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Anxiety during sleep? Has anyone experienced this?

I've been dealing with GAD off and on for about 4-5years.  I had a really bad bout of anxiety back in Feburary and was on Lexapro for about a month.  I got off of it and have been been keeping my anxiety well under control despite stressful situations for the past couple of months.  Well yesterday, I was at home and started to feel jittery/nervous. I started to do things just to keep myself busy and my mind off of it but it didn't work.  I got really jittery and caved and took a half of Ativan just to calm my nerves.  After that I was ok and went on with my day.  Well that night when I went to bed, as soon as a laid down I became nervous. My shoulders, neck and back of my head got really tight and my heart was pounding.  I turned over to the other side to relax but shortly after I turned the same thing happened. I tossed and turned like this for over an hour.  I had become so nervous that I was afraid to go to sleep.  Every time I would close my eyes it was like I kept seeing these horrible images and having terrible thoughts go through my mind. I prayed really hard and eventually fell off to sleep.  When  I woke up this morning, I was instantly nervous/jittery again. It felt like I was going to jump out of my skin.  On top of that I had a nervous stomach that made my IBS act up.  It has really scared me because I've never had this happen before.  Has this ever happened to anyone?
10 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Angela This has happened to me plenty of times. Also have IBS and it is giving me a hard time right now too.I know how you feel. I am so sick of being nervous and jittery all the time. How old are you? I am going through menopause and it has gotten tremendously worse. I am on paxil cr and valium as needed but it is still coming through. Sometimes I just sit and cry cause I.m so sick of this but what can you do? I've never found a way to relax and have had this for 45 years. Trust me, our minds can make up new things to torment us. I'm always thinking Well this is new but it's just the same anxiety with different things to worry about. I still see therapist but I wish I could find a way to relax. Good luck and remember anxiety can cause all kinds of symptoms. Steph
953067 tn?1248398108
Hi Angela,

I have the severe anxiety at night, definitely brought on by real stress such as my car had to be towed, a dog got sick, I missed a bill payment and got called by a very irritated person, and fell on my broken arm all on the same day...I consider those types of things to be real stress and expect my IBS to flare up, which it did. I've been "in" menopause for over 15 years. Hope yours is more normal than mine, Steph. I have friends who are asymptomatic and some who are like me, overly-symptomatic. My anxiety is sky high right now. Nice to have this forum to come to. Makes me feel not so alone. I keep telling myself that life is a journey and I just need to follow my path. My insurance only covers 3 therapy sessions and I'm broke, so I often think that just reading this forum is a form of therapy for me until I can get more help.
953067 tn?1248398108
Sorry, I forgot to mention that my sleep anxiety is so severe it causes me to jump as if I've had an electrical jolt. I so hate when that happens, but mostly it's muscle stiffening and a need to move even though I'm too tired to sit up....
956150 tn?1248278815
I've had panic attacks on and off for 40 years.  Now they are on again.  Mine affect my breathing and right now, it's starting again.  Depression has set in also because I feel so crappy with the breathing.  Just sit by the computer and TRY to relax which is almost impossible now.  I just went off of Prozac because it was doing the trick anymore, but it has worked for me for many years. For about two weeks, I have been on Zoloft and the psych just started on Imipromine (Tofranal).  Starting the latter in small doses and I have increased by Klonopin to 3 to 4 a day.  Going to another doctor tomorrow (Breath and Lung Institute) to see what they have to say.  Went to the ER a couple of weeks ago and they found nothing wrong.

I am getting to old for this!!
Avatar universal
Hi cracked, Trust me I'm not having an easier time than you. LOL I had such a bad time that a year ago I had to stop working. I was always 1 to keep on the move and now all I do is sit in the house on computer. I go to therapist every week and psych once a month for meds. I actually got my disability on the first try. Was very surprised. Don't you have a health dept. where you live? I don't have insurance now either and they will see you. All I pay is 2.00. You should check into it.
953067 tn?1248398108
I'm on work comp for the broken arm now, am covered under husband's insurance. He doesn't make enough to cover my medical bills but that doesn't count according to the government. I've maxed out credit cards on copays....my mom-in-law says I should should apply for disability, but my husband is funny about that, he disapproves, even though I'm killing him financially...thnaks for your reply...I'm having such a bad day and keep forgetting where I put my xanax bottle...geesh...I should stash some in case of emergencies but likely as not, I'll forget where I put my stash!!!
Avatar universal
Thanks everyone for their responses. I'm glad to know that I'm not alone with this.  For those asking how old I am, I'm 23.  Even though I'm far from menopause, it may be something hormonal.  I was diagnosed with GAD when I was about 19. I saw a therapist for a little while, but she said she really didn't think I needed therapy.  I think a lot of my anxiety stems from my childhood.  I worry ALOT about health issues because I lost two siblings (twins) when I was a young child.  When that happened, I witnessed my mom suffer a breakdown and major depression.  Ever since then I constantly worry about her and the health of others.  I also have social anxiety. Not to the point of being a recluse, but I am very shy and my self confidence is very low.  As a child and teenager I was very overweight and adults (ironically not children) would constantly put me down about my weight.  I am now down to a 14/16 but I'm still very self conscious. I even still wear baggy clothes just to hide myself.  I'm always so worried that someone is judging me for the way I look and not for the person I am.  This is something that I am working on and I know will take a long time to get over.  I hope everyone finds the strength to get over their anxietys. I know it's hard but we can do it!
Avatar universal
Whatever therapist told you that you didn't need therapy is an idiot. Therapy can hurt no one and can only help. better off without that one tho. You might want to try someone different. Cracked tell your husband to grow up (just joking). If you need help than he should want you to get it.
953067 tn?1248398108
I may just go ahead and do it without telling him. He's had 4 heart attacks, a clot that took 1/2 of his leg, and is working with 60% heart function and chain smoking...I think he's in denial that HE should be on disability. Maybe if I take the leap he'll see things a bit differently. God I would love to see a therapist again sooner than next year! For me it's a luxury, like having nails or hair done. I do my own hair cuts and nails becuase I'm broke but one cannot do one's own therapy! I appreciate your candor. Thanks girl!
Avatar universal
You are very welcome. that is one of my downfalls, if you count it as one. Sometimes I am too blunt but I don't mean it in a bad way. Good Luck and keep in touch. :)
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