I am a 25 y.o. female who has been experiencing generalized chest tightness (not pain) every day for a couple months now. It doesn't necessarily make me feel short of breath, but at times I feel that I need to concentrate on breathing (if that makes sense). I have been a cigarette smoker for 10 years but I am also currently enrolled in a rigorous academic program and am prone to stress. Since beginning this program, I have experienced 2 panic attacks and heart palpitations every now and then. I am assuming this is all anxiety-related, but I have never really had problems with anxiety before.
While your chest tightness is probably caused by anxiety, I suggest you consult a doctor just to be sure.
You should do so anyway because of the panic attacks. You need to get on top of these before they morph into Panic Disorder. Alternatively, many universities have good mental health counselling services as mental disorders are so rampart in academia, so seek help from the service if it is available. Please do not let this slide. Prevention is much easy than cure (often it isn't curable, only treatable) and it can only take one panic attack to bring on the disorder.
The fact you've never suffered from anxiety before does not mean you're protected from it. You are now under a lot of stress, and mid to late twenties/early thirties is the prime age for mental disorders to begin.
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