Panic Attack Vs. Anxiety Attack: What’s The Difference?

They Have Different Conditions

You’ll hear people talking about panic attacks and anxiety attacks as if they are identical, But, they are not, they are different conditions.

Panic Attack

Panic attacks occur spontaneously and suddenly and involve intense and often overpowering fear. They are often associated with scary physical symptoms, such as a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, shaking and trembling, even nausea.

The American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) recognizes panic attacks, and categorizes them as recurrent, unexpected or expected.

Unexpected panic attacks occur seem to occur randomly and without an obvious cause. Expected panic attacks are cued by external stressors, such as phobias. (See 50 fears and phobias Hypnotherapy can treat here.) Panic attacks can happen to anyone, it does not matter if you are a famous actor, a Doctor, Architect or Biker. If you have multiple symptoms it may be a sign of panic disorder. What this means that if you have multiple symptoms and they recur often you could have a panic disorder. Clinical Hypnotherapy can help you reduce the instances of attacks as well as lessen the severity.

Anxiety attacks on the other hand are not defined in the DSM-5, but anxiety is a common symptom in a whole host of psychiatric disorders. Symptoms of anxiety include worry, distress, and fear, these symptoms tend to linger and turn into stress. Because a lack of diagnostic recognition of anxiety exists the signs and symptoms tend to be open to interpretation.

Read on to find out more about the differences between a Panic Attack vs. an Anxiety Attack

Symptoms of Panic Attack vs. Anxiety Attack

A Terror Attack vs. Anxiety Attack Symptoms

Panic and Anxiety Symptoms may feel similar, and they have a lot of emotional and physical symptoms in common. Interestingly you can experience both an anxiety and a dread at the same time.

For example, you can experience anxiety while in a stressful situation, such as an audition or being on a first date. If the situation you are in triggers anxiety and build up it might culminate in panicky alarm.

SymptomsAnxiety attackTerror or Panic attack
Psychologicalapprehension and worry
Fear of losing control or going crazy
fear of dying or losing control
Feelings of unreality (derealization) or being detached from oneself (depersonalization)
Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
Physicalheart palpitations or an accelerated heartrate
chest pain
Difficulty breathing
tightness in the throat or feeling like you’re choking
dry mouth
chills or hot flashes
trembling or shaking
numbness or tingling (paresthesia)
burning chest pain (resembles acid reflux)
tension headaches
feeling faint or dizzy
Chronic cough
Hypersensitivity syndromes (to touch, sound, smells, foods, medications)

It is very difficult to know the difference between anxiety or a panic attack, especially if you are experiencing it and under stress. Here’s how you can tell the difference:

  • Nervousness and anxiety is commonly identified with something that is seen as unpleasant or undermining. Fits of anxiety aren’t constantly prompted by stressors. They frequently happen all of a sudden.
  • Tension can be gentle, moderate, or extreme. For instance, uneasiness might be going on toward the rear of your psyche as you approach your everyday exercises. Fits of anxiety, then again, for the most part include serious, problematic manifestations.
  • During a fit of anxiety, the body’s self-governing battle or-flight reaction dominates. Actual side effects are frequently more exceptional than manifestations of uneasiness.
  • While nervousness can fabricate continuously, alarm assaults ordinarily please unexpectedly.
  • Fits of anxiety ordinarily trigger concerns or fears identified with having another assault. This may affect your conduct, driving you to keep away from spots or circumstances where you figure you may be in danger of a fit of anxiety.


Startling fits of anxiety have no reasonable outer triggers. Expected fits of anxiety and uneasiness can be set off by comparable things. Some basic triggers include:

  • an upsetting occupation
  • driving, particularly a driving test
  • social circumstances
  • fears, like agoraphobia (dread of swarming or open spaces), claustrophobia (dread of little spaces), and acrophobia (dread of heights)
  • updates or recollections of horrible encounters
  • persistent ailments, like coronary illness, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, or asthma
  • persistent pain
  • withdrawal from medications or liquor
  • caffeine addiction
  • prescription, supplements and enhancements
  • thyroid issues

Risk Factors

  • Anxiety and panic attacks have similar risk factors. These include:
  • encountering injury or seeing horrendous accidents, either as a youngster or as a grown-up
  • encountering an upsetting life occasion, like the demise of a friend or family member or a separation
  • encountering progressing pressure and stresses, for example, work duties, struggle in your family, or monetary hardships
  • living with a persistent ailment or dangerous disease
  • having a restless character
  • having another psychological well-being problem, like misery
  • having close relatives who additionally have tension or frenzy problems
  • utilizing medications or liquor

Individuals who experience anxiety and general nervousness are at an expanded danger of encountering panic attacks. Notwithstanding, having anxiety and nervousness doesn’t mean you will encounter a panic attack or anxiety.

Reaching a diagnosis

Clinical Hypnotherapists, just like Doctor’s can’t diagnose anxiety attacks, but to understand the difference between them they can diagnose symptoms such as:

  • anxiety
  • anxiety disorders
  • panic attacks
  • panic disorders

When you schedule your free consultation we’ll ask you about your symptoms, when they happen and ask psychological questions. You’ll tell us your story and from this we’ll assess a treatment plan using various modalities. Applying the plan in a session or multiple sessions will then support your elimination of the underlying causes.

A Clinical Hypnotherapy Remedy

Our treatment plans have these steps in common. Do these steps when an attack strikes can help you feel more in control.

If you feel an anxiety or panic attack coming on, try the following:

Take moderate full breaths. At the point when you feel your breath filling up, focus and breathe out. Feel your stomach load up with air as you breathe in. Count down from four as you you breathe out. Repeat this till you feel more calm.

Become conscious and acknowledge what you’re encountering. Acknowledge they can be staggeringly terrifying. Tap into your inner guide who tells you the attack will pass and you’ll be okay.

Become mindful. This is empathy in action, becoming mindful and witnessing what happens from the presepective of a neutral observer, reduces and even eliminates the severity of the attack. Mindfulness is a strategy that can help you ground your “monkey mind” in ground you into the present reality.

Engage in unwinding. Relaxation methods incorporate guided symbolism, scent healing, and muscle unwinding. In case you’re encountering side effects of anxiety or a fit of panic, immediately start doing something that you find calming. Close your eyes, take a spa treatment, spray on some lavender, and book a free consultation with me..

We’ll also Recommend Lifestyle changes

Clinical Hypnotehrapy is not a magic bullet, we’ll recommend that you review your lifestyle. The following changes can help you prevent anxiety and panic attacks, as well as reduce the severity of symptoms when an attack occurs:

  • Become aware of and reduce and manage sources of stress in your life.
  • Learn how to identify and stop negative thoughts. We’ll teach you how to do this.
  • Exercise regularly, even if it is a walk around the block every two days.
  • Practice mindfulness meditate or sign up for a yoga class.
  • Eat a balanced diet. I recommend the Mediterranean diet.
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol, drugs, and caffeine.

The Takeaway

Panic attacks and mental episodes aren’t similar. This is the difference between a Panic Attack vs. an Anxiety Attack. Though these terms are often used interchangeably, only panic attacks are identified in the DSM-5.

Anxiety and panic attacks have similar symptoms, causes, and risk factors. However, panic attacks tend to be more intense and are often accompanied by more severe physical symptoms.

Anxiety and panic attacks have comparable indications, causes, and hazard factors. But panic attacks will generally be more extreme and are frequently connected to more serious physical symptoms.

I offer a free hypnotherapy consultation. Tell me your story and we’ll figure out if Hypnosis Therapy is right for you. Not ready? Start by reading my book because positively transforming your relationships is the secret to life-long peace and happiness.

Reese Witherspoon the actor experienced panic attacks and resolved them with Hypnotherapy. Here is her story…