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Kitty4670
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31 May 2021, 5:32 pm

Is there a difference between anxiety & panic attacks?


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funeralxempire
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31 May 2021, 5:34 pm

I'd describe a panic attack as overwhelming, acute anxiety.


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IsabellaLinton
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31 May 2021, 5:54 pm

Anxiety is usually more ongoing but it can also be related to specific incidents. Your brain will feel worried.

Panic attacks are usually unexpected, or "out of the blue". They start suddenly instead of building up over time. Panic attacks can cause very strong reactions like sweating, pounding heart, an inability to breathe, or a desire to run / hide. They feel more physical than anxiety. There's a part of your brain that is triggered into survival mode like an animal being chased. It feels like fear or danger, more than every day anxiety.

I have a diagnosed panic disorder which means this can happen to me a lot, even for no reason. It makes me scared to leave the house sometimes (often?) because I never know if it will happen in public.



ToughDiamond
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31 May 2021, 7:34 pm

Yes I think that's the difference. A panic attack is an acute episode, and anxiety is typically less intense but lasts longer. In my case it's usually been a more or less low level of uneasiness that has griped away at me for a long time and rather spoiled some of my enjoyment of life, which might be better called worry, and certainly not a problem I'd want to seek medical help for, apart from a bit of counselling of the "well person" variety now and then, and even that was mostly centred on specific life problems rather than anxiety as such. I did attend a few sessions at my GP's "stress clinic" at a time when my anxiety was at its worst, but it achieved almost nothing because we lost focus on stress and just rambled. Anxiety has rarely been bad enough to make me thoroughly miserable.