What If You Panic During An MRI?

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What If You Panic During An MRI?

Situational Note: What if you panic during an MRI? 

An MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging Test, to be precise, is really scary as an experience we evaluate with our little knowledge, indeed!


Why not?

A situation, where you have to lay inside a donut-like semi-enclosed tube, a machine perhaps that makes loud & rough noise, and you shall constantly see how confined you are right there; anxious & panicked; more because you are asked not to move; is horrific to hear or feel! You do not want such an experience.

Alas! It is a necessary evil that you have to deal with a different way altogether!

Do you know what causes your panic in an MRI?


It may vary from one person to another!

  • You may panic when you feel nervous before an MRI.
  • You may have panicked because you just had a sudden burst of anxiety before the MRI scan.
  • You may panic because you were overthinking the situation for a long.
  • You may panic if you are already too stressed about what is wrong with your health.
  • You may panic out of the anticipation of staying still for such a long time.

And myriads more!

However, medical science states that –

An implant in the brain creating a sensation of fear is what can be a more plausible cause. History of anxiety & panic during an MRI is, more often, observed when the patients are typically sensitive to mental stressors!

What can be a healthy response to fight your anxiety & panic during an MRI?


Don’t Panic!

Take a Step back & reassess – What is causing you this anxiety & panic? It is not the MRI machine doing any harm to you; it is your stress-sensitive motors playing the game! Relax! You have to take some constructive steps now to ease your anxiety.

  • Take a deep, slow, and controlled breath! Release it again slowly! Repeat a couple of times!
  • Think of happy memories you had to date; think about those lovely moments you had in life, your achievement experiences, and all that suits you! Think of good food, and plan of traveling somewhere soon!
  • Ask for a blanket if it allows! This can give you a cozy & comfortable vibe. You can feel calm & secure.
  • Listen to music & enjoy the rhythms; your stress shall automatically reduce!
  • If silence can bring you peace, get some ear cuffs. This shall refrain the rough noise from bothering you from the inside, and you can relax.
  • You can also wear an eye mask for the entire time you are inside the tube. This shall give you a feeling of being somewhere familiar and can eradicate the anxiety of being trapped.

There are multiple other healthy ways you can combat panic during an MRI. You can choose the one you find appropriate for the moment! Take precautions beforehand; I would suggest!

 Are there any proceedings to follow for an MRI if you have a history of panic attacks?

There is no such formality to follow. However, you must make sure that your doctor is informed about it; only then she or he would be able to find you a diagnostic center that keeps wide-bore MRI machines. Likewise, you must also let the MRI technician know about your history of panic attacks, as it would be easier for the healthcare providers to keep all precautions; ready in place!

Is there any treatment for panic attacks during an MRI?

Well, the best possible solution for eliminating a panic attack during an MRI is to calm yourself down by taking deep breaths & thinking positively. But there is always emergency medical care for sedatives when things get out of hand.

You can also opt for such a condition before up-taking an MRI. For that, you have to consult with your doctor and get her or his approval! some of the time, patients may have to intake medicines; periodically, you may require local anesthesia to numb the areas upon which your MRI is being performed! Sometimes, you may be prescribed an anti-depressant & sometimes, cognitive behavioral therapy!

You can have two types of anxiety & panic: See Through!

Yes. You can either have performance anxiety, where you are apprehended and terrified by the fact that you have to pursue an MRI, or you may have confrontational anxiety, where an intense overwhelming fear of being harmed during your MRI is what bothers you!

In the first case, you find deficiencies in yourself; and in the second, you worry about the potential harm the MRI scan can cause you! In both cases, you may not like the experience of an MRI.

That is why doctors suggest preparing yourself to stay calm during the MRI scan!

Risk of Panicking during an MRI: Is there any?

Panic does no good to humans and is certain to bring forth some or other setbacks! Always remember that panicking can lead to the condition of claustrophobia. The sensation of being suffocated & choked. When such a thing happens, you are likely to –

  • Sweat heavily,
  • Have an elevated blood pressure level,
  • Have a faster heartbeat or pulse,
  • The sensation of vomiting,
  • The sensation of blackout or fainting,
  • Increased level of tension, and
  • Hot flashes!

None of these are enjoyable, I suppose! So, you ought to keep yourself calm & steady while undergoing an MRI scan. Panic can certainly fall heavy on you!



The moral of the story is what-ifs can’t be made true! We need to do everything that stops us from panicking during an MRI.

Consult with your doctor, practice meditation at home, learn more about the MRI scan and its safety, and think about positive things but do not overthink!

For doctors’ advice, you can book an appointment from our website, www.mrichandigarh.com

Write us at [email protected] if you have any more queries or doubts! You can also give us a call at 8699572364

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About author
Hi, I am Alka Tiwari, Founder & Patient Care Executive at MRIChandigarh.com. Helping you get the diagnostics scans services like MRI, CT Scan, UltraSound & PET Scan, etc at the best price. At MRIChandigarh's blog, I will be writing to create awareness and to educate you about how and where to get diagnostic scans done in Chandigarh at the best price with best-in-class services.
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