(Topic ID: 302274)

3am panic attacks suck!

By Rob_G

40 days ago


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  • 45 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 33 days ago by mcluvin
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 40 days ago

I've lived with chronic anxiety for more than 30 years now (I'm 54). To say it hasn't been a major impact on my life would certainly be an understatement. Things are never really perfect, but they are manageable. I have to say one of the worst things has to be the anxiety that hits me when I am sleeping. Like clockwork, about 2 hours after going to bed it will wake me up and I'll end up in a full blown panic attack after about 5 minutes. It takes about another 20-30 minutes to settle down. When I was younger, this would repeat all night (in much shorter intervals) as I tried to sleep and it got to the point I was afraid to go to sleep. And it happened almost every night... Now I can go months, maybe even a few years without it happening. It's mostly under control - and I say 'mostly'. Yesterday evening I was having very bad anxiety, but I still slept ok. Tonight I was very tired and went to bed around 11:30. So 3am rolls around and I wake up. I know what is happening, what is coming. It's like being tied to the tracks with a freight train barreling down on me. I can rationalize to myself all I want that I'm going to be ok and it will pass... I feel absolutely horrible though... Sometimes playing a game like candy crush on my tablet helps because it distracts my mind with something else. Tonight I ended up going out for a drive until I started feeling better. Then I came home and here I am, still up at 4am.

I'm bothered by a few things, but I am not sure if they contribute to my anxiety. I'm concerned someone I know didn't survive covid.. I only found out 2 days ago and their business was closed today when it should have been open. Not a good sign... Work has been a major source of stress for me. I'm ready to retire, but not financially secure enough to retire long term without going back to work at some time. I think about taking a long break, like a year from work because I just need to detach myself from that completely - at least for a while.

Pinball is one thing that helps me still feel sane in this crazy world. I've made some good friends along the way and have had the chance to do some really fun stuff too. I'd probably play a few games now, except I live in a condo and I don't think my neighbors would appreciate that at 4:30am.

I didn't need to write this, but I thought I would share my experience for anyone interested enough to read. Maybe a few of you know all too well what anxiety and panic attacks are like. I don't feel like writing more so I'll end my message here. I'm doing ok now.. Will watch a bit of tv, maybe eat something and try to get some rest in a while.

Rob

#2 40 days ago

Dang! I had my first and thank goodness only one (knock on wood) three years ago at 11pm. Shot out of bed convinced I was having a heart attack. ER visit confirmed a panic attack. Harrowing.

Glad it’s manageable.

#3 40 days ago

Hang in there Rob and thanks for sharing! I never dealt with anxiety until a few years ago at the age of 45 when I switched jobs. Maybe the fact that I am getting older made me more prone to it, but it sucks! My throat would close up and made it hard to talk or breathe. Thankfully after 1.5 years it went away, but now I am just waiting for it to manifest itself again. Sadly I was once one of those people that would dismiss people with anxiety because I didn’t fully understand it. I know better now, keep strong brother and find that happy place……….

Nick

#4 40 days ago

Iv had the heart attack ones to the point I went to hospital to get a full check up and am absolutely fine, all in your head but is crazy scary at the time!

#5 40 days ago

My 17 year old son was just diagnosed with anxiety issues. Sounds like it has been an issue for him the last several years and has just become unmanageable without meds this year. Started school middle of August and has only made it a handful of times. Very stressful on the parents as well as him. We never knew how widespread anxiety is and how many people we know deal with it on a daily basis, it's staggering. One of the things recommended to us by the Dr., was essential oils. Use before bed to calm your body and help you sleep. Good luck!

#6 40 days ago

Thanks for talking about this. It is near impossible to understand if you haven't experienced it. I have a fear of "being trapped". I broke me wrist a few years ago so when I woke up one night in a panic ready to cut the cast off myself I knew why. Also, recently I lost a few pounds and my wife wrapped my wedding ring with yarn to hold it on my finger better. Right before going to bed I tried it on and instant panic hit as I wasn't sure I could get it off. And this was something that five seconds with scissors would have removed! I consider myself an extremely reasonable person so when things like this hit me it strikes me as incredible.

#7 40 days ago

How about drugs? Can you say Lorazepam...

#8 40 days ago

I had one this summer during a Yosemite wilderness backpacking trip. The combination of dehydration, moonless night, altitude, and sleeping in a mummy bag set me off. Oddly enough, listening to music in my earbuds seemed to do the trick. It was really an awful two hours trying to get out of that funk.

#9 40 days ago

I got my first anxiety attack at 19 years old and has to be hospitalized for a short spell. Really got them bad in my 20s and 30's. Finally wised up and changed my diet and what I was drinking, and it helped immensely. The only time I get full blown ones now is when I fly - and I do take Lorazepam, but that is a last resort due to what it does to my body.

Only thing I can recommend is eat well, exercise, and try yoga/guided meditation. Yoga REALLY helps with your breathing and how to control it and your body. It's amazing what you can do with your autonomic system. Good luck.

#10 40 days ago

I suffered with that shit for ~15 years. Wouldn't wish them on anyone. Waking up to your heart pounding out of your chest is the worst. Based on my experience, examine every aspect of your lifestyle and be honest with yourself. Get a yearly physical. Try to remove the stressors from your life. I'm 7 years panic attack free now.....

#11 40 days ago

I had panic attacks regularly for about 10 years, starting at age 18. For me the biggest symptom was a feeling of unreality, with a big adrenaline rush. Like being buried alive, but nobody else can see it. The attacks kept me out of airplanes, concerts and malls for a long time. Doctors tried lots of drugs on me, and some had awful side effects. The one that finally worked for me was Prozac. It put a floor under my attacks, made them about 10 times less severe. That gave me the courage to get back out and do things again, even flying to Europe for work.

I still remember my last panic attack, I think it would have been around 2004. I was totally fried from a flight that left Atlanta at 10pm and landed in England at 11am, and I had to go straight to the vendor’s office in Cambridge. The problem they sent me to fix was really outside my area of expertise (HTML performance issues). I was on the floor of a bathroom stall at one point, standing up was not happening.

After that…it seems like the demon just left. I get anxious when I travel overseas, but I haven’t had an “attack” since that one. I feel for anyone who’s suffering through panic attacks, because it’s almost impossible to describe to someone who hasn’t lived with them.

#12 40 days ago
Quoted from poppapin:

How about drugs? Can you say Lorazepam...

Lorazepam (Ativan) my #1 drug of choice for flying, and for really bad insomnia. My doctor used to give me 30 1-mg tablets, and that would last me for a year. She cut me back to 0.5mg after the opioid crisis, which really makes no sense because it’s a benzodiazepine, not an opioid.

My best advice to people fighting this right now is to learn how to use your body to calm your mind. Breathing patterns (slow exhaling), relaxing all of the muscles, and regular exercise all helped me a lot. After my panic went away, I gained a lot of weight because I didn’t NEED to exercise anymore. When I get on my bike now, it’s to keep my heart going for another 40 years.

#13 40 days ago

That is a very real snapshot and it’s cool that you posted it.
Diet and exercise had a huge impact on my anxiety and OCD.
I had a pretty tough life at times and it impacted me with residual anxiety and a love or need for rituals that were consuming and probably not routed in reality or common sense but often felt necessary. All harmless but not practical.
It’s a very hard thing to overcome over the years but it can be done one of the best counter thoughts I learned to adapt was that these were just thoughts not reality. I never considered that in the moment once I did it was better perspective.
The difference between the two can be so much farther apart sometimes than we realize.
Anytime anything negative like this creeps into my thoughts be it morning noon or night I just shut it right down and redirect. I am in control of my thoughts not the other way around and that is just what is needed to overcome this long term. Some people may not ever experience this and others may never regain control but it can and does happen to many more of us than we realize.
Wishing you the best.

#14 40 days ago

I have been taking 30mg citalopram daily for probably the last 10-15 years. I'm sure it helps because I have been mostly free of panic attacks, but they still occasionally happen. I think seasonal changes have an affect too.

I hated wide open spaces because I felt that if something bad was going to happen, I wouldn't be able to get help. It may sound silly (and it is!), but anxiety tends to throw your rationality out the window. So the past several years I have made it a point to keep facing my anxiety and now I really love open spaces (in the country). I love long drives maybe to another town or city just to have lunch or enjoy the scenery. In the 90's, it used to be so bad for me I had trouble just getting out of my car and going into an arcade. I've come a long way since then, took my life back and didn't let anxiety rule my life any more.

Rob

#15 40 days ago
Quoted from swampfire:

I feel for anyone who’s suffering through panic attacks, because it’s almost impossible to describe to someone who hasn’t lived with them.

It is difficult to explain it. To me, if feels like you are going to die, heart attack or something related. You literally are jumping out of your skin. It's a horrible feeling.

#16 40 days ago
Quoted from Rob_G:

I have been taking 30mg citalopram daily for probably the last 10-15 years. I'm sure it helps because I have been mostly free of panic attacks, but they still occasionally happen. I think seasonal changes have an affect too.
Rob

I don't know that drug, I took Xanax when it was out of control. When I learned how these drugs worked - I strived to only take it when it is absolutely necessary. Once I changed my diet, limited alcohol, and started to exercise hard, they almost disappeared. I had been tested for everything else, I literally remember the last few and I would just yell at myself "there is nothing physically wrong with me - it's in my head"....

That worked as well. I know people who are on Xanax every day - how they function I have no idea.

#17 40 days ago

I’m no Doctor but always remember that it’s impossible to have a panic attack if you can breathe correctly. That means diaphragmatic breathing. If you take your focus directly to doing that, the panic will subside.

It’s very hard to change your focus when you’re in the middle of a full blown panic attack but it’s possible. The trick is to take your focus to breathing slowly from the diaphragm and exhaling everything out as soon as you feel it coming on.

I’ve been Panic attack free since 1999 and it very liberating. No Xanax or any other drugs. Best of Luck to you and I’d research this advice so you fully understand it. It’s simple but all you need.
Danny

#18 40 days ago

I saw a lot of bullshit “tell me about your childhood” therapists early on. Then I found a psychologist who was a Vietnam vet who had beaten PTSD. The tools for PTSD are very similar to those for panic attacks. I feel lucky to have found him.

Funny story: when I went to see him one Monday night, I met some guys at the dentist office next door. They each had a 6-pack of beer, and I said “wow, you guys drink like that on a Monday night?” One of them laughed and said “bro, we drink like this EVERY night”. That stuck with me.

#19 39 days ago
Quoted from Methos:

I don't know that drug, I took Xanax when it was out of control. When I learned how these drugs worked - I strived to only take it when it is absolutely necessary. Once I changed my diet, limited alcohol, and started to exercise hard, they almost disappeared. I had been tested for everything else, I literally remember the last few and I would just yell at myself "there is nothing physically wrong with me - it's in my head"....
That worked as well. I know people who are on Xanax every day - how they function I have no idea.

Xanax and other similar drugs should be just short term use. They can be habit forming and lose their effectiveness over time. My Doctor would only prescribe me a few if I really needed them. I haven't taken any of that in many years.

I think the anxiety was hereditary because my mother also suffered from it. Although sometimes I think she was mildly schizophrenic. Lately my sister has had some issues with moderate depression. My father had a very mild myoclonic tick which I also inherited as 'action myoclonus'. It's kind of a double whammy at times, but there's still worse things out there.

Quoted from Methos:

It is difficult to explain it. To me, if feels like you are going to die, heart attack or something related. You literally are jumping out of your skin. It's a horrible feeling.

Oh yeah, that describes it fairly well. The anxiety triggers your 'fight or flight' response:

"The fight-or-flight response is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to run away to safety"

After a certain point if you're experiencing a panic attack, you just need to ride the storm the best you can until it is over (10 or 15 minutes). Talking to someone really helps - anything to divert your thoughts away from how you are feeling.

Rob

#20 39 days ago

Sometimes you may not know it, but people you know may be dealing with stress and anxiety and they keep it hidden. Nobody really likes to talk about it and it's a difficult subject to discuss sometimes. For example, I never talked to my parents about it and I mostly avoided talking to friends about it as well. More of my friends know now than before, but they do tell me they still don't quite understand it. If I am having a bad time, I'll just ask to talk about anything really, I just need to know someone cares and that in itself helps a lot.

Rob

#21 39 days ago

ADAA.org says there are 6 million Americans who have panic attacks, and 40 million suffering from some sort of anxiety. We’re definitely not alone. My wife’s friend has a 30-year-old adult son with schizophrenia. They’re all going through hell right now. Anxiety sucks, but it responds really well to treatment. I think it’s important for those of us who feel “cured” to support people who are going through it. I’m here if anyone needs to talk about anxiety.

#22 39 days ago

Thanks for sharing. I remember years ago creating a post referencing Vit D deficiency and depression.

I have a supply of Alprazolam that I take 2 or 3 times a year. You're not alone and I hope it helps a little to just know that.

#23 39 days ago
Quoted from Rob_G:

people you know may be dealing with stress and anxiety and they keep it hidden

In my case, I didn’t even know I was having them.

I was a really shy kid, and at 16 I started working full time at my families really busy furniture store. I was expected to answer the phone and serve the customers and I had to really push myself to do that - I’d rather go hide out the back somewhere. Lol

So I operated on total “fight or flight” adrenaline for over 25 years. To the point where my endocrine system is sorta broken. I have some sort of chronic fatigue that comes and goes.

I didn’t even know what a panic attack was until a few years ago. I was playing BM66 and about to beat the high score, and suddenly I realised my heart was beating 1000bpm, I was shaking, cold sweats, the lot. That was the first time I realised I was having a panic attack. Took 47 years to figure it out.

I try not to take any meds (except vitamins) so I’ve spent the last few years trying to control it.

I’ve found CBD oil works really well.

Also breathing, as previously mentioned. I went to a performance coach who said when it starts up, start the controlled breathing and choose something to look at, and focus on it. When I remember to do it, it works well.

I used those techniques the week after I was taught them to get 7th in the IFPA Pinmasters World Pingolf champs in Dallas - my best international result, in a field of great players - so they definitely work.

For me, it’s just remembering to do it, after 50 years of not doing it.

Hope that helps someone.

rd

#24 39 days ago
Quoted from swampfire:

Lorazepam (Ativan) my #1 drug of choice for flying, and for really bad insomnia. My doctor used to give me 30 1-mg tablets, and that would last me for a year. She cut me back to 0.5mg after the opioid crisis, which really makes no sense because it’s a benzodiazepine, not an opioid.
My best advice to people fighting this right now is to learn how to use your body to calm your mind. Breathing patterns (slow exhaling), relaxing all of the muscles, and regular exercise all helped me a lot. After my panic went away, I gained a lot of weight because I didn’t NEED to exercise anymore. When I get on my bike now, it’s to keep my heart going for another 40 years.

Yeah, I think 0.5mg is the go to choice nowadays. It's just enough to take the edge off. My wife takes one to help her sleep some nights.

#25 39 days ago
Quoted from poppapin:

Yeah, I think 0.5mg is the go to choice nowadays. It's just enough to take the edge off. My wife takes one to help her sleep some nights.

I get 2mg, but I just take like 1/4 of a pill at a time. Keeps me from having to go back to the doctor for refills too often. I keep them at home, work, and in the car. Just knowing they are at hand has kept me from full blown attacks for 10-15 years now. I take daily generic Zoloft too.

I was always a skinny guy, but when I started getting attacks I had a hard time swallowing food. I went from 135 lbs down to 115 before going to the Dr. Those drugs shot me up to 175 within about a year.

#26 39 days ago

Glad you all posted in here. One of my brothers has had lifelong battles with extreme anxiety and addiction problems, and those are sort of self-reinforcing issues. He also has an affliction called "Graves Disease" which may or may not be the cause of all of it - this is a thyroid disease that is not terribly well understood, nor easy to control.

Anyway, after 43 years of nothing - this past year I've started having extreme anxiety myself; mostly a result (we think) of extreme overwork - I have been working 3 full-time jobs, mostly remotely, for the past 10 years. During the pandemic, it just got to be way too much, and I've started having a lot of the same issues you guys have described - feeling trapped, thinking I'm having a heart attack, sweating, irrational thoughts. A few weeks ago I was driving to a rehearsal (I'm also in a band that plays once in a while), and suddenly realizing I understood why people would just run themselves off the road. Not that I was going to do that, or even considering it, mind you - but that was scary as hell. I've had to cut way down on my drinking and trying to exercise a little more, which has helped. Hopefully I don't need to go the medication route, but I guess we'll see. Tried to talk to my wife about it, but yeah that did not go well. I don't want to pin that on her, it was a lot to take all at once.

All this has helped me really understand stuff my brother goes through daily, and while this all sucks pretty bad, I'm grateful that I understand him a little bit more.

#27 37 days ago

Thank you all for the replies and sharing your own stories. It's surprising how many here have somewhat similar experiences. I've been feeling better the past few days.

Rob

#28 37 days ago

Thank you!

#29 37 days ago
Quoted from Rob_G:

I have been taking 30mg citalopram daily for probably the last 10-15 years. I'm sure it helps because I have been mostly free of panic attacks, but they still occasionally happen. I think seasonal changes have an affect too.
I hated wide open spaces because I felt that if something bad was going to happen, I wouldn't be able to get help. It may sound silly (and it is!), but anxiety tends to throw your rationality out the window. So the past several years I have made it a point to keep facing my anxiety and now I really love open spaces (in the country). I love long drives maybe to another town or city just to have lunch or enjoy the scenery. In the 90's, it used to be so bad for me I had trouble just getting out of my car and going into an arcade. I've come a long way since then, took my life back and didn't let anxiety rule my life any more.
Rob

I know all the anxiety drugs, unfortunately. I hated them all and tried to avoid taking them. From early to mid 40s I had a really rough 5-7 years, diagnosed with severe anxiety and terrible bouts with what were called panic attacks. But the thing is, I never FELT anxious. I just had these attacks come on seemingly randomly and then I had to deal with coming down for the next hour or two. The diagnosis was anxiety because everything came up negative. Brain scans, body scans, blood tests, everything, over and over for 5-7 years.

Then my GP decided to order a blood test for my vitamin D level. Normal is 40-ish. My level was 4. He was shocked and prescribed 50000iu of D2 to take daily and literally all my symptoms and random attacks were gone in a week. I learned that D2 is processed into D3 in your body at about 10% of the D2 level, so I just take 5000IU of Costco D3 now once or twice a week. Haven't had a problem for almost 10 years since I started that. My GP is a hero for finding what none of the specialists could and fixing my problem.

Most routine blood testing does NOT include Vitamin D levels, or my problem would have been caught a LOT sooner. So if anyone is diagnosed with anxiety and doesn't feel anxious, maybe have your Vit D levels checked with your next routine blood work.

#30 37 days ago
Quoted from PinMonk:

Normal is 40-ish. My level was 4. He was shocked and prescribed 50000iu of D2 to take daily and literally all my symptoms and random attacks were gone in a wee

Funny .. I had a bunch of tests a few years ago …

They read the results and when they got to Vitamin D they said … and I quote … “wow, that’s worse than Lisa’s Mum who lives in the rest home! She’s 100!” Lol

I’ve come to the conclusion that some people can’t process vitamins and minerals from food the same as others can. We eat really well (rarely any junk food) and all my test results are always crap. Doesn’t matter what probiotics I take, seems to make no difference.

(Yes, I know D comes from the sun …).

rd

#31 37 days ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Funny .. I had a bunch of tests a few years ago …
They read the results and when they got to Vitamin D they said … and I quote … “wow, that’s worse than Lisa’s Mum who lives in the rest home! She’s 100!” Lol
I’ve come to the conclusion that some people can’t process vitamins and minerals from food the same as others can. We eat really well (rarely any junk food) and all my test results are always crap. Doesn’t matter what probiotics I take, seems to make no difference.
(Yes, I know D comes from the sun …).
rd

I had no idea my Vitamin D levels were so low, but I'm indoors most of the time, so in hindsight it makes sense. I also didn't know that super-low Vitamin D could cause the wide range of terrible symptoms I had that looked to Drs like anxiety. Supposedly I was in the range for having a heart attack because I had almost none at all. So bullet dodged. When I go out around town now, I open the sun roof and try to get in a little extra sunshine in addition to the supplements I take. Never want to get back to where I was for that hellish period.

#32 37 days ago

I had the same symptoms. Turns out i have sleep apnea. Since i was 20 OR so. And no, not overweight. Sleep with a cpap device now. And that helps a lot

#33 37 days ago
Quoted from swampfire:

I saw a lot of bullshit “tell me about your childhood” therapists early on. Then I found a psychologist who was a Vietnam vet who had beaten PTSD. The tools for PTSD are very similar to those for panic attacks. I feel lucky to have found him.

Wow - this reminds me of the only time I saw a therapist. I was just prescribed Xanax for the first time and I had to go see him, as it was required. So I go and see this guy, he tells me to start talking of my childhood. I do so, and he says my problem is I have a lot of "separation" in my life and that is what is causing my attacks. What a crock of shit.

Quoted from loneacer:

I get 2mg, but I just take like 1/4 of a pill at a time. Keeps me from having to go back to the doctor for refills too often. I keep them at home, work, and in the car. Just knowing they are at hand has kept me from full blown attacks for 10-15 years now. I take daily generic Zoloft too.
I was always a skinny guy, but when I started getting attacks I had a hard time swallowing food. I went from 135 lbs down to 115 before going to the Dr. Those drugs shot me up to 175 within about a year.

I caried my Xanax with me for 15 years - just so I had it with me JUST IN CASE. All in all, I think I've taken it maybe 30 times in my life. Again - now I use it for flying, but on my trip next week - I'm going to not take it. I'd rather fight through it than take Xanax.

The last few years when I did take it for flying, I really had memory loss - which is a side effect. Not good.

#34 37 days ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Funny .. I had a bunch of tests a few years ago …
They read the results and when they got to Vitamin D they said … and I quote … “wow, that’s worse than Lisa’s Mum who lives in the rest home! She’s 100!” Lol
I’ve come to the conclusion that some people can’t process vitamins and minerals from food the same as others can. We eat really well (rarely any junk food) and all my test results are always crap. Doesn’t matter what probiotics I take, seems to make no difference.
(Yes, I know D comes from the sun …).
rd

Vitamin D is very very important. Everyone should get their levels taken.

It basically is the infrastructure of all the chemical interactions in our body. It also has shown that people with lower levels have shorter lifespans.

#35 37 days ago
Quoted from Methos:

I caried my Xanax with me for 15 years - just so I had it with me JUST IN CASE. All in all, I think I've taken it maybe 30 times in my life. Again - now I use it for flying, but on my trip next week - I'm going to not take it. I'd rather fight through it than take Xanax.

My doctor switched me from Xanax to Ativan about 20 years ago. It works just as well, but with far fewer side effects.

#36 37 days ago

Thank you for posting this. Mental health is so important and often not talked about by men as society has dictated that could be a sign of “weakness” which it isn’t. You are very strong for saying something. If I may also make a couple of recommendations.

I use a white noise machine at bedtime, it’s a quiet static like sound, it has helped me immensely with falling asleep and deep sleep.

I’ll also echo that CBD oil and medical marijuana can be very helpful in combatting anxiety and stress.

4-7-8 breathing is very helpful in those moments I feel a panic attack coming on. Inhale for four seconds, hold for seven, exhale for eight. Focus on your breathing. I’m always shocked at how well this can help calm me.

Lastly, there is absolutely no shame in talking to someone. Therapy can be immensely helpful, I have been doing it since mid-pandemic and it’s helped greatly. It can be very expensive but your mental and physical health is worth it. Do some research and find lower cost alternatives. I don’t think the place I’m about to recommend won’t be available to you in Canada, they are only in California, but I want to show that low cost alternatives are available and maybe someone reading this living in California can benefit. The Liberation institute offers therapy on a sliding scale, for as little as $20 a session I can get one on one therapy over zoom weekly. Look around in your area to see if there are similar options.

And please take care.

http://www.liberationinstitute.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI66ummrnZ8wIVqQytBh3H5AtkEAAYASAAEgJYdfD_BwE

#37 37 days ago

http://www.angelnet.com/fear.html

Dr. liebgold and his teachings gave me my life back. I can relate to all of you. Check out his website. I personally graduated from his class he tought. I once had general anxiety and panic attacks so bad, I could only go to my Job and home. My Wife got stuck with everything, pumping Gas to grocery shopping. I was so ashamed for this and it almost cost me my marriage. Dr. Liebgold not only saved my marriage but gave me my life back.
Harley D.

#38 37 days ago
Quoted from shovelhed:

http://www.angelnet.com/fear.html
Dr. liebgold and his teachings gave me my life back. I can relate to all of you. Check out his website. I personally graduated from his class he tought. I once had general anxiety and panic attacks so bad, I could only go to my Job and home. My Wife got stuck with everything, pumping Gas to grocery shopping. I was so ashamed for this and it almost cost me my marriage. Dr. Liebgold not only saved my marriage but gave me my life back.
Harley D.

Good for you dude! That’s amazing!

#39 37 days ago

Wow, timely thread. I've dealt with these on and off over the years, but hadn't had an issue in awhile until a week or so ago when they started popping up again. The descriptions are spot on: tightness of the chest, feeling like you can't breathe, racing heartrate, particularly the feeling of my throat closing up. When this is happening I won't even try to eat, since it feels like I'll choke if I do. A few years back I had my wife drive me to the ER, which scared the shit out of her, but it truly feels like you're dying. As many of you have said, tests were fine, just in my head. As far as dealing with it, other than just riding it out, exercise has typically helped, something to force you to focus on something else. No matter how many times I've gone through it, just telling myself its in my head doesn't cut it (although I have yelled that at myself as someone else stated, totally get that). Anyway, appreciate seeing these stories from everyone.

#40 37 days ago
Quoted from swampfire:

My doctor switched me from Xanax to Ativan about 20 years ago. It works just as well, but with far fewer side effects.

The short term memory loss on Ativan is pretty wild. I've found myself not having a clue where I parked my car or what I had for lunch some days.

#41 37 days ago
Quoted from plovis:

No matter how many times I've gone through it, just telling myself its in my head doesn't cut it (although I have yelled that at myself as someone else stated, totally get that). Anyway, appreciate seeing these stories from everyone.

For me, this works as I think my body starts to "get it" and while it progresses, I'm not as afraid about it.

I agree that eating healthy and exercise helps a lot, as does self guided meditation.

#42 37 days ago
Quoted from loneacer:

The short term memory loss on Ativan is pretty wild. I've found myself not having a clue where I parked my car or what I had for lunch some days.

I’m in my late 50’s and that’s me every day, Ativan or not.

#43 36 days ago

Thank you Rob for making this thread, I think it’s good for everyone who suffers from anxiety related issues to know that they are not alone. It is very interesting and inspiring to read all of your battles and Personal journeys to find a way overcome your issues and and to get back your quality of life.

Sorry long post here is a bit of my story.
I have for the most part made my peace with my medical condition, every eight weeks I go in for a brain MRI to see if tumors have progressed i used to literally become physically ill before my appointment, I felt like I was going to vomit in the waiting room, heart racing, sweating ect. I do much better than that now, I’m not gunna lie I’m still very anxious but not like I used to be. I think my wife has a harder time with it than I do at this point.

Oddly enough the above Sometimes took a backseat as the main source of my anxiety, my issue is that after my radiation treatment I was diagnosed with something called central sleep apnea. It is different from sleep apnea as it a neurological condition that disrupts the signal from the brain that tells your lungs to take in air, before I was diagnosed I did not understand what was happening to me, I was terrified to fall asleep.

My dreams were always the same, I was being held underwater, buried alive, suffocated ect (my brain was trying to wake me as I had stopped breathing) then I would wake up desperate for air, literally clawing at my throat. My oxygen levels we’re so depleted by the time that I finally awoke that I felt like I could not get a breath of air that would satisfy, It is the most horrible and frightening feeling I have ever experienced, It feels like dying! The feeling didn’t just go away after 5 or 10 minutes, I literally could not lay back down for an hour or two, I had to sit up in a well lit room. The episodes got so bad that it got to the point that I was afraid to go to sleep, because I was afraid that I would not wake up.

I finally went to a sleep clinic and was diagnosed with central apnea and was given a BiPAP machine, I was completely unable to sleep wearing it. I ended up getting an oxygen monitoring ring it sounds an alarm and vibrates when my oxygen levels drop below a certain level, sometimes it goes off 6 or 7 times a night but it wakes me before my oxygen levels drop too far. I also have bottled oxygen in case I do have an event, the oxygen is the only thing that satisfies my need for a breath after I’ve had an event.

What this has done to me..
For nearly a year I was afraid to go to sleep, I was literally afraid I would die in my sleep. Since I got my oxygen monitoring ring I have gained back confidence to know that if I stop breathing that it will wake me.

Apparently I now suffer from claustrophobia, maybe it’s from hundreds dreams of being buried alive. The other day I had to fix a drain under my house and when I got under the house I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I panicked and couldn’t stay under there. I damn near broke the drain pipe and left all my tools laying on the ground on my way back out.

My wife and I went on vacation and I went to go snorkeling with her and apparently I am unable to put my face in the water and breathe through a snorkel anymore, I felt like I was suffocating. Before my brain surgery and all of this happened I scuba dived and did lots of snorkeling and never had any issues at all.

I will continue to work on this stuff and hopefully work through it, but I have a lot of issues right now that I am trying to work through.

By the way If anyone is interested I wanted to share this, when I go in for my EEG they try to induce seizure waves with strobe lights and hyperventilation ect and when I’m all done they put me in a room and play music to “cool” my brain down. The music they play seems to work pretty good To chill me out. The last time I was in for testing I asked the nurse what the music was, I put a link to it below it has helped me on my bad days.

#44 33 days ago

Many months ago I bought a 30lb queen size weighted blanket. I really like it and I think it helps me sleep better.

I also have a fan on (white noise) which helps too.

Rob

#45 33 days ago
Quoted from Methos:

Vitamin D is very very important.

I think they are testing more for it now because of COVID, but mine was super low too.

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