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Author Topic: Panic attacks at night, fear of stroke.  (Read 207 times)

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Offline Anxiousguy90

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Panic attacks at night, fear of stroke.
« on: March 03, 2014, 12:56:18 AM »
Hi, this is my first post. I am a 23 year old male college student. I have always been a bit compulsive about my health, but my health anxiety has never affected my daily life until January. Now it is debilitating. In January I had an allergic reaction to Nyquil after taking it for a cold and sleeplessness the previous few nights. It raised my heart rate to 200 bpm, and I was rushed to the E.R.where I spent the whole night an anxious mess. I checked out fine no heart related problems. However, since then at night my anxiety becomes overwhelming. I often fall asleep for an hour only to wake up in a panic attack. It is exacerbated by the fact that I now live by myself in an apartment. I went to my GP and he prescribed me zoloft, I took it one day and all that day I had a tension headache that then turned into a migraine that night and because I was already in an anxious state I believed I was having a stroke. I basically had a 12 hour panic attack and was not able to sleep until 2 in the afternoon. I had to have my mom come take me to the doctor it was so bad. I know this is an irrational thought but now every evening/night I have anxious thoughts about having a stroke, any little tingle in my finger or leg I break out into full panic that I am having a stroke. Just last night I fell asleep on my hand and when I woke I of course thought I was having a stroke and was not able to fall asleep until 6 a.m. I have changed my diet, eating healthier, and plan to exercise more I do not want to get on anti- depressants.I want to try to manage this as naturally as I can, because I believe in myself that I can work this out I'm just having such a hard time. Anxiety does run in my family particularly on my mothers side. She is very understanding and knows what I am going through however, I hold my anxiety inside and don't want to call her every time I have some sort of irrational thought about a stroke or some other disease I think I have putting stress on her. My night anxiety is now affecting my school work and my desire to go out and have fun with friends. I've joined this forum because I'm at the end of my rope now,  :( i'm feel beaten down and any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading.
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Offline Lunatone

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Re: Panic attacks at night, fear of stroke.
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 06:11:27 AM »
You're not gonna like this. But just so its clear: It does get easier. But really, for the next couple months... you're probably going to experience an amount of terror you've never imagined could exist. panic is a positive feedback loop, where the symptoms of anxiety makes you think somethings wrong, which makes you panic, the symptoms of which scare you, and so on.

One thing you can do to help though is find an outlet for the adrenaline thats fueling your fear. See your brain thinks youre in danger, so its flooding you with the stuff to force you to react. But there's no threat to react to. So you go nuts trying to find what it is that's scaring you so badly.. Which, yeah, does not exist. So if you can move that energy to something that seems liek a threat, the panic will end.

I read scary stories. being scared by something that has a definite end really helps me out. Like this one: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Doors

But really, just remember: Its going to suck, a lot, but not for very long. Just keep telling yourself its only panic, and that it cannot hurt you.
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Offline Sunlover

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Re: Panic attacks at night, fear of stroke.
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 06:21:23 AM »
When you feel a panic attack coming on do some square breathing.  Panic attacks are generally brought on by hyperventilation due to fear.
You may not THINK you are hyperventilating, but you are and that causes all kinds of symptoms of tingling, fast heart rate, smothering sensations, etc.   What you do is concentrate on your breathing and breathe in to the count of 7, hold it there to the count of 7, breathe out to the count of 7 then hold it THERE to the count of 7.  Keep doing this over and over for about 2 minutes or until you start feeling more relaxed.  It may be REALLY hard to do it when you first start, you will be compelled to take a quick breath in, but DON'T you will only feed the panic/anxiety.  I used to get panic attacks in the middle of the night, they were horrible!  After I learned this it worked so well I'd end up falling back to sleep in the middle of what WOULD have been a full blown attack!

You had the first real horrible feeling at night, so now night is your "trigger" for this.
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Offline marc

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Re: Panic attacks at night, fear of stroke.
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 07:18:57 AM »
Welcome to anxietyzone. I had a similar event happen to me when I was a young man of 25 (am  now 57).
I had a cold and took Excedrin, which I had a reaction to. My heart rate went up to 160BPM and I went to the
ER where all checked out. I was pretty shook up for a while, but take my word for it you will overcome this. Look
I survived and I am still here 32 years later.
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If you're going through hell, keep going.
Never, Never, Never, give up.

Offline Anxiousguy90

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Re: Panic attacks at night, fear of stroke.
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 12:43:27 PM »
Thank You everyone for your replies, I already feel a lot better reading your replies. I will definitely try some of the techniques mentioned. Luna I do love books by Stephen King so I guess I'll have to set a regular time before bed to read, maybe getting into a regular sleep pattern will help. It's just so weird I'll typically be fine during the day but as soon as night rolls around I start having weird physical symptoms and then the panic loop begins it's so exhausting.
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