written by Sydney Lai
Anxiety attacks are sudden and intense episodes of fear or anxiety. During an anxiety attack, a person may experience symptoms such as a racing or pounding heartbeat, chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath or hyperventilation, sweating or chills, trembling or shaking, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, nausea or stomach discomfort, fear of losing control or going crazy, fear of dying, and tingling sensations or numbness in the hands or feet.
Anxiety attacks can be triggered by a variety of factors, including stressful events, social situations, or phobias. In some cases, anxiety attacks may occur without an obvious trigger. It’s important to note that while anxiety attacks can be very distressing, they are generally not dangerous and do not cause any physical harm. However, it’s recommended that individuals who experience anxiety attacks seek help from a mental health professional to learn how to manage their symptoms and prevent future episodes.
A panic attack is a sudden and intense episode of overwhelming fear or discomfort that typically lasts for several minutes. Panic attacks can be very distressing and can be accompanied by a range of physical and emotional symptoms, such as; heart palpitations, racing or pounding heartbeat, sweating or chills, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath or hyperventilation, feeling of choking or smothering, chest pain or discomfort, nausea or stomach discomfort, feeling dizzy, lightheaded or faint, fear of losing control or going crazy, fear of dying, and tingling sensations or numbness in the hands or feet.
Panic attacks can occur unexpectedly or can be triggered by a specific situation or phobia. They can be very disruptive and can interfere with daily life, leading to avoidance of situations that may trigger an attack. Panic disorder is a condition where individuals experience recurring panic attacks and may develop fear and avoidance behaviors in response to the attacks. Treatment for panic disorder may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. It’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you experience recurring panic attacks or anxiety symptoms.
While there is some overlap in symptoms between anxiety attacks and panic attacks, panic attacks are generally more severe and can feel more life-threatening than anxiety attacks. Panic attacks can also lead to fear of having another attack, which can contribute to the development of panic disorder. It’s important to note that regardless of the specific symptoms and triggers, both anxiety attacks and panic attacks can be very distressing and disruptive to daily life. Seeking help from a mental health professional can be helpful in managing symptoms and preventing future attacks.
While seeking professional help from a mental health provider is recommended for treating panic attacks and anxiety attacks, there are some home remedies that may help manage symptoms.
Deep breathing: Taking slow, deep breaths can help to regulate breathing and reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. Focus on taking slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Progressive muscle relaxation: This involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body to reduce tension and promote relaxation. Start with the feet and work your way up the body.
Mindfulness meditation: Practicing mindfulness meditation can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Focus on being present in the moment and observe thoughts and sensations without judgment.
Exercise: Regular exercise can help to reduce stress and improve mood. Try to aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
Aromatherapy: Certain scents, such as lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang, can have a calming effect and may help to reduce anxiety.
Herbal teas: Drinking herbal teas, such as chamomile or lemon balm, can have a calming effect and may help to reduce anxiety.
Limiting caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate anxiety symptoms, so it’s best to limit or avoid these substances.
It’s important to note that while these home remedies may be helpful in managing symptoms, they are not a substitute for professional treatment. If you experience recurring panic attacks or anxiety symptoms, it’s recommended that you seek help from a mental health professional.
Vandergriendt, C. (2023, February 1). What’s the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack? Healthline. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/panic-attack-vs-anxiety-attack#home-remedies
Sheryl Ankrom, M. S. (2023, February 13). What is the difference between panic and anxiety attacks? Verywell Mind. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://www.verywellmind.com/anxiety-attacks-versus-panic-attacks-2584396