Sufferer On-going chest pain possible? Dx'ed with PTSD last year



I was diagnosed with PTSD last year, almost a year from today, after seeing a friend sexually assaulted in a bar...I stepped in, locked her in my car and got her home safely, but the damage had been done. I'll skip the usual symptoms cause I'm sure we all have experienced our share. This is new to me and never would have imagined this happening to me. I'm managing everything well, except one thing...chest pain. It's on the left side of my chest and comes and goes. Sometimes a trigger is obvious, other times it seems to just happen. It's feels like a strain, more of an annoyance, but enough for me to worry and post about it here. Has anyone experienced something similar? And if so, what have you done to help it? Thanks for any and all advice.


Hi C12 and welcome. I'm going to say the obvious first. I'm not a doctor, but I do work in the medical field, and you should definitely go and get your chest pain checked because you may be having cardiac issues.

That being said, yes, this is also a "symptom" of PTSD and even stress. The problem is that we can never tell if it's "nothing" or "just my PTSD" without going to ER or seeing our doctor and getting an EKG and blood work done. It could literally be either one. Yes, triggers can cause chest pain, but it could be because you have an underlying cardiac issue (and there are many of them) that is being aggravated and this is your sign/warning to go get checked.

Long story short, PTSD and triggers mess with us physically and emotionally, often in extreme ways. BUT, pleases go get checked by a doctor.



And what @Sues said.

I get the whole razor clawed vice around my heart thing from PTSD... and these days I also have a very similar/totally different crushing chest pain from asthma. Even knowing both of these things? I have a standing annual appointment with a cardiologist to check my ticker.

The single most common thing 1st panic attacks are mistaken for is a heart attack. The chest pain from panic attacks can be that bad. Anxiety attacks? Aren’t far behind, and often have people new to them in the ER/ED/A&E. So it’s reeeeeally common. It’s ALSO really common for people to blow off cardiac symptoms as stress/anxiety and pay the price for it. (Usually death, most people don’t survive their first heart attack, but some people do get lucky). Hence why I go see Mathew (my cardiologist) every year round my birthday 🥳 🎂 and kick it with him and his nurse, and any students* they want to bring, for a few hours. My fave part is always the echo. It’s just wicked cool to watch the parts of the heart do what they’re supposed to be doing.

I’m medically interesting (nearly always a very BAD thing, strive to avoid that) because I have a reeeeally healthy heart (touch wood!) but have also had several MI’s secondary to starvation in my 20’s... and I have a stress disorder. The signs are there, apparently, but reeeeeeally subtle/easy to miss. So he likes to use me as an example of someone coming in all cheerful/in no apparent distress, that it would be easy to miss, blow me off as anxiety only (if they even caught the anxiety, which doesn’t show in that sort of setting), and send me home without the tests that would show my history on them, much less potential problems. He’s got a great sense of humor, and likes to GOTCHA! his students... and I’m a good sport.
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I had a couple of bouts of chest pain and didn't do anything about it. A year later I had a 4.5 hour heart attack and nearly died. Was in hospital for 5 days. Get yourself checked out with a doctor is my advice. 🙂


Not to merge this with my post on GAD, but reading this is raising my medical anxiety. I get a very specific chest pain with my anxiety and panic attacks. I have never seen a cardiologist, especially since the pain has been exactly the same each time for the past 4 years. Should people go in during the panic attack or just do a routine cardiologist appointment?


I've had my share of chest pain, and like above, I went and got it checked medically to rule out physical issues first. All scans came back good, no issues. That left me with PTSD and my coffee addiction. I slowly weaned myself from coffee, no more chest pains. When I do get a random one, I'm usually super stressed, so I know its PTSD, not medical and not caffeine, as that is no longer in my life.

Start with medical first is my advice, then work towards the lesser destructive causes that you can give yourself time to solve.


Definitely get it checked out. I have left-sided chest (and rib) pain, and it's because I have costochondritis. It isn't life-threatening, but it can be debilitating. Chest pain can usually be managed - whether it has a physical cause or not - so if you can get an accurate diagnosis, they will be able to help.