Anxiety disorders are prevalent in the U.S., affecting over 40 million adults, or 18.1% of the population. Despite their high treatability, only 36.9% of individuals seek help, as reported by the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA).
Various disorders are linked to anxiety, and their symptoms often overlap, causing confusion between different types of anxiety, like general anxiety and panic attacks.
Here, we explore how identifying a panic attack entails and how anxiety, regardless of its intensity, can be managed.
What is a panic attack?
These are brief episodes of intense fear, characterized by symptoms such as increased heart rate, chest pain, or shortness of breath. Typically lasting under thirty minutes, panic attacks can occur suddenly and without an apparent trigger.
The fear during a panic attack can be so overwhelming that it might mimic a heart attack. Around 11% of Americans experience a panic attack annually.
People with recurrent panic attacks might have panic disorder (PD), affecting about 4.7% of U.S. adults at some point. PD is more common in young adults, particularly women, with half developing the condition before age 24.
It’s important to note that an “anxiety attack” and a panic attack, while sometimes used interchangeably, differ. “Anxiety attack” is not a formal diagnosis, unlike panic attacks, which are recognized. Differences lie in the duration, severity, and triggers of the symptoms.
Effective treatment for anxiety disorders, including panic attacks, requires a formal evaluation by a healthcare professional. Accurate diagnosis is crucial before addressing the disorder, condition, or underlying cause of anxiety.
Treatment methods vary based on the diagnosis and symptom severity, ranging from medication (such as antidepressants or beta-blockers) to therapy, lifestyle adjustments, or a combination of approaches.
Therapy options like cognitive therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and innovative methods such as ketamine infusion therapy can help manage symptoms and reduce excessive worry and fear.
There are numerous avenues to alleviate anxiety and enhance the quality of life for those struggling with it.
For further details on treatment options and distinctions between anxiety and panic attacks, please refer to the accompanying resource by MD Infusions.
Infographic provided by MD Infusions, learn more about ketamine treatment for mood disorders