Hyper-awareness of self?

Ive been struggling with anxiety for years. and only recently has it progressed to full blown panic attacks and depersonalization and high anxiety and lots of fears and avoidance behavior.

However, i have been experiencing this "hyperawareness" for several months now. Things like "am i really alive?" and being aware of normal bodily functions and processes. Like breathing, and blinking, and my hand movements and talking and looking around and all of these things.

It happens in states of high anxiety. today it happened after waking up from a nap. I was disoriented from sleep and my anxiety flared and i suddenly began having existential questions and experiencing the derealization and hyper-awareness of myself.

I've become aware of my conscious mind and sometimes the thoughts produce panic and i don't like being so aware of something that has always been the same. It's like I've opened a box of information that ill never forget.

Any tips?

13 Replies

  • You should try to find a purpose in life, something to strive for, whether that be progressing morally as an individual, academically, socially etc. Hyper-awareness and that feeling of 'why am i here' is caused by people with a stagnant mindset that refuses to accept the challenges that reality has given to them. It sounds harsh but really you just need to face your fears, over time you will progress and lose the feelings of paranoia and anxiety.

  • seriously, this is one of the most unsupportive responses. THIS IS NOT a good answer. How is this helping????

  • would you rather I suck up and say what she wants to hear? no because that's evading the issue.

  • I am experiencing the exact same thing right now. Mine started about a month ago and I've had anxiety and depression for about 8-9 yrs!! I've actually started feeling that I can't sleep at night either because I reallybdo have something wrong or because I've become so aware of every single thing my body is doing that I suddenly can feel when my body relaxes and can feel if I'm breathing, and also feel sometimes that I can feel myself slipping into the unconscious state where your limbs become paralyzed. Its like what people who do yoga or meditation thrive for and to me who has always felt nervous and tense, it is the most horrible experience in the world and I'm literally jolting myself awake out of my sleep each and every time I fall asleep feeling like I'm slipping into death and most times exhaling air as if I was holding my breath while drifting off!! I have felt this way for over a month and so u can imagine how mynl lack of sleep is also making it so much worse now. Idk if I'm coming or going, can't think straight, cant tell if I'm awake or dreaming and even have started to dream while awake when extreme exhaustion sets in as if I'm hallucinating! I'm having a sleep study done to see if there is actually an underlying problem but that's not for another month and I don't get the results til the end of February so meanwhile I'll continue to hope that I can continue to stay alive this way considering I'm a single mom of 3 young kids and have no help and basically need to be here for my kiddos!!

  • Hi. I can understand your the anxiety and distress you feel due to what is called sensorimotor obsessions - I always feel it helps to name disorders in order to help de-mystify them. This disorder is linked to both OCD and anxiety disorder. One of the issues is that we become obsessed with obsessing, as the sufferer quite often feels that the obsessing with the various bodily functions will never end. The first thing to realise is that none of the obsessions are dangerous to you. At times all of become aware - or even hyper aware of issues with parts of our bodies. But the focus shifts as we realise that we dont need to focus on that body part or function. We disengage by accepting the 'obsession', taking away its power to dominate through fear. We separate the thought from the fear. We all know that your heart will not stop beating just because you hear it beating. The link between a thought and a feared outcome is broken. That approach will help overcome this illness. Other things that might help are - distraction techniques and learning to breathe correctly during an attack. Like general anxiety, sensorimotor obsession functions on a false reality. You will not die, or become seriously ill as a result of the various obsessions you may have. Once you accept that you will be able to gradually extinguish the obsessions. I say gradually because they are part of a learned behaviour and have to be 'unlearned' again - that is the OCD link. As I said - once you have exposed and named this illness it loses its ability to control our lives. I wish you well.

  • Hey,

    I'm currently going through the this sensorimotor OCD blinking phase. 

    It's horrendous and I honestly wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Feels like I'm going insane. It came on almost a month ago after experience a period of depersonalisation following a panic attack. Was online and stumbled across something about blinking and lo and behold I caught the bug.

    This obsession occupies my mind from the moment I wake until I sleep. Do you have any advice on how this should be combatted ? I'm so deliberated at this point...

  • You are not alone. I've been experiencing depersonalization for about two years now. It began when I was award of my hand on the steering wheel as I was driving. I ignored the feeling. Then it progressed to feeling "not there or here," dreamlike state as if I was about to lose my sense of self. I thought I was losing my mind. However, I noticed that when I was involved in reading, watching TV, in church worshiping and listening to the message, or even sometimes talking on the phone...anything where I focused on something else I was not aware of being highly award of myself.

    I went to see a therapist which helped tremendously. She went over some material from a book with me and gave me a copy to take home and read (which I just looked for but can't find). This did help me a lot to be in control of what I think. I feel that my problem started ...being criticized and being made fun of by colleagues...I began zoning out purposely. Then I began taking care of my mother (a bright spot in my life) but was complicated by other family issues and a church that initially didn't want me there. It became so stressful. That's when I became super aware of my hand on the steering wheel. I over analyze, over think, conjure scenarios in my head that never come to pass, worry about what others feel and think about me, etc. ALL A VERY BIG MISTAKE.

    I am improving and sometimes now I go for days not having these super awareness, dreamlike state of existing. One thing that's been helpful is knowing that I am not going crazy and that these feelings will pass. Also, not worrying about what people think about me or say have helped. Strangely as it may sound, these abnormal feelings are normal for those of us who have high anxiety.

    I do pray a lot and read the bible. God is the One sure thing in my life and nothing can happen to me unless He permits it. I am in His hands, so are you.

    I hope my sharing helps.

  • Thank you!!!

  • Do you know the name of the book? My husband has been struggling with Anxiety and Panic attacks for 10+ years and in the past 6-7 ok months has experienced Depersonalisation and Derealization along with OCD. It's very heartbreaking to see someone you love dearly go through this and there's nothing physically you can do to help them :(

  • One is The Anxiety Cure and I think the other is Shamelessly Free. However my therapist did not give me the authors' names. I will try to get it for you.

  • You are welcomed. Any time you want to vent, if I'm on, I will reply.

  • I actually finally got the right diagnosis, I have complex ptsd. Which I know and understand why, but don't know what it all entails because my system shut it out when ever it did knowing it couldn't handle all of what ever all is. About 3 yrs ago I started having what I now know were triggers to different things. I did not know, but some that know me were noticing small things with me. Than last year later, I started wondering about small things. Then wham, more. Then finally an answer that I first said absolutely no, that was only for military and I have done nothing like they do. Then through out some time things were explained and now it is a way of life and continuous learning.

    I have no clue if that could be anything with u, but thought I would share

  • yeah i kind of get that i hadnt even realized that this wasnt normal for most people and it blew my mind because im a weird person compared to everyone else i didnt realize that this was one of the reasons and it just completely suprised me it exaushts me to have this but i dont remember a time of not having it so i didnt even know thank you for making this post and making me realize that

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