Anxiety Attack Vs Panic Attack

By: Giri Anantha

The terms anxiety and panic attacks are used interchangeably so often that they have come to be regarded as the same thing. There ARE differences though.

In fact, the right treatment for you will be based on these differences. This will help you to respond much better to treatment and help you recover much quicker.

What's The Difference Between A Panic Attack And An Anxiety Attack?

A couple of major differences between panic and anxiety attacks are the duration and intensity of these attacks. Panic attacks can be sudden, fast and severe and generally last for a short time.

A panic attack can hit you without any warning, or, out of the blue. There may not be an apparent reason. It affects your body as well as your mind. It can also lead to agoraphobia.

Anxiety attacks builds up gradually, last longer and is not as intense. It can be caused by excessive worry about everything, particularly about your life. This anxiety can get out of hand and cause physical sensations as well.

Another major difference is to do with that PRECISE moment. A panic attack makes you scared about what is happening to you and your body at that very moment and is not because of worrying about events in your life.

That's why, most panic attack sufferers rush to the emergency room, because they think they're having a heart attack or that something else is physically wrong with them.

Differences In Treatment: Anxiety Attack Vs Panic Attack

Though the medications used may generally be the same, for panic attacks, it's best to start at a lower dose. There may also be a difference as far as therapy is concerned.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful for panic attacks and teaches you not to be afraid of what your body is feeling and that it's not harmful. There may be some form of exposure therapy.

For anxiety, the focus may be on relaxation techniques to calm the anxious thoughts. This is also good for panic attack sufferers as learning to relax will help in a difficult situation.

The bottom line is that both panic and anxiety are treatable and the outcome is generally very good. Stay positive and motivated and you're well on your way to recovery.

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