Hypochondriacs, anxiety-disordered peeps and the truly paranoid, be advised: If you've got a sinking feeling, specifically the sense that something terrible is about to happen, you could have one of eight illnesses or conditions. You knew it, right? Victory! (Of a sort.)
MSNBC's The Body Odd reports:
Heart attacks, aortic dissections, adrenal gland tumors, some seizures and severe allergic reactions all share one clairvoyant-sounding symptom: "an impending sense of doom."
Blame (or thank) your pesky neurotransmitters. Synapses fire, hitting receptors in your temporal lobe, and that "uh-oh" feeling begins. (Heart attack, tumor, seizure, oh my.) Not to get all new-agey and shit, but I do think that our bodies talk to us. Once I read a book about dreams and dreaming, and there was a case study about this woman who dreamed she was run over by a motorcycle. The tire went over her boob, and when she woke up she felt like really hurt, IRL, and was still kind of sore. So she went to the doctor, and it turned out she had a small lump on the motorcycle-flattened side — the early stages of breast cancer that they caught in time. True story! Pretty sure!
Anyway, it's interesting that a "feeling of doom" can be a symptom of a medical condition, and this study by David Ko reveals that there are some other "psychic phenomena" that are considered symptoms of physical ailments: déjà vu, detachment or dissociation — seeing your own body from the outside. But usually, feeling like something terrible is going to happen just means you're a high-strung alarmist. Okay, a pessimist. Or maybe, in this day and age? A realist.