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Anxiety attack vs Panic attack - What is the difference?

Responses (2)

mfpdfibro 24 Feb 2013

Hope this helps the confusion. The terms anxiety attacks and panic attacks are often used interchangeably to mean the same thing. In this sense, the difference is purely a matter of semantics. But from a clinical perspective, panic and anxiety are defined by different features.

The DSM-IV-TR uses the term panic attack to describe the hallmark features associated with panic disorder. The term “anxiety attack” is not defined in the DSM-IV-TR. Rather, anxiety is used to describe a core feature of several illnesses identified under the headline, “Anxiety Disorders.” Disorders under this heading include:

Panic Disorder
Agoraphobia without History of Panic Disorder
Specific Phobia
Social Phobia
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This is a rather general answer so if you would like more information please don't hesitate to ask.

Inactive 24 Feb 2013

Panic Attack on the other hand, generally intensifies over a period of time and is highly correlated to excessive worry. The symptoms of anxiety are very similar to the symptoms of panic attacks and may include:

Muscle tension
Disturbed sleep
Difficulty concentrating
Increased startle response
Increased heart rate
Shortness of breath

While some of these symptoms are similar to many of the symptoms associated with panic attacks, they are generally less intense. Another important distinction is that, unlike a panic attack, the symptoms of anxiety may be persistent and very long lasting -- days, weeks or even months.

Whether you’re dealing with panic, persistent anxiety or both, effective treatment is available.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., text revision 2000 Washington, DC: Author.
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palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
trembling or shaking
sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
feeling of choking
chest pain or discomfort
nausea or abdominal distress
feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
feelings of unreality (derealization) or being detached from oneself (depersonalization)
fear of losing control or going crazy
fear of dying
numbness or tingling sensations (paresthesias)
chills or hot flushes
This is the only thing I found out. Maybe our friends could help you out more. Their so privy to meds and illnesses. We have some dynamite friends on They spend their night and days researching meds and illnesses in order for us to get informed decisions on our questions.
If I can do anything else, let me know. I think you have your answer covered. I'm just guessing.
You take care and my God grant you wit peace, free discount card

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