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Difference Between Anxiety Attack and Panic Attack

A big part of how a doctor treats mental and emotional disorders is them getting the right diagnosis. Subtle little differences in disorders can drastically change the type of treatment a doctor prescribes. We deal with this all the time in our The Ranch PA addiction treatment center. It happens when addiction treatment clients come in with co-occurring disorders. It’s dealing with the difference between an anxiety attack and a panic attack that makes treatment tricky. Below, we want to discuss these differences and how we deal with them through our dual diagnosis treatment process.

The Difference Between Anxiety Attack and Panic Attack

In the eyes of regular folks, there’s very little to discern between anxiety and panic. Of course, in all truthfulness, both disorders are quite similar in the way they affect the individual. However, where the differences are very real is within the mental health treatment community. We all experience anxiety at some point, and most of us have an occasional panic attack. These types of attacks pertain to people for whom these conditions are problematic. Without getting too technical, mental health treatment professionals rely on information from the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition.” In the mental health community, they refer to this as the DSM-5. The term panic attack has a formal listing in the DSM-5 while the term anxiety attack does not. The reason for this distinction is because a panic attack is a disorder unto itself. Meanwhile, anxiety attacks are simply a core feature of other disorders. There is another difference between an anxiety attack and a panic attack and its effect on the individual. Panic attacks are very intense and also seem to come about abruptly. Anxiety attacks develop over time. In many cases, anxiety tends to linger and create lasting problems that interfere with the individual’s quality of life.

Treating Addiction With Panic or Anxiety Issue

In our anxiety treatment center in Hanover, PA, we treat a lot of addiction clients who also have panic attacks or anxiety. Sometimes, the medication they are taking for their anxiety or panic disorder is at the center of their addiction. If they truly need that kind of medication, then it complicates the treatment process. It’s under these circumstances that we employ a dual diagnosis treatment program. By doing so, we are able to treat mental disorders and addiction at the same. Failure to follow this procedure puts the client at risk for relapses because the untreated condition will usually interfere with recovery. If we let that happen, we wouldn’t be doing our job.

The Ranch PA – The Way to Recovery

In an effort to help our clients rejoin the land of the living, we use cutting edge treatment options. Among the tools (services) we keep in our toolbox are the following:

  • Psychodrama
  • Evidence-based therapies
  • Residential and outpatient treatment options
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Pain Management
  • In-house detox programs
  • Individual & Family Therapy

Hopefully, knowing the difference between an anxiety attack and a panic attack will put your mind at ease. That way, you can start to focus on getting treatment for your addiction. If you will let The Ranch PA help free you from addiction, you can call us at 717.969.9126.

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