Can I go to ER for Anxiety?

Can I go to ER for Anxiety?

December 1, 2022
Anxiety is the body’s natural way of responding to stress. For instance, it’s normal to feel anxious about attending an interview or giving a speech at a large social gathering. However, you might have an anxiety disorder if you experience extreme anxiety or fear that affects normal things like entering the elevator alone.

The symptoms and severity of anxiety disorders may vary from one person. For instance, it can range from restlessness to a racing heart. Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Anxious thoughts or beliefs
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Feeling restlessness, nervous, or tense
  • Unexplained pains and aches
  • Breathing rapidly or increased heart rate
  • Having a sense of impending panic or danger
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trembling

You might have an anxiety attack if you experience extreme fear or symptoms similar to a serious health problem like a heart attack. The anxiety attack often happens suddenly and peaks within 10-20 minutes. The trigger can be known or unknown. The severity of the symptoms can vary and change over time. Common symptoms of anxiety attacks include:

  • Chest pains
  • Feeling of choking
  • Fear of losing control
  • Sweating, chills, shaking, or hot flashes
  • A sense of impending doom
  • Fear of dying
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and upset stomach
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Should you go to the ER for anxiety?

If you’re wondering whether you should get to an ER for anxiety or panic attacks, it depends. Sudden and severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pains, and feelings of intense fear should prompt you to visit an emergency room near you.

The examples below will help you know when to go to an ER for anxiety.

    • Do you have symptoms similar to potential medical issues?

Sometimes an anxiety attack can be mistaken for other medical conditions. For instance, chest pains and shortness of breath could indicate an anxiety attack or severe health conditions like a heart attack or collapsed lung. Therefore, you should visit an ER to ensure that your anxiety symptoms aren’t indicating another serious medical condition.

    • What thoughts or feelings do you have?

While your mental state is usually the root cause of anxiety attacks, paying attention to your feelings or thoughts is also essential. If you have self-harm thoughts like killing yourself or others, visit an ER near you immediately.

    • Is it your first episode?

If you’re experiencing sudden and severe anxiety symptoms for the first time, it’s best to go to the emergency room. Since you have no prior experience with the condition, you may not be able to diagnose the severity of your symptoms well. You need a professional to diagnose and relieve your symptoms. They will also help rule out serious health conditions like heart disease that can be mistaken for anxiety attacks. An ER doctor will also show you various techniques and prescribe anti-anxiety medications to relieve future attacks.

An ER doctor can walk you through various breathing exercises to help relieve some of that anxiety and improve your breathing. If necessary, they can also prescribe anti-anxiety medication. Not only will you find relief visiting the ER, but you’ll also be more prepared for future panic attacks.

    • Have you visited the hospital before for anxiety?

If you have visited an ER previously and the doctor ruled out serious health problems like heart attacks, likely, you’re just having another episode. However, you can visit an ER if you aren’t sure or if the symptoms are more severe than before. Before going to the ER, try out various techniques or prescribed medication to manage your symptoms.

    • Have you been having frequent episodes?

Suppose you’re having more frequent episodes than before. In that case, it’s a good idea to visit an emergency room to ensure the symptoms don’t indicate another serious medical condition like heart disease. It can also give your doctor a chance to show you new techniques to manage your symptoms in the future.

    • How long is your episode?

If your episode lasts longer than 20-30 minutes, it could mean you have multiple episodes in a row. It could also indicate you’re experiencing something else that isn’t anxiety or on top of your anxiety attack. It’s best to seek 24-hour emergency care to allow the doctor to diagnose and address your issue.

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Do you have sudden or severe anxiety symptoms? Visit Fairfield Emergency Room for urgent medical care.