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Are Panic Disorders and Anxiety Disorders the same thing???

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Old 03-26-2007, 02:52 PM   #1
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Are Panic Disorders and Anxiety Disorders the same thing???

I was reading in the Panic section and alot of the things listed on there are things I deal with. ALot of them cause anxiety for me or is it all the same thing?

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Old 03-26-2007, 07:25 PM   #2
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Re: Are Panic Disorders and Anxiety Disorders the same thing???

it seems to me that panic disorders are caused by anxiety and therefore are a part of anxiety. i have had anxiety with panic attacks and without them. i'm glad i only had to deal with them during one bout of anxiety. they sure aren't fun. God bless

Old 03-26-2007, 07:29 PM   #3
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Re: Are Panic Disorders and Anxiety Disorders the same thing???

thanks marian

Old 03-26-2007, 07:55 PM   #4
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SanyBelle HB UserSanyBelle HB UserSanyBelle HB UserSanyBelle HB User
Re: Are Panic Disorders and Anxiety Disorders the same thing???

If you can find and read a thread in this forum called "Heavy Head,,,,,Lightheaded", I asked the same thing. The thread is about 2 weeks back. I got the following very helpful answer from Boxerlover:

Hi Guys!

I am with you on this one! I suffer from heavy head and dizziness/lightheadedness on a daily basis. And when my anxiety is bad, so are these symptoms! As for your question~
What is the difference between panic and anxiety? I can answer this one,
I suffer from Anxiety and Panic Disorder so I know a lot about the two.
Panic attacks are a sudden and intense response to a normal thought or sensation. It is often accompanied with a feeling of impending doom and multiple physical sensations such as: Rapid heart beat, pounding heart or palpitations Sweating Shaking visibly or inside Choking sensations Smothering sensations or shortness of breath Chest pain or discomfort Nausea or abdominal discomfort Dizziness or unsteadiness Feeling light-headed Derealisation (feeling unreal) Depersonalisation (Feeling detached from oneself) Fear of losing control or going crazy Paraesthesia (numbness or tingling sensations) Chills or hot flushes.. Where as Anxiety Disorder
is described as a more psychological condition, prolonged by thought processes which perpetuate the condition. For example:
Anxiety can cause phobias such as agoraphobia which is a condition which develops from a "logical" development of self preservation avoidance. By avoiding certain situations the sufferer limits their activities, this forms the start of obsessive behaviour and when left untreated can cause debilitating social phobias. Some find it hard to even leave the house when developing this condition (agoraphobia)..There is very rarely just one reason why an anxiety disorder develops. Disorders are usually the result of a combination of factors such as Stress, past experiences such as bereavement, or lifestyle, just to name a few, It can take some time for an anxiety disorder to develop and may present no, or very few, symptoms until the disorder has developed fully. It is also NOT uncommon for one person to have multiple anxiety disorders.. This is what was explained to me about the difference between Panic disorder and Anxiety disorder. I Hope you found this helpful, I know when I was told the difference it made things a little bit clearer as to what it was that I was suffering from. Boxerlover

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Old 03-26-2007, 09:35 PM   #5
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wholegrain HB User
Re: Are Panic Disorders and Anxiety Disorders the same thing???

You can have panic attacks without ever having conscious anxiety, and you can have anxiety for many years without ever having a panic attack. From what I understand, doctors tend to use "panic disorder" to describe people who do NOT have negative thoughts, obsessive-compulsive habits, social anxiety, etc., but DO have sporadic panic attacks. And they tend to use "anxiety disorder" to describe people who DO have very nervous, perfectionist personalities and lots of conscious anxiety in their day to day lives.

However, I think the two are very closely related. For example, I was completely flabbergasted when I was diagnosed with panic disorder 2 years ago. I was *sure* that the random, temporary moments of complete terror and insanity I was experiencing were some type of physical disease like a brain tumor or degenerative nerve disease, because it made no sense at all that I of all people would have an "uptight" disorder. I was extremely laid back, almost to the point of being lazy, I was the complete OPPOSITE of a perfectionist, didn't care what anyone thought of me, and I was adventurous, not afraid of anything. But I had panic attacks. There were no "triggers", I didn't think of anything stressful when I had a panic attack. It was literally like I'd be going about my day, chilling, and all of a sudden I'd be convinced I was going to die and I'd started hallucinating and hyperventilating.

HOWEVER, over time I sort of became a very anxious person. My therapist pointed out to me that I DO have anxiety and stress, I just don't express it the same way that openly anxious people do. I wouldn't be surprised if I went in to get another diagnosis and it had changed from panic disorder to anxiety disorder. Panic attacks, even just random ones, turned me into a person who worries and frets all the time. Being afraid of them, etc.

Hope this helps.

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