Panic attacks and panic disorder are anxiety-related conditions that can profoundly affect people’s lives.
Although they share some characteristics, these conditions have important differences in terms of duration, intensity, and frequency of symptoms.
In this article, we will examine in detail the symptoms of these two conditions, their causes and treatment methods to better understand these emotional challenges.
Table of Contents
Symptoms of panic attacks
Panic attacks are sudden, intense episodes of anxiety that can occur unpredictably. The main symptoms include:
- Palpitations or tachycardia: The heart accelerates, causing a sensation of fast and strong beats.
- Shortness of breath or feeling of suffocation: Breathing becomes difficult and the person may feel that he cannot breathe properly.
- Shaking and sweating: Shaking hands and excessive sweating are common symptoms during a panic attack.
- Feeling of suffocation: The person may feel as if they are suffocating or that there is not enough air in the room.
- Dizziness and lightheadedness: The feeling of being out of balance can occur during a panic attack.
- Fear of losing control or going crazy: The person may feel that they are losing control of their emotions or thoughts.
- Feeling of impending death: Fear of dying is a frequent feature during panic attacks.
Symptoms of panic disorder
Panic disorder is a chronic condition characterized by recurrent panic attacks and constant worry about their occurrence. In addition to the above symptoms, panic disorder can also present:
- Fear of having new panic attacks: The person may live in constant fear of when the next attack will happen.
- Behavioral changes: Avoid places or situations where panic attacks have occurred in the past.
- Excessive concern about health: Constant fear of having serious health problems related to anxiety.
- Sleep disorders: Insomnia or difficulty falling asleep due to anxiety.
Differences and reasons
Panic attacks can occur in response to situations of intense stress, while panic disorder is linked to genetic factors and chemical imbalances in the brain.
Although the causes are different, both conditions can be debilitating and require medical attention.
Professional treatment and help
Seeking professional help is essential for effective treatment of panic attacks and panic disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapies, anti-anxiety medications, and relaxation techniques can be used to control symptoms and improve quality of life.
If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. With the right treatment, it is possible to manage these conditions and regain control of your life.