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  • Anxiety/Panic Attacks the same?

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    Old 11-15-2006, 08:51 PM   #1
    tamjas's Avatar
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    Anxiety/Panic Attacks the same?

    I have attacks of anxiety that come on out of nowhere and happen suddenly. I get the palpitaions, the pounding,racing heart, the shaking, the breathing difficulty, the high blood pressure, weak legs, etc.

    It bothers me that I never know when it will happen. I cant think of anything that precedes it that would bring it on.

    Are anxiety and panic attacks the same thing and what do you do about it? Does it come on suddenly like that?

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    Old 11-16-2006, 07:12 AM   #2
    nuttygirl's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety/Panic Attacks the same?

    Actually anxiety is not the same as a panic attack although extreme anxiety can bring on panic attacks and often out of the blue. Some anxiety is normal like worrying about normal things as most people do and becoming anxious over a test or meeting is normal. Chronic, exaggerated worry is not normal. Everyone experiences some anxiety even on a daily basis. People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) experience constant anxiety which often has no apparent cause. A lot of anxiety sufferers have never had a panic attack. With panic attacks you feel suddenly terrified for no reason. These frequent bursts of terror are called panic attacks. During a panic attack, you also have scary physical feelings like a fast heartbeat, palps, chest pain, sweating, trouble breathing, or dizziness. You may also have thoughts that you're dying or going crazy due to the feelings in your body. You can have hot or cold flashes, numbness, disorientation, feeling like your detached from yourself, and many other symptoms which vary from person to person. Panic attacks can happen at any time and any place without warning. They often happen in grocery stores, malls, crowds, or while traveling. They can also come on when at home relaxing and for no apparent reason. You may live in constant fear of another attack(causing more anxiety) and may stay away from places where you have had an attack or avoid doing things like exercise or sex, etc because you're afraid it may trigger an attack. For some people, fear takes over their lives and they are unable to leave their homes(agoraphobia). Panic attacks don't last long(normally less than an hour but for some can continue longer or keep coming on like contractions when you're in labor), but they are so scary they feel like they go on forever. I've heard of people not having GAD and having out of the blue panic attacks. It's something that stumps a lot of doctors as much of the time there may be no real reason for attacks. I have acute anxiety with panic disorder. My panic attacks were coming one after the other for hours on end for days at a time. My life was miserable and my family was suffering also. After having all the routine tests to rule out any other medical problem which might be causing it I was put on xanax 4x daily and haven't had an attack since and have only had mild anxiety a few days.

    Hope that helps!

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