Seizure vs Panic Attack: Difference and Comparison

Panic attacks and seizures are two phenomena that can strike a person without warning and leave them puzzled and perpetually in doubt. The symptoms are numerous and strange.

However, the underlying disorders occur directly in the brain, which is difficult to examine.

Key Takeaways

  1. Seizures result from abnormal electrical activity in the brain. They can cause physical symptoms such as convulsions, whereas panic attacks originate from psychological factors and manifest as intense fear or anxiety.
  2. A person experiencing a seizure may lose consciousness or experience muscle stiffness, while someone having a panic attack remains conscious and may experience chest pain or shortness of breath.
  3. Treatment for seizures includes anti-epileptic medications, while panic attacks may be managed through psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both.

Seizure vs Panic Attack

A seizure can be described as an uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain that can cause convulsions or loss of consciousness. A panic attack is a sudden onset of intense fear or discomfort, accompanied by physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath.

Seizure vs Panic Attack

A seizure occurs when the brain’s electrical activity is triggered by neurons firing or misfiring in excess amounts, causing a variety of psychological symptoms followed by physical symptoms.

Seizures can have negative consequences for your health and your brain.

A brain tumour, a brain injury, a brain infection, hormonal imbalance leading to changes in brain chemistry, the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and other variables are among the risk factors.

A panic attack is characterised by the appearance of extreme fear feelings without a solid explanation or cause or by the perception of a disproportionate threat.

Specific phobias, GAD, panic disorder, PTSD, and ODD, are common triggers for panic attacks. Any previous negative event can trigger panic attacks. If you make lifestyle adjustments, you can treat and prevent manic episodes.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSeizurePanic Attack
DefinitionElectrical activity is caused by neurons in the brain in excessive amounts by firing or misfiring very rapidly, resulting in various psychological symptoms succeeded by different physical symptoms.Sudden development of physical and psychological symptoms due to the emergence of intense fear feeling without any valid cause.
SymptomsHeadaches, consciousness loss, uncontrolled bowel movements, bladder loss, rapid movement of eyes, dizziness, anxiety, severe mood swings.Sweating, nausea, chills, headaches, trembling, increased pulse rate, chest pain, hyperventilation, numbness, and derealization.
Lasts up toUp to several minutes from a few seconds. Several seconds to a few minutes.
Risk factors includeBrain tumours, brain injuries, infections, and hormonal imbalances lead to changes in the brain’s chemistry.Specific phobias, GAD, panic disorder, PTSD, and ODD.
TreatmentSurgery and antiepileptic drugs.Psychotherapy and anti-depressant drugs.

What is a Seizure?

A seizure is a sudden and rapid electrical activity in the brain caused by neurons firing or misfiring in excess amounts, resulting in various psychological symptoms followed by various physical symptoms.

Also Read:  Temperature vs Thermal Energy: Difference and Comparison

A seizure might last anywhere from a few seconds to many minutes. A seizure can be harmful to one’s health and brain.

Some of the major symptoms of a seizure include headaches, loss of consciousness, increased confusion and dilemma, muscle spasms, teeth clenching, frothing in the mouth, uncontrollable bowel motions, bladder loss, rapid eye movement, dizziness, anxiety, and extreme mood changes.

A brain tumour, a brain injury, a brain infection, hormonal imbalance leading to changes in brain chemistry, the advent of Alzheimer’s disease, and so on are some of the risk factors.

Seizures are treated with surgery and antiepileptic medications.

seizure

What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is the abrupt onset of psychological and physical symptoms as a result of the emergence of intense terror feelings for no apparent reason/cause or as a result of sensing a disproportionate threat.

Sweating, nausea, chills, headaches, shaking, elevated pulse rate, chest pain, hyperventilation, numbness, derealization, losing control of the body, and fear of detachment or death are all signs of panic attacks.

A panic episode might last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

A panic attack is frequently brought on by underlying mental health disorders such as specific phobias, GAD, panic disorder, PTSD, and ODD, which have been witnessed in the past or dread of occurrence and repeat in the future.

Any negative experience in the past can trigger panic attacks. Panic attacks can be healed and prevented by making lifestyle adjustments. It can, however, be treated with psychotherapy and antidepressant medications.

panic attack

Main Differences Between a Seizure and a Panic Attack

  1. When an electrical activity takes place in the brain, which is caused by neurons in excessive amounts by firing or misfiring very suddenly and rapidly, resulting in various psychological symptoms succeeded by different physical symptoms is called a seizure. On the other hand, the sudden development of psychological and physical symptoms due to the emergence of intense fear feeling without any valid reason/ cause or perceiving a disproportionate threat is called a panic attack.
  2. Headaches, consciousness loss, higher confusion and dilemma, muscle spasms, teeth getting clenched, frothing occurring in the mouth, uncontrolled bowel movements, bladder loss, rapid movement of eyes, dizziness, anxiety, and severe mood swings are some of the serious symptoms of a seizure. On the other hand, sweating, nausea, chills, headaches, trembling, increased pulse rate, chest pain, hyperventilation, numbness, derealization, losing control of the body, and fear of detachment or dying are some of the symptoms witnessed in case of panic attacks.
  3. Usually, a seizure lasts several minutes to a few seconds. On the other hand, a panic attack can also be witnessed for several seconds to a few minutes.
  4. A seizure can have bad impacts on health and the brain. A few of the risk factors include brain tumour, brain injury, brain infection, hormonal imbalance leading to changes in the chemistry of the brain, the emergence of Alzheimer’s disease, etc. On the other hand, a panic attack is caused due to underlying mental health issues witnessed in past or fear of occurrence and repetition in the future, such as specific phobias, GAD, panic disorder, PTSD, and ODD. Any past bad experience can also trigger panic attacks.
  5. The treatment of seizures is done through surgery and antiepileptic drugs. On the other hand, panic attacks can be cured and prevented if lifestyle changes occur. However, it is also cured through psychotherapy and anti-depressant drugs as well.
Difference Between a Seizure and a Panic Attack
References
  1. https://www.jle.com/e-docs/00/03/F9/BD/article.phtml?tab=texte
  2. https://functionalsymptoms.org/article_5
Also Read:  Heart Rate vs Pulse Rate: Difference and Comparison

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

19 thoughts on “Seizure vs Panic Attack: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Understanding the differences between seizures and panic attacks is essential, and this article does a great job of clarifying that. Kudos to the author!

    Reply
  2. This is a very comprehensive comparison of seizures and panic attacks. It’s important to understand the differences between the two and how they are treated. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  3. It’s great to see both conditions compared in such an in-depth manner. This information could be crucial for people experiencing these symptoms.

    Reply
  4. I appreciate the scientific explanation of these conditions. This is a valuable contribution to awareness and understanding.

    Reply
  5. This was a very interesting read. The straightforward approach to explaining seizures and panic attacks is commendable.

    Reply
  6. I never realized the differences between seizures and panic attacks were so vast. This article has been very eye-opening for me.

    Reply
  7. The clarity and detail in this article are truly impressive. It’s an essential read for anyone looking to understand these conditions.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!