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Anxiety especially at night

(24 Posts)
Nanamarch1603 Wed 30-Jan-19 17:11:45

Hello everyone, I am going through a terrible state of anxiety at the moment which I am at a loss as to how to deal with. It all started with pulsating tinnitus which started in November. I think this was due to either a sinus infection or going to a music concert! During the day I cannot hear it unless it is very quiet. At night it is dire and has given rise to massive health anxiety. I have had panic attacks, been awake most of the night and am now resorting to having to take either a sleeping tablet or Diazepam and am unable to control my anxiety.
I have been referred for an ENT opinion which is next week but although this will help I think this appointment will only be the beginning of a path of investigations. I have also managed to get myself on the nhs waiting list for CBT counselling which is also a positive move. My doctor has prescribed Mirtazepine to take at night. So far I have not been keen to take this for 2 reasons. One is that most reviews mention that they increase your weight, although this seems a fairly shallow reason not to take them, I spent 6 months at the end of last year losing half a stone which was a struggle for me and I don’t really want to repeat and secondly I was worried I would get addicted which would cause state of anxiety! I have become somewhat of a worrier as you will probably gather!
This is blighting my life (and my poor DH) at the moment and I need to get things back into perspective. Any suggestions gladly received.

HildaW Wed 30-Jan-19 17:39:01

Poor you Nanamarch1603! I have had similar problems as you over several years but have held out against any chemical solutions as yet! I have had tinnitus for several years and the more stressed you get the louder it becomes so know how unpleasant it can be.
I'll just rattle off the kinds of things that help me.
Getting a bit fitter helped - allows you to do more physical exercise and hence am physically more tired. Long walks in the daylight help also a couple of tiring exercise sessions a week.
I read rather boring but still enjoyable, to me, historical books at bed time I find its not over stimulating and helps me nod off.
If I have wakeful moments or cannot nod off I recite poetry in my head - same few - nothing exciting its almost like a mantra to keep my head from filling up with worrying thoughts.
For the anxiety itself I did have some counselling which helped me accept things and gave me permission to cut a few things out of my life that were not helpful (some past events needed resigning to history). Also I have learned that thoughts are powerful but they are just that, just thoughts created by my imagination....they are not events.
If I really cannot sleep I get up, make myself comfortable downstairs or in spare room with a book or something very gentle on Iplayer. I give myself permission to be awake, I sort of allow myself to enjoy it...I consciously do not fight it. Of course I do not have to get up to go to work but I do have other commitments so a bad night can affect my day but by not fighting it I have been able to reduce the number of times I have really bad nights.
Non of these strategies were an instant solution, but I can honestly say it has improved and apart from the odd occasion when I was coping with an actual event that was not of my making I have had few real episodes of late. All the best.

KatyK Wed 30-Jan-19 17:41:27

Hello. Sorry to hear that you're suffering like this. I too suffer with terrible anxiety. Mine came to a head last year and I found myself in the GP's surgery a quivering wreck. She took my BP and it was through the roof and then I couldn't sleep for fear of having a stroke or heart attack. I'm slightly better now but not great
Maybe you should go back to your GP. Take a look at the Black Dog Gang thread on here which may help you to realise you are not alone.

Katyj Sun 03-Feb-19 07:27:13

So sorry your not feeling well Nana I suffer from pulsating tinnitus too. Its intermittant with my other tinnitus .I have been down the Ent route which for me was totally unhelpful, I have been researching my own area and found there is a tinnitus clinic, maybe there will be one near you too.At the moment I'm trying betahistine tablets which can improve the blood supply to the ear, early days yet, but I'll let you know. Accept all the help you can get, for anxiety and tinnitus, I think it's trial and error until you find what works for you, I find when I'm busy, or in company I don't hear it as much, I know that's difficult trough the night, when everything's much quieter. Come back and let is know how your getting on.Hope you feel better soon .

Jane43 Sun 03-Feb-19 12:44:07

Sorry to hear of your problems Nanamarch1693. My DH’s ears have never been the same since we went to a Status Quo concert years ago so it is interesting that you mention the music concert you attended. He does manage the tinnitus well because he is very laid back - it would drive me mad - but recently when he walks at a fast pace, which he likes to do regularly, he can hear a loud roaring in one ear and he can also hear his heartbeat. He wasn’t unduly bothered about it but just wondered if it was part of an underlying problem so mentioned it to our GP and he was referred to the audiology department of our local hospital. He had an appointment the week before last, his hearing was tested, which was fine, then he saw the consultant. He listened to my DH’s health history and was particularly interested that he had lost nearly three stone in weight after being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. He examined his ear and the back of his nose then explained that there is a valve in the Eustachean tube that should open and close but his is open all the time. It’s called a Patulous Eustachean Tube. He then surprised us by saying that this sometimes happens when there has been substantial weight loss - ie loss of fatty tissue around the valve in question. So this seems to be a problem which he will have to live with. He did have a brain scan to rule out anything serious but has heard nothing yet so presumably all is OK. Now he knows what the problem is he is fine but it is horrible if you are suffering with anxiety because of your problem. Perhaps when you have seen a consultant you may feel less anxious, the one my DH saw was very good indeed. I also think the counselling is a good idea. I hope things improve for you soon.

Doodle Sun 03-Feb-19 12:56:46

nanamarch. You are not alone in suffering this. I think Hilda’s post is most sensible. My tinnitus definitely gets worse the more stressed and worried I am. The more you think about it the worse it gets. Try hilda’s advice and good luck.

Luckygirl Sun 03-Feb-19 13:00:36

I think the advice to give yourself permission to be awake is good - on the occasions when I have not been able to sleep I just listen to some lovely music and tell myself that I am resting and that is a positive.

Nonnie Sun 03-Feb-19 13:37:41

Don't know much about tinnitus but confirm that Mirtazapine does cause weight gain. However it is a better antidepressant for older people than some of the others so you win one way or lose another. Don't worry though, ADs are not addictive but you would get withdrawal symptoms if you stopped suddenly so do it under the advice of the doc if and when you want to stop taking them.

Good luck

MacCavity2 Sun 03-Feb-19 14:02:52

Nana sounds like you are doing everything to help yourself and I’m sure you feel reassured eventually. Pulsating tinnitus has been my companion for many years and at first I found it worrying. Had all the tests etc., and like others have said stress does make it worse. What helps my anxiety is a few drops of rescue remedy. I know it isn’t for everyone but sometimes trial and error with natural remedies can help.

Nanamarch1603 Sun 03-Feb-19 19:05:02

Thank you all for your support and suggestions. I have now seen the ENT consultant who has referred me for an MRI but gave me a good examination which was reassuring as he did not think there was anything serious wrong. Having said that he was unable to explain why or what causes tinnitus or even pulsating tinnitus apart from what we already know such as loud music, infections etc, I feel much better already and having put a few things into action such as CBT therapy, reflexology and generally trying to reduce stress which will all help and I will not have to resort to anti depressants. I will start researching tinnitus clinics myself which will also help and I hope and one day maybe I will not notice the tinnitus any more ☹️

nikol01 Mon 11-Feb-19 15:43:17

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BradfordLass72 Tue 12-Feb-19 06:08:13

You might also try magnesium which my doctor recommended originally for 'restless leg syndrome' is allows your muscles to relax and in my case, puts me to sleep!

CazB Wed 27-Feb-19 12:15:08

I'm sorry to hear of your problems. I know what you're going through as I also suffer from pulsating tinnitus and anxiety. The tinnitus is awful some days, but others I hardly notice it. For the anxiety, I do Tai Chi and Yoga which help me a lot. I've also started meditation using Headspace. I do hope you feel better soon, good luck!

Labaik Wed 27-Feb-19 12:45:00

Similar problem here, although the tinnitus does seem to have resolved itself. But I tend to fall asleep watching tv, which also solves the problem of starting to think about worrying things when I'm lying in bed at night. For some reason, the more I actually want to watch a programme, the more likely I am to fall asleep.

EllanVannin Wed 27-Feb-19 13:02:39

Watching the TV sends me off to sleep too Labaik. Half the time I don't know what I am watching hahaha. I just go dead-o for 7/8 hours.

Luckynan Wed 27-Feb-19 21:13:57

This is my first post on gransnet. I have had tinnitus for 15 years, I think it started after a particularly stressful period in my life. I was living in away from family/ friends at the time.My doctor referred me to a tinnitus clinic. They checked that there was nothing medically wrong and then made me a little device( a bit like a hearing aid). It had a volume switch on it and played white noise so I found myself listening to that noise instead of the tinnitus. It was so effective that eventually my tinnitus just disappeared after about a year. I also used to fall asleep sometimes with an earphone in just quietly listening to some restful music. Fast forward 10 years , I moved house had several very sad bereavements and the tinnitus returned with a vengeance. I eventually went to the doctor, he was so understanding and told me that stress is the main aggravator of tinnitus. He persuaded me to try a mild, low dose antidepressant (sertraline )and also prescribed betahistine for blood flow to the ears. I can only say that, for myself, it has been a miracle. I take the tablets each morning and more often than not I have a good day. There is no doubt in my mind that stress is a big contributor to tinnitus. If I have a bad night ( which I do occasionally) I just tell myself it’s no big deal and I usually just read or listen to some music. I would advise anybody suffering with tinnitus to see their doctor again and ask about medication. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain as it is such a horrible debilitating problem.

Dawn22 Wed 27-Feb-19 21:32:53

To everyone who suffers from anxiety. I am so sorry to hear that. I have early morning anxiety which improves by night time but starts up again in the morning. Sadly it is situational depression. This too will pass l keep saying to myself but find it hard to believe. Am so sad about lots of things. Thank you for good tips here. I will try and implement some. M

Day6 Thu 28-Feb-19 02:41:12

I am wide awake at 2am, which seems to be the norm for me. My ears are ringing. The noise is like a horrible high pitched electrical whine. It's become louder over the last few months. I just wanted to say thank you for the thread, and for all your posts. Hilda's thoughts made such sense. I tend to go with the flow but find all sorts of worries racing through my head if I don't keep my brain occupied. I have always been a worrier. I take amitriptyline in the evening but it seems ineffective these days even if I up the dose. (I have my GP's permission.)

I am worrying about recent health problems and tests. I get the results next week.However, I try to remember I musn't worry unnecessarily as it does no earthly good and won't change anything. I also wear a bit of a jolly, capable mask during the day. I don't want to drag others down and tend to be a leaning post, or a shoulder to cry on for others. I'd rather do that than talk about myself. Pride is one of my faults.

I do try to go with it and accept my night time anxiety. I know it will keep me awake so I prepare to read. Even listening to OH snoring away can be soothing. I may do as suggested and get myself some earphones and listen to music. The quiet of night makes my tinnitus more noticeable. I endeavour to stay in bed too, because if I get up I get a second wind and have no desire to go back to bed. I should return to reading proper books in bed too, rather than Kindle editions. I know bright screens before bed aren't a good idea. I also drink lots of tea during the day so I think I'll have to watch my caffeine intake after 5pm.

I haven't mentioned my tinnitus to my GP because I have so many other health concerns, and tests ongoing, but I get the impression, from reading about it, that it's one of those awful conditions I'll have to live with. sad

I know how awful constant anxiety is Nanamarch and hope you can bring it under control. It feels like every part of the body tenses up, so it really is difficult to enjoy anything. Oh for an ON/OFF switch, for that and tinnitus.

Wishing you and other anxious posters a good night's sleep.

tessagee Thu 28-Feb-19 18:10:13

May I recommend the cutting out of all sources of caffeine, stick to decaffeinated tea and leave coffee out altogether. Also be very sparing in the use of over the counter painkillers.

As a lifelong sufferer of tinnitus and migraines I have only in the last few months thought to do this and there has been an enormous improvement in the symptoms.

My very best wishes to all sufferers of tinnitus and accompanying problems.

annep1 Fri 01-Mar-19 07:57:49

May I recommend Rooibos tea?
No caffeine whatever. We drink it with milk as with "normal" tea.
If you Google you will find all the health benefits.
Its a nice mild flavour and you can get Earl Grey and green.

Joce345 Thu 07-Mar-19 18:21:31

Hi Dawm22. I have morning anxiety realy bad, it takes all day to go but does pass then back again the next morning.. how do you cope any advice greatly welcome

BlueSky Sat 09-Mar-19 09:23:22

I've started taking herbal anxiety tablets as I don't want any more medication being on a few already for other problems. Seems to help at night when I'm at my most anxious or it could just be the placebo effect!

Cherrytree59 Sat 09-Mar-19 11:26:56

My anxiety is high at the moment.
I am using my tablet to listen to audio books and also u tube radio plays. (Use ear buds)
I also listen to u tube guided meditation with Jason Stephenson.
It did take me a few nights to get the hang of it.
But is very useful at 3am.smile
I know of a least one other GNer who finds
J Stephenson helpful.

mimismo Sun 17-Mar-19 19:23:56

Have you had your thyroid levels checked? I get anxiety attacks when I'm 'low'. Gritted teeth, at night, don't help with tinnitus either. I was interested to hear about the betahistine. Wonder if it with help with my tinnitus?!