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Heart Palpitations Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

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Heart palpitations and other mental and bodily reactions to stressful events are brought on by anxiety. Anxiety triggers the fight-or-flight reaction, which raises the heart rate of the person. Keep reading to learn more about these conditions.

Difference Between Anxiety and Depression – Heart Palpitations Anxiety

Anxiety and depression difference: The fact that one term denotes a single sickness while the other denotes a collection of ailments is a significant distinction between anxiety and depression.

In reality, depression is one illness. There are numerous distinct symptoms (see below). And different people may experience it very differently. However, the term “depression” only refers to one illness.

The word “anxiety” can indicate a number of different things. We all experience anxiety occasionally, and the word “anxiety” can be used to describe that feeling simply. However, when we use the word anxiety in a medical context, it actually refers to anxiety disorder.

Some less frequent conditions are included under anxiety. These include panic disorders and phobias. However, generalized anxiety disorder is the most prevalent (GAD). In the US, a generalized anxiety disorder may affect four to five out of every 100 persons. In this post, we’ll concentrate on generalized anxiety.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

According to The National Institute on Mental Health, periodic anxiety is a standard component of life. When faced with a challenge at work, before a test, or before making a crucial decision, you could experience anxiety. However, anxiety disorders involve more than just passing apprehension or terror.

Anxiety and depression difference: It’s critical to get anxiety treatment as soon as possible since, for someone with an anxiety condition, the anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time. The symptoms might affect daily tasks like work performance, academic progress, and interpersonal connections. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders are only a few of the several types of anxiety disorders.

Anxiety and depression difference: People with a generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive Anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about many things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. Fear and Anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work. 

What is Depression?

Depression (also known as Major Depressive Illness or Clinical Depression) is a common but significant mood disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It produces severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to function on a daily basis, including sleeping, eating, and working. The signs of depression must last for at least two weeks before a diagnosis may be made.

Depression treatment is required when depressive symptoms are chronic and do not go away since some types of depression are slightly different or may arise in unusual situations.

Types of Depression

  • Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia): is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major Depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered a persistent depressive disorder.
  • Psychotic Depression: occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
  • Bipolar disorder: is different from Depression, but it is included in this list because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major Depression (called “Bipolar Depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”
  • Postpartum Depression: is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with postpartum Depression experience full-blown major Depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany postpartum depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or their babies.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: is characterized by the onset of Depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This Depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter Depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
  • SAD Seasonal Depression (Depressed SAD): A form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is triggered by the changing of the seasons; it starts and ends about at the same periods each year. If you have SAD like the majority of people do, your symptoms begin in the fall and last through the winter, draining your energy and making you cranky. Typically, these symptoms go away in the spring and summer. SAD less frequently results in depression in the spring or early summer and clears up in the fall or winter. SAD treatment options include medications, psychotherapy, and light therapy (phototherapy).

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Anxiety Fact Sheet

Anxiety Overview

A mental health condition marked by intense feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that interfere with daily activities. Panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are a few examples of anxiety disorders.
The inability to put aside worry, restlessness, and stress that is out of proportion to the severity of the incident are among the symptoms.
Counseling or medicine, including antidepressants, are used as forms of treatment.


Anxiety Symptoms

Behavioral: hypervigilance, irritability, or restlessness.

Cognitive: lack of concentration, racing thoughts, or unwanted thoughts.

Whole body: fatigue or sweating

Also common:  anxiety, excessive worry, angor animi, fear, insomnia, nausea, palpitations, or trembling

Anxiety Treatment

  • Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
  • Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
  • Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
  • Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
  • Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.

Anxiety Statistics

It’s critical to understand the distinction between anxiety and depression. Anxiety, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worry, whereas depression, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. It is conceivable for someone to experience depression and anxiety simultaneously.


6.8 million

GAD affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.

Source: National Institute on Mental Health

19 million

19 million adults experience specific phobias, making it the most common anxiety disorder in America.  

Source: ADAA2020

17.3 million

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults or about 7.1% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health


Generalized anxiety disorder and depression can both have emotional and physical symptoms.
Anxiety Heart Pain: Generalized anxiety disorder and depression can both have emotional and physical symptoms.

Can Anxiety Cause Heart Palpitations? Anxiety Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations and other mental and bodily reactions to stressful events are brought on by anxiety. Anxiety triggers the fight-or-flight reaction, which raises the heart rate of the person.

One experiences a racing or thumping heart during an anxiety attack. This is a key symptom of panic disorder, a kind of anxiety illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Anxiety And Heart Palpitations (Heart Palpitations and Anxiety)

According to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH)Trusted Source, anxiety is a typical reaction to stress. The body uses it as a coping mechanism to maintain alertness in difficult situations.

With anxiety disorders, the body overreacts to stress, causing a person to feel constant fear or dread or even have unannounced panic attacks.

The autonomic nervous system (ANS), an involuntary reaction, is activated by anxiety. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls unconscious processes like digestion, breathing, and heart rate.

The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems make up the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

Anxiety Heart Rate & Hypothyroidism And Heart Palpitations Anxiety

Anxiety-related heart palpitations give you the impression that your heart is hammering, racing, fluttering, or skipping beats. Your heart rate may quicken in reaction to some stressful circumstances. Your anxiety illness may potentially be the cause of your palpitations (excessive or persistent worry).

If you start experiencing symptoms like anxiety, forgetfulness, constipation, heart palpitations, or excessive sweating, your underactive thyroid may be receiving too much medication. Your body makes too little thyroid hormone if your thyroid gland is underactive, or if you have hypothyroidism.

Anxiety Or Heart Attack: Heart Attack Or Anxiety

Anxiety causing heart palpitations: Your heart starts to beat quickly. You are struggling to breathe and experience chest pain. Having a heart attack, are you? Or even a panic attack? According to Patricia Tung, MD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Arrhythmia Services, “Any of these symptoms can be exceedingly scary.”

Despite certain similarities, the two diseases are caused by completely different disease processes. Stress chemicals cause the body’s “fight or flight” reaction, which frequently manifests as a racing heart, chest pain, and shortness of breath. This is how panic attacks start.

The symptoms of a heart attack may be the same if a coronary artery is blocked. When not enough blood reaches the heart muscle, it can cause chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath, according to Tung.

Anxiety Attack Vs Heart: Anxiety Vs Heart Attack

Anxiety attack vs heart attack: One of the main differences between the two is that while a panic attack can happen when at leisure, a heart attack frequently develops with physical exertion. When the heart’s workload increases, such as when a person is running up stairs or shoveling snow, a heart attack is more likely to occur, especially in those who do not regularly exercise.

Another distinction is duration: Panic episodes often last around 20 minutes until they terminate naturally. But a heart attack frequently lasts longer than expected and could get worse.

Anxiety heart attack: If there is any doubt, you should always get emergency medical help, advises Tung. Instead of chest pain, heart attack symptoms in women may be milder and include unusual exhaustion and chest tightness. It’s crucial to avoid downplaying symptoms because otherwise, things can get out of hand. Never be reluctant to dial 911.

How To Slow Down Heart Rate Anxiety? Waking Up With Anxiety Heart Racing

How to lower heart rate anxiety? There are several therapy options available if it is established that the symptoms are related to a panic attack. These may include complementary therapies that emphasize stress reduction and restorative exercises like yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, and meditation.

Women’s Heart Attack Symptoms Vs Anxiety

Heart attack or anxiety woman: A heart attack is a medical emergency, despite the fact that a panic attack may make you feel like you’re having one. The most typical symptom is chest discomfort, but other symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain are slightly more prevalent in women.

Anxiety Heart Racing When Trying To Sleep: Heart Flutter Anxiety

Due to the way they sleep, some people get heart palpitations when they are lying down. Palpitations may result when sleeping on your side with your head cocked upward. Anxiety, stress, and melancholy are just a few additional typical reasons for heart palpitations.

Can Anxiety Cause A Heart Attack?

In severe circumstances, a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) can impair normal heart function and raise the risk of cardiac arrest. Chronically high blood pressure can cause coronary disease, heart muscle deterioration, and heart failure.

Acid Reflux Anxiety And Heart Palpitations

Acid reflux probably won’t immediately cause heart palpitations. Palpitations could be brought on by anxiety. GERD can indirectly cause palpitations if its symptoms, especially tightness in the chest, make you nervous.

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Anxiety Chest Pain Vs Heart Attack: Anxiety Attack Heart Rate

If you experience chest pain, it’s usually recommended to get emergency medical help. Chest discomfort is a worrying indication. Even if your anxiousness is the cause of your chest pain, it’s better to know than to run the risk of losing important time if you are experiencing a heart attack.

When experiencing a heart attack, people can describe their chest pain in a variety of ways. Several instances include:

  • Chest pain that radiates to other parts of your body, such as down your arms or up to your jaw
  • Chest pain that worsens with exertion
  • Nausea along with chest pain
  • Pressure in the chest, as if someone has put something heavy on your chest
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Squeezing sensation in the chest

According to studies from 2020, 30% of individuals who are having a heart attack don’t experience chest pain. Back pain and exhaustion are two symptoms that some people list as heart attack symptoms.

Even though doctors are aware that anxiety and chest discomfort are related, you should still go to the doctor if you have any symptoms.

If you are experiencing chest pain, dial your local emergency services. Don’t try to get to the hospital by yourself. Emergency personnel can assess you and decide whether you are experiencing a cardiac episode or whether your chest pain is being caused by anything else.

Does Anxiety Cause Chest Pain? Anxiety Causing Chest Pain

Chest pain in anxiety: Your body can and frequently does experience physical symptoms like sweating or shortness of breath when you’re stressed. Your brain and body trigger an immediate stress response when you experience anxiety. This also entails a modification of the body. Your body may get rigid or tighten up.

Can anxiety cause chest pains: A psychological or emotional reaction can also be part of the stress response. You might react irrationally or violently more frequently. The fight-or-flight response is the name given to these reactions. Your body gets ready to fight back or flee when you feel pressured or frightened.

If this fight-or-flight stress response occurs seldom, your body should recover completely in 30 minutes. However, if it happens frequently, your body can’t bounce back as rapidly. Increased muscle tension may result from this, and your chest may experience pain as a result.

Similarly to this, under even more stress, your heart rate may rise and your heartbeats may become more powerful. You may experience unique pain as a result of it and tight chest muscles.

Anxiety Or Heart Problems? Heart Attack Vs Anxiety

The fight-or-flight response is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. This regulates how the body responds to circumstances that it considers stressful or harmful. Blood pressure and pulse rate rise when the sympathetic nervous system is activated, temporarily stopping biological processes like digestion.

The parasympathetic nerve system, commonly referred to as the “rest and digest system,” keeps body processes like digestion running smoothly when a person is at rest. In addition, it will lower blood pressure and heart rate after a fight-or-flight reaction.

Together, the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems help the body stay in homeostasis, which is a state of equilibrium.

Heart Racing Anxiety

Anxiety-related heart palpitations give you the impression that your heart is hammering, racing, fluttering, or skipping beats. Your heart rate may quicken in reaction to some stressful circumstances. Your anxiety illness may potentially be the cause of your palpitations (excessive or persistent worry).

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Diagnosing anxiety palpitations: Anxiety And Heart Rate

If the person is aware of the trigger and the palpitations disappear when the fear goes away, heart palpitations can be a sign of anxiety and are generally not a big cause for concern.

According to a study published in the American Family Physician magazine, persons who have sensitive bodies and those who feel frequent irritation are more likely to experience anxiety-related palpitations.

Heart palpitations are classified by their etiology into five groups by doctors:

  • Cardiac arrhythmias, such as bradycardia
  • Psychiatric, linked to anxiety disorders and panic attacks
  • Drugs and medication
  • Nonarrhythmic cardiac causes, such as valvular disease
  • Extracardiac causes, which come from outside the heart
Persons who have sensitive bodies and those who feel frequent irritation are more likely to experience anxiety-related palpitations.
Persons who have sensitive bodies and those who feel frequent irritation are more likely to experience anxiety-related palpitations.

Anxiety Or Heart Problem

A screening questionnaire is the first step a clinician takes to identify anxiety palpitations. They will be able to recognize those who are more likely to experience heart palpitations as a result of anxiousness. Anyone who achieves a particular score will be referred to a doctor for monitoring.

A physician might employ a transtelephonic event monitor or a Holter monitor.

If a patient has everyday palpitations, a doctor might think about utilizing a Holter monitor. A basic ECG gadget called a Holter monitor constantly tracks a person’s heartbeat for 24 to 48 hours. Throughout the monitoring time, the user is required to wear the Holter device and keep track of any symptoms.

Heart Anxiety: Anxiety Heart Palpitation

The duration of a transtelephonic event monitor is shorter than that of a Holter monitor. The monitor is manually operated even if the person wears it constantly.

Some transtelephonic monitors demand that the user press the device on their chest only when they believe they are having palpitations.

Before a doctor can determine that heart palpitation is brought on by anxiety, the results of these tests must rule out all other possible causes.

Can Menopause Cause Anxiety and Heart Palpitations?

Menopause symptoms, which might include hot flushes, exhaustion, heart palpitations, muscle soreness, lethargy, poor concentration, low mood, anxiety, vaginal dryness, and occasionally urine incontinence, are generally experienced by women. These will differ greatly from person to person and may change.

Heart Palpitations Anxiety Treatment: How To Stop Heart Palpitations Due To Anxiety?

How to get rid of heart palpitations from anxiety? Once a doctor is certain that an anxiety problem is to blame for the heart palpitations, they could suggest that the patient seek therapy.

A doctor will take the patient’s preferences into account while creating an anxiety treatment plan.

Options, according to the OWH, might include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Medicine
  • Complementary approaches

Treatment plans may use a combination of these strategies to target symptoms of anxiety, including heart palpitations.

Heart Attack Vs Anxiety Attack: Psychotherapy

According to NAMI, a therapist can assist a person in figuring out what triggers their anxiety episodes and how to deal with them.

A specific form of psychotherapy called exposure-response prevention tries to lessen attacks by teaching patients how to respond positively to triggers. By gradually exposing people to their worries, this technique helps them build coping skills.

Additionally, a therapist might advise someone to try cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT). This kind of treatment focuses on a person’s mental patterns, such as negative ideas that fuel worry.

Best Anxiety Medication For Heart Patients

Appropriate medication can be prescribed by a doctor to help treat anxiety disorder. Aside from antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, doctors may also prescribe drugs that treat anxiety (SSRIs). If a person’s medication is not working for them or has side effects, they should consult a doctor.

Anxiety Low Blood Pressure Fast Heart Rate

Numerous symptoms associated with hyperventilation and low blood pressure might exacerbate anxiety and, in turn, hyperventilation. Low blood pressure causes the heart to beat more quickly and forcefully to make up for it.

Anxiety Heart Rate 120

Numerous anxiety-related physical symptoms might worsen anxiety as they mimic significant medical conditions. The most typical of them is tachycardia, commonly referred to as a “fast heartbeat.” Usually, a normal heartbeat ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. In a healthy adult, tachycardia is defined as a heartbeat that is over 100 beats per minute. Tachycardia frequently results in additional symptoms because of how it impacts your body.

Tachycardia frequently induces a great deal of concern since it can make you believe that anything is wrong with your heart when it seems to happen randomly. However, the symptoms are frequently brought on by anxiety, and the heartbeat is typically perfectly harmless.

Anxiety Attack Or Heart Attack: Complementary approaches

A person might utilize a variety of approaches at home to lessen anxiety. Self-management, according to NAMI, can aid a person in controlling their anxiety. In order to better regulate their anxiety, people who practice self-management educate themselves about the condition and set aside time each day to work on it.

By calming the mind, yoga or other relaxation techniques can reduce anxiety. Running is one such workout that might help people reduce stress and anxiety.

However, these methods aren’t always feasible or useful, so it’s crucial to consult a doctor to go through your treatment alternatives.

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Heart Palpitations Anxiety FAQs

  1. Can Anxiety Cause Heart Murmur? Heart Skipping Beats Anxiety

    Can anxiety cause heart attack or stroke? A physiologic cardiac murmur may develop as a result of stress and anxiety. However, anemia, hyperthyroidism, or an underlying cardiac problem are more likely to be the source of a heart murmur.

  2. How To Slow Heart Rate Anxiety? Waking Up With Pounding Heart And Anxiety

    How To Lower Heart Rate Immediately Anxiety? Coping with stress, diaphragmatic breathing, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, meditation, pursed-lip breathing, tai chi, yoga, or other mindful movements.

  3. Can Anxiety Cause Heart Attack?

    In severe circumstances, a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) can impair normal heart function and raise the risk of cardiac arrest. Chronically high blood pressure can cause coronary disease, heart muscle deterioration, and heart failure.

  4. Does Anxiety Cause Heart Palpitations?

    The most frequent cause of heart palpitations is anxiety. Others have palpitations more frequently, while some people only get them under certain stressful situations.

  5. Does Anxiety Increase Heart Rate?

    The autonomic nervous system’s “fight or flight” reaction is triggered by anxiety (ANS). Your ANS engages when you feel concerned about a circumstance, raising your heart rate.

  6. What is Anxiety Resting Heart Rate?

    Your body can be significantly impacted by anxiety, especially your heart. Heart palpitations and an elevated heart rate are frequent side symptoms of anxiety, particularly in people with panic disorders. Consult a doctor for a diagnosis if you are concerned.

  7. Can Anxiety Cause Heart Problems? Can Anxiety Cause High Heart Rate?

    In severe circumstances, a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) can impair normal heart function and raise the risk of cardiac arrest. Chronically high blood pressure can cause coronary disease, heart muscle deterioration, and heart failure.

  8. Can Anxiety Feel Like A Heart Attack?

    Most people who have anxiety disorders have at some point in their lives had a panic or anxiety episode. For some people, the symptoms—chest discomfort, breathlessness, palpitations, or a fast heartbeat—can closely resemble heart attacks.

  9. What’s the difference between Anxiety Chest Pain Vs Heart Attack?

    Although both a panic attack and a heart attack can cause chest pain, the pain’s features frequently vary. The center of the chest typically experiences severe, stabbing discomfort during panic attacks. Heart attack chest pain can feel like pressure or a squeezing sensation.

  10. Can Anxiety Cause Heart Palpitations at Night?

    Due to their sleeping position, some persons get heart palpitations when lying down. The increased pressure inside your body from sleeping on your side can result in palpitations. Anxiety, stress, and melancholy are a few of the other often occurring reasons for heart palpitations.

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