Anxiety vs panic attack: Top 10 things you should know

We often think that an anxiety attack is similar to a panic attack. Although they are used interchangeably, they are not the same. One must understand that both anxiety and panic have different features and one who suffers from either one of these show different symptoms and undergo different treatment. Anxiety is often a result of stress whereas a panic attack is caused due to a sudden feeling of fear and terror. While Anxiety is developed over a period of time, panic is often sudden and almost instant. This blog will cover the 10 things you should know to tell how each of this is different from the other although they do some shared symptoms. 

Both are different

Anxiety and panic attacks are two very different emotional conditions. Panic attacks come on suddenly and involve intense and often overwhelming fear. Anxiety attacks are usually a result of a number of common psychiatric disorders.


Panic attacks usually occur without early symptoms however, anxiety is a response to an anticipated situation. Symptoms for anxiety include fatigue, hypervigilance, restlessness and irritability. Panic attacks are usually marked by increased heart rate, brief chest pain or shortness of breath and often mistaken for a heart attack. 

Could both conditions occur at once?

Yes.  You might be anxious about a certain upcoming event. You can then experience a panic attack as you perceive the upcoming situation as dangerous psychologically.   


Panic attacks are experienced suddenly, while anxiety symptoms become evident and more intense over minutes, hours, or days.


Panic attacks usually subside after a few minutes, while anxiety symptoms can prevail for long periods.


There could be a number of reasons for an anxiety attack such as work stress, social stress, withdrawal from alcohol or drugs, memories of past trauma to name a few. Panic attack on the other hand is fairly unexpected with almost no past triggers.

Commonality and Gender

Clinically there are more patients who have to deal with anxiety than panic attacks. It is also observed that females are more likely to have either of the attacks in comparison to males.


A certified doctor or Mental Health professional can diagnose a panic attack or anxiety disorder.

What should you do if you are having a panic or anxiety attack?

  • Acknowledge what is happening
  • Breathe slowly and deeply
  • Try relaxation techniques
  • Contact your qualified healthcare professional 

Medication / Therapy – will it work?

Therapy can help to identify triggers and manage symptoms and also people to accept their pasts and work toward their futures.

Evolve Brain Training offers a complete solution for dealing with these disorders. Our experts specialize in neurofeedback therapy where they will handle everything starting from initial consultation to final assessment. For more information on anxiety treatment in Dubai, drop your contact details and we will call you shortly! 

Dr. Upasana Gala is the founder and CEO of Evolve Brain Training, a Neurofeedback-centered institute that focuses on using non-invasive brain training techniques to maximize the brain's true potential.

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