The Important Difference Between An Anxiety Attack And Panic Attack, Knowing the difference can help you understand your feelings. - by Faye Couros

If you’re feeling an incessant panging in your chest, irritability, and a chronic sense of distress, you may be experiencing an anxiety attack, which is different from a panic attack.
Both situations are potentially debilitating and overwhelming, which is why it’s helpful to have tools to identify what you’re experiencing.

It’s starkly obvious that anxiety is on the rise and according to Beyond Blue “69 per cent of children and young people (aged 4 to 17 years) had suffered from an anxiety disorder in the past 12 months.”

We doubt anyone would be surprised to find out that this number is much higher as we wait out a global pandemic.

It doesn’t matter if you’re currently in lockdown, completing quarantine, separated from loved ones, unemployed, or struggling to grapple with the news cycle; all of us are going through something bigger than we expected to experience in our lifetime.

This isn’t okay, but we endure.

Although, it isn’t all bleak, as we’re lucky to live during times when mental health is understood better. We can educate ourselves to encourage better practices to help soothe our experiences.

Having a generalized anxiety disorder is something many people may navigate throughout their life. While panic attacks are synonymous with the condition, every experience of stress and fear isn’t necessarily a panic attack - what you may be experiencing is heightened anxiety.

For the clarity that will help you feel a sense of agency over your mental health, here is the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety disorder.

What is a panic attack?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines panic attacks as something that goes hand-on-hand with anxiety but isn’t “limited to anxiety disorders,” and “can be seen in other mental disorders as well.”

It’s an experience that can be sudden and is accompanied by an intense feeling of fear, as per Healthline.

What is an anxiety attack?

Although the DSM-5 report doesn’t specifically site anxiety attacks, it recognizes anxiety as “a feature of a number of psychiatric disorders.”

According to Healthline, it’s a response to stressful experiences, events, or situations that may appear gradually over time.

Its symptoms can also persist over a few days or become a chronic sensation.

What is the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack?

Panic and anxiety attacks share many symptoms, but their salient difference is identified through their manifestation.

According to Medical News Today,, a panic attack doesn’t need an obvious trigger, whereas anxiety responds to something perceived or tangible.

Anxiety attacks can vary in severity from unnoticeable to severe, but a panic attack is considerably more intense.

A panic attack won’t persist for hours, but as mentioned before, anxiety will continue for longer periods - however, its threshold changes case by case.

Lastly, anxiety has a nasty habit of sneaking up on us gradually within no defined parameters, but a panic attack is sudden.

Source: How to know the difference between a panic attack and anxiety attack | Girlfriend

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