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Difference Between Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety vs Panic Attacks

It is said that one out of three adults will experience at least one episode of either panic or anxiety attack in his or her lifetime. Yet, the striking challenge is identifying which one is panic and which is considered as anxiety attack. The technique however is to observe what your body is doing and how you react to the stressor, that is if ever you are still sane or calm enough to observe the things happening to you.

Foremost, it is more appropriate to say that one or more of your anxieties can lead to a panic attack rather than vice versa. Generally, the duration of anxiety attacks is said to be longer than panic attacks. Nevertheless, this is not always the case because there are several panic attacks that last for more than a day. Anxiety slowly surfaces and gradually builds up until it will become too uncomfortable for the person experiencing such. On the contrary, panic attack occurs abruptly to the point that it immediately overwhelms the person, without any form of warning.

Panic attack happens because one worries too much. He or she is overly anxious to the extreme level. Constant worrying and thinking about negative thoughts over and over again predisposes a person from suffering such an attack.

The symptoms of panic and anxiety attacks seem to be the same. However, these symptoms plainly differ in terms of severity. Clearly, panic displays the more intense symptoms. During a panic attack, the victim almost always feels like dying. As a matter of fact, close observation of panic victims will show signs of shaking, trembling and even shortness of breath. Alongside these symptoms, the heart abnormally beats a lot faster than usual to the point wherein the victim can really say that his heart is pounding really hard, literally.

In order to manage the above symptoms or treat the attack itself, certain medications or techniques have to be employed to tone down the panic or anxiety episodes. Pharmacologically, a low dose of antidepressant medications is the ideal choice in countering either attack. One must carefully administer such drugs because giving too much of it may induce even more attacks. Non-pharmacological interventions include cognitive behavioral techniques.

All in all, although both attacks have almost the same set of symptoms and treatment interventions they still differ in the following aspects:
1. Anxiety attacks generally last longer than panic attacks.
2. Panic attacks are more intense than anxiety attacks.
3. Panic attacks occur suddenly unlike anxiety attacks that tend to develop gradually.

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