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Question
Posted by: Tired | 2007/04/02

Panic Attack

Hi Doc,

Can a person pass out from a panic attack. I have come out of surgery just over a week ago and have suddenly had numerous panic attacks. I am going to be seeing a doctor about this but for the moment I constantly feel dizzy and it scares me that I am going to pass out.

I had an esg done and my heart is fine, just beats too fast when I'm panicking. My blood pressure is also 100%. I just hate this feeling am constantly scared that I am going to have another panic attack which is obviously making the situation worse. I hate not being in control and when I have these attacks it feels like I'm going to die.

Your advice is appreciated.

Take care

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

One could pass out during a panic attack, though it's much more usual for one to fear that one will, during such an attack, without actually passing out. From your description, the problem seems to be a fear of passing out, and related to dizziness, which could possibly be related to the op you had.
Having one's heart beat faster is part of the definition of a panic attack, and a normal part of it. And its typical that within panic attacks one feels out of control, and fears that one will go mad, or die, or both.
DO see a good local psychiatrist for a full assessment, and a comhination of CBT counselling and some medication can clear this up before long.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Tired | 2007/04/02

Hi RMC,

Thanks for the advice. I had one in 2005 due to severe anxiety at work and I managed to change jobs thankfully.

I think that I have a problem with not being in control. Before the operation I was so anxious about the anesthetic and the procedure. I have a dreaded fear of flying, so I think its a control issue which I need to address. I suppose that if the worst case scenario is that I do pass out all my muscles will relax and everything will normalise again although its not something I want to experience. I just try to keep tell myself that in spite of the way I feel I will get over this.

Reply to Tired
Posted by: RMC | 2007/04/02

Yes you can.

People often hyperventilate during the attacks. You you experience tingling or pins and needles in your hands/fingertips during the attacks?

You need to think rationally. I know it is difficult but my last panic attack I thought I was going to die - tight chest, saw spots in front of my eyes, got dizzy - the full monty. I was planning to see doc that week before that. I went to see them straightaway, I thought I was going to have a nervous brak down.

But why ghave you started having them all of a su dden?

Reply to RMC

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