When someone loses what is so important to him/her, can we say (s)he has an "emotional attack"?
For example, when we lose an important friend or a member of family, can we say:
It gave me an emotional attack.
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It doesn't quite fit to my ear, probably because it's an unusual phrase and therefore hard to determine quickly how the words 'attack' and 'emotional' are being used.
Using the construction 'had an emotional attack' makes it sound like attack is intended to have its sense of 'seizure' (cf. had a panic attack, heart attack, attack of remorse) rather than its more usual combative sense (cf. missile attack, rhetorical attack). However, the second sense is not out of the question.
Meanwhile, using 'emotional' to modify 'attack' creates some vagueness. Possible conflicting meanings evoked are:
The meaning you want can probably be construed from the phrase, but there are competing interpretations that make it a less effective choice than some of the others suggested here.
I would prefer using "emotional trauma" or just "trauma".
"Psychological trauma" seems to be the word used by psychiatrists which means.
a type of damage to the mind that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event. Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one's ability to cope, or integrate the emotions involved with that experience