advertisement
Home » Are Panic Attacks Part of Grieving?

Are Panic Attacks Part of Grieving?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I recently lost my dad around Christmastime, so I know I am going through a grief process. One of the things that happened to me recently is when I heard of the Japan quake. Then looking at other news, it was about the supermoon. Then my mind was flooded with all these things in the world and I had a panic attack. I mean I was truly scared and normally I do not think of these things, it lasted maybe a day…all night and the next day . Is that from realizing my own mortality? In the death of my dad ? Or am I maybe just losing my mind … a little?

Are Panic Attacks Part of Grieving?

Answered by on -

A.

I am so sorry for your recent loss of your father. I don’t think you are losing your mind. The death of a parent is a huge life event and often brings a sense of your own mortality to the forefront and upsets your view of the world. It makes sense that after the loss of your father, the person who is often experienced as the “protector” in the family, you’d feel for a time that the world had become scarier and less safe.

Stressful situations, like the death of a parent, can sometimes precipitate anxiety. While panic attacks usually peak at about 10 minutes, it is possible to have clusters of them. Since you don’t mention specific symptoms I can’t be certain if it was a panic attack or another kind of anxiety disorder. I suggest that you seek out a mental health evaluation to determine whether or not you have developed an anxiety disorder and if so, to get treatment. Also, I highly suggest attending a grief support group. Hospitals,  hospices, and community clinics often host groups to help grieving family members find support by sharing their experiences with others who are going through similar losses.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

Are Panic Attacks Part of Grieving?

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Julie Hanks, LCSW has over 20 years in the mental health field providing outpatient psychotherapy services to children, adolescents, adults, couples and multi-problem families with complex mental health and relationship problems. Find out more at WasatchFamilyTherapy.com. Follow Julie on Twitter & Facebook. Visit Julie's new blog for therapists Private Practice Toolbox

APA Reference
Hanks, J. (2018). Are Panic Attacks Part of Grieving?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/05/03/are-panic-attacks-part-of-grieving/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.