Difference Between Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Even though anxiety and panic attacks are confused to be the same thing and frequently used interchangeably, they are substantially different when it comes to the features by which they are clinically defined. An anxiety attack is triggered by a stressor and can either fade away immediately after the stressor is removed or can sometimes last for a long time. Panic attack, on the other hand, is a condition that hits without a stressor or warning and can last either a few minutes or a few hours. Anxiety attacks are not as intense as panic attacks, but strike far more frequently. Anxiety attack is a sensation of uneasiness, fear and worry, making a person feel angry, frustrated or nervous. Panic attack, on the other hand, involves a person getting struck by fear, nervousness or apprehension, triggering psychological changes in his body along with mental stress.


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    Anxiety Attacks

    When a person comes across a stressor, he finds himself struck by a condition known as anxiety attack. This is not always a bad thing, as it can help a person prepare himself to deal with the stressor appropriately. An example for this is a job interview, where the person finds himself putting more effort in the preparation to overcome the fear of failing. However, at times this anxiety attack does not go away once the stressor has been dealt with and ends up becoming a disorder. The onset of fear, worry and uneasiness continues to grip the person. These feelings continue to become intense the longer the anxiety attack lasts. It is important to note that anxiety attack can last for as little as a few minutes, or as long as a number of hours or even days. Common symptoms of anxiety attack include cold sweat, nausea, dizziness, faster heart beat and rapid breathing. Anxiety is common among people who suffer from depression.

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    Panic Attacks

    Panic attack is a sudden onset of fear even in the absence of a stressor. The intensity of the fear, apprehension or nervousness is extremely strong and is considered to be a very serious condition. Since there is no warning or reason, a person may find it extremely hard to prepare himself or fight off the panic attack. Once struck by panic attack, a person may find his heart beating faster, making it seem as if the heart would burst out of the chest, hyperventilation, sweating, nausea, depression, hopelessness, flashes and shaking.

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