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Differences between anxiety attacks and panic attacks

Cr. Victor Rodvang

Source from my.clevelandclinic.org

People have been using the terms “anxiety attack” and “panic attack” correspondingly, when in fact, they are two slightly different medical conditions.

A breakdown:

Anxiety is typical and although it is unpleasant, it helps motivate and protect individuals from threats.

Anxiety disorders comes in many forms and people usually respond to non-threatening things with outsized fear and dread.

Anxiety attacks is just another term for a panic attack.

Panic attacks occurs without warning and are intense attacks of fear and anxiety. It is usually harmless and last for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Panic disorder occurs when an individual has repeated panic attacks and it is also a type of anxiety disorder.

Panic attack symptoms

  • A feeling that what is happening around them is not real
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Chills or overheating
  • Dizziness
  • Fear of perhaps that they are dying or going crazy
  • Feeling that they might be choking
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Numbness
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking

How to deal with panic attacks

  1. Labeling it. When panic attack happens, individual who are experiencing it often thinks that they are having a heart attack or losing their mind. It is advised to assure themselves that what is happening to them won’t kill them and that it will end.
  2. Keeping track. Note the attacks and when and where they happened, how long the duration was and things that might have triggered it.
  3. Breathe. Numerous claims from people of various backgrounds said that deep breathing exercises helps. It turns down the body’s panic response, helping the breath and heart rate to return back to normal.
  4. Distract the mind from focusing about the panic attacks. Do other things that helps. For example, smell something pleasant or watching a funny TV show.
  5. Getting help. Mental health professionals can help by using a Jedi mind trick, known as cognitive restructuring.

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