Diagnosing panic attack vs. anxiety attack
Doctors can’t diagnose anxiety attacks, but they can diagnose:
A doctor will ask you about your symptoms and conduct tests to rule out other health conditions with similar symptoms, like heart disease or thyroid problems.
To get a diagnosis, a doctor may conduct:
a physical exam
a heart test, like an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
a psychological evaluation or questionnaire
Treatment and medication for panic attack vs. anxiety attack
Speak with a doctor about other treatments for anxiety and panic attacks. Here are some treatments they may discuss with you.
Counseling and psychotherapy
Talking therapies for anxiety and panic disorders can involveTrusted SourceCognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of therapy can help you see things that worry you in a new way. A counselor can help you develop strategies for managing triggers when they arise.
Cognitive therapy: This can help you pinpoint, reframe, and neutralize the unhelpful thoughts that often underlie an anxiety disorder.
Exposure therapy: This form of therapy involves controlled exposure to situations that trigger fear and anxiety, which can help you learn to confront those fears in a new way.
Relaxation techniques: These includeTrusted Source breathing exercises, guided imagery, progressive relaxation, biofeedback, and autogenic training. A doctor can talk you through some of these.
A doctor may suggest attending individual sessions, group sessions, or a combination of the two.Medication
Examples of medications your doctor may prescribeTrusted Source are:
Antidepressants: These medications include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
Beta-blockers: These medications can help manage certain physical symptoms, like a rapid heart rate.
Anti-anxiety drugs: This includes benzodiazepines, a sedative medication that can suppress symptoms quickly.
All these drugs can have adverse effects. SSRIs and SNRIs are for long-term use, and it can take time to feel the effects. Benzodiazepines are for short-term use only, as there is a high risk of dependence.
Oftentimes, a doctor will recommend a combination of treatments. They may also need to alter your treatment plan over time.
Home remedies for panic attack vs. anxiety attack
You should speak with a doctor or mental health professional to find out what you can do to both prevent and treat anxiety- and panic-related symptoms. Having a treatment plan and sticking to it when an attack happens can help you feel like you’re in control.If you feel an anxiety or panic attack coming on, try the following:
Take slow deep breaths: When you feel your breath quickening, focus your attention on each inhale and exhale. Feel your stomach fill with air as you inhale. Count down from four as you exhale. Repeat until your breathing slows.
Recognize and accept what you’re experiencing: If you’ve already experienced an anxiety or panic attack, you know that it can be incredibly challenging. Remind yourself that the symptoms will pass and you’ll be alright
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness-based interventions are increasingly usedTrusted Source to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Mindfulness is a technique that can help you ground your thoughts in the present. You can practice mindfulness by actively observing thoughts and sensations without reacting to them.
Use relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques include guided imagery, aromatherapy, and muscle relaxation. If you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety or a panic attack, try doing things that you find relaxing. Close your eyes, take a bath, or use lavender, which has relaxing effects.
The following lifestyle changes can help you prevent anxiety and panic attacks, as well as reduce the severity of symptoms when an attack occurs:
Reduce and manage sources of stress in your life.
Learn how to identify and stop negative thoughts.
Get regular, moderate exercise.
Practice meditation or yoga.
Eat a balanced diet.
Join a support group for people with anxiety or panic attacks.
Limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine as well as the use of drugs.
Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are not the same. Though these terms are often used interchangeably, only panic attacks are identified in the DSM-5.
Anxiety and panic attacks have similar symptoms, causes, and risk factors. But panic attacks tend to be more intense and are often accompanied by more severe physical symptoms.
You should contact a healthcare professional if anxiety- or panic-related symptoms are affecting your everyday life.
083 651 3729
079 847 4709