Anxiety Attack vs. Panic Attack

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In today’s world, mental health issues are talked about and becoming aware of more than ever. Anxiety is one of the major causes of concern in the modern world. Many people have a misconception about panic attacks and anxiety attacks, considering them as the same. But they are not. Even though anxiety attacks and panic attacks have similar symptoms, they are two different issues. While panic attack occurs unexpectedly, anxiety attacks slowly build. In this blog, we will elaborately examine the symptoms, reasons, remedies, and tips for managing each of them. 

What is an Anxiety Attack?

Anxiety attacks are not out of the blue. They build up gradually when the person is feeling worrisome, agitated or in any kind of mental distress regarding the anticipation of an event. Anxiety attacks become stronger with time and are generally less strong than panic attacks. 

Anxiety attacks are different for everyone. A person experiencing an anxiety attack need not have the same symptoms as another person; this also makes an anxiety attack usually diagnostically unrecognizable and open to interpretation.

What is a Panic Attack?

Panic attacks are sudden and don’t have any prior symptoms. Most people feel an intense and overwhelming sense of fear. During a panic attack, a person also experiences physical symptoms like nausea, racing heartbeat and shortness of breath. 

There are two types of panic attacks: unexpected panic attacks and expected panic attacks. Unexpected panic attacks occur without a reason, and all of a sudden, expected panic attacks are triggered by external factors and phobias. 

Symptoms of Anxiety Attack and Panic Attack

Anxiety attacks and panic attacks can be similar in many ways. They might have the same physical and emotional symptoms. A person can get anxiety attacks and panic attacks at the same time. When a person worries or stresses about something and feels anxious for a period of time, it might culminate into a panic attack in the end. Some of the symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety attacks are:

  • Sweating
  • Palpitation
  • Dry mouth
  • Trembling 
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Nausea
  • Stomach upset
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Hot flashes 
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fear of dying 
  • Feeling of choking 

Tips to Cope with Anxiety Attack and Panic Attack

Panic attacks or anxiety attacks can happen due to a number of reasons. They may be as simple as a social situation, caffeine or driving, and they might also be as intense as chronic illness, withdrawal from drugs, phobias, traumatic memories or medications. Even though it is stressful to get through the day after a panic or anxiety attack, there are tips to manage them.

It is always recommended that a person going through any mental health issue talk to and seek help from a mental health professional. In addition to that, the following tips might help a person going through a panic or anxiety attack.

  • Being mindful can greatly help you bring yourself to the present situation and concentrate on what is happening around you. 
  • Many people don’t want to accept that they are going through a difficult time. The same goes with panic and anxiety attacks; it is important to accept, recognize and realize that the symptoms will pass.
  • When you start to breathe rapidly, it is important to take deep breaths. Concentrate on inhaling and exhaling, and feel the air fill the stomach and let out.
  • For a few people, relaxing techniques work, like aromatherapy and guided imagery. Sometimes, taking a bath or smelling a particular scent also works. 


Even though panic attacks and anxiety attacks have similar symptoms, they are not the same. Panic attacks are more severe and mostly come along with physical symptoms. It is scary when one experiences them, but there are ways to keep them under control to an extent with proper help. 


1. How do I differentiate between panic attacks and anxiety attacks?

Anxiety has clear triggers. But when it comes to panic attacks, they are usually out of the blue, and they last for only a few minutes. They can have physical symptoms like stomach discomfort, chest pain and lightheadedness. 

2. Can panic attacks be cured?

Panic attacks can never be cured entirely, but they can be managed effectively so they don’t impair your life.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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