Posted by: S | 2004/01/23

Anxiety Disorder

I am a 24 yr old female and I have been having anxiety/panic disorder's since I was 11. It alway's happen's late at night when my sleep just breaks. My hearts starts racing, I start feeling hot and start sweating because I feel as if I have absolutely no idea who I am and there's this feeling of "unreality" like or I'm going to go insane or die. I feel like crying and cannot take it anymore so I immediately get out of bed and go watch tv to get my mind focused on something else until I feel tired and sleepy again. This never happens during the day only late at night or in the early hours of the morning. Has anyone ever experienced this? I don't lead a stressful life or anything, I just don't know what I'm afraid of or why this happens to me. Should I go see a psychologist about my problem?

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Our expert says:
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Dear S,
You're describing a pretty typical panic attack -- one may switch into feeling "unreal", and/or worry about going mad, or dying. Fortunately, one doesn't either die or go mad, and the condition is very successfully treatable. It's actually a common condition. Exactly why it should happen, in your instance, at that particular time, is not clear, but it can happen at any time of day. Maybe you drink more coffee at night than by day, or some similar factor may be affecting this. But DO go and see a psychiatrist for an assessment and advice. This can be cleared up, and there's no need to go on suffering from unrelieved panic attacks.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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