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Panic Attack v.s Anxiety Attack: The Difference

Panic Attack v.s Anxiety Attack: The Difference

Because of the similarities between panic and anxiety attacks, it can be difficult to differentiate between them. Here are some ways that can help:

  • Anxiety attacks occur as a response to stress or threat. Panic attacks occur without any trigger.
  • Panic attacks occur suddenly, while anxiety gradually builds up and becomes intense over time.
  • Anxiety attacks can last for a long time, while panic attacks can last a few minutes.
  • Panic attacks are intense and disturbing, while anxiety symptoms vary from mild to severe.

Signs and Symptoms

The difference between panic and anxiety attacks is highlighted by comparing the symptoms of each condition:

Panic Attack Symptoms

Panic attacks come unannounced, without any trigger. Symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Tingling in extremities
  • Shakiness
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness

People going through a panic attack may also:

  • Feel like they’re going insane
  • Feel like they’re going to die
  • Feel like they have lost control over everything
  • Feel detached from themselves and their surroundings

These symptoms for panic attacks elevate till 10 minutes, then they gradually decrease. However, there is a chance to experience several attacks in a row, which may seem like an attack is lasting longer than usual, but that isn’t the case. Many people feel worried and stressed for the rest of the day.

Anxiety Attack Symptoms

Unlike panic attacks, anxiety attacks have triggers, and they also occur as a response to excessive worry.

Symptoms may remain strong after a few minutes and hours. But compared to panic attacks, they are less than those.

Anxiety attack symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Hyperventilation
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tingling in the extremities
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of concentration
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • The feeling of getting choked
  • Restlessness
  • Distress and worry
  • Fear

Although anxiety symptoms are milder than a panic attack, they can last longer, for days, weeks, or months.

What Cause Them?

Panic attacks are mostly unexpected, and such attacks have no triggers. Expected panic attacks and anxiety attacks are triggered due to:

  • Caffeine
  • Withdrawal from alcohol or drugs
  • Medications
  • Supplements
  • Past trauma and associated memories,
  • Work pressure
  • Social stress

Does Therapy Help?

It is healthy to engage in therapy as your therapist can guide you and help you identify the possible triggers and manage symptoms better. There are different types of therapies for people who have anxiety and panic disorders.

If you’re looking for therapy or consultation regarding anxiety and panic disorders. GetCareMD offers online therapy and consultation. We also offer medication refills. Our health experts will discuss your symptoms and possible treatment plan for a reasonable price. You can visit our website or schedule an appointment today!