Can a Panic Attack Make You Lose Control?

Click play to hear Barry explain this anxiety sensation.

During a panic attack, some people are prone to believe they’re going to lose control. This feared loss of control can be physical (e.g., that all your vital organs will completely lose the run of themselves and descend into chaos) or emotional/mental (e.g., that you’ll lose your grip on reality).

Those who hate social embarrassment tend to suffer from this fear the most. The feared loss of control could range from screaming in public to picking up a knife and killing the nearest and dearest person to you (not that we all don’t think of this from time to time!).

Put your mind at rest! As scary as those thoughts may be, you’re not going to commit any of these acts. Relax. The reason you experience the thoughts is because your body feels out of control. Your mind thinks that if your body is out of control, it’s next on the list.

You’re not going to lose it. In fact, I’m sure that with all the panic attacks and heightened anxiety you’ve experienced in public places, nobody even noticed that you looked uncomfortable. We are, by nature, social animals, and we dread to be seen in some kind of embarrassing situation. The idea of jumping from your chair in a business meeting and screaming for an ambulance may go through your mind, but it’s unlikely to happen. Most people find a way to politely excuse themselves.

In the end, even if we do embarrass ourselves socially, does it really matter? We have to learn to be kind to ourselves. So what if we cause a scene and great embarrassment? Life is too short to keep up with appearances all the time. In fact, the more honest you are with your fears, the less pressure you subject yourself to.