The Difference Between Panic Disorder and Anxiety

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The Difference Between Panic Disorder and Anxiety

Many people think a panic disorder is the same thing as having an anxiety attack. Even though the conditions are quite similar, they are still some little differences between both. Both conditions share some common symptoms. However, each one is experienced differently. Let’s take a look at both conditions to help you understand their differences and get the proper treatment for your condition.

Understanding the Symptoms of a Panic Attack

A panic attack can be quite traumatic for the patient. This is because the symptoms can be very intense and come at you very quickly. Patients can start shaking and trembling out of the blue. They may also experience throbbing or sharp chest pain during the attacks.

In fact, a panic attack is often mistaken for a heart attack. The patient may experience shortness of breath, neck tension, and an increased heart rate alongside other symptoms similar to a heart attack.

The symptoms can last up to 10 minutes and then subside. While the symptoms do not last long, it can be a regular occurrence in a person’s life. Sometimes the attacks can hit you in multiple waves, which can be very hard to deal with.

Furthermore, panic attacks can be traumatic and emotionally draining. Many people who experience a panic attack find themselves unable to function for the rest of the day.

Understanding the Symptoms of Anxiety Attack

Anxiety is something that most people have experienced at a point in their lives. Instead of sudden onset, anxiety comes on gradually. You start experiencing increased heart rate and shortness of breath.

What’s more, anxiety is usually accompanied by negative emotions like anger, nervousness, irritability, and restlessness. The anxiety may also result in muscle pain and sleeping difficulties. Contrary to major belief, chest pain and pressure is not associated with anxiety.

The Big Difference Between the Two

Anxiety and panic attacks primarily differ in their intensity. As mentioned earlier, a panic attack’s onset can be very sudden. Anxiety usually builds up over time. Although, anxiety can be a debilitating condition. Some people may experience anxiety that is sustained at low levels for prolonged periods of time. This means that you may have to deal with low-level anxiety throughout your day. While anxiety may not interfere with your life, it can be quite unpleasant and make your life stressful.

Finding Treatment is the Answer

If you think you’re dealing with a panic attack or anxiety disorder, you are advised to seek the help of a psychiatry specialist. In some cases, anxiety can be managed through therapy and various exercises. Doing this will help you remove the unnecessary stress. However, if your anxiety is persistent and seems to be a regular occurrence, you also need to get professional help.

Some medications can help you deal with anxiety. These medications usually reduce the symptoms, thus, allowing you function better throughout your day. In some cases, the anxiety may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. That’s why many people experience depression, along with their anxiety.

Panic can be very problematic for some people. Regular people may experience a panic attack during a very stressful event. But some people experience it regularly without any kind of warning. This is usually the most problematic version of the disorder. And of course, there are also people who experience these attacks due to certain emotional triggers or situations.

If the panic attacks are severe and recurrent, medication can be used to treat the condition. However, a combination of psychotherapy and medication can help deal with the condition effectively. A therapy called CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) has been found to be very effective in dealing with panic attacks. The therapy helps patients respond accordingly to a panic attack so that it doesn’t get out of control.

Take the Next Step Forward

If you are looking for a qualified Sudbury psychiatrist to help you overcome your anxiety or panic attack issues, Novum Psychiatry is the ideal place to turn to. We are the best psychiatrist in Sudbury. We are experts in treating a wide range of mental health issues ranging from depression to anxiety disorders, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, and so forth.

Contact us today at (978) 252-0873 to schedule an appointment. An amazing experience awaits you.