8. Sensation of imminent death
These patients have difficulty to breathe, chest pain and numbness, they may also have a severe headache. These problems are combined with uncontrolled levels of anxiety, which contribute to making patients feel they are going to die. This becomes a recurrent feeling that troubles patients throughout the episode and makes it truly unbearable. What’s more, it triggers an increasing sense of nervousness that aggravates the rest of the symptoms and makes patients reach a peak of anxiety around 10 minutes after starting the panic attack episode.
This sensation of imminent death makes patients go straight to the hospital, and in most cases, they are not diagnosed because their symptoms disappear before reaching to the doctor and because they have absolutely no physical signs of alteration. However, in some cases, this fear and apprehension contribute to increasing (and even double) patient’s risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular complications. If you have been diagnosed with panic disorder, remember panic attacks are not fatal by themselves. Remember this is a temporary episode and try not to think about fatal outcomes that would increase your levels of anxiety and aggravate your symptoms.