Horrible morning anxiety today :'(

Woke this morning around 5am and couldn't get back. Instead my brain started worrying about stupid things like what I was going to do on my birthday NEXT year (which will be my 60th) and how other people have big parties or celebrations and I can't face doing any of that but would like to mark it somehow. None of that is rational and all I my mind was doing was going round and round in circles about something not even important in the great scheme of things! I could see that, but my heart was racing and palpitating, my mouth dry and I felt panicky. I tried listening to Bodyscan and relaxation tapes on my Ipod and that helped while I was listening but then when it was time to get up, I seemed to get worse - my stomach was churning and I can't eat, even though what I was thinking about in bed I am no longer thinking about, but whether or not I can cope with the day (meeting friends out and having them back for dinner). I feel so pathetic and have been in tears of panic; I feel exhausted with it and really fed up. Outside it's sunny and everyone will be enjoying the sunshine except for me, so I will once again feel like a freak. My husband gets tired of being a 'broken record' - going over the same ground again and again to reassure me. I want to help myself, but I'm running out of ideas and at times like this I don't feel I can carry on like this.

I am due to have another assessment appointment on Tuesday at the psychiatric hospital and the final one on Thursday but tbh I am not sure whether I fit the bill for Borderline PD and fear they will just say they can't help me at all.

At 59 I feel I should be over all this by now and no one seems to understand how awful I feel sometimes. I feel like a failure and a total loser.

I don't want to take meds as they've not helped in the past - I just feel worse and can't take SSRIs for my depression because they interact with the Imigram I take for migraines (and the combination could be dangerous apparently). So any ideas for self-soothing that I can try in times of severe anxiety and hopelessness? I am struggling.


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13 Replies

  • Hi Hedgecrone

    Sorry you're feeling so bad this morning. Not really sure I can help, as struggling with severe anxiety myself at the moment, but I will try. I think first of all, try not to "blame" yourself or feel like a "loser"; these illnesses are as real as any physical one, and no-one is blamed for them! It is NOT your "fault" you feel like this.

    You say you've listened to relaxation tapes -have you tried breathing techniques? One doctor cured me of a mega panic attack over the phone by telling me to:

    Find a clock/watch with a second sweep hand; breathe in as the second hand goes from, say, 5 to 10, then out as it goes from 10 to 15 - so you're taking one complete in-out breath every 10 seconds. I find it works sometimes if I can do it.

    Rebreathing - breathe in and out with a paper bag over your mouth and nose - it rebalances the oxygen/carbon dioxide in your body, which causes the panic feeling. Again, I can do it sometimes.

    Create a "safe" place in your head - I have an imaginary garden, where there is a swing covered with flowers. I sit on the swing and just swing back and forward for a while in my head.

    More mundane - watch wallpaper tv - it can help distract you. Do you like music? I listen to Handel's Largo "Ombra ma fui" - you can get it on YouTube - and there's Pacobels Canon - Mediation from Thais - again, you'll find them all on YouTube.

    You say you can't take SSRIs - have you talked to your dr about beta-blockers? I've always been told I couldn't have them because of a tendency to asthma, but I saw my dr recently about my current panic state, and he says I've got COPD, not asthma and has given me some to try. Will confess I'm worried about taking them (can't keep a good worrier down!) but will try eventually.

    I hope it's okay to post links to other sites on here (?) but this site has some great relaxation exercises/visualisations, go to:


    Sorry if I've not been much help, struggling myself at the moment, but hope you feel better soon.

    love and good luck


  • Dear Briar Rose, thanks hugely for the tip about the safe place in your head; your flowery swing sounds lovely, I'd like to try it if I may? It is a sunny morning here today so I hope you are similarly blessed; the sun always helps my mood,


  • Oh, I'm glad my secret garden and flowery swing helped, of course you can try it - I don't have a monopoly on it! It does help I find, hope others find it useful too!

    Rose xxx

  • Thank you Rose, how lovely to hear back from you so quickly. In fact I'm off to a real favourite garden now and will single out the perfect tree from which to hang the swing, by a tranquil lake and cascading waterfall, two beneficiaries of the torrentially wet Summer!


  • Wow! That sounds even better - I might borrow you lake and waterfall for my garden, if that's all right? ;) Enjoy!

    Rose xx

  • Sorry it's taken days for me to write back, have been on holiday in France, during which time I mostly felt loads better with lots to distract me and some kids as company, but now I'm home-alone again - my husband died of cancer 3 years ago and I miss him dreadfully - I can feel the tension and anxiety returning.. It's very good, tho' to know there're so many others out there with similar problems... meanwhile, of course borrow the lake and cascade. They really exist and have been a source of inspiration and tranquility for thousands over the years.


  • MORNING HEDGECRONE have you got any camomile tea i put two tea bags in cup big mug actually fill with boiling water and i leave them in and keep topping up with water i hope your day gets better what time are you going out please try and enjoy will speak later x

  • It's awful I know waking with your heart racing and thoughts flashing through mind. With me it's what illness/symptom I'm worrying about.

    I try to relax a bit by reading as it's pointless just laying there worrying, and I must say Bach (spelling?) flower remedies seem to help. I take the one which is for calming and anxiety.

  • My answer today for this may seem mundane compared to those already given as everyone seems to have hit the nail on the head but tell yourself this, they are only thoughts, nothing to worry about, i know its easier said than done but honestly hun they work for me. I have woke this morning feeling absolutely awful, my head is pounding, my eyes are virtually closed and my body just wants to give up today.

    But i came on here to find people asking for help so i have decided that today is the day i will offer my support and feel sorry for myself. I have sorted the cat out, i have cleaned my kitchen, yet again lol it really does help me when i do something around the house. I have not spoken to anyone but i now feel calm.

    Oh im sure it will be on and off through the day but mindful thoughts are just that, they make us panic so much but we do have to find a way through them. I have read all your replies to others and your always so positive so remember today you have to be positive for__You__ the hardest thing is helping yourself and im sure with your knowledge you know that only too well but its what we have to do.

    Support is great i know that but for us we do have to go all out and keep telling ourselves the thoughts are really nothing and we should be thinking of something nice.

    The secret garden is great. Something i do is take myself to a nice calming place in my head and it does work so hope it all works for you too.

    Good luck and great replies from other fellow members. I know you can do this and later you will come back and thanks and start replying to others and telling everyone you are fine now and feeling back the norm again. Take care and be happy. xx Debs

  • Hi Hedgecrone. Thanks for your post, so honest. I could really relate to it. My Husband is wavering too, after showing lots of support over the years.

    Also, I too am a migraine sufferer too and have had to discontinue Sertraline (and any ssri) as it reacts to Rizatripton which I currently need 3 times a week.

    Doctors have tried a couple of the tri- cyclits which don't react with Imigran - that may be an option for you. I am currently taking pregabalin, which apparently is a migraine preventer and an anti anxiety. Early on with my treatment and hoping it will help improve both migraine and anxiety if i can tolerate the side effects.

    Would be really interested knowing how you get on, and hope that my experience helps.

  • Thank you, all of you, for your kind, thoughtful and helpful replies. There is much I can try for next time - the breathing, the flowery swing, the safe place and so on... if only I can think of them at the time!!! I do watch wallpaper tv and I do try meditating on the breath, but at the moment my anxiety is overwhelming at times. I coped OK with the day - felt better later on, not brilliant, but better. I found the anxiety fluctuated but I did cope well. Then when our friends came back to us for dinner I was able to open up to them about how bad I am feeling and they were great. The woman friend has recovered from years of suffering from bi-polar, and though heavily medicated she is so stable now and able to enjoy life in a way I can only envy. Her husband is and always has been very supportive to her and he has his own anxiety and guilt over their daughter's childhood, living with a family struggling with mental health problems. But they survived it and are stronger for it. I wish I could say the same: I feel pathetically weak! However they were able to reassure me that I am not the evil person I believe myself to be (well, they tried anyway and for that I am very grateful and was very touched).

    Now I feel exhausted, but pleased I didn't cancel the day. I still feel anxiety churning away but not as bad. Tomorrow is a visit to Mother In Law which I always find challenging because she often criticises - in the nicest possible way and without meaning to be unkind but I always feel upset and angry and have to hide it for fear of upsetting her. It's a big strain and worse when I am feeling low or anxious.

    I am dreading waking up tomorrow but I will try and remember the tips and ideas you've all mentioned. Thank you all and bless you. x

  • Hi there - glad today wasn't quite as bad as you feared, and your friends were supportive. I am QUITE sure you're not an evil person - evil people DO NOT THINK they are evil - that's the definition of a sociopath, they have no sense of guilt or remorse. So, if you think you're evil, you're almost certainly NOT lol!

    About mother in law - hmm... yeah, I think we've all got someone like that in our lives, unfortunately! There is an "assertiveness" technique - I can't remember what it's called now, but it basically involves not arguing/challenging/reacting. I mean, I don't know what you MIL says, but if someone says, for instance, "That colour doesn't suit you." just smile and say "Don't you think so? or "No, you could be right." Or "You're a terrible driver!" say "No, I'm not brilliant." By appearing to agree (you can keep your thoughts to yourself!) you cut the ground from under the other person's feet, and defuse the situation. Just a thought.

    The other thing I sometimes find helps is to think - this time tomorrow this will be just a memory - or - this will pass! I usually get my worst panic attacks at night, and I can sometimes help myself through them by saying to myself "Morning WILL come, this will pass." I won't promise it's a cure-all, but it can help.

    Good luck!


    Rose xx

  • Bless you, Briar Rose - and everyone else here, for your thoughts, kindness and suggestions.

    Was intrigued though by your suggestions, Rose, about appearing to agree with MIL's comments. Part of me is terribly rebellious and doesn't want to agree with her - especially when it's none of her business and I wouldn't dream of making personal comments to her. For instance recently she told us about a lovely day she had with our daughter who is disabled (with a rare syndrome). Annie makes a huge effort to look lovely - she has her own individual style and I am so proud of her for achieving so much and being her own person finally, with so much courage. Her style involves a lip piercing and nose piercing which my husband doesn't like and neither does MIL! I am not bothered by it - it's part of her and makes her feel happy, but MIL kept going on about how it cheapens her, how she doesn't like it etc. I felt so angry inside (but kept that to myself) - just said,'Well, she dresses for herself, to make her happy, nobody else'. I somehow feel I have to defend both my daughters when someone else criticises them. Am I wrong? I would feel I'd betrayed them otherwise. All my life I suffered from struggles with my own parents to develop my own style and tastes and I decided very early on that our children would be encouraged to be their own person, whether we 'approved' or not (and we don't always like it, sometimes find it challenging, but that's OK). So I guess it's a hangover from that. I find any criticism of them, or me, so hard to take and find myself feeling so hurt and upset, very easily.

    Anyway, what I was going to say was that I would find it so hard to agree with MIL when I think she's out of order - I don't want to give her the satisfaction of feeling she is right or thinking I think she is! Maybe that's pathetic - maybe I'm just not strong enough yet.

    I have been diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder (well, I just qualify for that diagnosis apparently) and am awaiting a decision on whether the therapy programme will accept me.

    In another post you said you take herbal tablets - what are they and do they help? I really would like something to take the edge off my anxiety when it builds up, that doesn't knock me out!

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