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Anxiety vs. Panic Attacks: Understand the Difference

What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a condition in which you may feel a chronic sense of worry and nervousness even when things in your life are relatively calm.

As a result, you could have trouble focusing on daily responsibilities. Researchers are still studying what exactly causes GAD. They do know that the condition can be passed down in families.

What Does a Panic Attack Feel Like?

Panic attacks are sudden bursts of intense anxiety that last for several minutes at a time. If you have panic disorder, you experience periodic panic attacks that occur for no apparent reason.

During these attacks, you may notice a variety of symptoms, including fear, helplessness, impending doom, shortness of breath, sweating and trembling.

Like GAD, panic disorder can be genetic and associated with how certain parts of the brain work. Researchers are still learning more about the cause of panic disorder and what environmental and situational factors may trigger panic attacks.

Both GAD and panic disorder can be treated with talk therapy, medication or a combination of the two.

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