Short answer to the question: "Can you die from a panic attack?" - No. Not from the panic itself.
Having a panic attack can certainly feel like you may be dying. The symptoms are frightening. And they resemble a heart attack in some cases.
Chest pains, rapidly beating heart, sweating, hard to catch your breath, tingling in your fingers and feet, feeling like you’re going to faint, and the feeling of impending doom. All of these can make you think you’re having a heart attack.
These symptoms are only considered physically serious if you already have a heart condition of some kind. Panic attacks are very stressful events. Stressful enough that they can overtax your heart if you do have something wrong with it to start. Your healthcare professional can help you determine whether you do or not.
Even though the symptoms of panic attacks aren’t dangerous in and of themselves, they certainly feel dangerous. And even if you have consulted your physician, and he or she has said you’re perfectly fine health-wise, you could always wonder did they miss something?
Especially in the middle of a panic attack.
Some Reasons for the Symptoms of a Panic Attack
When you think about the question "can you die from a panic attack?" keep these things in mind. Your feelings during a heart attack have reasons that are different from a heart attack.
For example, the chest pains you feel in a panic attack are different because they don’t come from your heart. These chest pains come from the muscles in your chest and are because of the tenseness and tightness you feel. Any time you get anxious, and especially during a panic attack, your muscles tense up. This is the chest pain you feel.
Another example, the trouble you have getting your breath. During a heart attack, you’ll have trouble breathing because of the pain from your heart. During a panic attack, you start breathing differently from normal. You breathe in shallow gasps, almost panting, and only fill the top part of your lungs with air. This gives you the feeling of not being able to catch your breath. This shallow breathing is not especially dangerous, but it is uncomfortable.
The feeling of being about to faint is actually a safety mechanism of your body. In a panic attack, your blood pressure can fall fairly suddenly. This decreases the amount of blood to your brain. Your body reacts to this by fainting and bringing your brain down closer to your heart where it can get the blood it needs to stay alive.
Can you die from a panic attack? Thankfully, no. Not unless you have a heart problem that already exists. But you do feel really bad. The best thing you can do is deal with whatever is bringing on the panic in the first place. While you’re doing that, learn deep-breathing to get enough air in your lungs. Monitor your thinking and make changes to be more positive. Keep in mind that panic attacks are short-lived, even though they’re frightening.