When you have an anxiety disorder, you can experience both anxiety attacks and panic attacks. But what is the difference between a panic attack vs anxiety attack?

Each year, 19.1% of Americans deal with symptoms related to an anxiety disorder. Anxiety-related disorders can lead to a variety of disabling symptoms which can make it difficult to live your best life. With anxiety disorders, constantly worrying about having panic or anxiety attacks can cause you to avoid socializing with others, going to work or school, or leaving your home. Anxiety disorders can also cause you to avoid talking to other people, which can make reaching out to help extremely difficult.

Panic Attack vs Anxiety Attack

When you have an anxiety disorder, which can include conditions like Generalized Anxiety Disorder and PTSD, you can deal with symptoms that cause anxiety and panic attacks. While it may seem like a panic attack vs anxiety attack is one and the same, the truth is there are several key differences between a panic attack vs anxiety attack.

You can experience both when you struggle with an anxiety disorder, but it’s important to understand the difference between a panic attack vs anxiety attack because they present different symptoms and require different treatment.

A panic attack has a sudden onset and causes you to feel a powerful wave of anxiety and worrying. Panic attacks typically last for up to 30 minutes, and can cause:

  • Hyperventilating
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Overwhelming feelings of fear
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Nausea

A panic attack activates your flight or fight response and creates emotions signify that a major threat or danger is present. A panic attack can make you feel like you can’t breathe or that your heart is racing. However, a panic attack isn’t life-threatening.

Conversely, an anxiety attack as a gradual onset. It creates feelings of worrying about something that will happen in the future. Whether you experience a panic attack vs anxiety attack, it’s important to reach out for help because you will continue to experience these symptoms until you receive treatment.

How Panic and Anxiety Attacks are Treated

Whether you deal with a panic attack vs anxiety attack or experience both, treatment can provide you with the tools and skills necessary to reduce your symptoms. Anxiety attacks have a gradual onset. Thus learning how to manage negative emotions, like worrying, can limit or eliminate the number of anxiety attacks you experience.

With panic attacks, it can become easy to simply avoid situations and environments that you associate with panic attacks. Learning how to control your body’s flight or fight response is important.

Therapy and medications can reduce your symptoms, with therapy focusing on how to better manage your thoughts and feelings.

Finding Help Today

If you are experiencing invasive symptoms reaching out for help is the first step in your recovery. While anxiety and panic attacks are scary and overwhelming, treatment is highly effective in reducing them. To find out more about our anxiety disorder treatment programs, contact us at 844.334.4727 today.