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Author Topic: Nocturnal Panic Attacks- How do you cope?  (Read 497 times)

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Offline HRB39

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Nocturnal Panic Attacks- How do you cope?
« on: February 09, 2014, 03:43:19 PM »
Hi all, your help is greatly appreciated in advance. 3 yrs ago I had my first full panic attack at a hotel by myself. Now anytime I'm in a hotel by myself it hits me, varying degrees.
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Extreme= Wake out of a dead sleep, feelings of my throat closing, tight chest, shaking, tense muscles, and breathing doesn't help. I have to shower and just ride it out. I worry I won't get help if I need it and won't see my wife/ family again.

This doesn't happen when traveling with the wife, if it does I'm able to stop it right away.

Does this happen to you? How do you cope?
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Offline e77

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Re: Nocturnal Panic Attacks- How do you cope?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 03:55:38 PM »
Yes, i have nights where panic revs up, around 3-4 a.m., and my wife is away and I am alone. I feel more vulnerable. I think its a form of agoraphobia that comes with panic whereas being alone, cooped up or trapped in an undesirable situation triggers the alarm response in the body. Nighttime is the worst time for me.  Last night I read a chapter from Thich Nhat Hanh's book about fear and followed the meditation breathing exercise in the book, not easy when feeling dread and heart is pumping hard, but fortunately, fell asleep again.  I also had klonopin handy next to the bedside just in case the panic continued to ramp up.  Benzos work for me when I can't talk myself down from it.  Continue to look for strategies to counter the panic and practice them.  I know how distressing it can feel.  Hang in there.
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Offline HRB39

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Re: Nocturnal Panic Attacks- How do you cope?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 04:02:49 PM »
Thanks, for me it seems to happen an hr or two after falling asleep. I take xanax, but only .25mg as needed. I don't like taking a lot of medication and I'm also seeing a CBT. I actually fall asleep OK but it doesn't last all night. I do have GERD and a Hiatal Hernia as well.
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Offline alexa884

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Re: Nocturnal Panic Attacks- How do you cope?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 01:00:44 PM »
It started a few nights ago when due to a productive coughing I felt this pressure on my chest when I laid down to sleep. I felt the pressure no matter what position I would sit in. I was very tired and sleepy but I could not sleep, so I got up and turned on my computer and (of course) googled my simptom, as I was rather scared by this. The pressure feeling did not come back again, but yet I could not sleep the following nights simply out of panic, and I ended up falling asleep in the mornings, after the sun was already up. I don't feel safe when it's dark out for whatever reason. I just feel a lot more safe when there is light.

This happened before some years ago when I had panic attacks, and I could only fall asleep if it was light out and preferably if I was actually outside. It just felt safe this way. What can I do? I need to sleep at night cause I work from home and I am much better at working in the morning than I am late in the afternoon.
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Offline e77

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Re: Nocturnal Panic Attacks- How do you cope?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 07:50:18 PM »
I also get uncomfortable in the dark at night and much prefer the light of day.  Too much time for my vivid imagination to strike up my anxieties!
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Offline HRB39

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Re: Nocturnal Panic Attacks- How do you cope?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2014, 08:09:24 PM »
There is very little about Nocturnal Panic Attacks out there, but they are the most frightening. You come out of a dead sleep in a panic and you are disoriented so it is very hard to use coping mechanisms in order to keep it from turning into a bad episode.
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Offline VGH

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Re: Nocturnal Panic Attacks- How do you cope?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 06:49:32 AM »
Glad to know i am not the only one who suffers from this. I also prefer to sleep during the day. I try to keep my mind occupied as much as possible during the day as it helps with my anxiety, problem with that is when I go bed the anxiety and panic really comes on. I also wake up a lot during the night and can easily go right into a panic attack. It is just awful. I am going to try reading something really interesting before bed and keeping the book by my bed and if I wake up I will pick it up and start reading.
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