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Author Topic: Difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks?  (Read 345 times)

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Offline itsryan1123

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Difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks?
« on: August 22, 2014, 06:20:09 PM »
Is there an actual difference? My doc said I have a panic disorder, but I occasionally experience elongated periods(like hours on end) of very heightened anxiety, but not to the point of a full blown "I'm gonna die" panic attack. Would those be considered anxiety attacks? The terminology isn't all that important in my mind, but I was just curious :spineyes:
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Offline Never-Quit

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Re: Difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2014, 07:06:50 PM »
IME - Panic Disorders - are those attacks by a BIOLOGICAL cause - brain's chemicals are out of sync - One theory is the serotonin receptors of the brain are not able to properly transmit signals causing the triggering of fight-or-flight response in the brain without any known triggers or threats.

These biological crippling attacks usually occur when you are eating a meal, watching a movie, anything that is normal...  This unexpected attack - quickly zooms into 'I am having a heart attack' a 'stroke' ... I can't breathe.... 'I feel I am going to DIE'.

After these primary biological panic attacks hit ... Now we start to psychologically ASSOCIATE triggers...

Now here comes the psychologically induced Anxiety Attacks and phobias.

I had some of my  first Full Blown Biological panic attacks in a classroom, restaurant and on a date.

I quickly had developed phobias and ANXIETY  attacks that still remained with me psychologically even after the SSRI medication removed the Biological Cause, for many years after....

Now these Anxiety Attacks and phobias had to handled with CBT type therapy to remove the phobic psychological  associations .

Once the biological problem is managed and corrected - it is much easier for me to deal with Anxiety Attacks and phobias by deep breathing and other CBT based techniques.


That has been my experience for many years dealing with these Nasty and crippling PANIC DISORDERS.





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Offline itsryan1123

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Re: Difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2014, 09:35:39 PM »
Hmm thats pretty interesting to me. By what you're saying, It almost seems like I've never experienced a Panic attack, but rather anxiety attacks. I never was just blindsided by a "panic attack", at least not that I can remember. Rather, its a steady building of anxiety over the course of hours at a time culminating in about a 5-20 minute state of absolute terror, triggered by things that I'm afraid will happen to me(health wise). I might bring this up to my doc at my next appointment. Not that I think it'll change my course of medication or anything, but I'd like to know why they classified me as having a panic disorder instead of an anxiety disorder.
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Offline Never-Quit

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Re: Difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2014, 10:25:18 PM »
You might find this helpful...

The NIMH -Defines Panic Disorder as the following:

"If you have panic disorder, you feel suddenly terrified for no
reason
. These frequent bursts of terror are called panic attacks.

"During a panic attack, you also have scary physical feelings like
a fast heartbeat, trouble breathing, or dizziness.

Panic attacks can happen at any time and any place without
warning
. They often happen in grocery stores, malls, crowds,
or while traveling"

(NIMH) -The National Institute of Mental Health

Here are some great diagnostic tools at this site:

                                   
                                    SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-TESTS

                                    http://www.anxietyzone.com/NIMHpanic.pdf - PANIC DISORDER + SELF-TEST
                                            I have chest pains or a racing heart.  I have a hard time breathing or a choking feeling.
                                            I feel dizzy, or I sweat a lot.  I have stomach problems or feel like I need to throw up.
                                            I shake, tremble, or tingle. I feel out of control. I feel unreal.
                                            I am afraid I am dying or going crazy.


                                    http://www.anxietyzone.com/NIMHgad.pdf  -  GAD anxiety + SELF-TEST
                                            I never stop worrying about things big and small. I have headaches and other aches and pains for no reason.
                                            I am tense a lot and have trouble relaxing. I have trouble keeping my mind on one thing.
                                            I have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. I sweat and have hot flashes.
                                            I sometimes have a lump in my throat or feel like I need to throw up when I am worried



The good news, the same medication is used for both Panic Disorder and Anxiety Disorder :action-smiley-065:
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Never, never, never give up. -Winston Churchill

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Offline Lunatone

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Re: Difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2014, 03:54:34 AM »
I'd say the difference, as far as subjective experience goes, is that during anxiety attacks ill be ceaselessly nervous abuot something, usually something petty or nonsensical, that was really going to be whatever i could find to get nervous about.

But during a panic attack, I know i'm going to die. Its not that I think im going to; at the moment, I know I'm going to die. And nothing can change that perception for a time.
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Offline vbx

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Re: Difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 11:49:21 PM »
For me, an anxiety attack if when you think too much about something. Like when you're driving and you keep thinking you are going to have a heart attack, eventually, anxiety builds up to the point where you give yourself an anxiety attack. 

A panic attacks comes out of no where.  Like, you're staring out the window and all of a sudden, you can't breath and you feel like it's the end of the world and you are going to die right then and there.

Basically, an anxiety attack is self inflected.  Caused by too much worrying, over thinking, etc.
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