, 23 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
I dread to inform you all of this, but "impending doom" is a very common symptom. Not just from living in 2019, either: from pretty much anything that will kill you.

Buckle in for a thread, there might even be some #neuroscience behind this.
And I know it ain't Tuesday, but let's call this a #NeuroThursday anyways. What happens when a person gets a sense of Impending Doom, from jellyfish or otherwise?
Exhaustive research (i.e. wikipedia) tells me that this jellyfish venom leads to symptoms including "chest and abdominal pains, sweating, high blood pressure and difficulty breathing." Fun times! But nothing specific about impending doom?
We don't know exactly what makes this particular jellyfish lead to this particular doom. But we do know a little bit about the human Doom Sense. It's very real, but it's not a premonition. More of a Doom Indicator.
One of the primary causes of Doom Sense is shock. Not electrical shock, but medical "shock", which is the whole-body catastrophe that arises from lack of oxygen to your organs. medlineplus.gov/shock.html
All your organs, but especially your brain: it'll be the first to detect the lack of oxygen, and the first to suffer and die from it. Brains is complicated and fragile and hard to heal.
Our bodies detect oxygen primarily via the "carotid bodies" and "aortic bodies," little sensors in the blood vessels near the head and heart. Those fellas signal the medulla, part of your brainstem.
If, for example, you've been stung by a jellyfish and undergoing "high blood pressure and difficulty breathing," that means not enough oxygen in your blood & to your brain. And through those carotid bodies, your brain knows this.
Low oxygen in your blood isn't normal. It's NOT what happens when you pant for breath after exercise. That "out of breath" sensation generally comes from excess carbon dioxide...
Those same carotid bodies also measure carbon dioxide in your blood. There shouldn't be much, you oughtta exhale that junk. Work too hard and your brain will increase your breathing rate to fix that.
(Interestingly, the carotid bodies measure CO2 indirectly - dissolved carbon dioxide changes your blood's acidity, which is easier to detect. And also a dang problem, thus the urgent need to exhale it.)
When you're out-of-breath after exercise, you probably still have enough oxygen in your blood to survive. (This is part of why CPR works, but that's another story.)
An actual shortage of oxygen – to the levels where your brain and heart are in danger – shouldn't normally happen. That's not in the normal range of lifethings.
On the rare day when your brain senses a lack of oxygen, this causes a perceptual experience, as sensation generally does. In this case, it feels BAD BAD BAD. Our dear friend, the Sense of Impending Doom.
There's your non-Thursday #NeuroThursday takeaway: Sense of Doom is your brain's notification of ERROR ERROR DO SOMETHING HELP.
Primarily this means lack of oxygen, but there may be other causes. Poisons, severe allergic reactions, etc. All of which still fit in the Doom Sensor role: the perception of "blood sensors detect SERIOUS WRONGNESS."
It's possible that anxiety disorders and modern politics trigger the same Doom Notification System for non-physiological reasons. They certainly feel similar.
Like most medical issues, Doom Sense's manifestation can vary. It can feel like premonition, restlessness, urgency. For some ppl it can be a desire for medical care ("I feel like I need to go to the ER" without being able to articulate why)
Health note: in case it isn't obvious, Doom Sense indicates a real medical emergency. Sometimes it's your first warning, and best chance to act. Unless you have an anxiety disorder or some other known explanation for Doom Alarm, get thyself to an emergency room ASAP.
As an EMT once told me, "if someone tells you that they feel like they're about to die, believe them."
P.S. If the end of this thread gave you the relief of doom withdrawn, you can read a buncha my fiction too! benjaminckinney.com/publications/
For some reason we're supposed to promise a SoundCloud but instead I suggest you listen/read @escapepodcast's free weekly science fiction and support them via the @EAPodcasts patreon! patreon.com/EAPodcasts/pos…
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Benjamin C. Kinney
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!