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Am I Experiencing Anxiety, or a Panic Attack?

2 min read

Frame Therapist Kaitlin Soule shares this great guide for assessing if your experience is Anxiety or Panic. She says.... Anxiety can be used as a blanket term to describe uncomfortable sensations in the body, feelings of overwhelm, and distressing thoughts that seem to loop in the brain. In order to destigmatize getting help for mental health we need to first understand it better.

This week, I will shine the light on different types of Anxiety Disorders and talk about how they both stand apart from each other and intersect.

Today, I am sharing about general worry/feelings of anxiety and the experience of panic. Fun fact, almost everybody who struggles with anxiety in some form or another has experienced at least one panic attack in their lifetime… Although, having a panic attack does not mean you have panic disorder!

Read and share this info graphic to learn more:

Panic or Anxiety:
- Anxiety builds, panic attacks come suddenly 

- Panic causes intense physical sensations ie sweating, increased heart rate, hot flashes, gastro issues, quick breathing, and more. 

- Panic attacks are short-lived where as high anxiety periods ebb and flow and can last for days. 

- Anxiety is most often triggered by an environment or event whereas panic can come out of nowhere. 

What are the Similarities?

- Both are fueled by uncertainty and fear! 

- If you sit with it versus resist it, the intensity of the feelings will decrease. 

- Lifestyle changes, self-care, therapy, and medication all help you heal! 


- Kaitlin Soule, LMFT

About the author: Kaitlin runs a modern cognitive behavioral therapy practice (Petaluma CBT) specializing in Maternal Mental Health, Anxiety, and helping brave souls get unstuck and heal.  Follow her for more great content @petalumacbt