MDJunction - People Helping People
Ask a Question
10/18/2011 06:24 AM

Panic attacks every morning at same hour

Posts: 1
New Member

Every morning, like clockwork, I get up at exactly 7am, no matter what time I went to sleep.

I wake up with a crippling adrenaline feeling in my chest and stomach, and either I cannot figure out what I am worried about, or I will pick something stupid out that may be bothering me about the day I am about to have. This usually makes it worse.

I am in college, so I have class at 8am some days, and 10am others. The days where I have 10am classes, I would like to sleep in a little bit, but these attacks do not allow me to do so, nor can I do it on the weekends.

I have been having panic attacks since this summer, but they are getting a bit better I would say. The only thing has been this constant waking up at the same hour.

Usually when I get up, go shower, get some clothes on, get my coffee and go to class, I start to feel okay. If I occupy my day with one activity after another, I will be okay. But Should I need to do this? I waste time working too many hours because I get anxiety about being lazy (even when I work 40+ hours a week) or trying to do something that costs money like driving my truck or riding my motorcycle when I am short on cash (naturally as a college student).

What helps? I don't want to go on like this, but I guess if I have to, I will. I have been seeing a professional, but only once a week and it seems like not nearly enough.

Thank you for any help towards a brighter future.



10/18/2011 09:41 AM

I have very deep admiration for you. I cannot do what you can do. I cannot wake up at 7am like clockwork every morning. I always need an alarm clock. I always need someone to wake me up. That is really cool in many aspects!!!

I can totally relate with your overwhelming feelings of dread, fear and anxiety. For years and years, at least 6-8 years long, I used to wake up with those same exact feelings and I would hide under my covers. It was brutal, harsh, crippling and I felt I was powerless and totally unable to calm myself down. It was a horrible experience that lasted too long and longer than I wanted it to.

We all have different paths. I can share mine, but you're path towards healing may be different. But I will share you mine, hopefully, you might be able to find something that would work for you and help you along the way so you can work through this panic attack.

For me, I would hide under the covers and make an attempt to "pray away" the panic attack. Then I would spend hours and hours doing that and then fall asleep. I would wake up at some point, and I would repeat this process.

When I finally became tired of sleeping my life away after two or three years, this is what I did.

This is what I did first. I employed the "fake it til you make it." I made myself get up and get going no matter what I felt. I tried to bossed my feelings around off the bat and with sheer determination, I was going to be productive no matter what I was feeling or going through. That worked only for a few months.

Secondly, while employing the first step, I also started seeing a therapist. For months and months she heard me say I want to do this and that. She also heard I don't want to sleep my life away, let life pass me by and not experience life at all. She challenged me by pushing me to question how much do I want to do this. Do I really want to live life or am I just saying that because that's what I feel I should be saying? She hammered on the fact that if I really wanted to do something, I won't just keep talking about it, I would act on it and make it come true. Her words helped me to stop making excuses not to get up and get going. It also motivated me again to try harder which I did. That also lasted only for a few months if I was lucky and wasn't in a depression episode.

The next third thing I did was I started to fill my schedule with activities with friends, with volunteer work, with work and with school. I reasoned I could use the love I have for other people and the desire to meet all the responsibilities I heaped on myself to push me to get up and get going. That worked also for a few months. It can be a challenge to do things for people that may or may not be trying at the moment. And I was also getting tired with so much activities in my life. That became overwhelming in and of itself! Needless to say, that worked for a few months only too.

Finally, I found a new therapist. He recommended the book "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David D. Burns, M.D. I went to the library and borrowed a copy. Dr. Burns taught me about distorted thinking and how to work through my thinking and emotions by processing them rationally and lining them up with reality. That cognitive behavior change helped me question what I was thinking, why I was thinking it, filter my thoughts which helped me to manage my emotions and filter them as well. The more I changed the way I thought about situations, people, etc., the better I got at changing my emotions as well. And that affected how I acted.

I was lucky to have the support of my partner. She practiced the Buddhist principle of mindfulness, compassion for self and then other people, unconditional love towards self and then other people and encouraged me to learn other teachings and philosophies outside my realm of understanding and belief at that point. I opened my mind to this because at that point, I had to do something different to get a different result. I felt stuck in my rut and I had to change to be able to see change in my life. And so that's what I've been doing and I am still evolving in this area of my life. I'm still learning, and I'm still growing and practicing what I've been learning.

I am also seeing a new therapist and we've been working on processing my past and the trauma of my dysfunctional family dynamics. She is helping me to understand the triggers that cause my anxiety and teaching me coping skills so that I can manage my depression and anxiety in order for me to manage and be in control of my behavior instead of let my depression and anxiety manage and control my behavior.

It's been a good 2-3 years now since I've had a panic attack in the morning that crippled me to the point that I felt "I will just mess up everything that day", "I simply cannot handle anything or any human interaction today", etc. Those were my thoughts and they fueled my anxiety into a panic attack which resulted to my hiding from my life. I still have those thoughts now and then, but I don't feel crippled by them anymore and I entertain those thoughts less and less.

I am listening to some meditation teaching online from "" I have never bought anything from him cause I like cheap but free is better. I've started listening to his free mp3 online that deals with the agreements we have made in our minds and how to stop having emotional reactions to situations. His teaching is based on what he has learned from Miguel Ruiz as a student of his, and from the book "The Four Agreements" by Miguel Ruiz. I've found them very helpful and my family is starting to listen to them as well. Especially my 10 year old that struggles with anxiety, ADHD and impulse control.

Like I said, this is what I have done and I am doing that has helped me in my journey. Feel free to take what will work for you and ignore what doesn't.

I have been researching on how our brain works. And I've found interesting facts like our thoughts alone create neuron pathways. Wow! So if anything, be careful what thoughts you entertain. Thoughts have a way of influencing and affecting our emotions. And our emotions can lead as astray and influence our behavior. That is a fact that I do know is true and good to be careful about.

Anyway, I hope you find peace of mind and relief from panic attacks! Have a great day today!

Post edited by: AsianGoddess, at: 10/18/2011 10:01 AM

10/18/2011 05:00 PM
Posts: 21

Any other physical symptoms? headaches? pains? fevers? tinnitus? fear of groups? photophobia? depression?

10/19/2011 06:27 AM

Sandrao: Hi! You raised an important and significant point. You could be right! We could be making "mountains out of mole hills." In fact, sources of nervousness, anxiety, fears and even depression starts in our minds. We react on this emotions that overwhelm us because we entertain nervous, anxious, fearful and depressive thoughts that we blow out of proportion in our mind.

On the other hand, when "normal nervousness" lasts for hours and hours every morning in a span of 5-6 years (like I experienced), that is more than normal nervousness. That's a panic attack. Does it make sense, no. Most things that make us anxious and fearful are fueled by irrational and distorted thinking. Nevertheless, the experience is real to the person going through it. And when these feelings cause us to act in such a way that is negative to our lives and it disrupts/interrupts our daily activities - these things can't be ignored and hope it goes away on its own. You can't just tell yourself "this is a normal reaction" because that won't make the emotions or the reactions go away.

Whether it is "normal nervousness" or panic attacks, we still need to deal with the underlying issues that cause our reactions. Otherwise, we will always react to the "crisis" situation in our mind the same exact way.

jbnpcfl: Hi! I have a few other issues that I deal with like eating disorders, self-harm and depression.

I've learned to manage my thoughts and emotions better which helped me control my behavior. I'm in a better place today, definitely and I want to keep it that way!

10/19/2011 08:10 AM
Posts: 21

God Bless son had them every afternoon for months while fighting lyme disease. Taking ativan and a drive with him helped us cope. We've got the infections under control no more meds. klonopin was another one that helped. Before we got him on IV antibiotics, we just had to put him to sleep with seroquel. Sounds terrible, but when you've got someone going from panic attacks to wrecking cars and becoming violent you got your hands full. He had no prior behavioral, school or discipline problems. He caught a mental illness from a tick, no bigger than a flea.

The reason I asked the question of other symptoms was to see if there might be an organic issue. I'd been told by psyche docs that panic attacks of an organic nature last much longer than those with other triggers.

Post edited by: jbnpcfl, at: 10/19/2011 08:58 AM

10/19/2011 09:41 AM

Hmmm...I don't know. Haven't thought about that. I might look into that one. My therapist thinks I'm one of those "highly sensitive people" that picked up on the anxieties of my parents and siblings. But I didn't know where the emotions were coming from and couldn't process them when I was younger.

I used to take seroquel too. And that is strong stuff but it knocked me out. I quit taking them when I felt I recovered my circadian rhythm. I was never psychotic so I didn't really need them but the med doc I went to back then had a lot of free seroquel. I take melatonin (2 tablets) and vistaril (0.50 mg) for my anxiety and sleep these days.

I'm hoping that the better I manage my thoughts and emotions, maybe someday in the far future I can do away with medication. But if I have to take them for the rest of my life, I'm okay with that too. I'd rather find peace of mind, balance within myself, be productive during my day than go back to the way I used to be. I see meds as training wheels or support systems that I may or may not need for the rest of my life.

10/19/2011 05:08 PM
Posts: 1224
Senior Member
I'm an Advocate

Chopper:- It is the same for me every morning, only thing is I wake up at 4:00am and sit till about 8:00am before I get moving with the day. It has been like this for a quite some time and I have accepted it as part of my routine. As the day drags on I will feel a bit better.

08/11/2013 06:25 AM
Posts: 1
New Member

Kcfp, I am a 19 year old male having very similar symptoms. I wake up around 4 o clock in the morning with a feeling of nausea every day. It isnt the worst pain in the world and i could work through it, but it seems like my mind is just racing. Ill go sit in the shower for an hour, hang my head over the sink for and hour, sit on the toilet, and then around 7-8 (usually seems to last about 3-4 hours) my mind stops racing and i feel much better. I practice meditation and its to a point that i can sit back and REALIZE I'm freaking out. I defiantly have no control, I have no specific thoughts that come to mind, but i can compare the feeling to that of wakening up from a nightmare ( i cant remember any dreams for weeks). Ill talk myself down and go lay down but as soon as i close my eyes my body almost FORCES me to get up and rush back in the bathroom. I do vomit during these times but not 100% This same problem happened to me for about 5 months my junior year in high-school, but it was ignored when they found out i had a Benin small brain cyst, the doctors all paid attention to that, rather than my stomach. My biggest most hated thing on earth is the feeling of vomiting, im not sure if my stomach hurting could be the tick for the panic attack,but i figured my number one fear being the exact thing i experience every morning cant be helping. I really want this to be over, i already took off a few days of work and i dont want to take many more, but i CANNOT start driving to work while im freaking out.. My mom did pass away last year from 100% unknown causes, so i could have some type of trauma from that, but, ive never been an easily scared individual, nor do i have and diagnosed emotional problems . Any advice would be greatly appreciated .

Post edited by: InspectorN8, at: 08/11/2013 06:26 AM

08/12/2013 12:29 AM
Posts: 2647
VIP Member

Hi there InspectorN8. Welcome to the group. Nausea is an odd symptom. I know because I have it as well. Mine is from a disease called gastroparesis which means that my stomach is half paralyzed. I can also get more nauseated if I become anxious and so do many of our members. Anxiety in general has many symptoms and nausea can be the symptom of many disorders.

I'm sorry for the loss of your mom. Traumatic events can definitely start a cycle of anxiety. Anxiety usually starts in the teenage years as well. It's possible for some people to have bouts of anxiety which means it will last a few months, stop for a while then come back. Some people will experience periods of anxiety like that all of their lives while for others it can start like that and become mainly a daily issue like it is for most people who live with an anxiety disorder.

I strongly suggest that you give your doctor(s) another try. Medicine is not an exact science and sometimes, they find some other problem and think it needs to be treated first and don't really follow-up on what you saw as an issue. Trust me. I have several health disorders and I had to get them diagnosed almost one at a time, see different specialists and wait for them...I'm glad that I did but it didn't happen over night. It's a slow process. If your nausea really stems from anxiety, only you and your doctor can discover that together. If you think that it's anxiety, tell him because if not, he will treat the symptom (your nausea) ratehr than the cause and nausea, doesn't really ever go away (fully) even with the best meds. There are only only two medications that REALLY treat nausea and both have their issues. There is one pill that costs about 35$ per pill and most insurances won't usually pay for it unless you have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy and there is medical marijuana which is illegal in most places and even if legal, can be tough to obtain. I know from experience because I have my medical marijuana card. You have to try all other meds first in most countries...meds that could treat your condition that is. That means that for my nausea, I had to try anti-psychotics in low doses (because they can help with nausea even if it's not their primary function as there is only one true pill who's function is to treat nausea). There's nothing wrong with anti-psychotic meds but if you don't need them like I didn't, they can not help at all with the nausea and make you feel even worse. I took my sweet time here but I think that you see my point as to why it's important to treat the cause rather than the symptoms. Treating the cause will usually help much more with the symptoms. This doesn't mean that it's anxiety related either. Nausea can stem from various issues. If you and your doctor don't feel like there is enough evidence to support an anxiety disorder, you will usually be referred to a gastroenterologist who specializes in stomach issues because most nausea is related...There are a TON of stomach issues so there likely will be a few tests...Don't give up. It took me about 7 different tests because I was diagnosed with my stomach problems. All in all, you will need to talk to your doctor.

From a psychology standpoint, it could be that your mother died from unknown causes and now your body is creating anxiety in regards to your own mortality. You see her genes as being yours and her fate as being yours. You're afraid to die, like most people but you've had a trauma in regards to death, which not all people have experienced. If there is already a biological factor for anxiety, this can awaken it. Think of anxiety as a dormant beast that's been awakened by the trauma. The trauma is like someone shouting and the beast woke up. If this is the case, then you will likely need medication as well as therapy.


Share this discussion with your friends:

Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.
Contact Us | About Us
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 All Rights Reserved