Knocks On The Door Give You Panic Attacks? Your Brain Might Be Trying to Tell You Something

Time to check your serotonin levels

Alan Trapulionis



Last Friday, me and a childhood friend of mine were chilling on her balcony, sipping whiskey with ice. We were having a deep, sentimental conversation when a decisive knock on the door pierced through the sunset melody of our words.

Her head turned instantly, a smile on her face now gone; a look on her face now reminded that of a gazelle who just heard the grass rustle nearby.

She then started silently cursing in words that I didn’t know she knew. It took her about 5 seconds to start getting up from the chair.

It was weird. Sure, we were having a nice time. An interruption is not ideal. But her reaction was an overreaction, however you measure it.

Of course, it was just the delivery boy — some Amazon purchase for her mom. But the episode stuck with me. Why did she react so strongly to an insignificant, anonymous knock on the door?

Then it dawned on me — for almost my entire life, I used to act the same way. Whenever someone would ring the bell or — even worse — knock on our door, my heart rate would instantly accelerate, I would lower the TV volume, look out the window (for a gang of vampires, I guess?) and approach the door on my toes, without turning the light on in the hallway.

Turns out, there’s a scientific explanation for what’s happening. It’s not a pleasant one, though.

If You Jump When Someone Knocks On Your Door, Ring The Alarm

If you recognize yourself or someone close to you in the story above, then it might be a good time to become slightly concerned about that person’s mental well-being.

Negative, aggressive reaction to external stimuli — like knocking on your door, inbound phone calls or meeting an old classmate in the coffeeshop — is a prime symptom of serotonin deprivation, which, in turn, is linked to depression and a whole bunch of other health problems.

Here’s what we do know:

  1. Serotonin deficiency has strong links to depression. A 2007 study has found that reduced levels of…