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Hi everyone

I am a middle-aged male with a history of severe GAD, OCD, depression, Panic Disorder, insomnia and Tourettes (to name just a few). By posting this, I am hoping to get at least some idea of what has been happening to me lately and why.

I have recently had a number of very traumatic experiences occur in my life (almost back-to-back). These experiences have left me extremely shaken and fearful of everyone and everything. Most of these experiences have now either passed or have been resolved and yet they continue to affect me very profoundly in their aftermath.

At the time this was all going on I began to have horrific nightmares and wake up with multiple panic attacks throughout most nights. Sometimes I would wake up in a cold sweat or sleep in very late because I couldn't bare the thought of waking up to another day or the reality of what I was going through. There were times when I honestly didn't think I would ever get through this and was afraid that I would crack or lose my mind at some point. I felt I was headed toward a nervous breakdown and serious considered committing myself to a psychiatric hospital.

As time went on, most of the issues were resolved and several good things actually came out of all the bad things which is why I don't understand why my mind is still operating and thinking as if I was still going through these negative experiences. I should feel good (or at least better) right now but instead, I have been filled with fear, severe anxiety, panic and depression. I'm miserable. I usually feel pretty good when I crawl into bed but then I start having all kinds of very frightening and twisted dreams about all kinds of horrible things and wake up suddenly in a cold sweat with my heart and mind racing (like a HUGE adrenalin rush that goes to my brain and jolts me awake). This happens several times during the night and leaves me feeling completely hungover and exhausted.

Sometimes it gets so bad that it becomes difficult to tell the nightmares from reality and it can take a good part of the day just to get over it and feel even close to normal again. Sometimes the nightmares are so intense that they seem to overlap into reality and I lay there thinking to myself "did that really happen or was I just dreaming?". Sometimes I even wake up from the nightmares (believing they are real) and think "I'd better make a note about that so I don't forget!". Other times the nightmares present themeselves as some sort of very intense problem or puzzle that must be solved or something really bad will happen and so I lay there for hours half awake and half asleep trying to figure out how to get out of whatever issue the nightmare has presented me with. It's a very exhausting and draining process.

I've tried eliminating things from my diet, taking (or eliminating) certain medications, etc and I still have nights where I have nightmares, sweats and wake up in a panic feeling like I'm losing my mind several times during the night. It's gotten to a point where I'm not even sure I know what is real and what is just a nightmare anymore. It's made me paranoid, anxious, fearful and very depressed although I usually start to recover and feel semi-normal by the evenings. I've also lost all interest in everything (including sex) and get pleasure out of absolutely nothing, instead, just "existing" day-by-day until the next impending crisis (or fear of it) comes along and has to be dealt with.

Before the traumatic expeiences came about I was feeling ok and didn't have all of these issues. Now, I am a complete wreck and feel like I'm losing my mind and it is truly scary!.

Thanks for your help/input and I appreciate anything I can get.

- Steve





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