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Panic Attack Triggered by Dream? Help.

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Old 02-20-2011, 10:08 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1
DanOhio HB User
Panic Attack Triggered by Dream? Help.

Hello all,

I love forums. The best place to get answers from real people.

I am looking for some help as to what condition I have and if anyone else has the same issue.

This all started about 5-6 years ago. They do not happen that often, but every couple of weeks I will have them. And...I usually have more than one in a day when they do happen. During the course of my day I will be doing something (usually nothing out of the ordinary) and I will have a glimpse of a dream where it feels so real. That is I see what I am doing at that moment and I recall an image from the dream where I was doing the same thing. Up to that point I have no idea that I saw this image in a dream. But when these attacks occur I remember the dream I had. It is only for a very brief moment.

My brain seems to scurry trying to recall everything else that happened in the dream as well. However, I try like crazy to stop myself from recalling my dream (it is very hard to do). Physically I start to get chest pains, feeling of impending doom, and to be honest I feel like I am going to lose bowel control. Also I have a hard time breathing. The situation is very scary to say the least.

After this episode, I feel as if my brain reset. I really do not remember what I was doing at the time nor anything else up to that point in the day. I just feel lost for awhile and it really messes up the rest of my day.

It is kind of hard to explain so I am doing my best here.

These attacks seem to occur after periods where I do not sleep very heavily...or maybe too heavy. I tend to recall that I wake up a lot during the course of my sleep and I do not feel well rested in the morning.

I have a weird work schedule as well. I work 12 hour shifts and switch between working nights and days. These attacks seem to be more frequent when I sleep during the day.

Also, there are some days when I just do not feel right and I fear one of these attacks may be likely that day. When this happens I will change what I am doing at the time. If I watch TV it keeps my mind occupied and off of worrying about an attack.

As far as the dreams, from what I do recall every time they are weird. I am in every dream and the situation is something that is familiar to me; like work. But the dream really does not make any sense. It is very hard to explain.

For instance, I may have a weird dream that involves me in the kitchen at work at some point. Maybe looking at a toaster while I wait for the microwave. Then when I am actually at work doing that I have an attack I remember bits and pieces from that dream. Like I said, my brain gets all fuzzy as it attempts to recall my dream. But, I do not want to because of the painful attack I am having.

I know this seems weird. But it is an attack brought on by something I am doing or seeing that I dreamed about. Prior to the attack I could not tell you what I had dreamed about in my sleep.

Another observation. Since these attacks have started, I really do not feel like the same person anymore. I have always had an excellent memory and I was able to recall images from the past. However, since these attacks have started I really feel like I am a little more "dumb" and do not have a good memory anymore. It is as-if my brain resets my short term memory or scrambles it. I feel very absent minded at times as well.

If anyone has had something like this or knows of something like this, I would sure like to know.

Thank you for reading this.

Last edited by DanOhio; 02-20-2011 at 10:53 PM.

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Old 02-27-2011, 09:53 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Dowagiac, MI USA
Posts: 3
dombranelle HB User
Re: Panic Attack Triggered by Dream? Help.

I have never had anything this extreme, however I have had deja vu during my panic attacks... so maybe it is the same thing... I will be in the midst of a panic attack and remember- or think I remeber dreaming this or being in this exact state at this exact place and thinking to myself.. what happens next again? i'm not sure if that is similar to what you are experiencing. i keep getting new symptoms it seems like with every panic attack I have. i have been to the ER twice this year already and to see my DR. They just keep giving me pills... Xanax, PPI's for GERD, pain meds (vicodin)... I have ordered an anti-anxiety program... I hope this helps me.. I don't want to become dependant an these meds!

Old 03-11-2011, 07:02 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Scotland,UK
Posts: 2
DerekT HB User
Re: Panic Attack Triggered by Dream? Help.

It sounds like extreme Deja Vu. Sometimes Deja Vu can be so strong that you convince yourself that either the incident did indeed happen before or that you recently dreamt about it.

I have a friend who used to complain about really bad Deja Vu but it was coupled with a feeling of nausea and a bad taste in his mouth. After it happened he didn't feel right for hours or days afterwords. A few years later he was diagnosed with mild epilepsy.

The symptoms you describe about about brain reset and short term memory probs sound so much like what my friend used to tell me before he was diagnosed. He is on mild meds now and is absolutely fine by the way and has been free from all these funny feelings for years.

Can you discuss with your doc it wont do any harm to get it checked?

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