Night time panic attacks

Posted , 10 users are following.

Anybody wake up at night with panic attacks, and have a way to stop or prevent that?  I get bouts every couple years, last year I was given sertraline, eventually stopped panic, I stopped sert, attacks returned, now ony taking 25 mg.  Working but makes me more anxious, don't want to take it forever.   

Without sert, I occas woke up feeling panic, as if house on fire and can't escape but telling myself that's ridiculous doesn't help because I know that.  Midnight walks help calm down but panic reoccurs when I get into bed ( bed-panic? )  Knowing that's a conditioned response doesn't help. 

I've had a mindfullness meditation class but sitting still makes me more anxious, and if panicky, that increases it,  walking reduces panic but walking all nite prevents sleep.

I've heard for some physical feelings like constricted breathing cause thoughts of panic or heart attack, which then causes a real panic attack. 

But I have no thoughts when I wake up, just the feeling of panic (only thought is, oh crap, another panic attack, I can't sleep with that.)  I've told myself it's a stupid attack soon to go away but I still feel panicky, can't sit still, feel like a volcano if I stay in bed, have to get up.  

Any ideas on preventing those stupid panic feelings?  Or is it just chemical, a night terror, any med help when that happens?

Thanks for any advice. 

Patrick

 

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  • Posted

    I don't know really medically that you would have to talk to your doctor about.

    Maybe a psychiatrist they can prescibe you a mild tranquilzer to get you through these hadr times.

    But other then that mediacally I don't know

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  • Posted

    Yes I just thought of something else there are psych/iatrist/otherapists who specialize in anxiety and they can help you in many ways.
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  • Posted

    G,Day pmnc Please dont take this the wrong way ,But your in your own home or flat why would you wake up and be frightend .Is there any one stalking you or is it just you i have been frightend many years ago when i was a fireman if you Google North Albury Book Shop Boobie trapped shop im the fireman on the roof and i oped the door and set off the Gun that shot 2 fellow fireman in 1982 in the middle of winter it was that cold here it Snowed but melted as soon as it hit the ground Please brighten up and think happy thoughts ok ?
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    • Posted

      The trigger is irrelevant, it matters not whether you have been a soldier in a war zone or are scared of purple tea pots... Its the mind's perceived threat to life, not the actual threat to life that creates the fight or flight response and its about training the brain to recognise what most other people know, purple tea pots, on their own, are not likely to harm you!
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    • Posted

      That's why I think it's biochemical, I can't think of anything that I'm afraid of that's causing this.   I feel for those who've had real tragedies like that bombing,  could cause PTSD which would make us vulnerable.  But if I survived a car crash I wouldn't be lying awake fearing a car will crash into me.
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  • Posted

    Try looking up ilovepanicattacks it might throw some perspectives, good luck 
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  • Posted

    Hi Patrick, it's very real, so don't feel silly, irrational, flawed.   Your right in looking for an answer.  Firstly, do you sleep alone, or do you have a partner? Is there additional stress in that your mindful that you're disturbing a sleeping companion? Secondly, I can't imagine what this must be like for you as my panic/anxiety related to day to day activities, which I was able to avoid, and subsequently compound the problem, how on earth do you avoid going to bed?!!  How awful for you.  However, in recovering, I think you may be able to find a quicker resolution than the rest of us have.  Avoidance is a huge element of anxiety and panic, therefore because you truly can't avoid going to bed, the good news is you can skip this middle ground of avoidance behaviour.  Indeed some live with anxiety and panic for life, because the avoidance behaviour enables them to do so.  I was nearly one of those people.

    So coming at this in a step by step manner.   You know where and when your anxiety is triggered.   That's good.  Does it ever surprise you in any other situation? Do you work, are you able to catch up on sleep or are you struggling with sleep deprivation also?   Can you sleep on the couch, anxiety free for example? You say that just sitting still can bring it on,  is that during times when you're running a self check programme, listening to your breathing, watching for palpitations etc? Are you health anxious? Have you tried sleeping tablets before AD's?   if so, did sleeping tablets have any impact on night time panic?

    What I m sure is utterly frustrating for you is, I'm asleep, how on earth can I be responsible for creating a thought induced panic when I'm asleep?    How on earth can I affect my sleeping thoughts?!!!   But certainly, yes I do think this can be fixed, and in a way, I think it can be fixed quicker than more classic anxiety disorders as it has to be fixed!  We have to sleep, every day of our lives, you truly can't avoid it.  So it's finding that fix.

     Things to help your body would be cutting out caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.  That in itself will take a couple of weeks to get out of your system, but all those are stimulants and the stuff anxiety loves to feed off.   Next is what they call sleep hygiene. Regulate sleeping hours, ensure your bedroom is relaxing and tranquil.  No iPads/iPhones or telly!  You could try relaxing sounds or quiet gentle music, think spas smile  I'm not saying these two approaches will fix your problem, but they will give you and your body the best chance of then tackling your anxiety triggers.  Also day time exercise, being active is great.  If you then tick these boxes that you've prepared yourself and your surroundings to heal, you can then dig deeper into what may be causing your anxiety.  There will be a trigger, but for now, it appears you're in the situation of fearing the fear, and that in itself is enough to trigger the endless anxiety cycle.  It may seem an awful lot to undo, especially when you've suffered for a long time, but I'm absolutely sure you can do this.  

    Patrick, you say that it's like a volcano and you have to get up.  What happens if you stay in bed? What happens if you chain yourself to the chair?  Part of retraining is relearning that we're not going to die if we remain where we are.  

    Anxiety is our friend. It's our body trying to protect us. "Thank you anxiety for trying to look after me, but I don't need you right now, I'm safe, but it's ok if you're concerned dear anxiety " xxxxxx

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    • Posted

      Thanks.  Forgot an oddity, I have no fear of the dark but if I wake up in a pitch dark room I feel disoriented,  may panic.  More anxious trying to get to sleep if no light at all but no fear being in a room with no lights. 

      I occasionally get migraines, dr. said it's best to prevent them, once started, hard to stop.  Same with pani.  If  I stay in bed knowing there's no harm, should get better: it increases, gets worse.

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  • Posted

    Just wondering if you could go back onto sert for a while see if anxiety settles and no night panics? Whilst taking explore alternatives which you can practice whilst tapering off sert? 

    All non medical alternatives such as relaxation, breathing techniques etc take practice to become fully effective. 

    Mindfulness is about accepting the anxiety you feel when sitting still and accepting for what it is and exploring those feelings then re focusing on breathing, body scan etc, you need to discuss this with your class leader as that's at the core of mindfulness, taking away the anxiety power leads to it going away.

    n

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  • Posted

    Hiya, I can totally sympathise with you, I couldnt tell you the last time I had a decent nights sleep, I've got 2 the stage that I try 2 stay awake as long as I can while im feeling not 2 bad as I know as soon as I fall asleep I will wake up after about an hour feeling all anxious and panicking then spend the rest of the night pacing up and down, im just so exhausted sad xx
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    • Posted

      Lesley,

      Thanks.  I feel for you.  Sounds like that's been going on a long time.  For me it was a couple weeks of 2 or 3 hr sleep nites, wired enough to get thru days but don't see how that can last long.

      If you'd like to talk about it I'll listen.

      Sounds like you need help, if it's just a couple hours sleep for a long time, maybe some meds, I've tried some, can discuss, also tried some of the suggestions others have offered.  Please let me know how you're doing.  Take care,

      Patrick

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    • Posted

      We can sleep when tired but not anxious or panicky, tired and anxious is enervating.    I get insomnia, if I get a few hrs sleep I'm tired next day, and next nite if no naps.  That helps sleep if no panic, in which case I can't lie in bed, have to get up and walk it out, after a few days I'm usually too tired to be anxious.  

      Chris had some sleep hygiene helps that may help if not anxious. I think sleep hygiene says don't lie in bed anxious, do something till tired.

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    • Posted

      Hiya Patrick, thanks for your reply, have asked the doctor on numerous occasions for something to help me sleep but he says no ive also asked another doc at the surgery and she said no as well, I haven't asked in a couple of months so I might push my luck again when I go to my appointment in a couple of weeks time, in saying that I seem 2 be on quite a bit of medication just now so maybe something else might be 2 much, thanks again, take care and I hope you are well smile xx
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