What Causes a Sense of Impending Doom?

By Lynne Eldridge, MD, June 29, 2023

This sense of impending doom is often fueled by the fact that the mind is a “meaning-making machine” that seeks patterns and attributes meaning to what we are experiencing, explains Alex Dimitriu, MD, double board-certified in Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine. This can be useful in many cases but can also lead to mistakes and incorrect predictions. When people predict the wrong outcome, it can create what Dr. Dimitriu refers to as an emotional ‘hallucination,’ or delusion, a strongly held false belief. 

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