What Is The Term Used For The Feeling Of Impending Doom

Question

Asked by Henrietta

What Is The Term Used For The Feeling Of Impending Doom

Someone having a heart attack can have a "feeling of impending doom." What is the vocabulary term used for that phrase?

Answer

Henrietta,

Thanks for your question.

I'm afraid there is no medical term for this. It is definitely experienced by patients with severe angina or heart attacks, and the patient feels like something terrible is going to happened, like they're going to die.

I try not to use this term when answering questions in order to avoid creating fear in the patients. I sometimes substitute anxiety and/or nervousness in its place.

I hope this has been helpful.

Martin Cane, M.D.