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Help Please: I have panic attacks in my sleep


Colleen
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9 years ago 0 Colleen 192 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hi DC2003:  When I was a little girl at the cottage, we kids were afraid of the grass snakes on our way to the beach.  Dad killed one and placed it on a small board and positioned that board, with the snake on it, by the path leading to the beach.  We used to run by it.  It was a kind of exposure so that we would get used to seeing it.  I was also afraid of spiders which of course, my brothers would tease me about and threw a few at me; that sure didn't help.  Anyway, there was a National Geographic out one year with a special on spiders, photos and all.  I was young married at the time and decided to put that book, pages open of spiders on a table where I had to pass every day.  I would turn the page every now and then (very gingerly, certainly not touching and hardly looking at the photos).  This lasted for about two weeks.  The third week, I covered the photos, but was able to read the article.  The next week I decided to touch the photos and little by little I was able to really look at them and touch and not squirm.  The next time a spider was in the house I was able to kill it myself without screaming out the room asking someone else to do it.  Actually, now I can pick them up with a paper and put them outside.  I still don't like the look of 'em, nor would I like a surprise one on me, but at least I can deal with them now.  I remember my Dad telling me "they're more afraid of you than you are afraid of them", that kind of put it into perspective.
 
I have had a few night panic attacks.  They are pretty scary.  I thought that I was sick, bad heart, sleep apnea, that sort of thing.  Then I questioned that with "Is this 100% true?", or did I just have a really tense, stressful day.  Usually that's when they happened, after a lot of stress.  This was a few years ago.  Now that I have become healthier, more relaxed,  I haven't had any.  Deep breathing and meditation are really helpful.  I found if you do it every day, this works better than just once in awhile.  I hope some of my post helps.
Davit
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9 years ago 0 Davit 6252 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hi Dc2003

I haven't tryed that one with the spiders, hope it keeps working. I'll keep my fingers crossed also. At least there not elephants. Nothing is ridiculous if it works, remember this is all temperary till your cured.

Davit
Dc2003
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9 years ago 0 Dc2003 3 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hi Ashley,
 
Thank you for your post.
 
Ihave been doing fine thank you.  I have been trying to dispel any negative thoughts I may have prior to sleep
and try and replace them with something positive.
 
I "fingers crossed" havent had an episode since last week, so shall continue with this program, which I am finding very helpful indeed.   Thanks Davit for your info, I will certainly try that too.
 
I saw a film at the weekend called the Vampire's assistant, which had a huge pink tarantula in it.  At first I couldnt bring myself to look at it, then I realised that as it was painted bright pink,, it wasnt a threat.  Since seeing this everytime I think about a spider I am subsitituting the pink one in its place and feel much better about it.
 
Probably sounds completely ridiculous but it seems to be working so far.
 
Thank you again for all you help
Best regards
Dawn
 
 
 
Ashley -> Health Educator
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LOL Davit! Great idea!
 
DC, you will have to keep us posted on how you are doing.  How have you been these last few days?
 


Ashley, Health Educator
Davit
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9 years ago 0 Davit 6252 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hello Dawn.

I have trouble with culverts and I have learned to expand them in my mind till I can comfortably sit sideways in them. I don't like spiders and these I use a little Harry Potter magic on them. I visualize it or them shrinking till in a puff of smoke there gone. Poof it's gone and so is the reason to panic. 

Davit
Dc2003
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9 years ago 0 Dc2003 3 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hello Everyone!
 
Thank you all so much for taking the trouble to reply to my posting, it is so good to hear that I'm not a complete looney!
 
Ashley - thank you, I will certainly endeavour to see my doctor, probably once I have completed this course.
 
Leanna - I will look for that book, any tips are most appreciated.
 
Davit, Calcium - Check!  Now also on my list, thank you!
 
Don - My trigger appears to be a fear of spiders.  Once an image on one gets in my head I can't seem to be able to remove it.
 
Thanks everyone, most appreciated!
Kind regards
Dawn
Don
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9 years ago 0 Don 39 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hi all,
 
I have had these extreme panic attcks during a deep sleep on occasion for many years. (I did start a post on "Mod's Corner" on this very topic if you're interested in my experience- pg. 4).  What worked for me and has dramatically reduced the frequency of these attacks is identifying what I was panicking about at night.  For me, it was a claustrophobic fear of being trapped in a dark, quiet enclosed place with no way out. I think it started from literally being trapped underwater once when I was a kid.  The fear is still stuck in my brain somewhere.  But once I really identified the trigger, I could control it. A nightlight in my bedroom worked, or a really quiet radio works too for me. It tells my subconscious that I'm not underwater drowning if I start to dream about water. I do strongly believe in practising exposure therapy when you're awake, but it's tough to do when you're sleeping!! If you can figure out the trigger or fear, maybe you can try something like I did. Hope this helps someone. Don
sadie
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9 years ago 0 sadie 12 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hi Leanna, i use to think the same thing until a trip to my doctor helped me to realize i was having what is called nocturnal panic attack. The intense feelings of fear had me out of bed also until i realized what was happening, you are not the only one and hang in there, this program is awesome.
Leanna
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9 years ago 0 Leanna 24 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Sometimes, I wake up hyperventilating. I feel my body shaking before I wake up. As mentioned before in this discussion, I thought I was having night terrors. I've spoken with my doctor about this and it we're not too sure what it could be. We discussed the probability of having panic attacks while asleep, but also that I may have this fear in the back of my mind of having panic attacks that I dream of them. I agree with Ashley on trying some relaxation techniques prior to sleeping. I also try to read an inspiring book before I go to bed so that I have positive thoughts rather than the constant fear of panic. The book I read is "Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul". I love it.
 
 
Ashley -> Health Educator
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Hi DC,
 
If you read through the forums you will find other members here have experienced panic similar to what you are describing.  

It is a good idea to see your doctor about this matter.  Also, try to practice relaxation techniques throughout the day and before bed.  Do you notice any patterns about when your panic occurs?  Are you more stressed the day prior?  Keep us posted on how you are doing.
 
 
Ashley, Health Educator

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