Feeling Of Impending Doom – What Is It, And What Could It Mean?

Last Update on January 17, 2024 : Published on January 17, 2024

Have you ever felt that nothing is going to be, okay? Felt something tragic or life-threatening might happen? Yes, this is what the feeling of impending doom is like. Sometimes, this feeling can be a result of a mental health condition, while other times, it can be due to an event.

Having such thoughts is a normal part of life, but if they are distracting enough and make performing your day-to-day activities challenging, you should pay attention and talk to a mental health practitioner. 

However, before you decide that the feeling of impending doom is something serious, you need to understand that, sometimes, it is even used as a figure of speech. But this doesn’t mean that you can overlook this feeling as it can be a sign of anxiety, panic attack, or some other mental health condition

To understand this feeling, whether it is a medical emergency or a passing thought, you must consider certain factors. After all, impending doom can result from a panic attack, which is not a life-threatening situation.

Here, we explain what impending Doom is and how it can be diagnosed and treated

Why does a person feel impending doom?

The feeling of impending doom means that the person feels something tragic or life-threatening is about to happen. Some people can feel it because of a heart attack, seizures,  or blood clots.

While others can have shortness of breath and fear that something bad will happen, they can also experience a sinking feeling.  In addition to this, some may have the feeling of impending doom because of mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, panic disorder, depression, etc. 

When they feel this way, they get anxious and upset as they cannot deal with this feeling or explain it. What’s more, sometimes people, after facing a severe medical event, start experiencing the feeling of impending Doom. Individuals with brain trauma or injury may feel that something devastating is going to occur after these events take place. 

Is It a Symptom, or Saying

To some, the feeling of impending Doom may be nothing more than a phrase being used to describe a critical situation. However, if you look closely at it, you will understand that the feeling of impending doom Is a  condition some people struggle with.

This is why if you have been using it as a phrase, consider being compassionate towards the person for whom you are using it as you might be a figure of speech, but for the other person, it is how you are describing their mental state

To clarify things, let’s take the example of a person who says he thought he was going to die because he saw his boss coming towards him. In this case, the employee uses a remark to state the irony of being afraid of the boss.

Though the feeling is being used metaphorically, it states that the person lives under a lot of stress and gets anxious when the boss is around.

Conditions that may cause the feeling of impending doom

As there is limited research on the feeling of impending doom, there is no concrete answer to the question. It can be a result of various reasons. In some cases, it can be because of some mental health condition, while in others, it can be due to some physical reasons.

Mental health conditions

Mental health conditions that may make a person experience the feeling of impending doom, anxiety, or an unsettling feeling include mental:

Physical causes

In some cases, it has been found that even though the person doesn’t struggle with any mental health conditions, certain physical causes can also cause the feeling of impending Doom. These physical causes can be:

  1. Anaphylaxis: It is a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause the feeling of impending doom.
  2. Intraoperative awareness: When a person gains consciousness while being operated on, it is called intraoperative awareness.
  3. Pheochromocytoma: A rare tumor formed on the adrenal glands can cause the feeling of doom, making the person feel heart palpitations and sweating.
  4. Pulmonary embolism (PE): Blockage in pulmonary arteries caused by blood clots can be the reason for impending doom, shortness of breath, chest pain, and irritability.
  5. Heart attack: Some people, before the actual heart attack, sense the fear of feeling impending doom.

What other symptoms may occur?

A person can witness the impending feeling of doom on their own. However, there are other symptoms due to which they experience the brewing feeling of doom. These include: 

  • Palpitations.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • The feeling of detachment. 
  • Sweating.
  • Tremors.
  • Hot Flashes. 

Can the Feeling of Impending Doom Be Treated?

There is no cure or treatment available for the feeling of impending doom. However, if you know its cause, you can work on it. If it’s an alert caused by a medical emergency, you can contact a doctor and get treatment to eliminate the feeling.

However, if the feeling is a result of some medical condition like a panic disorder, bipolar disorder, or anxiety, consulting a therapist will help understand the reasons for the sensations you feel that cause impending feeling of doom.

Also, they will help reduce it. As the feeling can cause major life events, it is treatable if you know what is causing it.

Feeling of Doom – Is It Real

The feeling of impending doom is very much real. However, in some cases, it can be a mental disorder or a warning sign of a medical emergency. Therefore, whenever you feel a sensation or get the feeling of doom, never overlook it. Pay attention to the signs and contact the doctor or a therapist. If you think it’s a mental health disorder, seek help.

The feeling that something has been wrong with my happiness for a long time is a warning sign, and you must attend to it.  Talking to a doctor or a therapist will help you understand the underlying cause of how you feel, and they can suggest some treatment to help cure it.

It doesn’t matter what others say about the feeling. If you are getting the sensation and you are not feeling okay physically or psychologically, it is best to seek help if some physical emergency causes the feeling. Contact a doctor; however, if it is caused by excited depression or any other mental health condition, talk to a therapist.

About The Author

Ayush Yadav
Ayush Yadav

Aayush is a writer, and storyteller who is passionate about using words to help drive positive change and make people aware about the history. He holds a bachelor's in law, lives in the princely state Jaipur and is passionate about helping people in anyway possible. In his spare time, he is usually out with friends and enjoys exploring different facets of life.

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