Panic attacks vs anxiety attacks: How much do you know about the differences between the two? Read on to learn more about the differences between them.

Panic Attacks vs Anxiety Attacks: What Are the Differences?

If you’ve ever experienced an attack of intense anxiety or felt like you’re about to pass out and fall over, you’ve had a panic attack.

But are panic attacks and anxiety attacks the same thing? Is there a difference? They’re close cousins and there’s some blurring between the two, but there are distinctions between the two.

Read on to find out the difference between panic attacks vs anxiety attacks.


Differences in Symptoms

Anxiety and panic attacks can often be confused, but there are key differences in their symptoms that indicate one or the other.


Anxiety is a general feeling of apprehension or fear, whereas a panic attack is an intense and overwhelming feeling of fear that comes on suddenly and without warning.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can cause intense fear, a feeling of being out of control, and may make it difficult to breathe, chest pain, trembling, and a pounding heart.

But these two can cause similar symptoms, such as trembling, a pounding heart, sweating, and difficulty breathing, but it is not as intense as a panic attack and does not come on as suddenly or without warning. 

Differences in Diagnosis

A panic attack is an intense period of fear or discomfort, often described as an intense fear of impending doom. It is typically accompanied by physical symptoms such as trembling, racing heart, hot or cold flashes, nausea, and the feeling of being out of control.

On the other hand, an anxiety attack is referred to as a period of fear or apprehension in situations that are not usually considered dangerous. These attacks are usually triggered by a negative emotion or worry and can last either a few minutes to several hours.

Both types of attacks can cause similar physical symptoms and may cause people to avoid situations that trigger them. However, the preference for treatment between the two types of attacks may vary depending on the diagnosis.

Panic attack sufferers may benefit from medications that can help lessen the severity and duration of the attack, such as anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants. 

Differences in Treatment

Treatment for anxiety might include long-term therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, while panic attacks could include relaxation or breathing exercises combined with education and support.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is extremely helpful in tackling the thoughts and beliefs that drive and maintain the behavior associated with anxiety and panic. 

Panic attacks are often characterized by intense fear, shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadedness, a racing heart, or chest pain. In contrast, anxiety attacks are more diffuse and can range from feeling mildly uncomfortable to extreme feelings of dread and fear.

The main difference between panic attacks vs anxiety attacks is in their treatment. Panic attacks tend to require medication to help the individual handle their symptoms and to lower the intensity of the attack.

If you are one of those individuals who want to live their lives to the fullest, The Counseling Center Group can help you. 

Know About Panic Attacks vs Anxiety Attacks Today

Panic attacks vs anxiety attacks are both extremely difficult to manage, but knowing the key differences between the two can help you to better understand your own thoughts and emotions.

If you suffer from either of these conditions, talking to a licensed mental healthcare professional is the best way to help address your symptoms. Don’t wait – start managing your panic or anxiety today!

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