ZocdocAnswersI am waking up out of my sleep and can't breathe, see, talk, hear - what's wrong with me?

Question

I am waking up out of my sleep and can't breathe, see, talk, hear - what's wrong with me?

I am 26 year old male. I have woke up out of my sleep several times and couldnt breathe my heart was racing,i couldnt see,couldnt hear,gasping for air,hard time swallowing,i am not taking any kind of medacine and i woke up tonight out of my sleep jumped out of my bed with all the above things this time it was way worse and longer than usual.

Answer

It sounds a lot to me like you may be having panic attacks. These are attacks of overwhelming anxiety that can often feel as if you were about to die. There can be visual disturbances, trouble breathing, palpitations, dizziness, and sweating. I highly recommend that you get in as soon as possible to your primary care doctor to discuss these symptoms. The first thing your primary care doctor will want to do is rule out another medical problem, such as a problem with your heart or lungs. They will be able to do this by asking you some careful questions and performing a thorough physical examination. They may also want to perform some blood work or other testing. If all of this checks out, then the most likely diagnosis would be panic attacks. Panic attacks are one type of anxiety disorder. Treatment of panic attacks includes learning to control your stress levels and modify your lifestyle (more sleep, less caffeine, etc). Additionally talking to a therapist or psychologist can be helpful, as they can teach you some thought techniques for controlling the symptoms. Finally, many cases of anxiety do require medicines to get under control, and your primary care doctor or psychiatrist can talk to you about this.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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