Anxiety Attack vs Panic Attack
Did you know that more than 40 million adults in the United States suffer from some form of anxiety?
Anxiety has been a growing mental health concern in recent years. Some researchers consider the increase in diagnoses a result of our fast-paced and stressful modern world.
What is anxiety exactly? How do you know if you’re having a panic attack or simply experiencing symptoms of anxiety? Are there fundamental differences between anxiety and panic attacks?
Keep reading to learn more about anxiety and panic attacks and how they differ.
What You Need to Know About Anxiety
Many people don’t know that anxiety comes in many forms. Your symptoms and the onset of those symptoms may differ according to what kind of anxiety you have.
For example, general anxiety disorder involves a general sense of anxiety that permeates the entirety of a person’s life. This kind of anxiety is relatively constant and usually rooted in irrational thoughts and fears.
A person may worry about waiting for a package to arrive all day or even all week. They may feel that if they aren’t at the door ready to receive the parcel when it comes, the delivery person will not deliver it, and, as a result, the person will need to interact with more people to retrieve the package.
The anxiety sufferer may miss out on sleep to avoid this problem. They may even put aside all their plans so they can be at home to receive the package.
Of course, this source of worry is overstated since the situation is simple for most people. However, anxiety can cause fear and worry in even the most straightforward situations.
Other Types of Anxiety
There are also other types of anxiety, such as social anxiety disorder.
In any anxiety guide, social anxiety is high on the list of common types of anxiety. This form of anxiety involves a person feeling afraid or anxious when talking to people.
For example, a person may avoid going to the grocery store because they must talk to the cashier. For most people, talking to a cashier is simple. However, for a person with social anxiety, talking to another person, even if they only exchange a few words, can be a huge source of anxiety and fear.
Sometimes, a person may be so afraid of talking to people that they try to stay inside their home as much as possible. There are also more severe forms of anxiety, such as PTSD. This condition results from a past traumatic event.
Whatever the case, anxiety can be quite debilitating, especially in severe cases. In more mild cases, it is a constant inconvenience and can make daily living uncomfortable.
But what is a panic attack, and how does it differ from anxiety?
What Is a Panic Attack?
Panic attacks differ from anxiety in that they happen suddenly. On the other hand, anxiety is usually a more persistent and constant feeling. However, a person with anxiety can experience a panic attack in some circumstances.
Even people who have not been diagnosed with anxiety may experience panic attacks on rare occasions.
A panic attack is characterized by intense, severe symptoms that can leave a person unable to think or do anything. Some symptoms include heart palpitations, a feeling of dread or hopelessness, chest pains, difficulty breathing, and nausea.
Many internal and external factors can trigger a panic attack. Because there are so many forms of anxiety, one event may trigger a panic attack in one person but not someone else. For example, a person with social anxiety may experience a panic attack when they have to speak in a public setting.
What You Need to Know
The idea of speaking in front of people can cause a person with social anxiety to shut down. They experience an excess of panic and anxiety. A panic attack can even prevent a person from doing specific tasks because the sense of fear is so intense.
For a person with general anxiety, a panic attack may occur for an entirely different reason. During a panic attack, a person arrives at the point where they can no longer process their anxiety. As a result, they will experience an episode of uncontrollable fear and worry that can be debilitating in some cases.
It can also make a person physically ill. Panic attacks cause stomach issues in some people. People who have never had a panic attack often mistake the feeling for a heart attack due to severe chest pains and shortness of breath.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat both anxiety and panic attacks. By treating anxiety in general, you can learn how to prevent panic attacks by using techniques to calm yourself down. Many treatment options are available for general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, PTSD, and other types of anxiety.
One of the best treatment options is counseling and therapy. Therapy allows you to put your thoughts and feelings into perspective. That way, you can see how anxiety warps your perception of many things in life and how you can deal with those distorted thoughts. There are many specialized approaches for treating anxiety.
Consulting with a medical provider who can test for physiological factors that could be contributing to anxiety or who may be able to prescribe medication is also an option. Finding the right anxiety treatment approaches can be life changing.
All About Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Anxiety and panic attacks may have some things in common, but overall, they are different.
Anxiety produces a more persistent feeling of worry that can permeate a person’s entire life. Panic attacks, on the other hand, are more sudden and are characterized by severe symptoms of dread and fear.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat these conditions and other related mental health challenges. Contact us today to get the support you need.