Night time panic attack and auditory halleucinations
I'm posting on this in Bipolar as this is where I belong on HealthBoards but also because my Panic and Anxiety Disorders are intrinsiclly linked to my Bipolar.
On Sat. 13th Feb I went horse riding for the first time in years. It was harrowing and scarey, but turned out great in the end. Thursday just gone I had a eight and a half hour round trip to another town, with a political conference with our Prime Minister and Cabinet members there. Like the horse riding, it was exciting and fun, but it was also physically draining, disorienting (I had to navigate my way there and I'm not a good navigator) and challenging.
I had a sense that following that trip, and even as a follow-up to the horse riding, I would have a bump down, so I cleared the decks for part of Friday, then Saturday and Sunday - I just doddled around the house, bit of housework, bit of telly, bit of reading, bit of computer. I felt very lonely and flat on the weekend, but that seemed an appropriate follow-up to the high of the trip on Thursday. But I didn't get away so easily...
I woke in the middle of Sunday night, straight out of a deep sleep, through a terrifying nightmare into a fully blown panic attack - FROM DEEP SLEEP. I could not move a muscle as I was having auditory halleucinations (AGAIN) and the noises were in the house and it was a man or someone coming to get me, and that if I moved even a finger he/they would come and kill me. It felt utterly real. Eventually I thawed out enough to go get a Valium. I put the clock radio on SLEEP, and even touching the radio made me anxious/crazy. I've been through all this many times over the years (and it happened when I was away on a trip in December), but boy is it OLD.
I am starting a course next month and it's 4 subjects through the year, one subject a term. I'm off campus so we have a full 3 day on campus period next month and I'm terrified I will be overwhelmed and not able to do it. I'm not grabbing that out of thin air - I have had terrible set-backs with things like this in the last few years.
I saw one of my psychologists today and she was great. She said that it is OK to have these terrible night time panic attacks including the auditory halleucinations - I've survived them before and will again. She talked me through what will happen at the course next month, and said, well if one of these episodes happens, so be it - all I can do is show up. I'm OK with that right now. And I have asked for a single room in the Student Accommodation as I have a CPAP machine and I'd be hopeless sharing with someone else - I'll need my own "retreat".