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Anxiety Support
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feeling I will die when trying to fall asleep.

First of all I am 52 year old female. I have SLE, chronic neck, back, and hip pain. For about a year I've been having these episodes while trying to drift off to sleep it feels as though I will stop breathing my heart will stop and my brain is dying. It may happen only once or it will happened many times before I can actually fall asleep. I have had a sleep study they said I have sleep apnea however it happens weather I am wearing my apnea mask or not. The above sensations happen in seconds but its a horrible experience. I deal with my chronic pain and my Lupus but this other thing feels like no one understands not family, friends, or physician. One doctor said I have sleep paralysis, which I looked up and Nope it is not that. One doctor said anxiety but I am do not feel stressed except for this sleep dying thing. I have found few articles from people who are suffering from something like I have but no answer of what it is causing the problem. Any suggestions or anyone have the same thing who have gotten help please get back to me ASAP. I want to go to a neurogist but need a referral and a way to explain my symptoms.

Thanks and happy sleeping to all.

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HI. Your situation seems similar to the one I was in a few months ago. Sleep apnea was the obvious answer it seemed, and indeed I do have this condition. However, like you, that diagnosis did not seem to be the whole answer for me. I spoke with several doctors, searched on the internet, spoke with friends, came on here, and even tried reading medical books. In the end we came to the conclusion that the missing part of the answer was anxiety. My fear of not waking up was triggering the symptoms of sleep apnea. In addition to this I was having sinus problems which affected my breathing, which affected my anxiety levels. All of those were interconnected. I dont know if any of this will apply to your situation, but it is maybe something to look at. I wish you well.

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Thank you did they give you any one thing that helped?

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In my case I provided my own help. I am a therapist myself, and once I realised that it was anxiety at the root of my problem I arranged for my own therapy. My sleep disturbance has all but gone now. But to be totally honest, there have been a few occasions where anxiety has crept back in. But at least I know what the triggers are and how to deal with the situation. I dont know if you have tried therapy yet or have been on medication at all. For some people a combination of both is useful for a while. For myself, I already take enough medication for my heart and so on, so dont want to be using any more.

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Feeling as though I'll die while falling asleep...I can be sitting in a chair and get just a little sleepy and when I shut my eyes it feels like a 100 watt light bulb goes down to a old battery powered candle light in my brain in an instant then my heart and breathing go from normal to on the verge of dying and that all happens in a millisecond and if it is anxiety what medical action or therapy would be good to stop these sensations.

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Could try seeing a counsellor maybe hypnotherapy? It sucks having things wrong that no one can diagnose or help you with...I feel your anguish x

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Yes I will look into therapy and work on myself. Anything that could help I will try.

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