ZocdocAnswersWhy am I experiencing chest pain?

Question

Why am I experiencing chest pain?

It started yesterday around 4~pm after I got upset about something at work, I was really angry. It's like there's a pressure in the middle of my chest. Movement and breathing normally make it painful. Days prior to that I was feeling nauseous on and off and feeling extremely tired (felt like I was going to fall asleep at work even though I was getting enough rest). I'm also taking Zoloft for depression.

Answer

Chest pain can be due to a number of different problems. When physicians hear that a patient has chest pain, the first thing that we think about is whether or not the heart is involved. I recommend that you speak with your primary care physician. Chest pain could mean that you are having low blood flow to the heart also known as ischemia. This results in a chest pressure like feeling and can even result in a heart attack. Inflammation of the outer lining of the heart or inflammation of the outer lining of the lungs can also cause chest pain. This type of chest pain typically increases when you take a deep breath or cough. It sounds like from your description which includes an exacerbation of the pain with movement and breathing means that this type of pain, also called pleuritic chest pain, is likely. Chest pain that is associated with anxiety could be due to a number of different causes, but certainly anxiety or a panic attack can result in this type of pain. Again, I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician first. He or she may want to do an EKG just to make sure that it looks normal or chest x-ray to make sure that you don't have any rib abnormalities. After that, you get to the bottom of what you have chest pain.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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