Racing heart, sweaty palms, and an intense feeling of fear: you might recognize these common signs of anxiety or panic. Many people experience anxiety from time to time at various points in their lives. Some people experience panic. You might have heard people talking about anxiety attacks and panic attacks—but are they the same thing? Anxiety is a common condition, and self-care is important for managing this condition. If your anxiety becomes unmanageable, you may require the professional support of an anxiety treatment program.
If you or someone you love struggle with anxiety or panic attacks, you are not alone. Reach out to the caring, competent staff at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health for information about our mental health programs. Call 833.625.0458 or fill out an online intake form here.
Recognizing an Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety is a common condition that usually accompanies thoughts about a future event. You may experience anxiety when anticipating something that has the potential to be stressful, such as a job interview, travel, a move, or a meeting. Anxiety sometimes feels like fear or distress. Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty concentrating
While anxiety can be a normal part of life, sometimes it becomes too overwhelming to handle on your own. Sometimes, people feel large amounts of anxiety or worry about small, relatively unimportant situations. They may worry excessively or change their behavior. These are symptoms of an anxiety disorder and may require treatment to overcome.
Understanding Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are events of intense fear, dread, and anxiety that can happen without an obvious cause. Panic attacks are often accompanied by physical symptoms that can be very distressing, including nausea, racing heart, dizziness, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. People who suffer from panic attacks may feel as though something bad is going to happen or may misinterpret their symptoms as a major medical event like a heart attack. They may feel as though they will die, or they may experience a sense of impending doom.
Panic attacks affect about 6 million people in the United States. Twice as many women suffer from panic disorder, and research is still being done as to why that is true. Studies suggest that family history and other mental illnesses may be factors in panic disorders. People who experience traumatic events or have chronic health conditions are also at a higher risk of having panic disorders.
Understanding the Difference Between Anxiety Attacks and Panic Attacks
People may talk about panic attacks and anxiety attacks like they’re the same, but they are different. Anxiety attacks describe a period of anxiety or worry. Often, anxiety has a clearly identifiable cause. Someone might be able to pinpoint what they are worried about and have a clear picture of what outcome might be distressing. Anxiety attacks are not an actual diagnosis, but the term is used to describe the feeling of worry or anticipation, including the physical symptoms that accompany those thoughts.
Learn More About Anxiety Disorder Treatment at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health
If you or someone you love require the support of an anxiety treatment program, please reach out to the staff at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health. We offer a range of supportive programs that will empower you to manage your anxiety and live the full, healthy life you deserve. Our programs include:
- A residential treatment center
- Depression treatment
- Anxiety treatment
- Dual diagnosis treatment program
If you are ready to get help, we will meet you where you are. Call us today at 833.625.0458 or fill out an online intake form here.