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Author Topic: Please help. Woke up I think with a panic attack, but almost called ambulance.  (Read 655 times)

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Offline manikaye

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Hello guys,

Ugh. I'm terrified even writing this. I don't know what happened today at all.

I'm going to keep this relatively short. I'm a little scared by how calmly I'm typing - I'm afraid I'm not getting across how scared I am. I'm semi in shock.
Shortish backstory - I'm 29, and have had severe panic disorder, depression, and ocd since I was eight. Been suicidal since sixteen. Also been sexually/emotionally abused, so having issues with that. I was in therapy for awhile, great therapy, and it helped so much. But my parents lost their insurance so I had to stop early. Extremely broke myself now, so I've been dealing on my own and trying free groups when I can (although I haven't in awhile - moved to an area away from the groups I was going to).

Okay. Some relevant things about my panic, before I explain tonight. (Still worried it's not panic and something is extremely wrong with me.) I have ocd with health phobias (which my old therapist said was different from hypochondria). I get absolutely petrified when I'm sick. I'm especially scared of fainting, seizures, fevers, heart attacks, etc. I woke with a fever of 104 when I was eight, and have a massive fear of waking with a fever because of that. Also, my body temp fluctuates a lot, and lately I've been very fixated on taking my temp to calm myself and make sure I'm not sick. My temp tends to run low - around 97.6-98.1. During panic, it's gone down around to 95.4, or up to 100. Drives me crazy. I also get extremely weak in my panic, very dizzy, very faint (never actually fainted though), massive depersonlization, etc. Also tends to get triggered by pms and my period - I have low blood pressure, so doesn't help. Been having bad insomnia lately, too.

Ugh, this is long. I'm sorry, guys :( I'm just so out of it right now.

So I've had a tough few weeks, but was feeling relatively okay today. I had had to work while really sick with pms last night until around one am. Had to work today from ten am until around ten pm. I only slept from around four thirty to nine thirty last night. So I was tired. I ate a little more than normal (tend to avoid eating). Was kinda dizzy tonight, but thought I was mainly tired. My boyfriend came over for a bit, and we watched tv and relaxed. When he left, I ate some chocolate, realized I had just started my period and was happy because I was barely cramping, read a bit, and feel asleep around 3:15.

It's cold out, and stuffy in my apartment, but I have a fan going. I was sleeping in just a t shirt, and under a few blankets. Was comfy. I had taken my temp before bed (I know I shouldn't so often :( ) and I was back down to 97.7 after being high for about a week due to pms (like I get every month - it normally goes back to normal soon after starting my period). I thought I felt calmer.

Then around four, I woke up. I noticed I sweating on my neck. I seldom sweat. I was a bit confused but didn't think it was a huge deal. Soon I noticed I sweating everywhere -kinda soaked, for me at least. (I dunno if I was sweating that much at first, or if I got nervous when I noticed the sweat and then started sweating...) I tried to just go back to sleep...Kicked off one blanket (leaving a light blanket and as sheet on). I kept noticing how much sweat was on me. I started to freak out, thinking I woke up with a fever.

I don't even remember clearly how the next steps went. I got up to go to the bathroom and try to calm down. I was so dizzy when I stood up - I felt like I was falling, like everything was fuzzy. I felt incredibly weak and so hot and just hysterical. I started sobbing and half screaming - I do that a lot with panic. These all are semi normal for me with panic - they just felt more intense (which I honestly didn't think was possible), and more, real, I guess? I was convinced I had a fever of like 105 and was dying. I was losing my mind.

I typically, during panic, will sit on my bathroom floor and read or use my laptop, because the cool tile calms me and I can throw up if I have to, etc. I tried that. I just couldn't focus. I wanted to take my temp but got terrified it would be high. That made everything worse - I kept wandering my tiny apartment, freaking out and worrying I was going to fall. I got so scared I would pass out or get too weak that I ended up just crawling on my floor trying to distract myself, and crying and praying.

I thought about hurting myself, but didn't. I got semi happy because I realized I wanna live, so that's something, I guess.

I thought I was going to throw up, but didn't. This all went on for like fifteen minutes. I grabbed my phone and almost called my boyfriend, almost called an ambulance, tried to figure out who lives closest to me (I have no car, and live in a basement studio apartment in an old couple's house that i don't really associate with).

I ended up passing a little gas, which made me feel a bit better. That often helps with my panic, so I started thinking maybe that's what was happening. (Before this, I was utterly, UTTERLY convinced it was medical. I usually worry it is, but this felt far more certain to me.) That convinced me to try to take my temp. I was mortified - I have a few cheap digital thermometers - some older than others. They're not that accurate - one is always giving me a reading of around .5 higher htan the other. Odd. Anyway, I used them both. I came up like 96.0 and 96.6. I felt a bit calmer, but worried I was going into hypothermia or something. I felt incredibly hot to the touch to me, but my hands tend to get extremely cold.

I tried to get up and walk again, and still felt super weak. Finally, I ended up able to get my laptop and focus a bit on reading. I was looking up nighttime panic attacks. I've never woken up with one before - I started thinking that's what was happening.

Is it possible that a panic attack is worse or seems more real when you wake up with it? That I was half asleep and not thinking clearly, that I got more caught up in believing the panic? Could I have just gotten a hot flash or something while sleeping, or panicked while sleeping (which has made my temp rise before - panic, just not during sleep that I know of, although I rarely get a bit sweaty while sleeping)? Is it not likely medical?
I'm debating going to a clinic today to see a doctor to just try to get a referally to a cheap therapist or something. I'm currently petrified of sleeping, or of living alone (which I was already scared of). I'm also so so so so so so scared that it's not panic and something is wrong, and that I need an ambulance. Ugh. Although I guess I wouldn't be doing better? After the temp reading, I started shaking and having more of my usual panic symptoms. I'm calm enough now that I'm back in bed, under my blankets. I feel freezing but my face feels warm to my touch. My temp seems to be back around like 98.0, which would be better. I'm guessing that wouldn't improve if I were really sick?

I'm so tired, and now I'm scared to even sleep :( My boyfriend comes back around nine this morning, so about two and half hours from now. Debating staying up until he gets here, skipping work, going to a clinic or something. I'm scared to, though. I'm afraid I need to go to a hospital for my panic or something, that I'm not able to live on my own right now.

I just don't even know what's wrong with me. I hate being this way. So much. I'm so tired. I don't want to do this anymore at all :(

Thanks so much for any help.
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Offline 2sungo

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Sounds like panic and anxiety to me, hopefully you were able to calm down afterwards.  Certainly people can have panic attacks in their sleep and also early morning is a high anxiety time for many.  The hardest part is not having the resources to get more help, but do whatever you can to get what help you can afford, be it therapy, meds, or in combination.  You know it can get better at some point, but its so hard when you cant make that happen faster, no one should have to suffer these attacks/anxiety for a second but we have no choice until something works to make it better.  No one here can "fix" it for you, and you've had a rough road, but you can get some relief I hope by knowing you are not alone, we have all suffered from panic/anxiety/depression in some combination thereof, and we are many. I can say I have had some great years inbetween episodes and when the current one is over I hope for many more years of peace.  Even now, while today was not too great, there have been some weeks that have been pretty good, and they will happen again.  Right in the middle of an attack its hard to rationalize, but try to remember this agony is not forever, it will get better, and your fears about it being something more serious are part of the illness itself.  I have the same battle sometimes, but I try to remember that most non brain illnesses don't cause anxiety, something hurts or just seems off, so its probably the case that if you feel that "doom" feeling about your symptoms its probably in the brain, ie panic/anxiety.  Hope you feel better soon and find a path to wellness.
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