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Avatar universal

How do you get over the fear of dying when sleeping?

I’m only 22 and I deal with depression/anxiety/depersonalization. I’m taking Wellbutrin which helps to a point. It’s just hard when everyone around me looks at me like I’m crazy or says yeah I get it but let’s be real they don’t. I have days where I’m 3rd person to my self and most of my panic attacks happen when I’m trying to sleep thinking that is the last day for me. Talking about it is very hard because I feel the whole world is against me or just doesn’t truly understand what it’s like live in a cloud!
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Avatar universal
That part of the disease will never go away unless you cure the disease, which you can only do through therapy, lifestyle changes, sudden remission, etc., but not through drugs, which are often necessary to have a life but mitigate symptoms, not cure.  But if you're on a medication and you still feel so bad life is very hard to live, the drug isn't working.  You need to try something else.  Sometimes in bad cases if a drug is helping but not well enough you can augment it by adding other drugs, knowing you are also adding possible side effects and adding other drugs that are not easy to take or stop taking to the mix, but studies do show greater benefit combining drugs than only using one.  But again, if the first one isn't working, you don't augment it, you taper off it as slowly as you need to and try something else.  But others who don't also suffer any disease you happen to get won't understand, and many people just don't like being around those who are sick, especially the mentally ill.  It's not fair and it's not nice but human beings are neither fair nor nice, they are fallible beings just trying their best to get by too.  Some of us are lucky and have friends and family who stick by us and understand us but some of us don't.  The world isn't against you, mostly it just doesn't really care one way or the either.  Outgoing funny people are going to attract more company than sad people.  It just is, and I'm guessing you feel the same way.  So, what to do?  You're very young and quite adaptable, though it doesn't feel that way.  If you're not in therapy, get into it.  If your meds aren't working, talk to your psychiatrist about alternatives.  Find things to do you enjoy and do them, even if you have to force yourself.  Find things to do that are meaningful to you.  Those of us on here do get it, but what you want isn't really support, you want to get better, right?  That will take work, but you can handle that.  Peace.
Avatar universal
General fear can be reduced by doing meditation. Simply "Return your focus to the present moment, and when your mind wanders, return your focus to the present moment."

Try for short periods at first, such as one minute.

Slowly you'll be able to expand to longer periods.

The first 2 weeks may not notice a difference.

Then might slowly begin to notice a change. After 2 months, hopefully the fear center of the brain is diminished, shrunk.

There are numerous meditation apps one can try. (Headspace has some nice animated videos explaining the concept.)


During this COVID-19 virus, I had a friend suffer anxiety very bad she had to go to the hospital. She was having all sorts of strange symptoms. They diagnosed anxiety. It was just anxiety. They gave her some anxiety meds, sent her home.

(She also tends to have night terrors. She'll have bad dreams and I need to wake her up if I hear her struggling in her sleep. Sometimes she's grateful I awaken her; other times she's pissed at me for waking her up.)

Maybe other people have other suggestions. Best wishes!
1 Comments
I would only say that meditation isn't really that easy to do.  It's quite difficult to do for many people.  The above doesn't really explain meditation, as what is the present moment?  In meditation, that is achieved by a thousand different ways to meditate.  Either you focus back on a mantra when you notice yourself thinking or you focus on your breath or you focus on some visible point ahead of you -- there are lots of ways to do it, but all involve a technique that allows you to focus on something tangible when you drift back to thinking.  I always advise people who truly want to get the most benefit from meditation to learn it from a spiritual figure who practices the religion that invented the meditation.  It's not that you can't get some benefit from learning it from your therapist or from an App, I suppose, but the hard part of meditating is first, doing it regularly so you get good at it as you would learning anything else, and second, learning it in a way that teaches you how to do it.  The meditations we learn are largely derived from the Hindu, Taoist, and Buddhist traditions, but they have invented so many of them over the centuries that you'll never run out of new ones to experiment with.  As far as research goes, the ones that have been the most studied are TM, a Hindu mantra based meditation, Mindfulness, a Zen Buddhist based meditation, and Meditation on Compassion and Lovingkindness, a more involved Buddhist meditation.  If you really want to learn them, and I speak from my own experience and that of many others who grew up during the 60's when this stuff was brought into the mainstream, it takes better when you learn it from a master and not from someone who has a very tangential relationship to it.  By no means do you have to buy into the religion to do it, and Eastern religions by and large are far less concerned about converting you than Western religions and are generally very open to teaching these practices to anyone who wishes to learn.  There's just something about getting that magical transfer of knowledge that seems to work better than learning it from someone just using for practical purposes of relaxation, which is fine and good but it's important to learn it correctly and in a way that sets you on a good course so you don't get frustrated by western thinking that expects immediate returns on everything.  Just my thoughts on this.  Peace, all.
Avatar universal
You have too much glutamate activity in your brain. Wellbutrin doesn't directly counteract glutamate activity, so it's not likely to work against fear and anxiety, but only depression. Take over-the-counter soluble magnesium (often called "super magnesium"), and if that doesn't work, then get a prescription for the glutamate release inhibitor riluzole.
2 Comments
How on Earth would you know this person has too much glutamate activity without being able to examine his brain, something I'm not even sure can be accurately accomplished.  Glutamate is under study for the treatment of depression, as serotonin and dopamine have been ruled out as causative factors, but there are no conclusions on this yet and they've been doing these studies so long now it isn't looking promising.  I have no idea what super magnesium is, there are many forms of magnesium that are well absorbed as long as they're taken with meals.  The reason wellbutrin doesn't usually work for anxiety has nothing to do with either dopamine or glutamate, it has to do with the fact it's also working on norepinephrine, or noradrenaline, which is quite stimulating.  The same problem can happen with the SNRI class of drugs, which work on serotonin and norepinephrine.  Of course individuals differ quite a lot in how they respond to meds, so in the end it's all trial and error.  Interestingly, when wellbutrin was first created they didn't even know how it worked, which has also occurred with many other meds.  So far anxiety research has focused on GABA but current research is trying to crack the amygdyla which signals the adrenal gland to secrete cortisol, which is what causes a lot of our anxiety.    
When I say focused on GABA, I mean that specific anti-anxiety meds such as benzos target GABA.  But using serotonin affecting drugs has proved effective for many, which includes mainly three classes of antidepressants, the tricyclics, the SSRIS and one SNRI.  
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