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Coping tips?


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So I was looking for some advice on handling nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks.
Unfortunately, the past few months I've been getting all three much too regularly for comfort and I really just don't know how to cope with them.
They usually come in that order: Wake up from a nightmare, memories of nightmare induce a flashback, flashback induces the panic attack.
After all that I won't be able to sleep for at least another hour or two, and sometimes I'll just give up and have a very, very early morning instead of trying to go back to sleep. I always feel terrible the next day.
I'm not usually one to ask for advice and stuff on forums but it's really been making life difficult at the moment, and since I'm away to uni on the 21st, I don't want to be feeling as especially **** as I am because of them.
I'd like to turn up on the first day looking and feeling relatively decent, so ditching the black bags under my eyes would be nice.
I have no idea how I'd (and if I can) go about stopping them, but I'd at least like to find a way to be able to cope with them.
Any ideas?
You should consider getting some professional medical advice.

My suggestions, which definitely should not take the place of professional advice are as follows;

Try doing some yoga to help relax you You can probably find a beginners' yoga class in your area and if not you could even learn from a book. Yoga has amazing abilities to help calm your mind and in turn life's problems almost seem to disappear.

Get some fresh air and exercise outside, even a half hour walk every day can be invigorating.

Be careful what you eat in the evening and at night time before you go to bed. Foods such as cheese and fruit can sometimes give you nightmares. There are other foods that do the same thing, so look at what you eat in the evening and see if cutting it out helps.

It's easy for me to say, but try not to worry about your difficulties, see if you can find it within yourself to accept them. The chances are very high that the problems will go away as you get older. If you can learn to accept the issues and relax, they can lose the power they have over you.

Overall you have my sympathies and I hope you come out the other end soon. Good luck with it all.
Thanks [MENTION=1807]Fergal[/MENTION], I'll look into your suggestions :)

Never really been keen on doctors, so I think I'll give yoga a try first :p
Professional advice is what I would highly recommend as lack of sleep and panic attacks really isn't going to do you any good.

I have to pretty much agree with everything that Fergal has said - particularly yoga. There are so many benefits that come with it, too.
Have you ever read anything about "lucid dreaming"? Believe it or not, there is a way to gain some control over your dreams.
What about meditation? When I started meditating seriously, I found I have much better focus and I have better control over my emotional reactions; something I had previously allowed control ME. Do you know anything about meditating?
Doctors and medication seem rather extreme for something that can probably be handled by some mental exercises that you should be able to do on your own.
I've heard quite a bit about lucid dreaming, but I've never had one/been able to lucid dream.
I don't really know much about meditation, but I'll look into it.
Those are two types of exercises that need to be done in a way that creates results for you personally, so I don't know how much help I could be, but if you want to kick any thoughts around regarding either, I'm happy to discuss it with you. I hope you're able to find something useful in your research.
When sleeping tried listening to music at the same time?

I think most of the stuff has been said to help you. I too have sympathy with fergal since I too had flashbacks when I crashed my car.
I think maybe one needs to relieve stress, by some sort of deep relaxation . I believe yoga can help with all sorts of mind body issues. Some doctors recommend this in place of drugs. I thought I wouldn't be able to to do yoga, but there is so many yoga exercises one doesn't always have to get on the floor to do them. It takes commitment though.