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:
Agoraphobia without History of Panic 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.
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