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How do you tell a panic attack from just high anxiety?

I often feel very anxious such as tight chest, hard to breathe, pounding heart, for no reason. It comes on slowly and can last for hours and even all day. I am often told these symptoms are panic attacks but they are not short. I also get sudden stomach aches that come and go and some doctors call them panic attacks while others don't. Very confused.
Category: Symptoms 4 years ago
Asked 4 years ago

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Well... It is fairly easy to tell the difference between a panic attack and high anxiety. High anxiety is like what you have described, a feeling of tightness, shortness of breath etc etc, the sudden stomachaches are probably part of your high anxiety and stress. A panic attack is something that almost stops you from functioning, you wouldn't be able to think about anything other than panicking, you would only want to get away from everyone and into your own private corner where you can deal with it. Moving up to an Anxiety Attack, an Anxiety attack will usually COMPLETELY shut down your ability to function. If you're 'lucky', you'll have a panic attack first, which will make you move to a secluded area, then have an anxiety attack. My anxiety attacks usually consist of me just, shutting down and crying, but normally I'm good at suppressing them until I get home.
Answered 4 years ago

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