Night time panic attacks

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by morgana, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. morgana

    morgana New Member

    Do any of you here suffer with nightime panic attacks if so can you described what they feel like??
    I have had panic atttacks for years and im on prothiaden and propranolol to help bring them under control.
    Last night I thought I was going to die Id gone to bed and was settling down just closed my eyes when bam my heart surged and was beating so fast I was trembling all over and thought id stopped breathing it was so frightening and my head went very dizzy is.I was so afraid to lie back down incase i had another one so sat up allnight.I know this is ridiculous(didnt do my neck and back any good either)I have had a few nightime attacks like this before but never this bad.My panic attacks usually come from nowhere when im feeling calm or even relaxed
    has anyone got any ideas what can help this ??Thank you somuch gentle hugs morgana
  2. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    So sorry to hear you are having those nightime panic attacks. I used to have them bad, but like Karen said, I take a 0.25 milligram of Xanax in the evening, I only take them otherwise if I feel an attack coming on during the day. I will take half of the above dose and it will stop the attack.

    I am not familiar with the med that you are taking either, but I though that Xanax, Valium, and Klopoin were for anxiety attacks. I am no authority on meds though!

    It seems like we are having a nightmare, then you wake up like you described. It is frightening to say the least!

    I have had them so bad, that I would wake up and couldn't move. I would feel like I was in some kind of trance or paralized for awhile, then I would start to sweat so bad that my night clothes would be drenched.

    I sure hope you get some help for this soon, it is frightening, but seems to be common with Fibro, and also with Menopause too.

    Shalom, Shirl

  3. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    I've had these on and off for years and they no longer scare me. They just come out of the blue, and are sometimes also referred to as "night terrors". Never fear, they will run their course and eventually disappear. I find that what happens to me after I fall asleep has alot to do with what I was watching on tv or reading about before I go to sleep. I try to be sure that I'm always watching or reading something positive before I snooze off. Realize these attacks are harmless and they won't kill you. The less you fear them, the less impact they have on you. When I first started having them, I would be up til dawn, afraid to go back to sleep. After I had enough of them and realized they couldn't hurt me, I would get over them within minutes after they woke me up. I also had them really bad when I was going through a very stressful period in my life. Are you experiencing alot of stress? If so, you need to figure out a way to get rid of it. These nocturnal panic attacks are temporary and will soon be a thing of the past. I don't recall the last time I had one.

    Shirl, it sounds like you had some "mentalpause" attacks going on there too, with the drenched jammies!! I haven't had those yet, I just get warm "glows".

    Morgana, it also sounds like you might have a touch of "apnea"....because you said you stop breathing. I used to do that alot and it was stress-related. I don't have those apnea attacks anymore, thank God!

    Marilyn :)
    [This Message was Edited on 01/12/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/12/2003]
  4. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Anyone who is gasping or feels they are not breathing with the attack should be evaluated for sleep apnea, which can cause serious problems if not treated.
    Klonopin or Neurontin can prevent the attacks in some people. I have taken Xanax since way before the two of those were invented however, so I'm kind of stuck with it. Taking tiny amts. of xanax (1/4 of a .25 mg. tab) every 6 hrs. has caused me to only have one attack in the last yr. I would not recommend xanax however, as it can actually cause rebound panic attacks. I also avoid very hot or cold or very nosiy places, as that can trigger one.
    My panic attacks started in perimenopause and back then I had them only at night, just as you describe, only without the breathing problem, and with diarreha.
    Yoga Breathing exercises can help stop them when awake, but you can't do that when asleep. Marilyn is tough....I think this is too scary to live with, and I would investigate changing the drug, since Inderal (propranolol) does not work forever, and it looks like you have become tolerant of it. You did not say if you have Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP), but if you do, it may make a difference in which drug would work best. I have MVP myself, but was glad to go off Inderal, since it took away my energy and caused weight gain, which dropped off as soon as I withdrew from it.
    Whatever you decide, I hope you get relief....panic is the pits.
  5. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    To me the panic attacks were like demons and they scared me to death, but I knew that if I took drugs to control them, they would rear their ugly little heads as soon as the drug wore off, so I decided I needed to treat it like a drug addiction. I wanted SO bad to have some relief, but knew that each time I had one and just faced it, they would become less terrifying. It worked. I haven't had a nocturnal panic attack in months and months, but know in my heart that if I do have one, I won't be afraid of it and it will dissapate really fast. It also helps me to log on to this site when I have a "night terror" attack. It seems to speed up my settling down to normal and then I can get back to bed sooner. I read a book on these things once, and the author said that it really helps to "name" your panic attacks a human name and treat it like a friend. Sounds silly doesn't it, but when you put a name on it and make it personal, it seems to take an edge off of the intensity. I named mine, but it's been so long since I had one that I forgot what it was!

    Marilyn :)
  6. Tweldis

    Tweldis New Member

    I have had "night terrors" since I was a kid and they seem to get worse with my age. I use to take xanax nightly which helped for the most part, but since acid reflux, I gave xanax up. For the last 3 weeks I've been taking 5-htp. ( a mood enhancer) The reason I started taking this was because my friend told me she dreams and dreams on this stuff, so I decided to take it. Well, the dreaming part was true. I have only had 2 night terrors in 3 weeks, which were the first day or two after I started taking it. I would usually have 3 to 4 a week. Prayfully, this stuff will continue to work. I'm sure my husband hopes so to, because I have done damage to him and myself during these episodes.

  7. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Yes, I did have 'Mentalpause'(love that new name you gave it!), but then when those crazy nightsweats continued for sixteen years, it was time to find another reason for them! According to Devin Starlanyl, they are quite common with Fibro people. I also think mine have lessened because of the magnesium I now take, and the ZMA seem to put a 'cap' on them, unless I am sleeping through it all now!

    I still get them once in a great while , but you are right about the stress it will bring them on. I don't panic (so to speak) with them anymore, but they are a pain to wake up with heart pounding, breathing bad, and soaked to the skin! I honestly will get furious when I get one now instead of scared!

    Shalom, Shirl
  8. Ness

    Ness New Member


    I use to get those all the time in my late 20's early 30' I have not had one is years..This is what a doctor told me to do.....AND IT WORKS LIKE A CHARM

    Have you heard about when someone has fallen in cold ice water and survived??? This happens because the Ice water slows the heart rate this is what you do next time it happens..

    This became a ritual for me and then they pretty much stop...and you can do it calmly and NOT PANIC ANYMORE THAN YOU ARE...

    1) Repeat to yourself.." This is just something that my body is doing..and it WILL NOT KILL ME!!
    2)Start filling the kitchen sink up with water and get ice out of the freezer and put your hands in the water and keep them there....SPLASH your FACE too...You will jump like when you get scared....BUT YOUR HEART RATE WILL SLOW DOWN very quickly...and you will start to shake a bit ..but it will be over soon....
    3) Get some juice and drink it and take slow deep breaths and it will STOP...

    I did this EVERY time it happend and they happened less and less...I never took any meds for it either....

    I hope this will help you and REMEMBER YOU WILL NOT DIE from IT!!!!!!

    Peace and Rainbows
  9. Madelyn

    Madelyn New Member

    I get these too, and it used to be extremely frightening. But as others have said, if it's a panic attack, it won't hurt you. Just ride it out and you'll be okay. I was getting them several times a week a couple years ago, and I learned to treat them almost as routine. I still hate them though. With me, they come when I have been anxious or depressed. Even though I was relaxed at bedtime, the underlying anxiety had to find an outlet. I hope they go away for you soon!
  10. morgana

    morgana New Member

    Thank you all for the advice and support sorry i havnt posted back before now but ive had to get a new pc..Ive been trying relaxation teqniques and touch wood i havnt had an attack for a week or so.
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Prothiaden is an antidepressant in the triciclic family. Both these drugs can cause seizure activity in the brain as a side effect.

    Many of our panic attacks and/or anxiety are due to the faulty firing of the neurons in our brains (seizures). According to Dr. Cheney, we are constantly in a slight state of seizure. Please go to our library here and read his article on Klonopin. It does an excellent job of explaining this in understandable terms.

    Since taking Klonopin, my anxiety/panic attacks have gone away. I also sleep much better and my tinnitus and sensory overload are much improved.

    Love, Mikie
  12. morgana

    morgana New Member

    "Prothiaden is an antidepressant in the triciclic family. Both these drugs can cause seizure activity in the brain as a side effect".

    Hi Mikie sorry i had pc probs and only just found the replys to my post.I am shocked to read that the meds i am on can cause seizure like activity in the brain I am going to my dr about this and get him to change my Klonopin the same in the uk??or does it have a different name....I want to be armed with the right information lol.
    Thanks very much and also to allof you that relpyed to my message hugs morgana
  13. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I do not know whether Klonopin goes by the same name outside the U.S. Does anyone here know?

    Love, Mikie