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Waking up with panic attack. Have anxiety disorder. What to do?

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Psychiatrist
Practicing since : 2003
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Question
Why everytime I wake up from sleep do I wake up in a severe panic attack? By the way yes I do have an anxiety disorder.
Posted Mon, 23 Sep 2013 in Sexual Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
Likely to be nocturnal panic attacks...

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

From the description of your symptoms it is likely that you are suffering from nocturnal panic attacks. Panic attacks are part of anxiety disorders. Though panic attacks generally occur when the person is awake, in a small proportion of patients, they can occur predominantly during night-time (referred to as 'nocturnal panic attacks'). Here the person typically wakes up from sleep with a panic attack. This may happen once or sometimes, even multiple times.

Now, in your case, getting severe nocturnal panic attacks may indicate that your anxiety disorder is not completely under control. Also, in some instances, certain underlying medical conditions like hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, mitral valve propapse, etc. can also be a cause for getting these panic attacks.

So, if you have not had a complete medical evaluation so far, then you need to have it done to rule out any underlying medical problems. If you have already had a complete medical evaluation done and do not have any medical problems, then the next step would be adjust your current treatment, so that your symptoms are brought under control. One option would be to try a long-acting anti-anxiety medication before going to bed, so that these nocturnal panic attacks can be avoided.

Wish you all the best.

Regards,
Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Waking up with panic attack. Have anxiety disorder. What to do? 1 hour later
what med would you recomend?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 21 hours later
Brief Answer:
Would recommend Clonazepam or Alprazolam...

Detailed Answer:
Hello again and thanks for your follow-up query.

For a person suffering with nocturnal panic attacks, I would recommend Clonazepam or Alprazolam (preferably in a sustained-release formulation).

Since this is a prescription medicine, I would suggest you to XXXXXXX the local Doctor to confirm the diagnosis and then get a prescription.

Wish you all the best.

Regards,
Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Waking up with panic attack. Have anxiety disorder. What to do? 5 minutes later
I am on clonazepam but still get them
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 10 hours later
Brief Answer:
Dose increase or addition of another medicine...

Detailed Answer:
Hello again and thanks for your follow-up query.

In such a case an increase in the night-time dose of Clonazepam or an addition of another anti-anxiety medication (like an SSRI) may be required to control the nocturnal panic attacks. Please ask your doctor regarding these options.

Wish you all the best.

Regards,
Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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