• Isabella Romero

Panic vs Anxiety Attack: How to differentiate one from the other

This post will discuss how to distinguish between an anxiety attack and a panic attack. It is common to use the terms panic and anxiety attack interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. Even though they share many symptoms, several things set one apart from the other.

Both attacks differ in intensity and duration (how long one episode lasts).

I will now give you some information about distinguishing between an anxiety attack and a panic attack.

The following characteristics are associated with panic attacks:

  1. Usually occur without a stressor

  2. Symptoms can be intense and disruptive. A sense of "unreality" and detachment is often felt.

  3. Panic attacks happen suddenly and subside quickly.

The following characteristics are associated with anxiety attacks:

  1. A response to perceived stress or threat

  2. has a range of intensities and can be mild to severe

  3. Anxiety symptoms worsen over time and may last for many hours, days, or weeks.

The key to separating these two is to recognize their symptoms.

First, let's name the symptoms of a panic attack:

  • Having a rapid or pounding heartbeat

  • experiencing chest pain

  • dizziness or a feeling of lightheadedness

  • or flashes of heat or chills

  • feeling nauseated

  • feeling tingling or numbness in your extremities

  • shaking

  • shortness of breath

  • Having stomach pains

  • Sweating

  • The feeling of being choked or smothered

People suffering from panic attacks may also:

  • Feel out of control

  • or as if they're losing their minds

  • a sudden fear of death

  • Experience depersonalization, known as feeling detached from themselves and detached from their surroundings.

Panic symptoms peak after 10 minutes and then gradually subside. Some panic attacks repeatedly appear, giving the impression they last a long time. It's common for people to feel stressed, worried, or otherwise unusual the following day after an attack.

We will now discuss anxiety attack symptoms:

  • A tendency to be startled easily

  • Chest Pain

  • Feeling dizzy

  • Dry mouth

  • Exhaustion

  • Fear

  • Irritability

  • Lack of concentration

  • Muscle pain

  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Uneasiness

  • Feeling short of breath

  • Disturbed sleep

  • The feeling of being choked or smothered

  • Worry and distress

We would like to remind you that anxiety symptoms tend to last longer than panic attack symptoms.

In the event that you find yourself having a panic attack or an anxiety attack, follow these steps:

  1. As you acknowledge what is happening and remember that the symptoms will soon subside, anxiety and fear will be reduced.

  2. Focus on your breathing. Inhale once, hold for 4-6 seconds, then exhale for the same amount of time. Just focus on that pattern until the symptoms subside

  3. If you're having trouble relaxing, try guided imagery. It's a technique that involves visualizing relaxing settings like a scenic beach or a quiet meadow. Also called visualization or guided meditation.

  4. By practicing mindfulness, you become aware of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations without judging or reacting to them

Do not forget to follow The Bella Edit to tune into our next article where I will be posting about Borderline Personality Disorder!!

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Hello fellow reader, if you are new here welcome to The Bella Edit, we are a lifestyle and travel brand whose purpose is to normalize talking about mental health. If you are someone that follows The B

Hello fellow reader; if you are new here, welcome to The Bella Edit, we are a lifestyle and travel brand whose purpose is to normalize talking about mental health. If you are someone that follows my w