Panic attacks and anxiety, although similar, but are different in some aspects. It’s because of these similarities that people tend to put the both in a single basket; however for a successful treatment it is good to differentiate the two and proceed from that knowledge.
Differences between Panic and Anxiety attacks
People who suffer from panic attacks know that this intense feeling of fear comes out of nowhere; instead, people who suffer from a kind of anxiety have specific triggers for the tension. For example, people with social anxiety disorders are affected when they are in a social situation.
People pith panic disorders are prone to develop Agoraphobia (the fear of open places and environments) overtime, while anxiety sufferers don’t have this issue.
Because of the unexplainable nature of panic attacks, sufferers look for a medical answer to their problem. People with anxiety know what triggers the anxiety and in part know the explanation to the reactions. People with panic attacks prefer to go out with someone else, this is in great part because of the fear to be alone during a panic attack. On the other hand, people with anxiety prefer to be alone.
So, you can see there are specific differences that can help you tell apart one from the other.
Getting Panic attack Help from a Doctor
If you think you have panic attacks but are not certain, the best idea is to talk to a professional. Through tests and questions you will be evaluated and the diagnose will be determined for treatment.
Remember that both disorders are treatable and there is no need of suffering for a longer time.
Overcoming Panic Attacks
Panic attacks can leave you emotionally exhausted, thinking there is no way out of the nightmare. The sudden attacks of fear makes you feel helpless. However, thanks to the advancement of medicine and therapy, overcoming panic attacks is something possible.
Treatments for Overcoming Panic Attacks
The two main treatments used for panic attacks are medication and therapy, they are often combined to give the patient a full spectrum of ways to deal with the problem. The medicines used are antidepressants, prescribed and supervised by doctor and have been proved to be highly effective to control panic attacks.
There are also alternative or “natural” treatments such as meditation and hypnosis tapes. They help you battle the panic attacks without the intervention of chemicals in your brain.
Dealing with a Panic Attack
When you start feeling the symptoms of a panic attack, there are a few things you can do. You can for instance do some physical activity like walking while trying to remain calm and relaxed. Doing regular exercise has helped some people reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.
Don’t take alcohol or drugs to overcome the panic attack, although they will seem to do better initially, there will be a time in the attack where the substances will play against you – not to mention it can lead to dependency.
If you experience panic outside your home, don’t try to run or drive a car. Remember that you are in an altered state so driving for example can lead to even worse consequences for you or the lives of others.
The key to overcome a panic attack is to stay relaxed. That’s why methods such as meditation work, because they teach you to be in control of your thoughts and emotions. Relaxation techniques include looking up to the sky instead of down, exhaling all the air out of the lungs and consciously relaxing the shoulders. None of these things are easy to do when you are in the middle of a panic attack, but if practiced with persistence it can help overcoming them.