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Manwon Lender

Why Do I Feel Like I'm Dying During a Panic Attack?

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Manwon Lender

When a panic attack comes on with full force, it can be terrifying, to the point that it feels catastrophic—you can convince yourself that you’re dying. A panic attack is essentially like a storm of nearly intolerable physiological and neurological sensations and emotions that catapult you into a state of fright, internal tumult, and a frantic wish to escape from yourself in order to feel relief. The irony is that although it feels like you are dying, it is actually your body’s way of fighting for its life, so to speak, or responding to what it perceives as danger in the form of an external or internal threat (such as giving a presentation, or the fear of failure).

Why Do I Feel Like I'm Dying During a Panic Attack? (msn.com)

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“To me, what’s worse isn’t just the one-off panic attack, but rather the anticipatory anxiety, the secondary effects that result. A person is so afraid of having another panic attack, especially in public, that they start to avoid public places. This can cause severe limitations, personally and professionally.”

The above quote is how it affected me.  Back in the late 1960s no-one seemed to know how to deal with this sort of problem so I became stuck with it as eventually the thought processes become so engrained in the brain that even CBT years later never really worked.

Even though, intellectually, I know what is going on and understand the process, it does little to alleviate the symptoms.  I have immense empathy/sympathy with all those who have to deal with any phobia.

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