What's the difference?

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I need some advice, what's the difference between ptsd and panic attacks, I've been told I have both but don't quite know the difference.

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  • Posted

    Hey smile

    PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a type of anxiety disorder caused by a traumatic or frightening event that happened in your life. It is a continuous disorder which can cause many symptoms, such as flashbacks, anxiety, depression and panic attacks.

    Panic attacks are like huge bursts of anxiety (could be caused by a flashback, or something that reminds you of a traumatic event e.g. a smell, place, noise ect, or it could come on for no apparent reason. Usually with a panic attack you will get palputations, feel like you cant breath, start sweating, feel faint ect. Panic attacks are usually only up to about half an hour but can be greatly reduced if you try and stay calm. It is a horrible feeling but I find breathing into a paper bag and getting somewhere quiet helps. Just got to keep reasuring yourself that you are safe now, this is only temporary, and just focus on taking slow deep breaths.

    There is a breathing exercise I use to help calm me down when I am starting to feel anxious or think i might go into a panic attack (4 - 7 - 8). There is a tutorial on youtube. Basically, breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds, and repeat.

    I'm no proffesional, just from my experience ^

    Hugs! smile

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  • Posted

    Hi Sam,

    PTSD is the disorder and panic attack is a symptom of the disorder. They do go hand in hand. If you underwent a traumatic event and did not recover from it mentally, certain triggers that remind you of that event will cause you to feel that you are in danger, even if you're not. You're body then activates the flight or fight response and you experience a panic attack. Panic attacks can cause your heart to race, sweaty palms, dizziness, lightheadedness, etc. So ptsd is the disorder where your mind has not moved on or healed from the trauma and panic attacks are symptoms of that problem. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much I think  I might have PTSD as I have flashbacks, nightmares and visual images that are really frightening.  I think I also have panic attacks as I have a thudding heart beat, mild sickness, I shake and I stare into space. Can they make you exhausted?
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