anonymous Asks ...
This month I started waking up in the middle of the night with cold sweats and pounding heartbeat and every time I wake up I feel like I am dying and I can’t even think because I am so afraid. It takes my wife a few minutes to reach through to me before I can hear her talking to me. Are these panic attacks? I am under a lot of stress right now. They are horrible beyond any words I can think of to describe how they feel.
David Johnson Says ...
It sounds like you are experiencing night terrors. These are nightmares that include a lot of panic symptoms like you describe. It is very likely that you are sorting through your stress in your dreams, even if you don't remember them. This is a signal that you need to talk about your stress. Your body is warning you that you need some help. I would strongly suggest you see a therapist to talk through what you are going through and the underlying anxieties that are triggered. Your therapist may suggest you see your doctor or a psychiatrist regarding medication. Medication, generally, should be the second line of professional help. Once you make some progress with coping with your stress your night terrors should subside. You may even start remembering your dreams.
Another suggestion is review any medication changes you may have had since the night terrors started. Some medications can sometimes stimulate bizarre dreams. Medication, while often helpful, seldom is the first place to start with your mental health.