Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. A panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by panic attacks. Many people think of anxiety attacks and panic attacks as the same, but they are different conditions. While anxiety attacks have a slow onset, triggered by anticipation of a stressful event, panic attacks come on suddenly and produce intense or overwhelming fear. Panic attacks are categorized as expected or unexpected. Expected panic attacks are triggered by external cues, such as phobias, while random panic attacks do not have an apparent cause. If you have panic attacks that interfere with your daily functioning, our anxiety treatment center in Michigan can help.
Rose Hill Center provides adult mental health services for anxiety disorders, including panic attack help. At our anxiety treatment center, you can learn coping skills to help manage your anxiety and reduce panic attacks to improve your quality of life. To learn more about anxiety treatment options, reach out to our team at 866.367.0220.
Identifying Symptoms of a Panic Attack vs. Anxiety Attack
Panic attacks can happen to anyone, and a majority of people may experience one during their lifetime. Having more than one panic attack can indicate a panic disorder. The DSM-5, the standard for diagnostic criteria of mental health disorders, clearly identifies anxiety disorders but does not recognize anxiety attacks. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of anxiety attacks are so open to interpretation. However, the DSM-5 does recognize panic attacks.
Anxiety attacks often lead to panic attacks, and you can experience both at the same time. For example, you may have an anxiety attack while awaiting a doctor’s appointment about medical testing, which culminates into a panic attack when you arrive at the doctor’s office. Both types of attacks share some common physical symptoms, including:
- Heart palpitations or rapid heart rate and chest pain
- Shortness of breath and tightness in the throat
- Sweating, hot flashes, and chills
- Nausea, stomach pains, or vomiting
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Numbness or tingling in extremities
The common psychological symptom is fear. With anxiety attacks, other psychological symptoms include restlessness, distress, apprehension, and worry, which are not present in panic attacks.
The main psychological symptoms that differentiate the two are that panic attacks involve the fear of losing control and fear of dying. They may also include a sense of detachment from oneself or the world. The best way to distinguish between a panic attack or an anxiety attack is to know that anxiety attacks develop slowly and range from mild to severe, whereas panic attacks are sudden and intense.
Finding Relief Through Panic Attack Treatment
Anxiety disorders, including panic disorders, are highly treatable. Our anxiety treatment center in Michigan offers compassionate care from experienced mental health professionals. For instance, our residential treatment program for anxiety offers a safe, stable environment where patients can become immersed in panic attack treatment without the daily stressors that trigger panic attacks. Therapeutic approaches for treating anxiety disorders include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- EMDR therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Trauma-informed therapy
- Individual therapy
Lifestyle management is another critical component of anxiety treatment. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, proper sleep, maintaining a daily routine, and avoiding caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs reduce anxiety and panic attacks. Learning coping skills to calm down after a panic attack is also essential. The most important skill you will learn from panic attack treatment is recognizing it for what it is. Most people having a panic attack believe they are having a heart attack, which perpetuates the attack.
Reach Out to Rose Hill Center
Panic attacks are frightening, especially the first time. Though most attacks only last about 10 minutes, the psychological effects can linger, and the fear of another attack can lead to one creating a complex cycle that is hard to break. Luckily, anxiety disorders are very receptive to treatment. If you suffer from panic attacks that interfere with your daily functioning or make life difficult to manage, help is available. Reach out to Rose Hill Center at 866.367.0220.