Nervous Breakdown vs Panic Attack: Know the Differences

Nervous Breakdown vs Panic Attack

Difference between a Nervous Breakdown vs Panic Attack: A Panic Attack is a sudden and extreme surge of fear or discomfort, frequently followed using physical symptoms like a speedy heartbeat, sweating, and shortness of breath. It normally arises without warning and can be overwhelming, however commonly subsides inside minutes. On the other hand, a Nervous Breakdown, although lasts for a period rather than a clinical diagnosis, refers to an extra extended duration of extreme intellectual distress or a lack of ability to feature normally in everyday life, that can appear as an intense mood swings, withdrawal, and difficulty concentrating.

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Difference between Nervous Breakdown and Panic Attack

A Panic Attack is a sudden, extreme episode of fear accompanied by physical symptoms, whilst a Nervous Breakdown refers to a prolonged duration of intense mental misery, encompassing troubles such as intense temper swings and withdrawal from daily life. The table below provides the differences between Nervous Breakdowns and Panic Attacks.


Nervous Breakdown

Panic Attack


Not a clinical term; describes severe mental distress or inability to cope

A sudden episode of intense fear or discomfort


Can last for an extended period, ranging from days to weeks or longer

Typically peaks within minutes, lasting 20-30 minutes


A wide range of symptoms including anxiety, depression, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, physical symptoms, and behavioural changes

Physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, along with psychological symptoms such as fear of losing control or going crazy


Often triggered by chronic stress, major life changes, traumatic events, or underlying mental health conditions

Can be triggered by specific situations, phobias, or internal cues, or may occur unexpectedly


Comprehensive approach including therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, and support

Treatment may involve cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, medication, and lifestyle changes

Example Scenario

Experiencing overwhelming anxiety and depression following a period of chronic stress or trauma

Suddenly experiencing intense fear, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath while in a crowded space or during a presentation

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What is a Nervous Breakdown?

A Nervous Breakdown is a non-clinical period used to describe a kingdom of severe mental misery or incapacity to feature usually in regular existence. It can encompass several mental health problems, consisting of intense anxiety, depression, or acute pressure reactions. Symptoms may also include temper swings, withdrawal from social interactions, trouble concentrating, modifications in sleep or ingesting styles, emotions of hopelessness, and on occasion even mind self-damage.

Causes of Nervous Breakdown

  • Severe Stress: Overwhelming stress from various sources which include paintings, relationships, financial problems, or annoying events can contribute to a breakdown.
  • Trauma: Past disturbing experiences, which include accidents, or loss, can notably impact intellectual fitness and growth vulnerability to a breakdown.
  • Genetic Factors: A circle of relatives records of intellectual health issues can boost the risk of experiencing a Nervous Breakdown.
  • Personality Traits: Certain character traits, including perfectionism or an inclination to fear excessively, can predispose individuals to develop intellectual health troubles.
  • Underlying Mental Health Conditions: Pre-existing mental health issues, such as tension issues, despair, or publish-annoying pressure disease (PTSD), can contribute to the development of a breakdown.

Symptoms of Nervous Breakdown

  • Depression: Persistent emotions of unhappiness, hopelessness, vacancy, or melancholy. Loss of interest in formerly enjoyable sports, modifications in urge for food or weight, sleep disturbances, and thoughts of dying or suicide can also arise.
  • Mood Swings: Extreme fluctuations in mood, consisting of going from feeling euphoric to deeply depressed within a quick length.
  • Difficulty Concentrating: Inability to attention or deal with obligations, that may result in impaired overall performance at paintings or faculty.
  • Memory Problems: Forgetfulness or issue recalling crucial facts.
  • Physical Symptoms: Chronic headaches, gastrointestinal troubles, muscle anxiety, and different physical proceedings without a clear clinical purpose.

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What is a Panic Attack?

A Panic Attack is an unexpected episode of intense worry or discomfort that reaches a top inside minutes. These assaults can arise suddenly or can be brought on through a selected situation or trigger. Panic Attacks are characterized using a mixture of physical and mental signs.

Causes of Panic Attack

  • Genetics: There can be a genetic predisposition to Panic Attacks, as they tend to run in households. Individuals with close households who've experienced Panic Attacks or different anxiety disorders may be a better threat.
  • Brain Chemistry: Imbalances in neurotransmitters, along with serotonin and norepinephrine, which are involved in regulating mood and stress response, may contribute to the improvement of Panic Attacks.
  • Stressful Life Events: Major life adjustments, trauma, or persistent stress can cause Panic Attacks in inclined individuals. These activities might also consist of the loss of a cherished one, dating problems, economic troubles, or painting-associated pressure.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical situations, along with thyroid problems, cardiovascular diseases, breathing problems, and chronic aches situations, can boost the danger of Panic Attacks. Additionally, withdrawal from materials like alcohol, caffeine, or certain medications can trigger Panic Attacks.
  • Phobias and Triggers: Specific phobias, including agoraphobia, worry of being in situations wherein getaway is probably tough or claustrophobia, can cause Panic Attacks when individuals are exposed to their feared conditions or triggers.

Symptoms of Panic Attack

  • Rapid Heartbeat: Palpitations or a pounding heart.
  • Sweating: Profuse sweating, even though the surroundings aren't particularly warm.
  • Trembling or Shaking: Uncontrollable shaking or trembling of the frame.
  • Shortness of Breath: Feeling like you're unable to seize your breath, or experiencing chest tightness or discomfort.
  • The feeling of Choking: Sensation of choking or being smothered.
  • Chest Pain or Discomfort: Sharp or stupid ache in the chest, regularly fallacious for a coronary heart assault.

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Similarities among Nervous Breakdown and Panic Attack

  • Intense Emotional Distress: Both Nervous Breakdowns and Panic Attacks involve intense emotional distress. Individuals experiencing both may additionally feel beaten, Nervous, or not able to cope with their emotions.
  • Physical Symptoms: Both can take place with bodily signs which include speedy heartbeat, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, and dizziness. These physical symptoms can be distressing and might contribute to the general feeling of soreness.
  • Impact on Daily Functioning: Both Nervous Breakdowns and Panic Attacks can extensively impair a person's capability to function in everyday life. They may additionally interfere with paintings, social sports, relationships, and different components of day-by-day functioning.

In summary, whilst Panic Attacks are acute episodes of severe fear with unique physiological symptoms, a Nervous Breakdown refers to a more prolonged duration of severe intellectual misery or an inability to cope with existence's demands. It's essential to be aware that in search of expert help from a mental health company is critical for correct diagnosis and treatment for either circumstance.

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What is a Nervous Breakdown?

A Nervous Breakdown isn't a clinical term, but rather an outline of a length of extreme intellectual distress or an incapacity to cope with existence's demands. It can involve several signs consisting of extreme anxiety, depression, temper swings, issues concentrating, and adjustments in conduct.

What is a Panic Attack?

A Panic Attack is a surprising episode of extreme worry or soreness that commonly peaks within minutes. It is characterised by way of bodily signs which include rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, and mental signs inclusive of worry of losing control or going crazy.

What are the symptoms of a Nervous Breakdown?

Symptoms of a Nervous Breakdown can vary widely however can also consist of extreme tension, melancholy, mood swings, problem concentrating, memory issues, physical signs inclusive of complications or gastrointestinal problems, and changes in conduct which includes social withdrawal or isolation.

What are the symptoms of a Panic Attack?

Symptoms of a Panic Attack may also consist of a fast heartbeat, sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, feelings of choking or smothering, fear of losing manage or going crazy, and worry of loss of life.

How are Nervous Breakdowns and Panic Attacks treated?

Treatment for Nervous Breakdowns and Panic Attacks may involve a combination of remedies, medicinal drugs, lifestyle modifications, and assistance from intellectual health experts and loved ones. Specific treatment strategies might also vary depending on man or woman situations and severity of signs and symptoms.