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Thread: Terrified by this experience, has it happened to anyone else?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Terrified by this experience, has it happened to anyone else?

    I’ve suffered from severe anxiety and depression for many years and found this forum very helpful. I had a relapse which I think was triggered by the illness and death of my father 18 months ago. Along with many other nasty anxiety symptoms which I had experienced before, I began to suffer from neck discomfort with more or less daily headaches, nausea and a feeling of unsteadiness. I began having quite regular neck and upper back massages and eventually those symptoms began to ease. Then I had a health scare about abdominal symptoms and was referred for urgent hospital tests. I was extremely anxious at this time and when I asked my gp for extra help during the the period I was being referred and investigated, he refused saying “we will deal with the anxiety after the tests”. Consequently I was out of my mind with anxiety during the process and was also too bad with nerves and anxiety to go for a massage for weeks. My headaches and other symptoms came back.
    Eventually I was able to re-start my visits to the massage therapist about a month ago. I was extremely relaxed after the last one and went for a lie down at home a couple of hours afterwards, which I donÂ’t usually do. I nodded off , but when I woke about an hour later I had a terrifying experience. I could hear my husband and daughter downstairs, but I could not move. I could not speak. I felt like I couldnÂ’t breathe and my chest felt heavy. I think the worst sensations only lasted maybe 3 or 4 minutes , but they were horrific. I tried to stand up and managed to slowly get up an go downstairs. I have had extremely severe anxiety symptoms and many anxiety attacks in the past, but nothing quite like this. It has knocked my progress and confidence back severely. It happened 2 days ago and I feel as though I will never be able to get it out of my mind or feel better. Has anyone had anything like this happen to them? Any tips?
    Sorry this is so long and IÂ’ve been trying not to post about my relapse for months!
    Thanks for reading, Ruth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2018

    Re: Terrified by this experience, has it happened to anyone else?

    Sleep paralysis, it's horrible but harmless.
    ************************************************** ********
    Sometimes, it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. - Terry Pratchett

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Re: Terrified by this experience, has it happened to anyone else?

    I was thinking the same Blue, like you said horrible and scary to experience but harmless, I’ve experienced it once many years ago, and like you Ruth was aware of being awake but not awake fully, could hear voices downstairs but was unable to move, even open my eyes, I remember thinking I need someone to shake me to snap me out of this feeling and then all of a sudden I could open my eyes and move....not nice at all.
    My tip is, just try and forget about it, it may never happen ever again so don’t waste energy fretting about it xxx

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017

    Re: Terrified by this experience, has it happened to anyone else?

    The NhS have got a page on it so you can look it up. But yes, it is sleep paralysis. I’ve had several episodes but oddly enough they’ve never scared me. I even have hallucinations too.

    Once I half managed to open my eyes after a titanic struggle to do so and ‘saw’ a dog sitting on my chest looking down at me. It happens when your brain wakes up before your body. Totally harmless. My mother used to have them as well.
    It’s a cruel beast that you feed…..


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Re: Terrified by this experience, has it happened to anyone else?

    Thank you so much for your replies Blue Iris, YNWA and Darksky. Now you’ve told me what it could be , I’ve had a look at the symptoms of sleep paralysis when waking up and they do seem to fit with what I experienced. Causes can be stress, anxiety and lack of sleep, so that would fit too. If I get it again (hope not) at least I’ll know what it is.
    Thanks for the help!
    Best wishes, Ruth

  6. #6

    Re: Terrified by this experience, has it happened to anyone else?

    You poor thing but def sleep paralysis

    Have had it a few times tho not for years. My sister was doing a reiki course and practicing on me once and I fell asleep. I was sitting up and my head was lolling but I couldn't wake body up for a bit. Sounds similar to you. I once read if you try hard to wiggle your fingers it wakes your body up.

    It is unpleasant but may never happen again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Re: Terrified by this experience, has it happened to anyone else?

    Hi Joobug, thanks for your reply. I saw my massage therapist again today and told her about my experience. She confirmed it was very likely sleep paralysis and that she had a few previous clients who had reported similar symptoms to after a massage. She also said that whilst practising reiki on her husband, he had a very similar reaction, just like you. It seems very likely that is is sleep paralysis and I am much less worried about it happening again.
    Thank you all for your replies.
    best wishes, Ruth

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