Can a Panic Attack Make You Go Crazy?

Click play to hear Barry explain this anxiety sensation.

It’s understandable to fear you may be going crazy when you suffer from an anxiety disorder. There’s so little real public awareness of mental disease, so people often jump to extreme conclusions. These conclusions are usually based on misinformation and an overactive imagination.

The most commonly known mental health issue is schizophrenia—the word itself strikes terror within the average person. Schizophrenia is a major disorder characterized by severe symptoms such as disjointed thoughts and speech, babbling, delusions or strange beliefs (for example, sufferers often claim they’re receiving messages from an inner voice), and hallucinations. Furthermore, schizophrenia appears to have a largely inherited genetic component, so those with schizophrenic family members have a higher predisposition than those who do not.

Schizophrenia generally begins very gradually, not suddenly (such as during a panic attack). Additionally, because it runs in families, only a certain proportion of people can become schizophrenic; in other people, no amount of stress will cause the disorder. A third important point is that people who become schizophrenic have usually shown some mild symptoms (unusual thoughts, flowery speech, etc.) for most of their lives. Thus, if this hasn’t been noticed yet in you, then chances are you won’t become schizophrenic. This is especially true if you’re over twenty-five, since schizophrenia generally first appears in the late teens to early twenties.