2. Heightened Risk of Heart Problems
One of the biggest issues with panic attacks is that they can easily be mistaken for heart attack. One panic attack symptom that is well-known is chest pain. This can feel like compression on the chest, which is caused both by increased breathing and also by tension in the intercostal muscles that live between the ribs.
The problem is that these symptoms can sometimes be misinterpreted as being a sign of a heart attack. Thus, some people will wake up started in the night fearing that they’re having a heart attack! Ironically, this makes them panic much more (as you would do!) and that increases the symptoms further.
But the other irony is that in some cases, a panic attack may even cause a heart attack! This is highly unlikely unless you are already susceptible to heart problems. But keep in mind that a panic attack will increase your heart rate considerably and thereby make it more likely to become overworked and that it will also increase blood viscosity. The blood becomes thicker because this makes it more likely to clot if you should be injured.