What It's Like to Have an Anxiety or Panic Attack

In contrast to panic attacks, which may come on suddenly and without warning, anxiety attacks often develop in reaction to specific stresses and may build up gradually. Both can point to a more severe health issue.

In casual conversation, you may interchangeably overhear individuals referring to panic attacks and anxiety attacks. Yet the two scenarios are not the same.

What is an Anxiety Attack?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders does not define an anxiety attack uniformly. Someone can declare they're experiencing an anxiety attack when discussing a panic attack due to the fuzziness of the two terms.

Conditions for Anxiety Attacks

Common anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, PANIC, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, while other conditions have post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, and particular phobias.

Preparation for a problematic scenario, encounter, or event is a common source of anxiety. Perhaps slow onset.

The Anxiety Symptoms Are

worry \distress \fear

There is room for interpretation regarding the signs and symptoms of anxiety attacks since the condition is not yet recognized as a diagnostic entity.

That is, one individual may claim to be experiencing an "anxiety attack," complete with symptoms that another claims they, too, have never felt, yet also claiming to have suffered an "anxiety attack."

Potential Outcomes of Anxiety Include

  • Have a precipitating factor, such as an upcoming test, a difficult situation at work, an illness, or a conflict in your personal life.

  • Indicate the presence of an anxiety condition.

  • less severe symptoms than a panic attack

  • Anxiety symptoms often manifest themselves gradually.

What are Panic Attacks?

Anxiety and panic during a panic attack may be extreme and abrupt. Physical symptoms such as a racing heart, shortness of breath, or nausea might make them even more difficult to bear.

Panic attacks are recognized and classified as either unexpected or anticipated in DSM-5.

Panic episodes may develop suddenly and without warning. External stresses, such as phobias, trigger anticipated panic attacks. Anybody is capable of experiencing a panic attack, but recurrent occurrences may indicate a mental health condition known as panic disorder.

Potential Outcomes of a Panic Attack Include

  • Signs and symptoms that might be pretty strong

  • This may occur whether one is feeling relaxed or tense.

  • bodily symptoms and anxiety so strong that the individual fears complete loss of control or death

  • It begins rapidly, peaks within 10 minutes, and then gradually decline; the aftereffects, however, may last longer.

Variations in Their Initial Appearance

Anxiety may develop as a reaction to a particular source of stress, apprehension, or concern. The symptoms often manifest themselves gradually, with the first sign being some degree of anxiety or worry. You may experience varying degrees of severity.

An individual may feel helplessness and utter helplessness during a manic episode, which may strike suddenly and without warning. A panic attack may happen anytime, even while the sufferer is sleeping or experiencing no other anxiety. There is often no apparent reason, and the resulting anxiety seems excessive.

Variations in Timescale

Anxiety might be linked to a particular trigger. It tends to accumulate and persist for a while.

The average duration of a panic attack is 10 minutes. However, they may last anywhere from 5-20 minutes. And then it will start to go down, but the aftereffects might linger for a while.

Although panic episodes are seldom the pinnacle of anxiety, they occur in particular persons who suffer from the disorder.

Panic Attacks Triggered by Anxiety?

Anxiety may cause attacks of panic.

Anxiety about having a panic episode is common among people with panic disorder. A person may experience fear or anxiety in the intervals between episodes due to the unpredictability of when the next attack may occur. Individuals prone to panic attacks may take precautions to avoid certain circumstances.

Anxiety might bring on a panic attack for someone with a panic disorder. A person's normal conduct and ability to go about their everyday business might be impacted by the dread of having a panic attack.

Differentiating Between the Treatment for a Panic Attack and an Anxiety Attack

Talk to your doctor about alternative therapies if you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks. These are some potential therapies your doctor may suggest.

Assistance in Counseling and Psychotherapy

These are all possible components of talk therapy for anxiety and panic disorders, and they are typically used together.

Anxiety based −

  • The harmful ideas often underlying an anxiety condition may be identified, reframed, and neutralized mainly with cognitive therapy.

  • Exposure therapy aims to help patients learn to address their anxieties in a healthy manner by exposing them, in a safe and controlled environment, to events that may otherwise cause them distress.

Panic based −

  • Behavioral and cognitive treatment is a treatment that aims to change the way you think about and react to stressful situations. By working with a therapist, you might learn techniques for dealing with triggers when they occur.

  • Breathing exercises, guided imagery, progressive relaxation, biofeedback, and autogenic training are just a few of the relaxation methods that may be found in reputable sources. Some of these may be discussed with a doctor.

Sometimes medical professionals may recommend either solo or group therapy sessions or both.

Treatments at Home for Anxiety vs. Panic Attacks

Symptoms of anxiety and panic may be avoided and treated if you see a medical or mental health expert. Being prepared for an attack with a treatment plan and following it might give you a sense of control while dealing with the symptoms.

The following might be helpful if you sense an episode of anxiety or panic coming on −

  • Take calm, deep breaths as your respiration quickens. When you inhale, fill your tummy. Count down from four as you exhale. Continue until your breathing slows.

  • If you've had an anxiety or panic attack, you know it's hard. Assure yourself that the symptoms will pass and you'll be OK.

  • Anxiety and panic disorders are being treated using mindfulness-based therapies. Mindfulness may help you focus. Actively noticing thoughts and experiences without responding is awareness.

  • Guided visualization, aromatherapy, and muscular relaxation are relaxation treatments. Try calming activities if you're anxious or having a panic attack. Shut your eyes, take a bath, or use lavender to relax.

Updated on: 02-Mar-2023


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