panic attack is a symptom that is not fatal.
3.Heart attack is treated with a lot of different drugs while a panic attack is treated with anti-anxiety medications.
4.Heart attack occurs in the heart while a panic attack is more psychological with symptoms of impending doom.

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