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Anxiety/Panic attacks in sleep

Need help please, this condition of anxiety attacks is getting frequent.
Fear, arguments and anger trigger it when I sleep in the night. usually in the first 4 hours of sleep.
90% of attacks occur when I am asleep, and am jerked out of bed with fast heart beat, shivers, feeling of extremely cold skin, and pain/weakness in leg muscles.

I am 42.Male. Have had high blood pressure for 10 years but fully controlled by diltiazem 360mg and lexapro 10 mg. Dosage has been constant for 10 years.
Maternal side, everyone has high BP.
5ft 11 inches, 185 pounds.
anxiety attacks are more prominent if I have had a glass of red wine.
I have always had a tendency towards anxiety and nervousness. (no surprise there)
I have observed myself of getting more forgetful of names and vocabulary in the last year.
I am not disciplined with regular exercising (I know it is bad, but always procrastinated with exercising).
I can walk 5-7 miles quite easily. So general health is fine.

These attacks used to happen about 6 times a year.
Now it is higher. Once I have a panic attack, it will be followed by subsequent once, unless I have a .125 mg alfrazolam.

Other facts about myself
I have always had a fear of heights and cliffs.
I have unaturally strong body odor
I like veg food, and crave sometimes for red meat. no hatred of food.
I like tea, crave for pomegranate juice.
Get headaches with red wine.
Good with all weather conditions, like rains.
physical energy, desire both below average.
Sensitive sleeper, need good 8 hours sleep to operate properly. usually I try to get 7 hours.

Please help.

[message edited by stapler on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 01:52:55 BST]
  stapler on 2012-04-23
This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.

Go through each problem one at a time giving a full description of what happens, what pains and sensations you get, what makes it worse and what makes it better, the history of the complaint including when it started and what was happening around that time.

Make sure you describe your anxiety accurately and in a detailed manner.

Write a separate section for each problem. Cover even the smallest problems you have.

If any of your symptoms occur together, or immediately before or after one another this is important to note as well.

Do not give single word or short sentence descriptions. The more information you give the better I will be able to help.

Do not read up on the remedies and discuss them. Do not attempt to use the Remedy Finder program on this site. Try to keep yourself apart from all the information about remedies on the internet. Such research on your part actually makes it harder to find the right remedy for you not easier.

Whenever you describe a sensation or pain, try to help me to imagine having that same pain. For example, what would have to happen to me to recreate that symptom?

Allow yourself to diverge if you wish. If discussing the problem brings up any emotional or mental issues, then discuss them.

Do not edit your report, except for spelling mistakes. It is important that even if you use the wrong word, you write that. You can correct yourself in the next sentence.

If you have not done this by the time you have covered your problems, discuss the problems you have generally had in your life. What have been the big traumas, the big issues for you? Where have you felt unable to change, where do you get stuck repeating the same behaviours?

Also discuss the issues you might have had in childhood. Talk about your family, your upbringing, your parents. What kind of child were you? What did you fear, what did you aspire to, what do you remember the most?

Lastly talk about the way in which you handle or cope with your problems. What are the patterns that reoccur in your life? How do you find yourself managing your problems, even if it is not successful? To what degree do your problems affect you? How do you think everything will work out in the end for you?

Also answer these general health questions, if you have not already discussed them:

1. What foods do you crave or hate?

2. What drinks do you crave or hate?

3. Does any food or drink have a negative effect on you?

4. What is your sensitivity to the temperature and weather?

5. What is your physical energy like? What activities seem to raise or lower it?

6. What is your sexual desire like? Are there any problems in this area you feel comfortable talking about?

7. What is your sleep like, what problems do you have with it?

8. What issues do you have around your menstrual cycle (if a woman)?

9. What dreams tend to reoccur in your life, or have reoccurred previously? If not a specific whole dream, what images or situations tend to crop up?

There will almost certainly be more questions from me after this to clarify and to explore further.

David Kempson
Professional Classical Homoeopath
Registered ATMS 5141
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
Thank you for your quick response Dr. brisbanehomeopath. I will try to be as detailed as possible:

First time I had a panic attack was when I was in University. Lonely, far away from home, and insecure, I had it and thought it was a heart issue. Doctore did EKG, but never did figure what it was. I was 23 years old then.

It came back when I was 30 and married. I had a job, but lot of issues on the family front, including the death of my father-in-law.

It was around then that I was diagnosed with high BP, and also given an antidepression pill . That has remained in steady ever since.

Fear and insecurity have always dominated my mind in situations of stress - like possible layoffs, kids falling sick. But lately arguments and anger also trigger panic attack.

Biggest fear nowadays is when someone calls, I think it is going to be some very bad news, and I brace for it.

The way I know I will suffer a panic attack that night is that after a few hours of an argument or some stressful event, I have a sudden cold sensation around the right or level nipple with a feeling that some liquid squirted through my chest.
This feeling seems to be about 2 inches deep inside the body. After that there is a sense of uneasiness throughout the day.
But in about an hour of sleeping I will get a severe jerk either in the chest, or as startled shake throughout the body.

In the first case I am standing up the next moment wondering what do do in case the increased pounding in my chest is going to collapse and kill me. I stay still and upright holding to something with both hands taking long slow breaths till it subsides. During this the skin on my arms and thighs feels cold and tingly with millions of needles piercing it. Thighs shiver and hurt in mild pain.After 10 minutes only muscular pain remains, with an increased pulse which stays on for about 12 hours. The pulse becomes faster and a little soft to feel at the wrist.

The second type of attack is milder version of the one above with almost similar experience.

Long slow breaths along with walking across the rooms makes it better.

Once I have a panic in the night, I cannot sleep. If I do, I am struck again with another panic attack. Sitting up in the bed relieves this. so sometimes I spend the rest of the night trying to catch sleep in upright positions.

One thing that definitely helps in 0.125 mg (breaking half the 0.25 mg tablet) of alfrazolam(I think it is like vallium).

Next day I get up with yellowish tinge to eyes with red capillary lines, and red ears.

As advised , I will not look at the Remedy Finder program, but will wait for responses from doctors like you only.

I grew up in an insecure environment. Low middle class with economic issues and fear of severe fatherly punishments :)
Always top of the grde, and top of the school, lived in fear of failure. Worked very hard all my life to create a good life for my wife and kids but always have the fear of - what if something goes wrong .
Despite reading and talking over to myself about it, death of people I know has a very severe effect on me. Much more than average.

The insecurity makes me get into spontaneous arguemnts and fights, as I seem to see anything said against me as a challenge to my survival and something that can impact my way of life I have worked so hard to achieve.

with respect to the anxiety attack above, even after having the feeling of a liquid squirted in my chest, the one thing that can prevent an anxiety attack that night is if I want by myself in my house slowly for at least 1 hour, taking long slow breaths and talking to myself, or to god, rationalizing what happened, and how it is all ok.

I am very sensitive to the conditions of others.If people are tense or unhappy, I immediately become tense or unhappy.

When in stress my anger goes from 0 to max in less than 10 seconds, and situation goes out of control. I pretty much win most arguments as I do not hae loss of logic in such situations, but the aftertaste of the experience is very bad, and guilt prone.

I am under a lot of stress now. First observation I have is that there is a signifcant loss of memory interms of remembering names and there is a lack of mindfulness - I will have a sudden pause and wonder what I was doing at that moment.

One thing that happens on the day of the panic attack is a sudden feeling of loss of sense of control over body. Whether it is driving ar sitting with friends, suddenly it seems that I am in some other plane with no contact to my body, a feeling which will be followed by a quick frantic struggle to get back control of the body, kindof a non-swimmers struggles in water to stay afloat. This will last about a few seconds, after which I will have a few long breaths, and then fell better.

Thank you so much for hearing through this.

Trauma of childhood fears and beatings seem to have stayed on.

What I am unable to change are cycles of frustration, and anger/stress management. Otherwise I am quite bright, but interestingly in this situation I seem to forget some of the lessons learned.

As a child, I just remeber my schoold days the most. I was always among the brightest, and adored by teachers.

Coping with problems. Once I am in teh thick of stress and problems, I reinvent the wheel of thinking out to myself and to god and figuring out that things really are not that bad. It helps, but I forget to repeat this process exactly 24 hours of feeling better.
So many times I have thought of putting it in a diary so to avoid repeating patterns. And then I forget to read what I wrotethe pattern repeated.
Pattern of my life - Spring/Summers go well. usually something drastic happens in around November. I am reeling in trauma and or stress for the next 6 months.
In dealing with problems assurance from spouse always helps. But talking within helps more.
Problems affect me immensely
Deaths in family

Fear of deaths is immense at some subconscious level.

My 5 year old got hospitalized and underwent surgery . that was traumatic.

My kids viral fever almost always goes to 104 - 105, and I go into panic each time.

Other facts about myself
I have always had a fear of heights and cliffs.
I have unnaturally strong body odor
I like veg food, and crave sometimes for red meat. no hatred of food.
I like tea, crave for pomegranate juice.
Get headaches with red wine.
Good with all weather conditions, like rains.
physical energy, sex desire both below average.
Sensitive sleeper, need good 8 hours sleep to operate properly. usually I try to get 7 hours.

Look forward to hearing from you.

stapler last decade
I will look over this and see what I can see.
brisbanehomoeopath last decade

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