Panic attack and anxiety attack are two conditions that are used interchangeably, but these two terms have different meanings. Panic attacks involve an abrupt surge of intense discomfort or fear and are usually accompanied by mental and physical symptoms. On the other hand, anxiety is something everyone experiences. This includes the protective and emotional responses of people and is hardwired into the body. It is when this condition becomes excessive that it causes concern. If you want to know more about a panic attack vs. anxiety attack, Encore Health Group is here to help you with our Tennessee mental health treatment program.
About Panic Attacks
Panic attacks involve the sudden and unexpected onset of fear. This is most often marked by a racing heartbeat, nausea, and chest tightness. If someone has multiple episodes of panic attacks, they might have a panic disorder, which is a type of anxiety disorder. This is characterized by recurring attacks that can affect one’s daily life.
Symptoms of a Panic Attack
According to the manual used by mental health professionals to diagnose patients (the DSM-5), there are 13 major symptoms of a panic attack. These include:
- Increased heart rate
- Choking sensation
- Shortness of breath
If one is exhibiting at least four of these symptoms, they may be recognized as someone who is having a panic attack. Be sure to seek out an anxiety treatment program in Tennessee if you are struggling with anxiety.
About Anxiety Attacks
An anxiety attack refers to a mental rush of anxiety, which is oftentimes brought about by feelings such as stress and worry. At first glance, this may seem like a panic attack, although not as intense. One example of an anxiety attack is when a person with generalized anxiety fears that the elevator would crash, even though it’s unlikely that it would happen.
Symptoms of an Anxiety Attack
Unlike panic attacks, anxiety attacks are not referenced in the DSM-5. This condition is generally described as a manifestation of an anxiety disorder and may present the same symptoms as a panic attack, although not as severe. The symptoms include:
- Increase heart rate
- Sense of doom
- Chest pains
Panic Attack Vs. Anxiety Attack: Dealing with It
If you’ve ever had a panic attack or anxiety attack, you know how scary it can be. Many people dealing with substance abuse usually experience one of the two. In these cases, dual diagnosis is needed at a dual diagnosis treatment center. Here are some ways you can combat these conditions.
When you have an anxiety attack or panic attack, you may think that you are losing your mind. This is because the feeling is extremely intense, and it can happen out of the blue. Learning about panic attacks and anxiety attacks and recognizing their symptoms will help you keep it together next time you experience one of these conditions. It will help if you can tell yourself that it’s only an episode, and it would not kill you. Although it’s uncomfortable, it will end soon.
It is recommended to keep a log of your anxiety and panic attacks, including where and when they happen, and how long they last. Also, try to examine if your episode was triggered by something. A good way to monitor this is through an individual counseling program. This way, you can find a way to manage the trigger. Tracking is also a good way of dealing with panic attacks since you feel more confident if you see it happening less often or for a shorter period.
Just Breathe and Distract Yourself
Breathing exercises will calm your panic response and help your heart rate return to normal. It also helps to distract yourself with something else, such as smelling a soothing scent like lavender or petting your dog.
Do Not Be Afraid to Seek Help
Knowing the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack will help you make the most out of your life. And if you think you need help, do not be afraid to contact Encore Health Group. Our reliable team of professionals will evaluate your condition and help you tackle these problems.