Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Panic Attacks Wake Me Up in the Morning

  1. #1

    Panic Attacks Wake Me Up in the Morning

    Hi all,

    Lately I've been having bouts of panic attacks that wake me up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning. The first round a few weeks ago was quite bad (a temporary scrip for Zyprexa helped calm it down), but I'm in the middle of the latest one now. For the last five days, I wake up at 5 or 6am feeling okay, but then something startles me into a mild panic attack (elevated heart rate, pit in my stomach w/nausea, feeling shaky and uneasy) and I can't go back to sleep.

    The problem is, the physical symptoms hang around, and as they start to subside, another minor panic attack usually hits and sends them through the roof again. So I spend all day on this rollercoaster, which is utterly exhausting and makes me feel like I'm barely keeping it together all day, every day. It's really wearing me down, and being stuck in my home without a job (I live in a major city in the US where COVID-19 is still running rampant) isn't making things any easier.

    In all honesty, I've only recently started taking the non-medication parts of lessening anxiety seriously (journaling, meditating, getting outdoors, exercise, cutting down on caffeine and sugar, etc.). I used to rely solely on my meds (225mg Effexor, 100 mg Lamictal, with the occasional .5mg Xanax when things get really bad. I also take Lopressor for heart palpitations).

    My main question is: how long does it usually take for these efforts to start making a noticeable difference in improving your panic and anxiety? And in the meantime, what do you do to keep from absolutely losing it?

    Thank you all in advance for any guidance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    100

    Re: Panic Attacks Wake Me Up in the Morning

    All anxiety/depressions medications take time to work usually weeks, in the meantime unfortunately you have to try and cope, I know it isn't easy but support groups and chatting with like minded people can help keep you calm.

    Have you had any side effects while taking any meds?

  3. #3

    Re: Panic Attacks Wake Me Up in the Morning

    Sorry, to clarify, I've been on the meds for quite a while. It's the non-medical stuff that's new (getting a regular routine going of meditation, journaling, exercise, being outdoors, etc.)

    I'm wondering how long it took for people practicing those things to see/feel a benefit from them with regard to decreasing their anxiety. And what coping techniques people employ while waiting for them to start helping.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,076

    Re: Panic Attacks Wake Me Up in the Morning

    Quote Originally Posted by ajpowers View Post
    Sorry, to clarify, I've been on the meds for quite a while. It's the non-medical stuff that's new (getting a regular routine going of meditation, journaling, exercise, being outdoors, etc.)

    I'm wondering how long it took for people practicing those things to see/feel a benefit from them with regard to decreasing their anxiety. And what coping techniques people employ while waiting for them to start helping.
    Thereís no fixed timeframe, just preforming the actions isnít what decreases the anxiety itís the change in mental state that occurs because of those things that does. But itís not automatic, it still takes time and effort from us to change the way we respond to panic/racing thoughts etc, the routine of meditation, journaling and exercise just helps reinforce the changes your making in the way you deal with your mental health.

    Unfortunately thereís no magic bullet, a person can be perfect at preforming all the things in the world that can aid lessening anxiety and still be an anxious mess because without gaining the control to break the cycle itís still nothing more than a performance. Of course not to say that these things arenít brilliant in helping with anxiety for some, itís more the frame of mind achieved while doing them that helps.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    __________________
    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

    But I have promises to keep,

    And miles to go before I sleep. - Robert Frost

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    3,912

    Re: Panic Attacks Wake Me Up in the Morning

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight-mouse View Post
    There’s no fixed timeframe, just preforming the actions isn’t what decreases the anxiety it’s the change in mental state that occurs because of those things that does. But it’s not automatic, it still takes time and effort from us to change the way we respond to panic/racing thoughts etc, the routine of meditation, journaling and exercise just helps reinforce the changes your making in the way you deal with your mental health.

    Unfortunately there’s no magic bullet, a person can be perfect at preforming all the things in the world that can aid lessening anxiety and still be an anxious mess because without gaining the control to break the cycle it’s still nothing more than a performance. Of course not to say that these things aren’t brilliant in helping with anxiety for some, it’s more the frame of mind achieved while doing them that helps.

    This is absolutely spot on.

    The key part of all of this is accepting where you are right now. If you wake up at 5am with anxiety and then fret about it all day, waiting for the next symptom there's nothing you can do or take that will make the anxiety go away, not a single thing.

    When you wake up at 5am tomorrow, tell yourself that you know this is just a symptom, and that it will pass. Also accept that the current situation for you and billions of other people is incredibly unsettling, and if you can even begin to keep a lid on your anxiety right now you'll doing better than most.

    Look at the language you're using both externally and internally 'barely keeping it together' or 'sends them through the roof'. It's mental sensationalising and doesn't do any good, and isn't necessary. We ALL do it, but it's another habit that's worth leaving behind. Tomorrow morning say 'this is just anxiety', 'this is just a sensation', because in reality that's all it actually is. Anxiety disorder is a problem of reaction. You observe a stimulus, and you react. How you react is where the magic bullet can appear, with practice.

    At best, you're looking at a couple of months for any anxiety 'cure' to take effect, but stuck indoors with no work during a pandemic is not going to lessen that time, right? But you're doing the right thing and it will work eventually.

    In the meantime, moan about it here! But moan constructively. Don't fall into the trap of using a forum or journal to whine about how bad you feel (again, we've all been there). It's not good for you.

  6. #6

    Re: Panic Attacks Wake Me Up in the Morning

    Thank you both for taking the time to respond; it really means a lot. You've given me some things to really think about.

    My use of language never even occurred to me, but you're totally right. I'm still in the earliest stages of learning CBT, which I'm hoping will be really helpful in changing my mental state and teaching me about fallacies in my thought process. My new therapist told me that I have to "get comfortable with being uncomfortable" which is generally a feeling I try to avoid at all costs. I'm so used to the "tweak your meds and ignore it and it will go away...for a while" way of handling things, but I know that's not healthy and won't bring about the change I'm looking for.

    I'm really trying; it's just so difficult to feel so bad so much of the time. Sometimes I don't know how I can possibly keep this up except that I know that I have to. This is honestly the hardest thing I've ever done, and I'm only at the beginning.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    3,912

    Re: Panic Attacks Wake Me Up in the Morning

    Quote Originally Posted by ajpowers View Post
    My new therapist told me that I have to "get comfortable with being uncomfortable" which is generally a feeling I try to avoid at all costs.
    Then your new therapist is a good one. This is crucial to recovery, you cannot recover while running.


    Quote Originally Posted by ajpowers View Post
    Sometimes I don't know how I can possibly keep this up except that I know that I have to.
    Well, to put it bluntly, you don't have a choice. There is no quick exit. Accept that, and you're another step closer to 'winning'.


    Yes, it's a long journey, but once you 'get' what CBT is about and alter your view on constantly trying to avoid any kind of anxiety it makes it much, much easier to cope with in the short term.

    Meditation goes hand in hand with CBT and acceptance. You are basically rewiring your brain to not react to every single little thing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    2,886

    Re: Panic Attacks Wake Me Up in the Morning

    I'd also like to add that idleness is the enemy of most anxiety sufferers. There are some people that we know here on NMP that only have flare-ups of their anxiety when they are forced to be idle. It's like the anxious brain will fill your thoughts with something to worry about if you don't keep it occupied or learn how to change your thinking. The fact that you're home with nothing to do has probably made things worse. Are there some new hobbies that you could start as you work on changing your thinking?
    __________________
    I'm still a work in progress.
    Currently working on: World Domination

  9. #9

    Re: Panic Attacks Wake Me Up in the Morning

    I know the acceptance will be hard for me, but I'm working on it. Same with the not running. I've 100% lived my life thus far not being able to accept that sometimes things are less than ideal (or have to be for a while) and running away from super uncomfortable things.

    My therapist and I started with grounding techniques today, so we've officially kicked off down the CBT road. I'm actually excited to start putting this stuff into practice and trying to wrap my head around it conceptually.

    Ugh, the idleness is such a problem. You're totally right about that. I have an intense phobia surrounding death and dying (I lost my mom to cancer a while back and I was her primary support during the whole process) so being in the middle of COVID-19 and the resurgence of (necessary) attention to the BLM movement makes me feel like I'm surrounded by it all the time.

    I've been trying to fill my time as much as I can. Taking a couple of online courses, doing puzzles, painting, baking...anything that requires focus and concentration.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    2,886

    Re: Panic Attacks Wake Me Up in the Morning

    Some other things you might consider: daily exercise (can't stress this one enough, especially to help with physical symptoms), yoga, journaling, self-help books, book clubs.

    Another thing you might want to consider is that you might have some residual trauma from your mother's loss. Sometimes instead of dealing with our trauma, we invent other things to solve, like a sickness we don't have.
    __________________
    I'm still a work in progress.
    Currently working on: World Domination

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Panic Attacks that wake me up? Anyone else?
    By tan235 in forum Panic / Panic Attacks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 19-11-16, 12:48
  2. panic attacks sleeping or a wake
    By rodds in forum Panic / Panic Attacks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 27-09-16, 08:34
  3. Morning panic attacks
    By jennielouises in forum Panic / Panic Attacks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 19-10-12, 14:11
  4. serious anxiousness and panic attacks when i wake ?
    By Carly Lou in forum Health Anxiety
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 19-10-10, 21:15
  5. Does anyone else wake up with panic attacks?
    By Twila in forum Panic / Panic Attacks
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 20-07-06, 21:51

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •