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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Nocturnal panic attacks and agoraphobia

    30 years ago I was medicated and successfully overcame a 5 year battle with panic attacks and agoraphobia. 6 months ago the attacks started again severely enough to stop me leaving the house. In addition, I experience them when asleep - no known trigger. What is wrong with me? Please help.
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    Bree Somer

    Social Worker

    Hi - I’m Bree Somer. I'm a qualified, registered Social Worker with extensive experience and specialised training. I provide individual counselling or coaching sessions to … View Profile

    Hello Sheryl,

    Sorry to hear of your returning experience with panic attacks. I imagine this would be frustrating and upsetting.

    Firstly, well done on your previous success!  This is an important thing to remember - you successfully overcame this in the past - this is a positive platform from which to work towards success again :) So hang in there. Use this as your anchor. You have evidence of managing this before - which means you can again! 

    Secondly, we often do lots of mental processing during our sleeping hours, so perhaps there has been something happening for you that is not yet being addressed. I wonder if there was an event or situation that occured approx 6 months ago that has been troubling you.  Or if you have noticed a gradual return of past thought patterns and behaviours that are reminiscent of your previous episode of anxiety.

    Either way, I encourage you to visit your GP or previous treatment team as soon as possible to discuss the return of your symptoms and start a new management plan. I am sure you will get this back under control in no time. 

    In the meantime, try to recall the tools that were helpful to you during your previous experience. Dust off the old toolkit and have it at the ready to help you through your attacks.

    Here are a couple of resources that might be useful in reminding you of the supports available to help you through this:

    I hope this offers you some reassurance and gets you started towards your next success, as I am certain you will conquer this again :)

    All the best, Bree ♥

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