Successful golfer Charlie Beljan, age twenty-eight, is not someone you would expect to have a panic attack. Like many people, the athlete found himself having his first major panic attack at a most inopportune time.
While playing an intense round of golf, Beljan began to feel increasingly strange. He suspected that he may be having a heart attack, but he chose to continue his game. Surprisingly, he was able to play through the attack and perform very well, but he still had to be hospitalized after the game.
Beljan’s misidentification of his panic attack as a heart attack is quite common. Many people mistake the trembling, perspiration and racing heart characteristic of a panic attack for the symptoms of a heart attack.
The highly stressful, intense nature of the golf competition could have caused Beljan to feel more anxious, and this may have contributed to the sudden onset of panic. Events that cause high anxiety are usually more likely to lead to an initial panic attack. Unfortunately, subsequent attacks can occur without warning or seemingly without reason.
Beljan attributed the attack to his poor choices in diet. His visit to the hospital revealed that he did not have sufficient amounts of sodium or potassium in his body. He admits that he sometimes skips meals and that he will try not to do so anymore.