I am a member of a CPTSD group on Facebook. Someone posed the question what is the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack. My gut feeling is a panic attack is like a spike in fear that is difficult or impossible to control….anxiety attack is the struggle I go with many days of trying to keep my anxiety at a bearable level instead of spiking into a panic attack. I wanted to verify if I was accurate so I looked it up. (I do that with a lot of questions.) This is what I found:
The article kind of agrees with me:
The differences between panic and anxiety are best described in terms of the intensity of the symptoms and length of time the main symptoms occur. The in-depth definitions in the DSM-5 guide your health provider to make a diagnosis and classify your condition.
Neither one is on my to do list but both are on my Sh** list….meaning they happen whether I like it or not. Either one is preferable to a flashback. It is a matter of degrees. What I am learning is if I am having anxiety attacks more than once a week I need to look at the stressors in my life and start reducing them. If I am having them daily, consider the possibility I am in ‘people pleasing’ mode and on a path to mega crash if I don’t start saying “no” to cut the crap. If I have a panic attack I need to reevaluate my choices that I am feeling like my life is out of control. A panic attack is often a precursor to a complete melt down. If I listen to my symptoms and start cutting back, I’ll get my life back to mildly chaotic. If I don’t listen, I know full well that my life can spiral out of control with an ugly emotional crash and burn that leaves emotional damage in its wake. I am responsible for my emotional health. If I push myself to the level of anxiety and panic attacks I am not respecting myself and my needs. The article assures that there are treatments. Which is true. However, I am working at getting myself to the point that I listen to my needs well before my body is screaming at me to listen. Around the holidays this is extra hard.