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Panic attacks in the middle of the night?

I keep waking up out of a sound sleep with panic/anxiety attacks.
Does this sound like normal anxiety or could it be something else? I started taking Xanax before bed, but it hasn't helped.

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:20 AM on Jun. 1, 2009 in Health

Answers (24)
  • That doesn't sound like the Xanax are working properly. I would suggest talking with your family doctor about this. Perhaps you need a stronger dose of medication. Have you tried taking a sleeping aid an hour before you go to bed?

    Answer by ronjwake at 3:45 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • did you start takeing xanax after these panic attacks started happening? Could it be an asthma thing? Have you been having really vivid dreams?? I would go back to the dr and talk to them about it...

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 3:46 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • Are you anxious about any one thing in particular or is it just a general feeling of something being wrong? I had severe panic attacks for a while, where it got to where I didn't want to go to bed because I KNEW when I woke up it was going to be with a panic attack. I had to go to a few doctors before they diagnosed generalized anxiety disorder. It doesnt' have to be something you have had all your life. It can be brought on by any type of stressor. If something caused you anxiety, and you still continue to have panic attacks after that situation is resolved, it could be GAD. I was treated successfully with a combination of antidepressants and antianxiety meds and talk therapy. The medicines were very helpful and did not sedate me to the point of being "out of it". I was on Buspar and Klonopin (low doses) and took them for a year and was able to go off them eventually with NO panic attacks in the past 2 years.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 3:46 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • i hope you figure it out and get it resolved!! I had panic attacks as a side effect from wellbutren and it was SCARY!!!

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 3:47 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • If you wake up with a panic attack, try these exercises:

    first, take 10 deep, slow breaths. Tell yourself that nothing is wrong, its just your imagination.

    After that, try progressive muscle relaxation where you tense your muscles starting with your toes and working your way to your head for a count of 10, then release the tension. Make sure you do all your muscles including your facial and scalp muscles. It helps.

    Hope some of this helps you, I know its tough!

    Answer by AprilDJC at 3:48 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • I'm not dreaming at all. I take the meds...go to bed about an hour later. Then I fall asleep and wake up around 3 or 4 FREAKING OUT. But it really isn't a mental FREAK OUT. It is like I am having an adrenalin rush. I am scared something is really wrong. I have been really sick for years and can't get anyone to listen to me. Thanks for your advice.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:48 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • April, is it normal then to WAKE up having a panic attack? I thought you just got them while awake.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:50 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • You definitely sound like you have generalized anxiety disorder. You're not really freaking out, its just that you have the physical symptoms. Then you start to feel like you are really sick or are crazy or something. I know, I've been there! Go to your doctor, mention generalized anxiety disorder. THey can prescribe you low dose klonopin or adivan to get you through the panic attacks and possibly something like buspar or trazodone to help you not have the panic attacks. Have them test your thyroid too if you havent' because that can cause panic attacks/anxiety also.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 3:51 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • No, i have WOKE UP with them many times before I got treated properly and its horrible. Makes you not want to go to sleep.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 3:52 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • I would suggest going to a mental health doctor, have you tried this? Family doctors don't deal with only mental medications (I don't mean your mental, ok). Just like I take my son to a specialist for his ADHD, it takes a certain type of doctor to give you the proper meds for certain cases.

    Answer by ronjwake at 3:52 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

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