Can a person die from panic attacks?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 7/12/2010 6:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Recently i have been doing alot of reading about PA's although i have been having them for years. i don't know about others but sometimes my panic attacks get so intense i feel like i'm dying! I've heard others say they feel like this too. My question is,can you have a panic attack that so severe that it can kill you? I would appreciate any feedback on this.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 7/12/2010 11:46 PM (GMT -7)   
A panic attack can not kill you...just makes you feel like it can. A person can be frightened to death in the sense that it gives them a heart attack, but it's not the fright that killed them. But basically, the answer is "no".
Aren't we glad!!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 7/13/2010 6:09 AM (GMT -7)   
As far as I know the worse thing that can happen is that you will pass out from hyperventilating. I've never passed out though.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/13/2010 6:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Panic attacks can make you feel like dying, BUT you need to understand that it's simply not the case. A perfectly healthy person with no physical condition cannot simply just die! It's not possible. Yes it can feel abnormal, it feels so real, but you need to understand that its your body's nervous system being at a state of high alert. It's coming from you. You are exaggerating those strange feelings into MAJOR significance.
A person will not die from a panic attack.
Gentle Hugs,
   ~~ Kitt ~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Gerd/Heartburn,  
& Heart/Cardiovascular Disease 
*~* *~*

~Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday. ~
"I am not a mental health professional, nor do I play one on TV, I just kind of talk like one!"


New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/13/2010 7:24 AM (GMT -7)   

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 7/13/2010 9:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Guys,That really makes me feel better! Basically the same things that you all told me i've read it. I guess i just wanted to be sure and hear more feedback! Janet i've heard of that, being frightened to death. I guess that's more or less what i'm saying, can the panic attack scare you in such a way where it can scare you to death! But what you said answered my question. Kitt i understand exctly what you are saying! Thanks guys!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 8/2/2010 6:34 AM (GMT -7)   
no - i was told that your heart can sustain palpitations of 200bpm

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2474
   Posted 8/2/2010 10:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't felt like that in years but when I first started with PA I did. VERY SCARY. I have learned since to quick take a xannax- then I need to go somewhere where I can be alone. I start doing deep breathing where I inhale as much air through my nose as my lungs can take in and exhale through my mouth slowly. I remind myself that it is only a panic attack and that the xannax will have it under control in 15 mins or less. Hope this helps someone else.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 8/3/2010 2:29 PM (GMT -7)   
My hubby had a major PA on Sunday. He thought he was going to die! I've never seen him have one this bad. He couldn't breathe cause he breathed in skunk vapors a few days ago. When he smelled skunk again, he said it got into his lungs and was going to get rabies. I tried and tried to tell him that isn't a way to get rabies. And he needed to breathe. He kept holding his breathe. I had to rush him to the ER. I thought for a moment it was more to it than a PA, but the dr x-rayed his lungs just to make sure. When I told her what was going on, his med list, she knew then it was a PA. We were in the ER from 9:30a to 2:30p. We left once but had to go back since he couldn't control it again.
Now we have to try to avoid dead/live skunks - that will be hard since we live in a rural area and it's prime skunk time!

The dr did reassure him he could NOT get rabies by breathing the skunk smell.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 8/3/2010 5:34 PM (GMT -7)   

Mrsfarmer- I'm sorry to hear of the hard time your husband is going through, I can relate to it. Whiler I've never had that particular obsession, I know what it is to have irrational thoughts (and you know they're irrational) but can't stop them from intruding. Having had OCD (mostly obsessional problems, I don't really have compulsions much) I can understand the horror of the disease. I've done much better on medications, especially the SSRI class of antidepressants. Does you husband take an SSRI?

Anyway, I hope he gets well soon,

God bless.



Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/5/2010 6:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I definitely hv felt like i was going to die even though i know its not actually going to happen

I wish you better days truly...



Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 8/8/2010 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Sometimes i wished i would die (for about 2 seconds!!!) A gazillion panic attacks later I am ridiculously healthy.
I don't have them much anymore and my heart still keeps on ticking!
I echo Lyn..better days will come :-)
Panic Attack Survivor]
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