help please

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  • Posted

    Hi Takela, 

    Sorry to hear this, sounds like your having a pretty rough time right now!

    Attacks at night are extremely common and a good few of us can relate to what you are feeling right now. It is a really scary experience and like you said it can become difficult to get back to sleep again afterwards due to the worry. 

    Allthough you are asleep your mind can still be very active as you know for example think of when we have graphic dreams and stuff. The fact that you are having attacks to me says that sub consciously you are still worrying about your anxiety and health and stuff. 

    This is something I typed up for another member on here. It is how I came to overcome anxiety and stop my attacks. Once you are in control of your axiety by day hopefully your horrible sub conscious thoughts at night should calm down and in turn the night attacks should hopefully stop.

    I hope it doesn't sound too patronising and most importantly I really hope it helps you as it worked for me. 


    Although panic attacks feel like they come out of the blue they are usually the product of our own mind. They key to controlling them and beating them is in my opinion is to understand what happens to you when having a panic attack then you can learn to accept that it is a perfectly normal reaction that despite being horrible and uncomfortable will not harm you. We have all heard of “fight and flight” where our mind convinces our body into thinking we are in some sort of immediate danger, as a result our body produces adrenaline and we get all of those uncomfortable symptoms. This is a very normal emotional reaction as we feel the different things happening to us, this causes more panic and the whole thing just intensifies. It is all pretty much a vicious cycle however once you look at it in more detail and start to understand what is happening to you on a deeper level then you are one step closer to getting the better of it all.

    Without trying to patronise you let’s have a quick think about what we believe is happening when we have a panic episode (In Bold), and then next to it let’s be rational and look at what is really happening.

    ·         Rapid Heartbeat – When we hit panic mode our heart naturally speeds up. As our mind works overtime we instantly fear the worse when it happens. I can tell you that when it happened to me I instantly thought that I was about to have a heart attack or that my heart was suddenly going to stop – The increase in heartbeat is a perfectly normal reaction in which our body is readying us for the whole “fight or flight thing”. The truth of the matter is that Panic Attacks will not hurt you. Zoning in and focussing on your heart beating faster only prolongs things. You need to understand that your heart is fine and that it will return to normal as soon as you begin to calm and the panic attack comes to an end. 

    ·         Dizziness / Lightheaded – We instantly feel that we are about the pass out. We become really faint and despite feeling this way I couldn’t stay still, I found myself pacing around getting up when I knew I should be sitting down. I felt like my legs were weak and that I was going to hit the deck – Fainting is normally caused by a rapid drop in blood pressure, during a panic attack our blood pressure raises which in theory makes highly unlikely that you are going to pass out.

    ·         Tight Chest / Rapid Breathing – Some are aware of it and some aren’t. I wasn’t aware of it others around me told me how my breathing got faster and faster. Those that are aware of it usually describe feeling that they might choke, that they can’t get enough air or even that they will suddenly stop breathing - As with the speeding up of the heartbeat it is exactly the same really with our breathing as the body prepares for the whole fight or flight thing. It won’t harm you, your body doesn’t stop breathing for no apparent reason and you won’t choke and as soon as the panic attack ends the breathing will return to normal and you will be perfectly fine.

    ·         Lack of control / Out of body experience – You feel like you have no control over what is happening to you. Like you have no power to stop what is happening to you. Like you need some sort of immediate medical help as something bad is happening to you – Despite feeling that we have no control over the whole thing this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact we are total in control and in most instances far more in control than we need to be which in turn just intensifies the whole thing. 

    ·         This time it is different – Despite suffered attacks before we always tell ourselves that this time is different, this time it is the real thing, this time something really bad is going to happen – The truth of the matter is that this time is no different from the last one you had nor will it be any different to the next one you have should you have one. They will all be products of the mind and the body will react in the same way. How intense the whole thing is pretty much down to how intense you make it. When in panic mode we do tend to make the whole thing worse than it actually is. 

    For me the first step to overcoming panic attacks was to think about what I though was happening to me during a panic attack and then what was really happening to me during a panic attack. I then made sure I realised that it was all a perfectly normal reaction and I was in no danger and that should it happen again it will all end as easy as it started and I would be perfectly fine afterwards therefore it wasn’t worthwhile worrying to much about it. I told myself that panic attacks didn’t deserve my attention, that I didn’t have to think about my heart rate or breathing as it was all perfectly normal and fine and would all be back to normal before I knew it.

    All of these things are just uncomfortable symptoms of anxiety, they all have a perfectly rational explanation for happening to us, they are all perfectly normal reactions and they will not hurt us!

    At first it will be easier to think about the above after the panic attack has actually happened however the key to overcoming it all and beating it is to put to the actually truth into action during a panic attack. Some might find this feels a little silly but many find that if you actually write something similar to the above down during an attack it actually helps it all to sink in. Write down how you feel and what you feel is going to happen to you and then besides it right down the actual perfectly rational explanation for it actually happening. The sooner you get the truth to sink in the sooner you will begin to take control over the attacks and before long hopefully will be in control of them and will be able to turn them off at will as you won’t be bothered about them any more.

    Think about these simple points.

    ·         A thought in itself can not make you anxious! You have to believe the thought in order to get anxious. If you don’t think the worse and look at facts and the truth behind the though you won’t become anxious, it can be that simple.


    ·         In order to have a panic attack you have to believe that something isn’t true. You have to believe that the worse is about to happen. The actual truth is that panic attacks are not dangerous and nothing bad is going to come of them.


    ·         When you have a panic attack you temporarily lose perspective and fail to see the actual truth of the matter. When you get this perspective back and realise the actual truth which we outlined above, things will start to return to normal and the panic attack will come to an end. Think of it this way, have you ever had a panic attack which required an ambulance? As soon as the paramedic turns up and does all the simple tests and you start to see that you are actually fine with your own eyes suddenly things start to return to normal and the attack ends.

     ·         What we actually fear is the worse, what a panic attack is going to come to. However the actual truth is that the only thing that a panic attack is going to come to is an end. The panic attack will stop and things will return back to normal. Nothing bad will come of a panic attack!


    ·         When we are really suffering from panic attacks we feel like we are no longer in control and we can’t ever see a normal life ever again. We feel like we are no longer in control and that panic attacks have taken over and we have no way of stopping them. Don’t look at panic attacks in this way! So we suffer from panic attacks! We have to accept that we do and we have to take back control! Don’t think the worse, look at this as an opportunity to master panic attacks! To beat panic attacks! To take back control of your life! Because you can do it!


    ·         The key to conquering panic attacks is to take back control at times when you are highly anxious! If you don’t allow yourself to think the worse and reassure your mind with the truth you will find that the panic attacks just disappear. If you have the truth then you have nothing false to worry about, if you have nothing to worry about the then there is no reason to fear the worse and your body won’t have to prepare for fight or flight, it really can be that simple!......

    Start thinking about the above! Keep telling yourself the above! And when you next begin to get anxious then give the attack your full attention and face it full on! Begin to think about the different uncomfortable symptoms and sensations that you are feeling and then how this makes you feel and what the worse thing is that you think this means. Get your note pad out and write it down if you need to and then besides it point out the actual truth of what is happening to yourself. Make yourself realise that this is all perfectly normal and that nothing bad will ever come of what is happening. Once you have made yourself realise the sooner you are back in control again, you mind will see things more clearly and will no longer have anything to worry about and nothing to worry about means your mind doesn’t have to trick your body into believing that it has to protect itself.


    This might seem a little long winded but it does help and most importantly it is important for you to realise that you can take control again even though it might not feel that way right now! You do however have to gather a bit of composure and strength to take it back and you also have to be realistic and rational about the whole thing!

    Don’t think you are on your own right now at that this won’t come to an end. I have been where you are now and I am living proof that you can take back control and believe me I had it really bad to the extent that I had no life. I didn’t leave the house and I had attacks every other day! I haven’t had an attack now for some time! Months upon months!

    If you need to chat some more or need some reassuring words then feel free to message me I am always happy to listen! Don’t feel like you have to be alone with it all. We all understand because we have been there.

    Hope I have helped you in some way!

    Matt x

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    • Posted

      I am going to keep this post and read it when I am feeling really bad,because it is so clear and concise And I truly believe that reading this will help me to put things into perspective.

      I suffer with acute 'health anxiety',and have done gorgeous many years,and at the moment am in hospital, having had a procedure yesterday.

      Needless to say,I was convinced that I would not make it to today .I would be happy to stay here for the weekend,because in fact it is the first time in ages that I am.not feeling impending doom, as there are people around who are professionals.

      As I have to go home alone tomorrow to an empty flat,Inshall make sure THAT I have your post to hand,because it makes SO much sense.

      Thank you SO much for taking the time to explain this MiISERABLE condition,that ruins all of our lives who suffer from this,so wellMany thanks Matt.

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  • Posted


    My name is Laura and i understand what your going through.. ive had anxiety for years and it is a mind thing, i even had heart palpitations with my anxiety cause it was so bad... you can control it but it can be challenging at first but things can get better, need to have some faith and understand nothing is wrong and your fine...

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  • Posted

    Thank you all I'm glad it will help some of you. I have been in exactly the same situation as everyone on here and I feel like I am making good progress these days as anxiety attacks have been at bay for a while now (touch wood).

    For me I found that despite going back and forth to doctors and everything else I never really got the answers I needed to hear and I made the decision to develop my own sort of CBT which basically consisted of stripping everything back and looking at things logically. I brosed the net and did my research on panic attacks and then when I had the knowledge I fought it head on which was hard at first but it worked. 

    Anyway I really hope it helps some of you and if you need anyone to talk to then you know where my inbox is!

    Keep your chins up! 

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  • Posted

    Hi baby,

    In the beginning of my panic disorder this happened to me constantly. I was also afraid to go to sleep - nobody should have to feel afraid to go to sleep, it should be relaxing. I know how scary and exhausting and frustrating it can be and I can't tell tiu why it happens, but I can tell you this - now that hardly ever happenes to me. I'm sure there will be a time this doesn't happen to you as much or at all, it didn't last forever with me... It won't for you. In the moment practice deep breathing, drink some water, read, turn on a light hearted funny show to watch... Something to distract your mind. Sleep well darling

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