Anxiety and panic attacks can be overwhelming and debilitating experiences for those who suffer from them. In most cases, they occur suddenly, making it difficult for individuals to manage or control their emotions. While these two conditions are often used interchangeably, they are different experiences that require distinct approaches.
As a leading provider of substance use disorder and mental health treatment in Northern Virginia, Insight Into Action Therapy understands the importance of recognizing the differences between anxiety and panic attacks. We offer anxiety treatment that provides tailored support to help individuals overcome these distressing experiences. Call 703.935.8544 to learn more about how we can help you enjoy a higher quality of life.
Anxiety Attacks vs. Panic Attacks
Dealing with anxiety or panic attacks can be a life-changing experience. While the two states of mind can feel similar, there are some notable differences that you should know about.
Definition of Anxiety Attacks
Anxiety attacks are usually a reaction to a particular stimulus. This could be a fear of public speaking, the anticipation of an upcoming exam, or even just thinking about a worst-case scenario. Physical symptoms of anxiety attacks can include:
- Racing heart
- Shortness of breath
You might feel like you cannot control these sensations and that you’re in immediate danger, even if nothing isn’t anything physically threatening you.
Definition of Panic Attacks
Unlike anxiety attacks, panic attacks can appear out of nowhere without any obvious trigger. Symptoms of a panic attack include severe and sudden feelings of fear. Individuals may also experience physical symptoms of panic attacks such as:
- Increased heart rate
Panic attacks often peak within 10 minutes and last for about 30 minutes.
Causes of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Broadly speaking, anxiety attacks are often related to a particular trigger. This could be stress, a particular scenario, or even a physical health issue. In contrast, the causes of panic attacks are not always clear. However, research has shown that they can be related to sudden life changes, chronic stress, or a predisposition to anxiety.
Treatment for Anxiety Attacks and Panic Attacks
If you’re dealing with anxiety or panic attacks, know that help is available. Treatment may include therapy, medication, and other supportive methods. Acting quickly is key to managing these conditions, as untreated panic attacks or anxiety attacks can develop into more serious mental health concerns. If you’re experiencing symptoms, make an appointment with a qualified health professional to start working on identifying and treating the underlying cause.
Tips for Coping
Outside of therapy and treatment options, you can do a variety of things to manage both anxiety and panic attacks. Some proven effective strategies for many people include:
- Deep breathing
- Mindfulness exercises
- Regular exercise
You may also find that reframing negative thought patterns can help reduce the frequency and intensity of future attacks.
Anxiety and panic attacks can be very difficult to deal with, but with the right treatment, support, and coping strategies, you can manage your symptoms and get your life back on track. Remember that you are not alone and that there is hope for a brighter future. If you’re experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, don’t hesitate to contact a qualified health professional for guidance and support.
Get Anxiety Treatment at Insight Into Action Therapy
Are you struggling with panic or anxiety attack symptoms? Insight Into Action Therapy is here to help. Our experienced team of compassionate and licensed clinicians specializes in providing cutting-edge, evidence-based treatments that address the root causes of these conditions. We offer a range of outpatient services, including individual therapy, group therapy, and medication management, all designed to support you on your path to recovery.
With us, you’ll receive a personalized treatment plan based on your unique needs, ensuring that you receive the highest quality care every step of the way. Contact us today at 703.935.8544 or online and take the first step towards a healthier, happier life.