Health & Wellness

Waking Up in a Panic

Waking Up in Panic


Last updated on September 14th, 2018

I think waking up in a panic attack is one of the worst things about having a panic disorder.  My medication causes vivid dreams which most nights I enjoy but once in a while I have a very vivid dream that throws me into a panic attack while I am asleep. This wakes me up and then I spend all day trying to shake the dream.  It’s as if my head is stuck in the dream and I just can’t get myself all the way awake. It is s very strange feeling.  The first time it happened it scared me which only intensified my anxiety for the entire day resulting in several panic attacks.

Now that I know what is happening I have learned to deal with it. The waking up in a panic attack is still pretty scary but the stuck in a dream feeling is something I have learned to fear  The feeling usually lasts most of the day but its ok. It’s not that scary anymore, It’s more like a hungover feeling and feeling spacey at the same time.  It makes it hard to focus so I am not able to accomplish much those days.  I am thankful they only happen a couple of times a month now instead of daily.

How Did I Learn to Deal with It?

Simply, I researched my disorder and my medication.  I learned everything I could about what were side effects and what were not. Once I understood that it was a side effect of my medication (Zoloft), and not something else, I was able to accept the fact that on those days that I woke in a panic, after the initial panic attack, I would feel out of it most of the day. I understood that it was nothing to be afraid of it was just a fact. I know that the benefit of the medication outways this and since it only happens once in a while I can handle it.  As part of my disorder (PTSD), I know that there are good days and there are bad days.  I have to accept this and be okay with it.  It has been hard because I am such a perfectionist and a control freak. I have had to learn to just accept and be ok with it.  There are days that I am not okay and that is okay. With acceptance and letting go of perfection comes fewer days that I am not okay.


(4) Comments

  1. Char says:

    I think it was really smart that you researched this. It’s always good to get more information, thanks for sharing!

  2. Alison Gibb says:

    I have had this happen a couple of times. Why are they always bad dreams? Maybe we would not panic if we woke up to a good dream.

  3. RT says:

    Oh my, so sorry you have to deal with this. I have dreams, but I never recall them (good or bad). I am glad they don’t happen too often and you have learned to go with the flow on those ‘off’ days. I love how positive you are about sharing this.

  4. Edna Williams says:

    I have to deal with this as well, so I really do empathize! Thanks for sharing!

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