The chest pain / panic connection

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters 

For most of us, feelings of anxiety or panic are generally occasional, mild and brief – normal responses to being worried or scared. I never thought of myself as a person who was prone to experience anxiety or panic – until I survived a heart attack. I can now tell you quite confidently that there are few things in life that are more anxiety-producing than being in the middle of a frickety-frackin’ heart attack. . . Continue reading “The chest pain / panic connection”

Is it a heart attack – or a panic attack?

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

As a heart attack survivor who was misdiagnosed and sent home from the E.R., I now have a keen (maybe obsessive?) interest in women whose cardiac events are being dismissed by doctors. Reports in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example, show that women under age 55 are SEVEN TIMES more likely than men to be misdiagnosed in mid-heart attack and sent home.(1)

But sometimes, people who are utterly convinced that they’re suffering from misdiagnosed heart problems may instead have conditions like panic disorder. In fact, Dr. Mohammed Memon, editor-in-chief at Medscape Reference, cites studies showing that about 40% of patients with panic disorder seek treatment because of frightening chest pain. But how to tell the difference?  Continue reading “Is it a heart attack – or a panic attack?”

It wasn’t heart disease – but what was it?

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Her medical nightmare started during the summer of 2008 when she was just 39 and began having terrifying heart attack symptoms.  It took well over two years for this mother of three from upstate New York to finally hear a correct diagnosis. Put on your diagnostician’s cap today and consider the chilling account of her experience, told in her own words over five months. Continue reading “It wasn’t heart disease – but what was it?”