Dissociative Panic Attack
When you suffer from a dissociative panic attack, you may feel as if you are hallucinating or losing your mind. It can also be accompanied by other anxiety symptoms. If you have a recurrent panic attack, you might develop a panic disorder. But you don’t have to be afraid of this symptom. You can learn to control it and speed up your recovery.
Anxiety Canada reports that some youth with panic attacks do not experience derealization. In this case, the panic attacks are a result of sudden trauma. Rather than a loss of reality, the feelings of depersonalisation can be a result of an overactive frontal lobe and emotional numbness.
Researchers evaluated the prevalence of dissociation in patients with panic disorder and compared the occurrence to healthy controls. They found that the dissociative experience was much more common in patients with panic disorder. The severity of their dissociative states was correlated with the severity of their DSM-III-R symptoms.
Patients with more severe dissociative states had more severe panic symptoms. However, despite the differences in their symptoms, there were no differences in their DES scores.
Patients who had a high level of childhood trauma had fewer dissociative experiences during a panic attack. Additionally, patients who reported more than two childhood traumatic events had less depersonalization. This was not an indication of increased vulnerability to general psychopathology.
The findings were based on a study of forty adult patients with panic disorder. The average age of patients was 36.4 years and most had past major depressive disorder or social phobia. The mean DES score was 11.6.