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Why do I always cause physical harm to myself or others during a Panic Attack?

9 Answers
Last Updated: 03/01/2021 at 6:13pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Brenda King, PsyD


I treat life changes, women’s issues, and issues of aging using evidence-based treatments with healthy doses of warmth, empathy and humor to enhance healing and growth.

Top Rated Answers
May 18th, 2015 5:50am
When you are having a panic attack, there is a large release of hormones, and as a coping method for it self harm is done due to the fact that when you participate in self harm your body releases a hormone known as endorphins, and it causes you to experience relief. I can relate to this due to the fact that when I have a panic attack I tend to self harm and in all honest opinion it gives a sense of euphoria, even though I am fully aware it is not healthy.
April 21st, 2015 7:56am
Because your panicking and confused. You know pokemon?? How a pokemon can hurt it's self in confusion in the games? It's the same thing. People who are panicking lash out.
June 14th, 2016 2:39am
It's just a way some people deal with letting their stress out. While there are better other ways to relieve this stress, it is a common result.
June 9th, 2015 3:18pm
I know that when I have a panic attack, I feel threatened and am overwhelmed. I also feel very defensive and may lash out at people, including myself, because of feeling threatened and defensive.
June 13th, 2016 2:34am
Sometimes panic attacks can make us think in ways that aren't rational, causing us to, well, panic. That sometimes leads to us harming ourselves or others.
March 21st, 2016 3:41pm
Because something is blocking your mind, therefore it is hard for you to focus on what you are doing.
November 18th, 2015 5:52am
There must be a psychological reason to your panic attacks, please seek help to find out what it is to deal.
September 10th, 2015 9:44pm
If you are in this situation to where you know you are causing harm to yourself or others, perhaps you should speak with a trusted person, or trained provider like a counselor or therapist to help with your feelings.
March 1st, 2021 6:13pm
Physical harm to yourself is an coping mechanism to deal with overwhelming negative emotions. Most people feel relief when they self harm. Try to find a healthy distraction/coping mechanism when you feel the urge to harm yourself. The "Fight-Flight Response" is something very common with anxiety and panic disorder, it's an automatic and natural physiological reaction that our nervous system activates on the perception of danger or threat. The brain triggers an acute stress response providing the body with a burst of energy so that it can respond to perceived dangers, preparing the body to fight or flee. During a panic attack the body’s alarm system is triggered without (most times) the presence of any real danger. Breathing exercises are helpful to calm the body, physical exercise is also a simple and effective way to calm the nervous system. It not only uses the energy created in the body, it also helps break down excess stress hormones.