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  • What is the difference between anxiety and panic attacks



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    Old 03-08-2009, 04:18 PM   #1
    Habs191
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    What is the difference between anxiety and panic attacks

    I am very confused about what is so different between the two, anxiety attack and panic attacks. I took either one of them in school one day, and I had to be rushed right home, it was very embarassing. It came out of nowhere, I was not being pressured, it was very suprising, so I went into the locker room, with my friends because I was in gym class, but I didn't start gym yet, and I wasn't changed into my clothes either, so I did no physical activity,and then I started feelings very scared. My heart was pounding and I was breathing very fast. Then my head started to tingle, I thought it was from where I was shaking, but once I put my hands on my head, I knew it wasn't because I was shaking, I was trying to make the tingling feeling stop but it wouldn't work. Then it started to go down my face, and I was very frightened. I went to the doctor and he used a lot of big medical words, so I had no idea what was going on. I am going to get bloodwork soon, but I would like to know what the difference is between anxiety attacks and panic attacks, and which one I had.

     
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    Old 03-08-2009, 05:33 PM   #2
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    Re: What is the difference between anxiety and panic attacks

    I have had anx/panic attacks,a few years back.I was given Ativan (Lorazapam)
    for this ,and it was tremendous in helping me.I would take a pill,before my gym class,or any other condition that may be stressful.This Ativan worked for me in 15--20 minutes.This does not necessarily mean that you are doomed to having to take this med. forever.I have not taken it for three or four years.It is like having a
    "quick fix" with you at all times.My friend's attractive daughter had a situation of anxiety while she was typing a letter,and had to immediately leave her office.I believe she never had another incident,and this was 10 years ago.Please do not get caught up in semantics as far as anx vs pan. is concerned. Good luck...Bill

     
    Old 03-08-2009, 05:36 PM   #3
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    Re: What is the difference between anxiety and panic attacks

    Correction..please ignore my reference to my gym class.It was an error on my part. Bill

     
    Old 03-08-2009, 05:38 PM   #4
    Habs191
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    Re: What is the difference between anxiety and panic attacks

    Thank you

     
    Old 03-08-2009, 09:43 PM   #5
    markw65
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    Re: What is the difference between anxiety and panic attacks

    Anxiety is used to describe general symptoms that are relatively mild and last a long time....e.g. anticipatory anxiety before a big date..etc....which may include faster heart beat, sweating, blushing, high pitched voice, shortness of breath etc...these symtoms are generally tolerable..and may last for hours...A panic attack is a sudden and acute "attack" of anxiety where you feel out of control..some people literally can't breathe...it feels like having a heart attack..sometimes an ambulance may need to be called..

     
    Old 03-08-2009, 09:48 PM   #6
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    Re: What is the difference between anxiety and panic attacks

    I my opinion a panic attack,most people feel heart attack type symptoms.
    The other most feel overwhelmed with a feeling, fear or what ever and can feel like waves of something going through your body or the tingling feeling.
    Just my opinion.

    Last edited by sirmark; 03-08-2009 at 09:48 PM.

     
    Old 03-09-2009, 09:11 AM   #7
    zekat
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    Re: What is the difference between anxiety and panic attacks

    I think the easiest way to separate the two is to say that people typically know why they are having an anxiety attack. With a panic attack, you often have no idea why you suddenly start feeling so weird. With an anxiety attack, you are stressed out, and suddenly things feel out of control. Often, a panic attack just comes out of the blue. The symptoms are similar to an anxiety attack, but because we are not sure what is causing the symptoms, we get even more frightened and begin thinking all kinds of things are wrong with us.

     
    Old 03-09-2009, 03:31 PM   #8
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    Re: What is the difference between anxiety and panic attacks

    To me it sounds like you had a panic attack.

    I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, which mostly consists of excessive worry about everyday events (like "Why hasn't my son called me? Something terrible must have happened" or "I made a mistake at work; I'm sure I'll be fired").

    But once I suffered a panic attack, and my experience was very much like what you described. I was having lunch in a restaurant with an old friend, nothing stressful going on at all. Suddenly I began to feel very strange, almost like I was in a dream. My friend was talking but she seemed far away, and I was mainly aware of intense tingling, mainly in my head, chest, arms, and hands. I felt like I was about to pass out. I was afraid I was having a stroke. It lasted about 10 minutes. I was edgy the rest of the day, but otherwise OK.

    That's when I decided to go to the doctor, where I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). I take Lexapro daily for it and it's helped me enormously.

    Reading people's postings on these boards has helped me feel better just knowing I'm not alone!

    Best of luck to you -- just remember that whether you're diagnosed with anxiety or panic, there are plenty of treatment avenues available to help you cope.

     
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