Addiction doesn’t always come by itself. We’re all made up of different genetic makeups, different backgrounds, histories, experiences, mental health issues and more. For many people, addiction comes alongside mental disorders – and sudden bouts of anxiety or overwhelming fear can lead to panic attacks, which can make us feel as though we can’t think or breathe. Our palms become sweaty, our vision is blurred, and before we know it, everything around us is spinning. If you’ve been trying to make sense of what you’ve been going through, it can be helpful to understand the difference between panic attacks and panic disorder.
Panic attacks come on suddenly and symptoms typically peak within 10 minutes. It can bring about feelings of terror, sweatiness, chest pains and more. In many instances, panic attacks can make you feel like you’re going crazy – and it can be dangerous for those in addiction recovery, because they may feel like reverting back to substances to ease some of their discomfort. In these instances, reach out to someone in your support network, practice healthy coping skills and take big, deep breaths.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), panic disorder occurs when panic attacks appear unexpectedly and without an obvious trigger. One individual described their experience as this: “One day, without warning or reason, a feeling of terrible anxiety came crashing down on me. I felt like I couldn’t get enough air, no matter how hard I breathed…I felt like I had no control over these feelings, and I like I was drowning and couldn’t think straight.”
Panic disorder involves having sudden and repeated panic attacks that can last for several minutes or even longer. A person may also try to avoid places they’ve had panic attacks in before for fear of having them again in that same place. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) notes that panic disorder affects nearly 6 million adults each year.
Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you need – there are people ready to support you.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.