Phrases like ‘anxiety attack’ and ‘panic attack’ get thrown around in daily conversation fairly often. Many people even diagnose themselves based on what they think an episode feels like. To dedicated healthcare professionals, it’s no surprise that panic and anxiety attacks are part of an ongoing cultural dialogue, as millions of Americans suffer from symptoms of anxiety every year.
But anxiety doesn’t discriminate based on age; it can strike anyone at any time in life. It’s important to know the difference between a panic attack vs. an anxiety attack because they are deeply interrelated but differing conditions. Knowing what you’re dealing with can help you seek the right level of care. At True Life Center in San Diego, California, our anxiety treatment program provides compassionate care specifically designed for each individual’s needs.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety evolved alongside our distinctive intelligence as a reaction to stress. It crops up to set off an alarm, warning us about a situation that is or could become dangerous, uncomfortable, or unfamiliar. But for some people, this signal gets activated and won’t turn off. Being stuck with the switch ‘on’ pushes anxiety from a normal, healthy adaptive mechanism into the territory of a debilitating disorder that can range from mild to severe. The longer and more regularly you experience this kind of heightened state, the more your nervous system will be cued into a state of hyper-arousal that can last for days, weeks, or even months.
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Excessive worrying
- Feeling on edge
- Racing heartbeat
Triggers such as traumatic and stressful events need to be identified and understood in order for the healing journey to begin. That’s one of the main reasons that an anxiety or trauma treatment program at True Life Center can be effective for those suffering from extreme anxiety.
What Is Panic?
If you’re struggling to differentiate between a panic attack vs. an anxiety attack, you’re not alone. People often conflate the two for a good reason. Panic and anxiety share many emotional and physical symptoms, and someone can be suffering from both at the same time. But whereas anxiety is more anticipatory and gradual, panic attacks are an abrupt symptom or culmination of anxiety that manifest much more intensely and suddenly, almost out of the blue. Panic strikes with an overwhelming sense of fear.
Common symptoms of panic attacks are:
- Racing heartbeat
- Numbness or tingling
- Trouble swallowing
Although the first round of symptoms may decrease after ten minutes, further rounds can make the experience feel prolonged. Some typical triggers for panic attacks include:
- Workplace tension
- Chronic illness or pain
- Drug withdrawal
- Thyroid problems
At True Life Center’s mental health intensive outpatient program (IOP) and partial hospitalization program (PHP), we treat both panic attacks and anxiety attacks with our unique Neurobiological Integration (NBI) program. Our NBI program is used to discover the root cause of illness and utilize an integrated and collaborative approach that gets results. This includes:
- Individual psychotherapy with DBT, CBT, EMDR and/or psychodynamic approach
- Expert psychiatric treatment
- Mindfulness and self-compassion practices
- Yoga therapy
- Body healing with Qi Gong
Find the Right Treatment for Panic & Anxiety at True Life Center
Whether you’re struggling with a panic attack or an anxiety attack, you may feel like your symptoms are out of control. The kind of therapeutic and healing modalities we offer at True Life Center can change all of that. We’ll help you recognize whether you’re dealing with a panic attack or anxiety attack and then create a plan customized to your mind, body, and spirit.