Anxiety attack vs. panic attack: Do you know the difference?

How to know if you're having an anxiety attack or a panic attack

How to know if you’re having an anxiety attack or a panic attack

When I was going through my divorce, I often had worries about money, my future, my job, my family relationships, and a LOT of other things. Sometimes I would be going about my day and all of the sudden, I’d be hit with a bout of severe sweating. My heart was racing, feeling like it was going to burst out of my chest. I noticed that I was breathing fast and hard, yet I felt like I wasn’t getting any oxygen. My hands were sweaty and shaking and I couldn’t focus on whatever task was at hand. I would sometimes even break out in tears. And all the while I was going through this, one of the most prominent thoughts that kept going through my mind was…

Am I crazy? Here I am in the grocery store losing it. What are these people around me thinking about me right now?

In explaining these episodes to my medical advisor, I would describe them as anxiety attacks. But I learned that what I was experiencing was actually panic attacks.

People often get the two ailments confused, and I certainly was among them.

Anxiety attack vs. panic attack: Do you know the difference?

Anxiety attack vs. panic attack via @what.is.mental.illness on Instagram
image via @what.is.mental.illness on Instagram

3 truths about anxiety and panic attacks

  1. You can experience both at the same time
  2. Anxiety about something can trigger a panic attack
  3. They can both be debilitating

Panic attacks

  • Typically very severe and sudden
  • Feeling of being overwhelmed
  • Sometimes unexpected and without an obvious cause
  • Caused by external stressors
  • Chronic panic attacks may be a sign of panic disorder
  • More intense physical symptoms than anxiety attacks

Anxiety attacks

  • Come on more gradually and may build over time
  • Typically relating to an upcoming event that is causing fear, worry, or other types of stress
  • They can be mild, moderate, or severe
  • Overall longer-lasting than panic attacks

The good news: You can overcome both

Both panic attacks and anxiety attacks can be managed. Recognizing an impending attack will allow you to take control and implement a relaxation technique.

Hypnosis can help

Hypnosis helped me get through one of the most stressful times of my life. Once I learned how, I was able to recognize when I had a panic attack coming on and nip it in the bud before it got away from me.

Through my Stress and Anxiety Management Hypnosis Program, we determine what is causing your symptoms, then shape your subconscious to teach it how to react in a healthy manner when a stressful situation arises.

If you have severe symptoms, contact your physician immediately. Hypnosis is often used as an accompaniment to traditional medicine and is not intended to replace medical care.

Join me on Sunday, November 15th for my online workshop and group hypnosis session, “Say Goodbye to Stress and Anxiety“.

Say Goodbye to Stress and Anxiety online workshop and group hypnosis

Anxiety attack vs. panic attack: Do you know the difference?

As a Transformational Life Coach and Certified Hypnosis Practitioner, I help people train their brain to think differently so they can break old, unwanted patterns. Book your free consultation and assessment online.

Jen Merkel Holistic Hypnosis and Wellness

Add positive vibes to your in-box: Sign up for my wellness newsletter!