When it comes to anxiety and panic attacks, there can be some confusion about the difference between them. An anxiety attack is usually a prolonged period of intense fear or worry, which can cause physical symptoms like chest pain, accelerated heart rate, shallow breathing, and feeling overwhelmed due to all the built-up tension in your body.
A panic attack is more sudden and intense than an anxiety attack and will often come "out of the blue." It causes you to feel like something terrible will happen, even though it's just a feeling.
Both are enormously disruptive, yet while they can be highly frightening experiences, they generally pass quickly once you've taken some steps to manage them. Let's look at these a little closer to discover the difference.
It is a sudden and intense episode of fear and Anxiety. In some cases, anxiety attacks are linked with specific triggers, but they may also appear without any particular reason. A person with anxiety disorder can struggle to breathe, sleep, stay still, and concentrate.
In most cases, anxiety attacks have more than one cause, but several factors play a crucial role simultaneously. For example, an anxiety attack might come when you haven't had rest for a week, have excessive tea or coffee, and have a tremendous workload simultaneously. Often, specific life stressors are also a cause of anxiety attacks. These may include
Also, certain people seem to have an increased ability toward anxiety attacks. Some factors that may make you more prone to anxiety attacks include Genetics, Chemical imbalances, and a history of trauma or Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD.
Anxiety attacks can be a very intense experience impacting you physically. The Symptoms of an anxiety attack include:
An anxiety attack can last anywhere between 5-30 minutes. So if this occurs, try to contact your physician as soon as possible.
Panic attacks are a feeling of sudden and intense Anxiety. The person may experience physical symptoms, including shaking, dry mouth, disoriented, rapid and irregular heartbeats, nausea, breathlessness, sweating, and dizziness. Most panic attacks last from five minutes to half an hour.
The brain and nervous system play a significant role in perceiving and handling fear and Anxiety. There is an increased risk of having panic attacks if you have the following:
Panic is considered to be the most severe form of Anxiety. People may avoid specific events or occasions because they fear triggering another attack. This can add to their sense of panic and may cause them to have more seizures.
Many people with panic disorder have markedly constrained lifestyles because they fear traveling any distance from home, which often leaves them unable to fulfill family responsibilities, career functions, and social obligations. Since it occurs suddenly, there's no way to stop a panic attack after it starts.
According to doctors, people who are more sensitive in responding to fear may experience panic attacks than others. There is a connection between panic attacks and phobias, for example, school phobia or claustrophobia. One more theory explains that panic disorder may come from an over-sensitivity to carbon dioxide, which makes the brain think you're suffocating.
When you experience high-stress levels due to certain problematic situations, it may trigger a panic attack. It is believed there are ties between panic attacks and:
Psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both conclusively stop panic attacks. How long a person needs to take a treatment depends on the severity of the problem and the response given to the treatment. Options include:
Different treatments are used to treat a diagnosed anxiety disorder. It will also help reduce general feelings of Anxiety as well. The following are some treatments that are used to treat Anxiety attacks.
There is mainly two therapy used as a form of psychotherapy, congnitive behavioral therapy & Exposure therapy.
Some medications can help treat symptoms of Anxiet, but these are prescription-based medicines. These include:
As many people think about how they can reduce the chances of getting anxiety attacks. Apart from medications or therapy, you can lower anxiety attacks with the help of the following techniques.
Identical to anxiety attacks, there are some techniques you should use to overcome a panic attack, which is as follows.
|Are often related to a stressful or threatening event.
|Often happen out of the blue and isn't always triggered by stress factors.
|Physical symptoms: Less intense
|Physical symptoms: More intense
|It Can be mild, moderate, or severe.
|Often severe symptoms and manifest disruptive symptoms.
Anxiety and panic attacks can be similar and have many similarities. Both involve intense physical symptoms such as dizziness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, sweating, trembling, and an increased heart rate. In both types of attacks, the individual may think they have a medical emergency and may avoid situations that could trigger the episode or make it worse.
Additionally, Anxiety and panic are forms of extreme fear or stress that specific triggers like stressful events or environments can spark. The main difference is that Anxiety is generally more prolonged, while a panic attack resolves more quickly.
It's always better to care for your physical and mental health independently. It usually increases the strength in yourself to cope with any problem.
It's essential to recognize your physical symptoms, like tightening of the chest, shallow breathing, and psychological reactions, such as racing thoughts or rumination. Identifying these reactions can be an essential cue to step back and pause to self-regulate.
Simple Mindfulness exercises such as paying attention to your breath or stepping outside for fresh air can help you regain control of anxious feelings. Additionally, relaxing activities such as yoga and stretching can promote relaxation. Speaking with a friend or family member about what is happening further helps reduce the intensity of anxiety symptoms.
Self-help strategies for panic attacks can be beneficial in providing relief and reducing your risk of having a seizure. One way to address panic attacks is by engaging in calming activities such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, which helps relax both the body and mind.
Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle are also important, as they can help reduce stress levels. Positive self-talk and refocusing on your surroundings rather than giving in to negative thoughts can increase your positivity toward life.
Seeking out social support should not be overlooked either; talking to friends or family members about how you feel can provide a welcome respite from Anxiety or fear.
It is accepted to be scared of certain situations or life events. People often get anxious during stressful situations, which is a natural response. But there are techniques like relaxation, meditation, and daily exercises like walking and stretching, which can be helpful. Following some activities is necessary to stay healthy and fit and minimize the risk of anxiety and panic attacks.
Psychotherapy, CBT, and Exposure therapy treat anxiety and panic attacks. In severe cases, the client must take medications along with the treatment plan.
If your loved ones are experiencing the symptoms of these attacks mentioned above, don't hesitate to contact a counselor or a psychiatrist instantly.
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Dhanashree Padhye 10 October 2021