Panic Attack – The Difference Between a Panic Attack Vs Psychosis

For some people who do not know what a panic attack is, when they see a victim having an attack, they tend to immediately think that the victim is having a heart attack or a mental problem. Although the difference may not seem very apparent, the differences exist nonetheless. If you suffer from panic attacks, then it is crucial for you to understand the difference between the two if you ever want to recover from the stigma attached to this disorder.

Knowing the Difference

The key difference between panic attacks versus psychosis is that a panic attack is a result of how the sufferer reacts to sudden extreme stress or fear; whereas psychosis is hard wired into a person’s brain. Although panic attacks happen very suddenly, they tend to have a trigger or a signal attached to it. Most sufferers would be able to tell you why they are having an attack; while those suffering from psychosis would not even know they are having a psychotic episode. Psychosis takes over the victim’s mind almost completely so as to prevent them from telling right from wrong.

As most psychosis victims do not know that is happening and cannot control themselves during a psychotic episode, they need to be put under constant observation by medical professionals, as they may pose a danger to people around them and also to themselves. A panic attack victim in general never poses danger to people around them as during an attack they are usually helpless.

Treatment for Panic Attacks and Psychosis

There is a huge difference between how a panic disorder is treated versus psychosis. In most cases, panic disorder can be treated with some mild anti-depression medication and if needed some therapy sessions. On the other hand, psychosis requires far more attention and this includes stronger anti-psychotic medication, frequent psychiatric consultations and for very severe cases, institutionalization.

When deciding a treatment for either disorder, medical health professionals must first determine the severity of both and whether or not the victim poses harm to people around them and to themselves. No matter how severe the condition for the disorder is, there are always treatment options available.