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hello,

i am in my early 20s, just moved to a new city and recently began experiencing the symptoms of a panic attack that wakes me up from sleep. this started a month ago. i went out drinking with friends and the next day when i was taking a nap i was awoken by a strange panic sensation. i didnt know what was wrong but i knew i didnt feel right. i noticed my heart felt like it was beating too slow, then as soon as i realized this, it began beating really fast.

after this incident for the next two weeks they were happening every other night. i would go to sleep at 11 and wake up at 1230-1am nauseous, racing heart, pounding heart sensation, shaking, shortness of breath, sweating palms and feet, and a feeling of terror that my heart was just going to stop or spasm or something and that i was going to die. since then they have become less frequent, occurring twice a week but still terrifying and have also started to happen during the day.

for instance, last night i went to bed at 11. was woken up at 1am with my mind racing, although i cant even remember about what. my heart was racing and i told myself this was a panic attack and that i was fine but no matter how much i told myself this, it kept escalating until i felt like i couldnt breathe. i sat in front of a fan with the tv on and sipped water, making several trips to the bathroom because i felt so nauseous but never actually throwing up. finally i fell asleep at 330am and had to be up for an exam at 6am. now today i still feel off. my chest feels like i hit my funny bone, i am shaking, no appetite. thats another thing, i use to looove food. now, its a chore to eat. i have no appetite. this "day after" feeling is just as bad as the attack itself! i feel like im constantly on the verge of an attack and need to battle it the entire day to not have a full blown attack. its torture.

i went to the doctor, who i had recently seen for a heart palpitation feeling (which he told me was common and sent me home), and he gave me a heart monitor. he said the results showed increased rate but nothing bad. again, he sent me home. i asked him if it was a panic attack and he said no because it was happening while i was sleeping.

im pretty positive these are panic attacks because my family has a history of anxiety problems and the symptoms couldnt match up any better. this is so frustrating. everyone keeps telling me "youre fine, panic attacks cant hurt you" but i cant begin to explain how debilitating and terrifying they are. its now starting to interfere with my studying and the demands of school.

i was diagnosed with vaso vagal syncope about 5 years ago and take midodrine and lopressor. but these are the only meds i am on. any suggestions on what this might be or how to overcome it? thank you





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