Often panic attacks and anxiety attacks are used interchangeably. I think it just really depends on the cause for the particular attack you are talking about. I would say the attack I had at work(a year or so ago) that sent me to urgent care with a rash all over my body was an anxiety attack. The attack I had last week while considering somethings that were stressing me out I would call a panic attack.
The possibility of an attack can keep me from doing things that would normally be second nature for others. I don't like to go new places, it makes me nervous. Going out to dinner with large groups make me uncomfortable. Being the center of attention for a period of time makes my heart race. Confrontations make me look for the next open space to run. I'm good at running.
I think the hardest part is how you only understand if you have anxiety too. It was almost a relief when a really close friend told me she has anxiety problems too. It's sad that she is dealing with this problem too, but it is nice to have some one who can recognize the signs. We can support each other and walk away, cool off, when we need to.
I like to be early to everything. I don't want to be on time and in a crowd pushing through. I like to pick a good seat where I will feel most comfortable. I also like to leave later because it also means I'm not in a crowd of people.
If you have known me very long you know this isn't how I have always been. Speech and debate was my thing, along with dancing and FFA. I was in beauty pageants and had tons of eyes on me. I loved attention. Anxiety and stress changes a person. I'm trying to get myself back to where I was. I average between one and five attacks a week. I have maxed out at sixteen in one day. Once I have one I seem to be more prone to getting another that day. I could take medicine but I feel really foggy. It blocks bad emotions but it blocks the good too.
I love this song. It's so true. We aren't really afraid, but the anxiety keeps us from doing what we want. Please excuse the language but I want to share it any ways.
So next time you deal with someone with anxiety please don't judge. Be patient. Most of us are trying to push past and live "normally" it's just a little harder for us. Walk slowly with us. Love us for who we are.