Normally, Panic attacks and Anxiety attacks come under the same mantra. But the reality is not as such as it seems. Both are different mental conditions. There is an essential need to recognize them in a well-mannered way. So that, not any ambiguity is left behind.

Let’s briefly talk about what panic attacks and anxiety attacks are.

Panic Attacks

A Panic Attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause.

Panic attacks can be very frightening. Usually, when they occur, you might think you are losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.


Many people have just one or two panic attacks in their lifetimes, and then the problems go away. Might be possible, when a stressful situation ends, then panic attack recovers. On the other hand, if you face any recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and spend longer periods in constant fear of another attack. You may have a condition called panic disorder.


Anxiety Attacks

There are not as such defined forms of anxiety attacks. But normally, they come under the canopy of anxiety. They may occur when your life is stressful and you have no way to get rid of those stress situations.

However, excessive, ongoing anxiety and worry that interfere with day to day activities may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder.


Signs and symptoms of both Anxiety and Panic attacks can make distinctions between them. But there are some pro tips that can assist you to identify that both are not the same.

  • Usually, panic attacks occur with no prompt, whereas anxiety is a responsive outcome of a threat.
  • Mostly, panic attacks are highly intense and disruptive. But the intensity of anxiety attacks varies from mild to severe.
  • Panic attacks suddenly happen without warning, while anxiety attacks occur gradually; from minutes to hours or days need to be intensified.
  • Generally, panic attacks let up after a few minutes of their happening. But the anxiety attacks may prevail over longer periods.

Differentiate the signs and symptoms of Anxiety & Panic attacks

If you want to differentiate between panic and anxiety attacks, nothing will be the best way to highlight this than their symptoms.

Symptoms of Panic attacks

Panic attacks have many variations, but symptoms usually peak within minutes. You may feel fatigued and worn out after a panic attack subsides.

Panic attacks typically include some of these symptoms:

  • Chills and phobias
  • Fear of loss of control or death
  • Sweating
  • Sense of impending doom or danger
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Hot flashes
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
  • Lightheadedness or faintness
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Feeling of unreality or detachment


One of the worst things about panic attacks is the intense fear that you will have another one. You may fear having a panic attack so much that you avoid situations where they may occur.


Symptoms of Anxiety attacks

Anxiety attacks being a condition that depends on various phases, have varying symptoms. Their physical signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Trembling or feeling twitchy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Muscle ache
  • Being easily startled
  • Diarrhea or irritable bowl
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Chest pain

Some other generalized symptoms are also show anxiety attacks;

  • Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
  • Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event.
  • Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that you mild “goes blank”
  • Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness
  • Carrying every option in a situation all way out to its possible negative conclusion


The concerns related to panic attacks vs anxiety attacks have somewhat elaborated under their signs and symptoms. Now further you may identify  some risk factors of these mental health issues.


Causes of Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Generally, the causes of panic attacks are not known. But it usually says that panic attacks can be expected or unexpected. However, some factors may play a significant role:

  • Genetics
  • Major stress
  • Work load
  • Social stresses
  • Driving
  • Caffeine
  • Chronic conditions or chronic pain
  • Withdrawal from alcohol or drugs
  • Medications or supplements
  • Memories and past trauma
  • Various phobias (excessive fear of objects or situations)
  • Temperament that is more sensitive to stress or prone to negative emotions
  • Certain changes in the way parts of your brain function

Apart from these causes, some other risk factors are also considered.

  • People are more likely to have panic attacks if they have:
  • An anxious personality
  • Suffering from another mental disorder, like depression, bipolar disorders, or an anxiety disorder
  • A chronic medical condition, such as thyroid disorder, diabetes, or heart diseases
  • Ongoing stresses in their personal or professional lives
  • Experience any stressful event, such as divorce or death of any dearone


Get clear differences between Anxiety and Panic attacks

After getting enough information about these mental health issues, are you still confused about what you are experiencing either anxiety or panic attack..? So, some other factors may clear this ambiguity to a great extent.

  • Anxiety is mainly related to being stressful and threatening. On the other hand, panic attacks are not signals caused by stress.
  • The intensity of anxiety may vary from mild, moderate, to severe. Whereas, panic attacks involve severe and disruptive symptoms.
  • Body’s autonomous fight-or-flight response takes over while panic attacks. Moreover, physical symptoms are more intense than that of anxiety attacks.
  • Anxiety builds up gradually, whereas panic attacks occur abruptly.
  • Moreover, panic attacks may activate fear mode in the body of another attack to happen. Thus, mood swings and behavior changes are more found commonly in sufferers.

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