Panic attacks and anxiety attacks may seem like the same thing. In reality, however, there are some key differences. If you want to know more about panic attack vs anxiety attack, read on to learn how they differ. Then, find out what you can do to respond to either panic or an anxiety attack. At Huntington Beach Psychiatry, we can help you overcome anxiety and depression in your life.
What is a Panic Attack?
A panic attack is an intense feeling of fear, nerves or even terror. Typically, a panic attack appears suddenly and without an obvious cause. An average panic attack lasts about 10 minutes, but they can absolutely impact your mood and behavior for the rest of the day. In some cases, you can experience multiple panic attacks on the same day.
Everyone will experience panic attacks in a slightly different way. However, some of the most common symptoms of a panic attack include the following:
- Chills/hot flashes
- Rapid heart rate or palpitations
- Trouble breathing or a choking sensation
- Chest pain or abdominal pain
- Fear of losing control
What is an Anxiety Attack?
The term anxiety attack isn’t entirely accurate. A key difference between a panic attack vs anxiety attack is that an anxiety attack tends to build up slowly. People who experience severe anxiety are usually worried about a key issue, and that worry builds until it becomes unbearable. The peak of this discomfort is sometimes referred to as an anxiety attack.
Some of the symptoms of an anxiety attack are identical to that of a panic attack. In both cases, for example, you might struggle with dizziness, an increased heart rate, nausea or shortness of breath. However, a key difference is the duration of the attack. While a panic attack is intense but short-lived, anxiety can go on for hours or even days at a time.
Coping With an Anxiety vs Panic Attack
Mental health services are recommended for anyone who experiences panic or anxiety attacks. In the moment of the attack, however, there are some things that you can do to feel better. Slow, deep breathing is a proven technique that can reduce some of the symptoms of an attack.
Another helpful strategy is practicing relaxation techniques. This might include guided imagery or simply closing your eyes and picturing a new situation. Mindfulness is also helpful, although that can be difficult in the middle of an attack.
Panic Attack vs Anxiety Attack: How to Respond
If you experience either anxiety or panic attacks, then it is important to get professional help. Panic disorder therapy and anxiety therapy can both make a big difference. You can learn more about the causes of your anxiety and develop coping mechanisms to aid in future attacks. At Huntington Beach Psychiatry, you can expect:
- Personalized care
- Support for co-occurring disorders
- Medication Assisted Treatment
- Convenient appointment scheduling
- Individual and group therapy
Panic attack vs anxiety attack: What’s the difference? While there are many key differences between the two, both can benefit from therapy at Huntington Beach Psychiatry in California. For professional support and therapy that can make a difference, call 866-334-6286.