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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4523
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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In the course of 2 weeks Ive had these bizarre incidence when

Resolved Question:

In the course of 2 weeks I've had these bizarre incidence when I sleep at night, and both of them always end up being the same, I wake up about 2 hours after going to bed I get freaked out by something (what it is I don't know) and I randomly throw my pillow at it, this has never happened to me before I and don't know what it is. Could I be acting out my dreams? Can somebody tell me whats happening to my head at night?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am sorry that you have been exhibiting these symptoms while you sleep, I can imagine how distressing this for you.

Dr. Z :

I would like to ask you a few questions to get more information, so that I can give you the best answer if that is okay with you

Dr. Z :

You mention that you wake up and THEN get freaked out by something and throw your pillow at it, are you waking up from a nightmare or are you waking up on your own and seeing something in the dark and that is what "freaked you out" causing you to throw your pillow?

Dr. Z :

I would just like to get the timeline down because there are two different treatment approaches and I want to get the right one for you

Customer:

I just wake up (not from a dream though) and like 3 seconds later I get this bad vibe, like there something in the room with me and I for some reason my body involuntarily grabs my pillow and throws it at it

Dr. Z :

Okay, so this sounds like an anxiety/panic disorder and not a sleep disorder, so you are not acting out your dreams. Do you have any anxiety or stress during the day time at all?

Customer:

I do suffer from mild depression and some stress so yeah you could say that, plus by nature I just get scarred easily

Dr. Z :

So fear can cause panic disorders. There is a two pronged approach that I would recommend for you that can help you remedy this. One is a long term approach called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen, thus no more symptoms of a panic disorder. The next prong would be a short term approach that can help relieve your symptoms faster than CBT and this would be the use of medication.For medication, the use of an SSRI antidepressant, I would recommend Lexapro at 10-20mg or Zoloft at 150-200mg, in combination with the use of benzodiazepine (e.g Ativan, Xanax, and Klonopin) are effective in managing panic disorders. This can help bring you relief of your symptoms right now, and then when the CBT techniques start to gain their maximum effectiveness (approximately 6-12 months) then you can slowly wean off the medications and rely solely on the CBT techniques.


Dr. Z :

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want you to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help you change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Dr. Z :

In addition, these two worksheets are very good at helping lessen anticipatory anxiety and helping you focus on the big picture and the objective/positive thoughts and outcomes.

Dr. Z :

Also individuals with severe anxiety also have a poor coping mechanism, so this worksheet will help you develop a better coping strategy to manage your anxiety better.

Dr. Z :

These two books are also really effective in helping manage anxiety and panic

Customer:

Well thank you for your help, I'll decide what method I am gonna use later

Dr. Z :

No problem, I can also recommend these natural supplements that help with anxiety too. St. Johns Wort is very effective, also Omega-3, Glutamate, and Valerian root can be added to increase anti-anxiety effects

Dr. Z :

Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Customer:

Nope, that's everything, Thank you

Dr. Z :

Well I wish you the best of luck with everything. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

Will do

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4523
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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