Anxiety Attacks Vs Panic Attacks

One might be quite familiar with the terms anxiety and panic attacks as both are used interchangeably. It is quite understandable that they are doing so because both these conditions share symptoms that are quite common to each other but the similarities end there. Both the elements of panic and anxiety attacks differ from one another. Experts in the fields of Behavioral wellbeing utilize the two terms just to address conditions having explicit side effects and issues.


How to separate anxiety and panic attacks?

Panic attacks happen when an individual encounters an unexpected flood of extreme trepidation or anxiety that is in many cases joined by physical and mental side effects. While anxiety then again is a personal and defensive reaction that is a natural inclination in the human body. When one experiences an excessive amount of anxiety so much that it interrupts their everyday life, it calls for medical attention. Peruse the article to comprehend what anxiety feels like, how nervousness and frenzy problems vary, and their meanings of side effects and treatment.


Clinical difference between the two:

Emotional wellness experts who treat these circumstances base their findings on measures according to the DSM manual fifth release. Though anxiety and panic attacks can feel like they are similar to each other, the explanation of how they are different from each other is provided in a detailed description in the manual for healthcare providers to easily distinguish between the two.

The manual also contains a detailed description of the definitions and the diagnostic criteria to help provide the right diagnosis and better classification of your condition.

One basic difference between the two is described in terms of the severity and intensity of the symptoms experienced and how long these affect the person and the commencement of the onset of the main symptoms.  Panic attacks generally keep going for minutes and stop at around 10 mins though anxiety can keep going for a really long time and consistent observing and direction are required.


Panic Attack

  • Sudden
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Hot flashes
  • Lasts for minutes
  • Chest pain
  • Sense of detachment



  • Gradually builds
  • Restlessness
  • Can last for months
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability


Panic attacks generally happen because the patients previously encountered fundamental circumstances known as frenzy issues and these normally happen because of the presence of different other mental problems. Panic disorders also tend to happen when there are no existing psychiatric disorders too. 

Panic problems can be separated from anxiety because of the event of the accompanying side effects

  • Detaching oneself from family, friends, and other people
  • Detachment from one’s self
  • Fear of losing control 
  • Fear of dying


The most significant feature that distinguishes anxiety from panic attacks is that the former shows symptoms of apprehension and worry, but there is no feeling of detachment or fear when these attacks happen.  

The topics that come under the heading ‘ anxiety disorders” are as follows,

  • Specific phobias
  • Agoraphobia
  • Special anxiety disorder
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • GAD
  • Panic disorder
  • Separation anxiety disorder


Panic attacks:

Panic attacks happen when an individual feels an unexpected sense of dread, utter fear, or distress that is joined by different other mental and actual side effects. The side effects of panic attacks are in many cases so extreme that they intrude on the proficient working of the person on an everyday premise. The DSM-5 further makes sense that panic attacks are described by four a greater amount of the accompanying side effects:


Mental Symptoms of panic attacks

  • Depersonalization
  • Derealization
  • Fear of dying
  • Apprehension about letting completely go or going off the deep end


Physical Symptoms

  • Chest pain
  • Sensation of gagging
  • Heart palpitations, beating heart or sped up pulse
  • Queasiness or stomach trouble
  • Shudder or shaking
  • Feeling bleary-eyed, unstable, unsteady, or weak
  • Impressions of windedness, trouble relaxing
  • Chills
  • Unnecessary perspiring
  • Hot blazes
  • Deadness or shivering sensations (paresthesias)


Individuals experiencing panic attacks cannot predict them nor can they control them when it’s happening. 

At times, it very well may be ‘expected’ and it is on the grounds that it is brought about by a referred stressor, otherwise called fear. When one starts to experience panic attacks, it peaks within 10 mins and then subsides. Some attacks last longer than the previous episodes thus making it difficult for one to calculate when one attack begins and when the begun attack will end. The aftermath of the attack will leave you stressed, worried, confused, and on edge throughout the day and it is not uncommon to feel so. 



As opposed to panic attacks, anxiety begins slowly and escalates just throughout some undefined time frame. Anxiety is often correlated with an individual feeling excessive worry about the future or some potential danger. 

The more the expectation it will make inside the individual the higher the measures of feelings of anxiety it accomplishes. It arrives where it turns out to be too overpowering that it seems like an ‘attack’. The following are the symptoms exhibited by a person having anxiety disorder conditions.


Mental Symptoms

  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness


Physical Symptoms

  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Expanded frighten reaction

However a portion of the side effects are like that of panic attacks, they are very less serious than the previous. Symptoms of anxiety last for months or even years if appropriate treatment is not given. 


Diagnosis of anxiety attacks: 

Anxiety has become one of the most common conditions that are experienced by almost the entire population of America. It has been estimated that 19.1% of US adults experience anxiety conditions every year. This condition does impact the way of life in a significant manner. On a sad note, with so many experiencing anxiety conditions, only 20% of the population come forward to get treated. 

The treatment methods that are available for these conditions are highly effective and have proven to be highly result-oriented. So it is important that you seek immediate medical help if you are experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. Women are more likely to experience this than men while men are not so forthcoming in admitting their anxiety conditions. 


When you go to visit your doctor, you will be asked to undergo an evaluation. Here your primary care physician will really look at your clinical history, request that you take an actual test, and run lab tests whether the anxiety conditions are because of any actual medical issue. Whenever this is finished, you will prescribe it to a specialist or a psychological well-being expert who will ask you inquiries relating to the condition including the power at which you have been encountering it, the span, and how it thwarts your regular working.

In view of the finish of your primary care physician, your finding will be finished.

Most normally, treatment choices incorporate treatment, admission of physician recommended meds and self-improvement methodologies. Your psychological wellness specialist will suggest the right kind of treatment blends in view of the seriousness of your condition. If you are feeling something, something negative or sad, and if those thoughts are intrusive, seek medical help immediately and get treated at the earliest.