Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What is The Difference Between a Panic and Anxiety Attacks(2)

I was browsing some of the many forums and Q&A sites that are related to the topic of mental health.I noticed that the same question is asked quite often.(The question is:) What is the difference between a panic attack and an Anxiety attack and are they the same thing?

I have an older post that talks about some of the differences between a panic attack and  anxiety attacks so I won't go into alot of details in this post,but i did want to address whether there is a difference between a panic attack and anxiety attacks.And as a suffer of both of these conditions I can say without a doubt that there definately is a difference and they are not the same at all.

Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks do share some of the same signs and symptoms and are very closely related disorders but the main difference between the two are that a Panic Attack is usually a short and sudden onset of extreme irrational fear most often brought on by stress and anxiety,and normally occurs out of the blue.

On the other hand  Anxiety Attacks usually happen very gradually,are less extreme,consist of symtoms like intense worry,nervousness,a general unease,and can last for hours,days and even weeks in more severe cases.

I hope this post has been helpful and clears up the question of whether there really is a difference between panic and anxiety attack.If you want more information check out my older post.There is a direct link to it in this post.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Panic-A Tiny Setback.

Setbacks are a big part of recovery from Panic Attacks and in my case Agoraphobia as well.An example of a minor setback is something that happened to me today.After doing very well over the past two months or so I had a Panic Attack while I was at a friends house.

Of course they had no idea because i was outside by myself at the time,and it only lasted for a few minutes.Which is a lot better than some of the 20 minute panic attacks I used to have.So what i realised is that even though I had a panic attack for no real reason and it was very unpleasant its not the end of the world.

It definately doesn't have to undo all of the progress that I have made.I am not going to let one panic attack turn into a major setback.I will learn from it and move on.

Just in case anyone is wondering this is a rough draft of a business card I designed for myself.I would really like to get some feed back.Good or bad I'd like to know your opinion.Thanks

Friday, December 18, 2009

Anxiety and Stress-Techniques To Help Manage It

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. We all experience it when we are faced with situations that make us uncomfortable.Anxiety is a good thing in small doses and may protect us in dangerous situations but it becomes a problem if you feel overwhelming anxiety for extended periods of time and for no particular reason.

Chronic Anxiety can interfere with normal daily activities,relationships and lead to panic attacks and social phobias.The good news is that we can learn to manage our stress and there for reduce our anxiety.

There are many effective techniques to help manage stress and anxiety.These techniques are used to reduce the intensity of the disturbing symptoms that anxiety can cause.Anxiety management techniques are usually part of many psychological treatments.

They may include relaxation training, deep breathing techniques, meditation, and hyperventilation control. These techniques require regular and consistent practice to be of benefit, and are most effective if used a long with some form of cognitive behavioural therapy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Anxiety and Stress-Examples of Management Techniques

Guided Imagery-is just one of many types of relaxation training.It is closely related to hypnosis and meditation.Guided imagery is a visualization technique and is a clinically proven, psychologist-recommended course of treatment for everything from depression, anxiety, weight-loss, pain, and many other conditions.The patient is tought to visualize images of a relaxing environment and to focus on positive images and emotions,when practiced regularly and done properly the body,will enter a relaxed state.And signifagintly reduces the symptoms of anxiety.

Deep breathing exercises-can help to bring more oxygen into the body and are thought to release excess tension in the diaphragm.An example of a deep breathing exercise that is very effective and worth considering is done by inhaling through the nose and slowly counting to five while you inhale. - exhale slowly through your mouth and count down from five while you exhale.Repeat this until your breathing is under control being careful not to hyperventilate.

Meditation-is one of the oldest self help technique that involves both relaxation and cognitive techniques such as some form of breathing exercise and visualization technique. Meditation helps to calm the mind, and the body relaxes naturally as a result.All you need to start using meditation is to choose a quiet place in your home, office,or even outdoors where you can relax without being interrupted.

Hyperventilation is basically the act of overbreathing which raises carbon dioxide levels and lowers oxygen and occurs quite often in people with anxiety and panic attacks.An examples of a commonly used hyperventilation control technique is paper bag breathing which can be dangerous if used improperly or for extended periods of time and should only be used once in a while and not as a permanent treatment for Hyperventilation.

To find more detailed examples of these relaxation techniques and more.Ask your health care provider,search the internet and read the many books that are available on the subject.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Panic-In Public

Have you ever had a Panic Attack?If you haven't you are very lucky,but for those of us that have,whether it's your first and only experience with Panic or if you have had hundreds of Panic Attacks over a period of many years you know that what I am going to say is true and very frightening,

Let say you are at the grocery store,your in the checkout line behind someone who is taking a very long time.There are a bunch of noisy kids running around,the confusion starts to make you anxious,you start to sweat,your finding it hard to breath,and your heart is beating so fast and hard that it feels like it could come flying out of your chest at any moment.

You start to feel light-headed,thoughts of fainting or maybe even dieing race through you mind You leave your groceries and run out of the store to the privacy of your car.The experience was so disturbing and embarrassing that you go to the emergency room,thinking that you were having  heart attack,but of course it was "JUST" a Panic Attack.

Well that harmless Panic Attack to everyone else was a life changing,terrifying event for you.The next time you even think about going to the grocery store you have all of the same symptoms that you had when you where actually at the store.

This is disturbing enough to make you avoid the grocery store whenever possible or you make sure you go when a trusted family member or friend can go with you..You then fear having a Panic Attack in other places so you avoid any place that requires you to stand in a line.It becomes a vicious cycle of avoidance.

Many people do not totally understand how frightening a Panic Attack can be.I suggest that if someone who has never suffered from a Panic Attack  would like to know a bit more about the feeling that they think about the things that frightens them most and try to do it no matter how hard it is.As long as it is safe to do so.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What is the difference between Panic and Anxiety attacks.

I am talking today about the difference between a Panic and anxiety attack.I bet when
most people think about panic attacks and anxiety attacks they wonder!what IS the difference?
Well I am going to attempt to explain the difference between a panic and anxiety attack,
atleast the differences that I have noticed as someone who suffers from both.To start with(in my opinion)
chronic panic attacks are mostly a result of the fear of having another attack.They also occur more
suddenly and ussually lasts for only a few minutes or up to about 1/2 hour or so.Panic attacks can come
in cycles that last for hours sometimes but they are normally made up of more than one attack.
On the other hand an anxiety attack is more of a drawn out event that can last for minutes,hours,or even days.Anxiety attacks are also more of a general feeling of unease,where as a panic attack is a sudden on set of extreme fear or dread,most often brought on by a build up of anxiety or stress.
Also,not everyone that has anxiety attacks has panic attacks,but often in the case panic attack sufferers
they always seem to have some form of anxiety and/or chronic stress that builds to the point of a full blown
panic attack.
Anxiety attacks seem to be easier to treat than panic attacks.Most likely because of the fact that panic attacks are ussually much more fightening and can limit the ability of a person to function in their daily lives more so sometimes than a generalized anxiety problem(but not in all cases).including but not limited to actively seeking some form of treatment for their condition.
I hope I have been helpful in clearing up some of the things that make panic attacks different than anxiety attacks.
For a list of some of the common symptoms and treatments of panic attacks(see my older posts)or click on the links.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Panic and Anxiety Recovery-One Step Forward and Two Steps Back?

When you first start to deal with a Panic Disorder it can be very over whelming.Especially if the panic attacks are something you have been experiencing for many years.They sometimes become such a big part of our lives that they can be extremely difficult to overcome.

When treatment begins a lot of people make great progress for some time,but no matter what kind of treatment you decided to use,most likely you will experience setbacks in some form or another.These setbacks can destroy the confidence and motivation of the person so much so that they give up completely and return to their old way of thinking.This leads to a relapse of symptoms,and the cycle of panic begins all over again.

The thing to remember when treating panic attacks is that set backs are something that most of us will deal with at some point ,and it does not have to mean that we have lost all of the progress that we have made.Recovery is possible and may even be aided in some ways by minor set backs as they can remind us how far we have come.

Sunday, December 13, 2009