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Re: Panic Attack v.s Anxiety Attack

Posted by Bones on August 19, 1999, at 19:18:25

In reply to Re: Panic Attack v.s Anxiety Attack, posted by Elizabeth on August 19, 1999, at 15:19:46

I suffered from Panic (Anxiety)Attacks for about 5 years. I don't think there is a difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack. I think the emphasis is on the word "attack" - you are totally overcome/overwhelmed with anxiety - for no reason - no cause. You can have generalized anxiety - which I believe is a kind of constant feeling of anxiety, unease that is with you most of the time. Panic/Anxiety attacks totally overwhelm you - you feel as if you're being engulfed. Your mind trys to rationalize what is happening - and it's these extraneous "thoughts" that cause the difficulties. The secret of "dealing" with panic attacks - is learning to ride them - like a wave. Not listening to the very natural thoughts that go along with the feelings of panic (I must be going crazy, having a heart attack, "oh no, oh no, oh no ... I can't deal with this". Because the fact is - nothing is going to happen to you. This is the TRUTH. If you can ride the feeling, ride the crest, and come down the other side. You'll have discovered the "secret". I know because I did it!! And I was only successful because I didn't have a "safe" place - I had panic attacks everywhere. Life was hell for a long time. But after 3 years of having them regularly - I realized - hey, I guess I'm not going crazy. I kind of desensitized myself. Believe me folks - if I could overcome - you can too. However - I must add. Anxiety has not left me. I still have an anxiety disorder. I suffer from OCD, and Social Anxiety. But these don't consume my life the way that these panic attacks did. Life is still good. I'm working and mostly happy - I can laugh - I have a wonderful family. But yes, anxiety I think will always be a part of my life. I definitely think there is a biological component to those of us who are sensitive to anxiety. No doubt about it. I guess my point is that there ARE very effective coping mechanisms - desenitization, behavior therapy. But it's hard, hard work - and it may feel worse before it gets better, and requires huge amounts of courage. But as I mentioned - I am a WIMP - and I did it!!

I know I'm writing far too much here ... but it's important for people to hear that there is a way out - there is hope. There are success stories - many, many of them - sometime they are difficult to find. People are reluctant to talk about their emotional illnesses. Big time taboo. But so many people suffer, people you wouldn't suspect.

Take care all. (Hey, we're a special breed!!)

> >For me the difference is that a Panic attack will come on very suddenly and you know that problably the situation you are in is what is causing the Panic attack - but the attack lasts o few minutes to several minutes. Once the attack is over all sympton disappear. Anxiety at least to me is worse because the symptoms do not leave, but linger for days or weeks until treatment is sought.
> I agree in general, but note that people who are considered to have panic disorder (especially panic disorder without agoraphobia) have mainly "non-spontaneous" or "unexpected" panic attacks which aren't triggered by any particular situation.
> I hate to see people trying to come up with rationalizations for why they might be having panic attacks - that sort of thinking tends to lead to avoidance behavior, which doesn't help anything!




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