I feel like I’m going to pass out, I’m so scared of losing control! Am I going to faint during this anxiety attack? Panic attacks are often accompanied by a fear of fainting, but actually fainting during a panic attack is rare and very unlikely. The technical term for fainting is syncope (SIN-co-pee), and it’s a symptom of many medical issues, but not associated with panic attacks.
If you’re worried about fainting or passing out during a panic attack, you’re in good company. Panic attacks are quite common, and panic disorder is a fairly common anxiety disorder. Panic disorder is what we call it when worry about having panic attacks starts to cause significant problems in your life.
The most current guidelines that help medical and mental health professionals identify and diagnose mental health concerns are found in the 5th edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, usually called simply the DSM-V. Panic attacks can accompany any medical or mental health condition, and the most common symptoms are listed below. Please visit your doctor or a licensed mental health provider for a thorough evaluation if you believe you may have panic attacks. Great treatments are available.
DSM-V Panic Attack Symptoms:
•Palpitations, pounding heart, tachycardia
•Muscle trembling, shaking
•Shortness of breath, sensations of smothering
•Chest pain or discomfort
•Nausea, abdominal distress
•Dizzy, lightheaded, instability, feeling faint
•Fears of losing control or going crazy
•Fear of dying
•Numbness, tingling sensations
•Chills, hot flushes.
As you can see, feeling dizzy is a common experience for people having panic attacks. Many
people ask their therapist, “am I going to faint when I have a panic attack?” but that feeling is just one of the symptoms that come along with panic attacks. If you feel lightheaded or like you’re unstable or might collapse during a panic attack, it probably won’t lead to fainting. Just as people having panic attacks often fear that they might have a heart attack or die, feeling like you’re going to pass out is part of the package.
Instead of living in fear of those panic attacks, consider taking action today to get your anxiety under control and manage any other conditions that you might be dealing with alongside the panic. Here are 3 steps to put you on a path to better health:
- Keep a written log of your daily activities, and take it to your health care visits. Include as much detail as you’d like, especially physical and emotional information. Psychologists call this exercise self-monitoring.
- Make an appointment with your primary care provider for an appointment to assess your health and discuss your concerns. Depending on your insurance coverage and the severity of your symptoms, a preventive care visit or well check might be a good idea, and you can mention your symptoms as part of that process.
- Find a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist in your area. It might take some effort to cross-reference CBT providers with those who accept your insurance, but start with the therapist who seems like the best fit, and ask them to refer you to someone else qualified who accepts your plan, if they don’t.
The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.