Though it's difficult to accept something that sucks as much as a panic attack, that's a crucial part of making it through one. Since the physical symptoms of a panic attack come on suddenly, it's common for the fear to get even worse as you try to figure out what's going on, which can intensify the attack. So, it's important to know the symptoms of a panic attack and understand how they're different from having a heart attack.

The most important difference between a panic attack and a heart attack is pain, according to Scripps. Though panic attacks can cause chest pain, the chest pain accompanying a heart attack is much more intense and is often accompanied by pain in the arms. So, if your chest is tight, you're having trouble breathing, and you're experiencing nausea, sweating, chills, and/or shaking, try to notice if you're feeling intense pain in your chest or arms. If not, it's probably a panic attack.

If you determine you are having a panic attack, trying to deny or fight it isn't going to help. The best thing to do is literally say to yourself, "I'm having a panic attack." This acknowledgment can cue you to use calming techniques to get through the attack. It's also helpful to remind yourself that panic attacks don't last very long. Though it can feel like forever when you're experiencing one, panic attacks are typically over within 20 minutes, though often sooner than that.

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