Classifying Anxiety Attacks

By September 17, 2020 No Comments
Classifying Anxiety Attacks

Classifying the types of anxiety attacks is difficult. Anxiety attack is not a clinical term officially. Still, due to frequent use, it has been adopted by many mental health professionals. However, these attacks are not necessarily always a sign of mental health condition. Sometimes going through a rough patch in life can result in these attacks. If someone experiences several anxiety attacks without any apparent reason, it hints towards an underlying anxiety disorder.

There are different factors involved in every type of anxiety attack that distinguishes among them:

  • Duration or frequency
  • Expected or unexpected
  • Intensity
  • Thoughts or situations; causes
  • Physiological symptoms

Duration Or Frequency

Minutes, hours, days, or even weeks, an anxiety attack can last anywhere between. The frequency of these attacks can also vary. People can experience anxiety attacks more than once in a day while others may experience one in a month.

The frequency and duration of these attacks depend on the causes. For example, people who have anxiety disorders may have it worse than the people who are just going through something for the time being. If this is the case, the person should consider professional anxiety treatment in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Suppose someone is experiencing anxiety attacks due to some temporary challenges. In that case, their attacks may be brief and less frequent. Stress is also a significant factor; someone having intense stress can also experience long and frequent anxiety attacks.

Expected Or Unexpected

It can make a huge difference in how one processes the attack when expected vs. when it is not. Unexpected attacks are more frightening, and they are incredibly challenging to cope with. On the other hand, expecting an attack may be dreadful, but it prepares you, and managing becomes easier.

At times, there is no clear source for these attacks. For obvious reasons, when someone is unaware of what might cause an anxiety attack, it is impossible to predict an attack. However, if there is a general pattern, you will be prepared for the attack most of the time.

If you are anxious about a situation, it can cause an anxiety attack. It can be about a general worry you have. If you can recognize your anxiety source, it becomes predictable, and it can be dreadful but less frightening.


Anxiety attacks and panic attacks are different, and the intensity is the significant dissimilarity among these two. An attack’s intensity can be measured in a few ways, like the number of symptoms or combinations of different feelings. Often shortness of breath, insomnia, and muscle tension are experienced but having one of them is far less intense than having to experience them in a combination.

If a person experiences choking, feels like having a heart attack, or feel like they are about to die; this might not be the anxiety attack. These are intense experiences pointing towards a panic attack.

Thoughts Or Situations

Thoughts and situations both can cause anxiety attacks, but the experience is different. Situation-based attacks are often social anxiety disorder and social phobias. Whereas, thought-based attacks hint towards generalized anxiety disorders.

Thought-based attacks happen without any external stimuli; only anxious thoughts are the reason. When the feelings are stemmed from a specific situation like a public speech coming up, the anxiety attack is known as situation-based.

Physiological Symptoms

Some of the common physiological symptoms of anxiety attacks are listed here:

  • Having difficulty in controlling worries
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Mind going blank
  • Restlessness
  • Felling wound-up
  • Felling on the edge
  • Irritability
  • Experiencing muscle tension
  • Problems in sleep patterns
  • Fatigue