Anxiety is a common emotion felt by everyone at some point in their lives. It’s a natural biological response to stressful stimuli. However, an anxious response is not always helpful or warranted. Sometimes anxiety can come in the form of an “attack,” or an acute manifestation of anxious or panicky feelings. It’s vital to learn how to tell the difference between a panic attack vs. an anxiety attack.
Aren’t you tired of battling a mental health condition such as an anxiety disorder or panic disorder? If so, our treatment team can help. At Atlantic Recovery Center, we work each day to give each person the care and support they deserve. Whether you’re battling a panic disorder, anxiety disorder, or substance abuse, we’re here to help. Contact our Florida treatment center today at 1-866-824-5193 to learn more about your treatment options.
What Is An Anxiety Attack?
An anxiety attack is a gradual build-up of anxious emotions that eventually come to a head for a period of time. Anxiety attacks are typically characterized by excessive worry or fear, irritability, restlessness, hypervigilance, and fatigue.
What Is a Panic Attack?
A panic attack is the sudden engagement of the fight or flight response without adequate stimuli to have elicited it. This means you feel intense fear and panic as though there was a real emergency, although no emergency or danger is currently present.
Symptoms of panic attacks include but are not limited to:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Changes in vision
- Feeling weak
- Sudden urge to use the bathroom
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
These symptoms are frightening, and many people confuse chest pain and heart palpitations from panic attacks with the hallmarks of a heart attack. Often, people who experience panic attacks feel extreme dread and existential fear during the episode, which can easily be mistaken as the sensation of “dying.”
What Are the Key Differences Between a Panic Attack vs. Anxiety Attack?
There are a few important differences between a panic attack vs. anxiety attack, such as:
- Panic attacks are typically more intense but shorter in duration than anxiety attacks.
- Anxiety attacks generally manifest with fewer physical symptoms than panic attacks.
- Panic attacks are caused by the sudden release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and are a biological response.
- It’s possible to have both anxiety and panic attacks.
- Some individuals are more sensitive to anxiety and may be more predisposed to experience anxiety and panic attacks.
How Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks Manifest in Drug and Alcohol Addicts
Panic and anxiety attacks are common reasons individuals turn to drugs and alcohol for relief. Symptoms of anxiety can be debilitating and make it difficult for a person to function. “Numbing” those feelings with substance abuse is an attractive option for many people. However, what is intended to be temporary often turns into a perpetual cycle of anxiety and addiction that, at some point, stops bringing relief from anything other than withdrawal. Understanding the differences between a panic attack vs. anxiety attack is a good start to learning how to manage these conditions without the use of drugs or alcohol. However, treatment may be needed for individuals who developed an drug or alcohol addiction.
Get Help with Addiction Recovery Today
If you or someone you love are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, Atlantic Recovery Center can help. We have a caring team of clinicians, nurses, and staff available to assist you in getting the support you need to overcome addiction to drugs or alcohol. Contact us today at 1-866-824-5193 to find out more information about our treatment center and available rehabilitation programs.