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Panic And Anxiety Attacks - What's The Difference?

Discussion in 'Anxiety, Panic & Hypervigilance' started by hollyberry, Nov 22, 2007.

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  1. hollyberry

    hollyberry Active Member

    Is there a difference between a panic attack and a anxiety attack?
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  3. vst

    vst Active Member

    I thought my anxiety brought on my panic attacks, but I'm not sure if there is a difference.

  4. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

    The two phrases "anxiety attack" and "panic attack" are used interchangeably by the general public. However, they do mean different things to a psychiatrist or another health care professional. They have similar symptoms (panic, breathing heavily, palpitations, sweating and so on) however the cause of each is different. Anxiety attacks are brought on by anxiety; worrying about something bad which is real or perceived to be happening. A true panic attack on the other hand, such as someone with Panic Disorder experiences, comes on completely without warning, and often without explanation. Hope that is helpful.
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  5. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    For me I describe differences in how I feel. Like Kathy said but while I may feel panicky and lost and out of control I do not refer to those as full blown unless I am swearing I am literally dying.

    I just know one moment I can feel OK and a fleeting thought turns into doomsday scenario that I really believe and I "lose it" I call panic. Stress that makes me sick and dizzy for most of the day I call anxiety. Most of the basic symptoms are the same but it is where I am at mentally (Do I truly believe I am dying/insane?) as to which way I will call it. For me a full blown panic attack is way worse than anxiety attack. I can get several anxiety attacks many many times a day until they wear me down to trip a panic attack.
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  6. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

    Thanks for defining that vst, Kathy and Veiled, and thanks for asking that hollyberry... I have been confused over the terms myself until now!
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