Do you know the distinction between panic attacks and anxiety attacks? The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they do not actually refer to the same thing. Instead, panic and anxiety attacks originate from similar but different disorders.
Anxiety disorders, at the heart of anxiety and panic attacks, are the most typical mental illness in the nation. Millions of Americans over 18 suffer from some kind of anxiety issue. But only a small portion of those who suffer will pursue therapy.
If you're concerned about panic or anxiety in your life, doing research is beneficial, according to our expert on anxiety therapy, Dr. Phillips. Despite the controversy over panic attacks vs. anxiety attacks, learning about both will assist you in finding the therapy you need.
It's not difficult to understand why panic and anxiety attacks have become confused. They have many symptoms in common, and the lines are often obscured even for the sufferer. The distinction is most keenly experienced in an attack's velocity, intensity, and span.
A panic attack creates an intense feeling of dread, fear, or apprehension. It arrives without much warning and can frequently be so overwhelming as to incapacitate the individual while it's occurring. They are generally short, peaking in approximately ten minutes before dispersing. However, sufferers may experience several in a row.
Signs of a panic attack might include raised heart rate, chest pain, perspiration, stomach cramps, numbness, queasiness, tingling, dizziness, trembling, or shortness of breath. In addition, an impulsive fear of perishing, losing one's sanity, or otherwise yielding control might accompany these signs.
Panic attacks often accompany phobias, anxiety disorders involving an intense, unreasonable fear concerning a specific item, like an object, location, or circumstance. Claustrophobia, for example, is the dread of confined spaces; arachnophobia is the fear of spiders; hydrophobia is the dread of water.
Although there are evidently infinite deviations, the American Psychiatric Association details five major classes of phobias: animals, injury, environment, specific circumstances (e.g., flying, driving), and other (for things outside the four groups above). Whatever is behind your phobia can initiate a panic attack.
Much like a panic attack, at the core of an anxiety attack is fear, which can be both real or perceived. But anxiety attacks don't hit suddenly. Instead, they build over some time. As a result, it can take days, weeks, or even months before anxiety attacks reach their peak. Thankfully, the signs of anxiety attacks are far less extreme than those of panic attacks. Still, given the course of the affair, an anxiety attack can incapacitate the sufferer.
Signs of an anxiety attack often include muscle strain or exhaustion, insomnia or hypersomnia, difficulty concentrating, grouchiness, restlessness, shortness of breath, and an irregular heart rate.
Whether or not you're capable of solving the panic attack vs. anxiety attack controversy on your own, one thing is certain: both situations should be treated by an expert. While an anxiety or panic attack is undoubtedly a reason for concern, it can suggest more complex mental problems hiding out of sight.
We hope this info helps you better understand the differences between panic and anxiety attacks. Contact us today for anxiety therapy. Dr. Phillips is here for you.
Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at 407-592-8997 for more information.