Anxiety vs Panic Attacks

Uncovering the Differences Between Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Panic attacks and anxiety may seem like the same thing, but they’re very different experiences. Understanding the characteristics of each condition can help you get the help you need so that you can move forward with your life again. This article will help you determine if you’re experiencing one or the other. 

What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is a sudden, overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety coupled with intense physical sensations. Not to be confused with a general anxiety disorder, panic attacks are usually triggered by a specific situation. Panic attacks are often sudden, and unexpected, and can occur even when you are relaxed or not stressed. A panic attack can last anywhere from a few moments to a few hours and can be extremely debilitating for those who experience them. Some people can control and prevent panic attacks, while others may find them exhausting.

What is an Anxiety Attack?

Anxiety attacks are sudden feelings of intense fear and apprehension that are often accompanied by physical symptoms like sweating or palpitations. They can be triggered by a specific event, situation, or thought. However, anxiety disorders are much more than just a few anxiety attacks. Typically, anxiety disorders are long-term conditions. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable and can be managed with therapy and medication. 

Key Differences Between Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks

– Triggers: panic attacks are often triggered by a specific event, situation, or thought. Anxiety attacks, however, are often triggered by nothing in particular. 

– Duration: panic attacks are much shorter than anxiety attacks, often lasting for only a few minutes. Anxiety attacks, on the other hand, can last for hours and may even feel like they last for days. 

– Impact: panic attacks can be extremely anxiety-inducing, but they’re generally not as emotionally and physically debilitating as anxiety attacks.

– Physical Symptoms: panic attacks are often accompanied by intense physical symptoms. Anxiety attacks, on the other hand, are often anxiety- or stress-related headaches or gastrointestinal issues. 

– Cause: while the cause of panic attacks is not entirely clear, anxiety attacks are the body’s response to stress.

Tapping For Panic and Anxiety Attacks

When you’re in the midst of a panic attack or an anxiety attack, it can be difficult to think clearly enough to know what steps to take next. While there are many treatment options when it comes to treating anxiety and panic disorders, tapping is an increasingly popular and effective treatment. EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or tapping is a form of acupressure that involves tapping specific points on your body while talking about the issues that are causing you stress. Studies show that tapping can help reduce anxiety and panic attacks. 

Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are both common and debilitating. Knowing the difference between them can help you to recognize when your anxiety has become problematic and when you need additional support. You can then take the appropriate steps to get yourself the help that you need. You don’t have to suffer from them alone. So if you’re experiencing symptoms of either a panic attack or anxiety disorder, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor.

This article is written by a therapist from Sensera – a self-help app that provides daily CBT audio sessions and exercises. The app helps people deal with a variety of mental issues (anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship problems). Download Sensera now to become happier!

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