Know The Difference Between a Panic Attack and an Anxiety Attack

Today’s lifestyle very commonly includes mental breakdowns. Anxiety and Panic attacks are very prevalent these days. You look at every third person, and he suffers from either of these!
But do you know anxiety and panic attacks are not the same? Even though a lot of people tend to get confused between these two. But there indeed exist some differences. So, check out the difference between an anxiety attack and a panic attack.

What are anxiety and panic attacks?

Anxiety: An anxiety attack is when a person is worried about the future. The person has a negative feeling, and he feels that something terrible will happen. They are afraid about the things that have not happened yet!
Anxiety attack is not a proper medical term. But it’s a very commonly used term.


Panic Attacks: Panic attacks bring in a sudden feeling of fright, and these are probably without any pre-signs or warning. Panic attacks do not just cause mental or emotional damage but also physical damage. Panic attacks can last between ten minutes to half an hour. Sometimes, the episodes go on one after the other. It makes it very tough to determine when one ends, and the next one begins.

Symptoms of Anxiety attack vs. Panic attack

Symptoms of an anxiety attack-

  • Uncontrollable fears, apprehensions, and worries.
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathlessness
  • Flashbacks from past experiences
  • Sleeplessness
  • Unable to remain calm
  • Sweating
  • Cold hands
  • Dry mouth
  • Panic
  • Nightmares


Symptoms of a panic attack-

  • Choking sensation
  • Changes in heart rate like palpitations, faster heartbeat, pounding heart.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fear of death and feeling as if one is dying.
  • Numbness
  • The feeling of losing oneself or going mad.
  • Trembling
  • Pain in the chest
  • Feeling too hot or sweating
  • Chills
  • Dizziness

Types of Panic attacks

Expected panic attacks – These attacks result when the person has a phobia of a particular thing. So they can expect to have a seizure when they are in that situation or face that thing.

Unexpected Panic Attacks – Unlike expected panic attacks, these type of panic attacks is not a result of external causes like phobias, traumas, or any other external reason. Instead, these attacks occur suddenly without any pre-signs.


Types of anxiety attacks-

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – It is a type of anxiety attack that includes unwanted thinking and repetitive actions. People tend to do repetitive actions like washing things repeatedly, performing a ritual, cleaning something, etc.

Generalized Anxiety disorder – This disorder brings upon an excessive amount of anxiousness and worry. But all of this happens when there is no actual cause behind it.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD is a result of a past traumatic event. For example, if a person has gone through events like violence, brutality, or accidents in the past, he may have PTSD in the later run.

Social Anxiety Disorder – Also called social phobia, it is a type of anxiety disorder that makes people conscious of themselves. As a result, they lack self-confidence and feel scared of doing certain things in public. For example, they fear eating in public, speaking in front of people, etc.

So these were the differences between anxiety attacks and panic attacks. Hence I hope this article helped you clear out your confusion between the two.