Just like illness, mental disorders also have many types. Two of the most common disorders are anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Both of them can interfere with the activities of the sufferer. Not to mention, some of the symptoms are also quite similar. However, what is the difference between an anxiety disorder and a panic attack?
Difference between Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attack
Many people think Anxiety disorder and panic attacks are the same. However, they are two different disorders. Even so, the two do have a relationship.
In order to better understand the difference between anxiety disorders and panic attacks, the following is explained one by one the points of difference between the two:
In terms of definition, anxiety disorder and panic attack are two different terms. Anxiety disorder is a term to describe a mental disorder characterized by anxiety symptoms.
Meanwhile, a panic attack is a feeling of fear that appears suddenly and feels intense. This situation occurs for no apparent reason. Panic attack is arguably a symptom or attack, which can happen to anyone.
2. Trigger Symptoms
In anxiety disorders, anxiety symptoms can appear because of a clear trigger. For example, phobia of heights, and so on. These symptoms can last for minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months. This depends on the severity of the sufferer.
When a person experiences a panic attack, the feeling of panic experienced can appear suddenly. this happens for no apparent reason or trigger. Panic attack symptoms can last for 10 minutes or more.
Sometimes, sufferers can also experience a follow-up panic attack at the same time. In fact, sufferers can also feel anxious or stressed throughout the day before experiencing a panic attack.
3. Variation of Symptoms
Sometimes, anxiety disorders and panic attacks are considered the same because they have similar symptoms. These symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, and other physical symptoms. However, in reality they both have several different symptoms. In anxiety disorders, the symptoms experienced can include sleep disturbances, muscle aches, and so on.
Meanwhile, in panic attacks, there are other symptoms that are not experienced by people with anxiety disorders. For example, intense fear of dying, feeling out of control or going crazy. Some sufferers can experience a sense of detachment from the surrounding environment (depersonalization).
Those are some of the differences between anxiety disorders and panic attacks. If you experience one of these mental disorders, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help.