Are Anxiety Attacks and Panic Attacks The Same?

Anxiety is a natural emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their life. It “is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or It occurs in response to stressful situations and only becomes a problem when it starts to interfere with daily life.

According to an article by Dr. Regina Rosell, Clinical psychologist, the term anxiety attack is a layperson’s term for panic attacks. It is not a medical terminology.

Panic attacks are sudden and intense feelings of intense fear or anxiety that last for a few minutes. They include at least four of the following symptoms:

Symptoms of Panic Attacks

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
  • Fear of dying

The Differences between Anxiety and Panic Attacks

  • Anxiety can range on a scale from mild to severe. However, panic attacks are intense and debilitating.
  • Anxiety usually builds up gradually while panic attacks occur suddenly with no warning.
  • Anxiety attacks are a response to stressful situations but panic attacks do not necessarily have stressors.

How To Cope With Panic Attacks

  • Recognise it for what it is. Persons suffering from panic attacks think they are experiencing a heart attack. By understanding what panic attacks are, you will be more able to cope with the fear of dying.
  • Connect with your breath. Your breath is a key component in any change in emotions. Practice taking deep and long breaths to help calm your nervous system. Breath in for 5 seconds, holding for 5 seconds, breathing out for 5 seconds, and holding for 5 seconds.
  • Try the 54321 grounding exercise to distract your mind.
    • Acknowledge 5 things you see around you.
    • Acknowledge 4 things you can touch around you.
    • Acknowledge 3 things you hear.
    • Acknowledge 2 things you can smell.
    • Acknowledge 1 thing you can taste.
  • Add relaxation practices to your daily routine such as yoga and meditation.
  • Adjust your lifestyle. Avoid too much stress. Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption. Stay away from drugs. Monitor negative thoughts and learn to express your emotions.
  • Seek professional help. Find a therapist or speak to your doctor to find solutions and gain more insight.
  • Ask for help. Reach out to your loved ones for support. Let them know what you are experiencing and how to help you.

I know from experience how scary panic attacks can be and the benefits of seeking help. I hope that this post provides some guidance to those suffering from the effects of anxiety disorders and panic attacks.

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Thank you for reading.


6 Replies to “Are Anxiety Attacks and Panic Attacks The Same?”

      1. Thatts true. The best of both world. You get to interact with others and learn new stuff without the usually social media drama. Thank you for commenting Cherie.

        Liked by 1 person

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