Tips To Prevent Panic Attacks At Night
Experiencing a panic attack at night may make you worry about having another, causing a vicious circle, and leading to insomnia. There are a number of things you can do to try and avoid this becoming a frequent problem, and ensure that youre getting a good nights sleep:
Give yourself enough time to get the sleep you need
On average, adults need eight to nine hours sleep each night to feel rested and refreshed. Therefore, its important to make sure you go to bed at least eight hours before you need to get up so youre giving yourself enough time to have a good nights sleep. Going to bed too late and not leaving enough time for sleep may result in you constantly checking the clock and worrying that youre not going to feel rested the next day. These negative thought processes can fuel anxiety, and potentially spiral into a panic attack.
Prepare yourself for the following day
Many people struggle to get to sleep because they are anxious about the following day. You can try to reduce this anxiety by making sure that you have everything prepared. For example, you could have a to-do list, or even have your clothes laid out.
Establish a consistent sleep routine
Limit caffeine, sugar and alcohol before bed
Avoid electronic devices late at night
Tell Yourself Youre Just Processing Information
When youre suffering from PTSD, panic attacks are so often you cant tell when youre actually having one. Youre in a constant state of fight or flight for months on end. Youre too scared to fall asleep and terrified while being awake. Eventually, when you do finally fall asleep, you wake up from nightmares that scare you awake. Sometimes they come as often as every ten minutes.
A social worker once told me that nightmares are the brains way of processing information. The best way to combat them is to say processing information every time you wake up from one. This little trick has helped desensitize nightmares over the long-term so you feel less panicked after waking up from one.;
Support Groups And Social Support
There are times when you may need a shoulder to cry on or a ride to the doctor. You may want to learn more about PTSD or talk with others who have PTSD. You need people who understand what you are going through and will help you and care about you. This is your support network.
Support takes many forms. You can find it in seminars and groups led by professionals, in groups made up of others with PTSD, and in your relationships with family and friends.
Recommended Reading: How To Start An Eating Disorder Essay
A Positive View Of A Panic Attack
Next time you have a panic attack view it as a positive thing. They usually only arise when were pushing ourselves or facing our fears. Your mind is struggling to process the fact that youre doing something that scares you and can therefore result in a panic attack. More often than not they occur because you are doing something about your fears.
I try to view a panic attack as a positive thing. I tell myself that every panic attack I have gets me one step closer to realising that nothing bad will happen if I confront my fears. Id be lying to you if I said that this works every time but its a good approach and it has helped me in the past.
Be proud of yourself for being brave and doing whatever scares you.
Be strong and keep fighting.
Symptoms Of Panic Disorder And Ptsd
Those with panic disorder will experience various physical symptoms that are associated with panic attacks. These include shaking, sweating, trembling, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. These feelings may become so severe that a person may believe they are either losing control, having a critical medical issue like a heart attack or that theyre going crazy. Individuals with panic disorders believe these attacks will happen again without warning, which makes them live in fear to the anticipation of their next attack.
PTSD symptoms are divided into three categories, which include increased arousal, re-experiencing the event, and avoidance behaviors. Re-experiencing these symptoms will consist of nightmares, flashbacks of the traumatic event, and intrusive thoughts. Avoidance behaviors involve staying away from anything that reminds them of the trauma this includes places, thoughts, or memories associated with what occurred. Hyperarousal symptoms consist of a lack of concentration, frequent irritability, and becoming easily startled.;
Read Also: Can Depression Make You Lose Your Appetite
Try To Find Evidence For Your Fear
When trying to stop a panic attack, you need to get to the root cause of it: your fear. Many times are fears are exaggerated in our mind. Our imagination can play some terrifying tricks on us. A simple way to stop panic attacks is to first label what the situation or trigger is. For example, an upcoming wedding. Then, list your feelings such as anxious, paranoid, scared, etc. Next, name the unhelpful thoughts that youre having. For example, feeling like youre in danger, feeling like youre about to die. Then, list the facts that support your unhelpful thought.
Keep in mind they need to be facts not beliefs. You might have some weird coincidences that you can list but that wont be considered actual evidence. Then, list facts that provide evidence against the unhelpful thought. For example, maybe youre still young and healthy so you likely arent about to die. Next, provide an alternative and more realistic. Next, focus on reevaluate you how currently feel. This is the Thought Record you can fill out to help you.;
What Exactly Is Ptsd Anyway
First, the basics. PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder. It occurs in people whove experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.
Sometimes, that event is big and obvious: combat, a life-threatening accident or sexual assault. Other times, it develops after a series of smaller, less obvious, stressful events like repeated bullying or an unstable childhood.
Chronic PTSD can result from multiple adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, which can include unstable adult relationships, food insecurity, childhood abuse, effects of racism, recurrent micro-aggressions and more.
These recurrent childhood stressors can impact brain and overall development leading into adulthood. When a child is exposed to stressors early in life, unhealthy patterns often develop and brain function may change due to internalization of trauma.
You May Like: What Is A Depression On A Topographic Map
How To Deal With Ptsd
A common question people ask themselves after experiencing a traumatic event is: how to deal with PTSD symptoms?. The answer to this question is not as difficult as it seems.Post-traumatic stress disorder has a disruptive effect on the daily lives of its victims. If left untreated, people continue to suffer from PTSD symptoms , and have low Quality of Life scores years after the traumatic experience. Also, untreated PTSD has a negative effect on social and occupational functioning . Despite the worldwide attention to PTSD and its effects, most people still do not receive PTSD treatment . How to deal with PTSD myself, therefore, is a common question these days.PTSD treatment reduces the severity of the PTSD symptoms ,,,, and improves the Quality of Life . Focusing on each of the PTSD symptoms, this page aims to answer the question: How to deal with PTSD? The tips and strategies on this page are more effective for those people who suffer from moderate to mild PTSD symptoms. People suffering from complex PTSD or more traumatic events benefit much more from professional help. If you want to know how much you are suffering from PTSD symptoms, please take the PTSD quiz.
At Barends Psychology Practice, we treat post-traumatic stress disorder online and in person. Book your first, free of charge, session now. Go to Contact us. .
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Since panic attacks can make the world look and feel unreal, it can really help to focus on the sensations around you as a way of coming back to reality. What do your clothes feel like against your skin? How do your feet feel on the floor? What sounds can you hear nearby? Paying attention to these senses will hopefully shake off that bizarre dreamlike state, and make you feel human again.
Also Check: Does Celine Dion Have An Eating Disorder
The End Of Everything: What A Panic Attack Feels Like
Only 16, Caroline, had her first panic attack a year ago. Her mother was dropping her off at her summer job at a local school when, without warning, a full-blown panic attack engulfed her. My heart started racing and my body felt so hot. I started to sweat and shake uncontrollably. My vision became distorted and my body felt limp, like a wet noodle, she says. For 20 minutes, until the panic attacked passed, Caroline refused to get out of the car. Her mother didnt know what to do.
Kirstie Craine Ruiz, 46, has lived with anxiety, panic attacks, and panic disorder for about ten years. For a long time, she had full-blown attacks 2-3 nights a week. I would usually awake to a racing heart or the feeling of my heart expanding in my chestas it might explodeFrom there, I would begin to panic and my heart would go even fasterand my body would shake so hard that it felt like I was having a convulsion.; I could barely breathe and was usually pretty sure I was having a heart attack and that I was going to die. Sometimes Id go the ER and theyd hold me overnight because my heart would be going so fast and they couldnt get it to go down.
Who Gets Panic Attacks
At least 6 million Americans suffer from panic attacks and panic disorder both conditions classified as anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , about 2-3% of Americans experience panic disorder in a given year and it is twice as common in women as in men. Panic disorder typically affects individuals when theyre in their 20s but is also seen in young children, adolescents, and older adults.
Ask Yourself: Do I Really Want To Overcome Ptsd
If you really want to overcome the condition of PTSD you can, but it may very well feel like passing through the gates of hell many times throughout your recovery.; There were times when I didnt care about getting things fixed and just wanted to give up and commit suicide.
Additionally, I am by no means guaranteeing that this will be a way for everybody to recover or get cured.; Im just sharing what worked for me and what is possible for some individuals. I also realize that not everyone wants to re-visit the initial trauma because of the intense pain it is associated with. I reached a low point that made me wake up one day and just say screw it Im going to do all that I can to overcome this and if I dont, well at least Ill have tried.
I hit a point in life where my only option was suicide or try something to improve my situation.; Even if you dont fully recover from your condition, I do think that what Ive listed here can help you get some joy back into your life and at the very least reduce some of the stress you are experiencing.; Full recovery involves changing from a fight or flight, fear based state of being back to homeostasis how you felt before the stress ever occurred; this is a long journey.
Focus On Something Else
After a panic attack, your personal thoughts and energy may be overly focused on your anxiety and other symptoms. Instead of feeding your anxiety with more attention or worry, try to concentrate on something that brings you some happiness or a sense of peace.
For example, you may find it helpful to bring your awareness to something fun you plan on doing in the future or to joyful times from your past. If possible, try taking a walk in the fresh air or engage in an activity you enjoy to help clear your mind.
Some distraction techniques that can be effective include counting breaths, watching television, reading a book, meditating, or a creative hobby.
Recommended Reading: Celine Dion Health Problems
How Our Helpline Works
For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the PsychGuides.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.
We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you.
Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither PsychGuides.com nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.
For more information on AACs commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page.
How To Get Help For Ptsd
A private residential program at The Banyans Health and Wellness offers an individually tailored approach to PTSD recovery. Each therapy inclusion is research-based and has been shown to positively impact the mental and emotional health of PTSD survivors.
Programs at The Banyans equip people with practical tools and strategies for moving forward. Offering psychiatry, psychology, EMDR therapy, EAGALA equine-assisted therapy, music therapy, relationship counselling and more,;The Banyans Health and Wellness is Australias premium residential program for PTSD treatment.
For further support and information about a PTSD recovery treatment program at The Banyans, submit a contact form below or call our team on +61 1300 BANYAN .
You May Like: What Is The Fear Of Feet Phobia Called
How To Cope With A Panic Attack At Night
Waking up and discovering youre having a panic attack can be an overwhelming and scary experience, and the fact that youre probably still groggy and trying to come round from sleep, can make you feel out of control and cause you to panic even more.
If youre having a nocturnal panic attack, try the following:
Dont fight it
If you wake up and youre having a panic attack, its important not to fight it, as this could make things worse. Accept the panic attack for what it is and let the feelings wash over you. Remember, it is only temporary, and it will fade eventually. You just need to let it happen.
Try and relax
Try to get your body back into a relaxed state. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly to regulate your breathing. Relax your muscles, and try to focus your mind on positive thoughts and images.
Get up and do something
Go back to bed when youre ready
Only go back to bed when youre beginning to feel tired again and ready for sleep. When youre in bed, keep yourself calm by breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth, to the extent that your whole abdomen, not just your chest, is rising and falling.
What Does Ptsd Feel Like
Although experiencing PTSD is different for everyone, some people have noted they experience feeling pain or pressure in their body, even if theres nothing physically there. Experiencing PTSD can also include experiencing the same emotions felt during the traumatic event, such as fear, horror, or distress. Panic attacks, nightmares, increased heart rate, and difficulty breathing also can indicate PTSD.
Recommended Reading: What Is A Phobia Of Spoons Called
Understanding Your Bodys Reaction To Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are sometimes described as intense waves of fear or worry that immobilise the body. They tend to be unpredictable but may be linked to a variety of triggers such as crowded rooms, social gatherings, severe stress in the workplace or a significant life transition.
In order to fully treat the effects of a panic attack, its important to understand how it affects the body.
How Can Parents Help
Above all, your child needs your support and understanding. Sometimes other family members like parents and siblings will need support too. While family and friends can play a key role in helping someone recover, help usually is needed from a trained therapist.
Here are some other things parents can do to support kids with PTSD:
You May Like: Can Depression Make You Lose Your Appetite
Professional Help For Children With Phobias Panic Attacks And Post
If youre worried about your childs behaviour or anxieties, consider seeking professional help. Here are some places to start:
- your childs teacher or a school counsellor
- your childs;GP or;paediatrician, who can refer you to an appropriate mental health practitioner
- your local childrens health or community health centre
- a specialist anxiety clinic
What Causes Panic Disorder
While the exact causes are not known, what researchers do know is that panic disorder does sometimes run in families. And it is often seen in individuals who suffer from other anxiety disorders explains Cole.
For example, a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder may experience a panic attack when their schedule or compulsions are interrupted. Individuals who struggle with specific phobias are also susceptible to panic attacks. A person with an extreme fear of heights may experience a panic attack in a penthouse apartment.
And for someone with generalized anxiety disorder , a condition characterized by extreme fear or worry, the unending anxiety can escalate to a panic attack. People with post-traumatic stress disorder have a higher incidence of panic disorder than the general population.; Illness or traumatic events increase the chances of panic attacks.
People with hyperthyroidism , mitral valve prolapse, and other conditions or diseases also may be more easily triggered.
Also Check: Depressed No Appetite