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Last night I had a pretty traumatic experience. I live alone

Hello. Last night I had...
Hello. Last night I had a pretty traumatic experience. I live alone 32 Y Female and two men were banging on the door trying to get in while I was sleeping. It turns out it was the super and the plumber as a leak had started in my apt and went down to the other units.
I have been very jostled since last night, did not get much sleep and this morning can't stop crying. I do know that it was not a dangerous situation but for some reason I'm having a very emotional reaction probably because I felt like I was going to be attacked. Then my thoughts went to what if this has an affect on my heart. Like could cause heart attack.
I suffer from GAD and have anxiety attacks from time to time. What would be the best way to start dealing with this immediately?
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Answered in 14 minutes by:
6/2/2013
Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience: Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Verified
Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, I am available to help you

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Your experience sounds frightening! I think it would be upsetting to most people. "Two men banging on the door"- yikes!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

The fear triggered an anxiety response and it sounds like you are having trouble coming down from that.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

If you are young and healthy it's highly doubtful that this would trigger a heart attack.

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

Thank you. What would be the best way today to start to come down off of this? Right now I'm so tired and a little traumatized I don't feel like doing much.

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

obviously this was basically my worst fear come true was being alone and helpless even though it turned out to be nothing it was pretty much a nightmare

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello! Thanks for joining me. What you may need most is a quiet and relaxing day. Would it be comforting to you to be with other people? This may be a time factor- take a bit of time to come down.

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

ok, thank you. yes, I've called a ton of people today. I'm going to see if a friend can maybe come over so I'm not alone most of the day - maybe talk about other things to stop the constant thoughts of last night.

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

and me worrying about how this would affect my health

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

and how being alone can be scary

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It's most single, living alone woman's nightmare- a bit like a horror movie right! Remind yourself first of all that it's normal you responded with fright- your mind immediately went into survivor mode- high intense anxiety.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Your heart is fine- it is young- it responded as it is suppose to- to fright. It's amazing how we immediately respond to something- so automatic- late at night- alone- two men.

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

yes definitely - I do think I need a day to just lay low. I will take the suggestion of maybe having a friend or two come over. I keep going through my phone to see if I can call next. Obviously I feel like I'm too alone right now

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

plus I maybe only got three hours of sleep

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Of course do some deep breathing as you remind yourself you are okay, you are safe, and you will get through this. Something physical like a walk, fresh air, being with others- talking about your feelings.

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

ok yes, I will do that and the crying reaction is normal right?

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

it hasn't stopped all morning

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Lack of sleep heightens the response too- you have the adrenaline flowing. Crying is perfectly normal- you were spooked- your body and mind both reacted- allow yourself to cry, feel whatever comes up.

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

ok thank you. I really appreciate the reassurance

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

I'm going to have some tea and try to nap

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

many thanks!!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You will get through this- we are wired to react, jump, protect our self- all that blood goes to our heart- ready for flight.

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

ok thanks, ***** ***** I figured our bodies are resilient

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

I thought about all the people that have been through a way more traumatic experience than me and physically they are fine

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes, tea sounds like just what the doctor would order!! Yes, thank your body for being so incredible to kick into gear- but remind yourself no need to be afraid- remind your body:)

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

ok , I will do that. I have some relaxation and breathing exercises I use for my GAD I'm going to listen to those as well and remind my body everything is ok

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You responded normally to something that rarely happens- you will be fine physically also- tell yourself calming and reassuring things.

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

thank you so much!!

JACUSTOMER-jm8rieyr- :

have a wonderful day

Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience: Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
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