Difference between anxiety attack and panic attack

Anxiety and panic attacks sound similar when it comes to definition, but in real-time situations, it’s a bit different. Different in experiences, medications, and symptoms.

Panic attacks can be more intense than an anxiety attack. Though some of their symptoms are similar like rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and dizziness. In practice, however, panic and anxiety have different features, and behavioral health professionals use these terms for specific symptoms and disorders.

Let’s discuss some of the major differences between anxiety attacks and panic attacks:

anxiety attacks

Anxiety issues are one of the common mental health conditions and can have a significant impact on one’s life. But most of the people do not see it as something to seek treatment for, but it is always recommended to seek some specialist and proceed accordingly.

difference between anxiety and panic attack

Anxiety attacks gradually build up and symptoms can include

  • dizziness
  • sleeping problems
  • muscle problems
  • irritability
  • increased heart rate
  • shortness of breath.

In contrast, anxiety can occur due to excessive worry and some potential danger- whether real or perceived. Anxiety is part of the emotional and protective responses hardwired into the human body. the conditions can be improved by taking the required actions as your therapist or some specialist have told you to do.


Panic attacks can be intense and can occur due to sudden feelings of fear, terror, and can be severe and cause disruption. Physical symptoms can include:

  • excessive sweating
  • trembling or shaking
  • heart palpitations, pounding rate
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • feeling of chocking
  • chills, difficult breathing
  • nausea, numbness
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded

Mentally these can be :

  • feeling of unreality
  • feeling detached from oneself
  • fear of going crazy or lost
  • fear of dying

Panic attacks do not give you hints or warnings of the trigger. anxiety attacks are slow and gradually build in your body with all the experiences whereas panic attacks are sudden and unobvious. panic attacks can be 10 minutes long and can also last long for more period of time with multiple attacks. it can be difficult in those situations to determine when one attack ends and when another begins.


It is best if you prefer some experience and expert guidance like a doctor or mental health experts. Also do not ignore the minor things just for the sake of satisfying ourselves with not-true information. If it is something that is enough till now and you didn’t felt yourself, please take some expert advice. They will ask you questions about your medical history or some past experiences including intensity, duration, and experience of impact on our daily functioning, can run some lab tests and physical exam, and you don’t have to impress your doctor (because a lot of people, unintentionally does that), you’ve to be honest with your doctor for your own good.

Treatments can be physiotherapy, medical treatment, and self- help techniques. All of these will include different procedures and medications. Panic attacks and anxiety can really affect our lives and it is far more intense than a traumatic situation, our friends and loved ones can experience these issues anytime. If you’re not the one dealing with it, you can help people around you to take action on it. Talk to your doctor about symptoms and then they’ll decide what you’ve to do.

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