WebMD's Symptom Finder: Physical Symptoms of Depression - Chest
Chest pain and rapid heartbeat. These symptoms can be related to lung or heart problems, even serious ones like a heart attack. But they also can be symptoms of depression and anxiety, what doctors call "anxious depression." These chest pains can often be chronic in those suffering from depression, but may be felt suddenly in those suffering from anxiety. If you are having these symptoms, see a doctor right away to rule out serious heart or lung problems.
If your heart is fine, you may be suffering from another problem such as heartburn, depression, or anxiety.
Millions of Americans suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can improve a wide variety of these conditions and, as a result, are commonly prescribed. SSRIs work by blocking a receptor in the brain that absorbs the chemical serotonin. Serotonin is known to influence mood, but the exact way SSRIs improve depression isn't clear.
Commonly prescribed SSRIs include:
There is a complex and close biological relationship between depression, anxiety, and the heart, research shows. Depression has been linked to heart disease. When you are under stress or having a panic attack, the body releases stress hormones like cortisol as part of our natural "fight or flight" response. These hormones can trigger physical symptoms like chest pain and a rapid heartbeat that may feel like a heart attack.
Could your chest pain and rapid heartbeat be related to depression? One way to find out is to keep a symptom diary. Print out this symptom diary, and fill it out. Then take it to your doctor to discuss what may be causing your symptoms.
David Baron, MSEd, DO, chairman of psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine.
WebMD Medical Reference: "Heart Disease Symptoms."
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Body illustration created exclusively for WebMD by Andy Matlock