Questions Personal and Family

Can you actually die from a panic attack?


Edhi Mehtra

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Severe anxiety leads to situations like panic attacks. Panic Attack is a stage of the sudden triggering of fear due to any unexpected situation and continues for a few minutes. People who get panic attacks may face certain symptoms like sweating heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, problems in breathing, hyperventilation, nausea, chest pains, numbness, etc. Sometimes, people mistake a panic attack as a heart attack as most of the symptoms are the same. But, in spite of similarities, there is a positivity in this that a person through almost feels like getting fatal with the most severe symptoms will not die like it is possible in case of heart attacks. 

Can panic attack cause death?

Though the panic attack is a dangerous experience for a person and may lead to a very serious condition yet, there is no such valid report or conclusions that a panic attack may be the cause of death. Severe panic attacks may lead to conditions like freezing, asthma or nausea and even chest pains. It continues for a few minutes and with some consolation and time, the person can easily calm down and tackle with the panic attack situation. As soon as you feel panicked, sit down on a chair and if there is no such place, sit on the floor and take a deep breath for a few seconds slower. Gently massage on your chest to reduce the pain and palpitations and after that pour some water on your head and neck. You can get rid of the panic attack.

There may be certain cases where some of the death cases have been reported due to a panic attack. But studies reveal that it is not the panic attack which is responsible for a person’s death. It has been seen that the person already had some massive cardiac problems before which was severely affected by the panic attack. A panic attack may be fatal for only the persons who have a weak and problematic heart.

Nocturnal panic attack

Many times, you may have a query about the nocturnal panic attacks, i.e., what may happen if you face a panic attack during the night time. In such cases, there is also no such chances to face serious condition like death. If you have a panic attack in the night, it will make you awaken from your sleep along with sweats and heart palpitations. At that situation its always better to drink some water and take a deep breath slowly. Finally, it will reduce your palpitations, and you can go back to sleep.