What's going on?

Every night I wake up, hyperventilating, drooling and sobbing. I always feel suffocated and scared, as if someone were strangling me. I really don’t know what’s going on with me, and it’s really impacting my daily life. I’m described as a cheerful and sociable person, but nowadays I can’t seem to really “light up” as often. I start crying over being shouted at for small things, sobbing aswell as drooling. It’s scary, and I’m too scared to reach out to anyone. I want to be myself again, but it doesn’t seem possible after these few months.
I’ve been brushing it off, saying it’s nothing, but I’ve gotten addicted to my electronics even more because of this, too. Please help me on what to do.

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I can never sleep unless I cry. At night, I get super stressed out of nowhere and have these random attacks which suffocate me, make me cry and drool. When I cry, a drool a lot, and that’s another thing I’m worried about. The world would spin, and I may sometimes get nosebleeds either from crying for hours or just a LOT of stress.
The attacks got even worse after an incident that included my ex-friend and I. She reported me to the teacher, apparently because I had grabbed her waist. Her excuse was that I was a homo. I was asked to talk to the school counsellor, and the counsellor had started talking about sensitive topics. Most likely to find out why I was this way. She asked about primary school past, which was an extremely sensitive topic to me. I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I had a breakdown.
When I went home that day, my parents asked what happened. I stormed into my room without answering, feeling another attack coming. That was the worst one I’ve ever had, crying, screaming, drooling, coughing, rolling around on my bedroom floor and ripping apart the gifts my ex-friends had given me back in primary school.
Ever since then, my attacks have been frequenting me on most nights.
I’m scared, and I don’t have anyone else to talk to about this. If I told my parents, I’m scared it would burden them, because I know it’s hard enough having a kid that’s not like others. I only have a few friends, and they have their own problems, so I didn’t tell them either. Please help.

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Hi @Minh! I’m really sorry to hear that you’re experiencing such distressing symptoms. It must be really confusing and frustrating at the same time. However, I’m really proud of you for taking the step forward to ask for help here! It’s the first and most important step for you right now. Thank you for sharing honestly about your addiction to the electronics, it takes a lot of courage to admit this. It does sound like you’re experiencing anxiety for some reason and it would be good for you to speak to a mental health professional to get more help on managing this. For the time being, here are some steps you can try to help yourself manage it meanwhile:

  1. Try and talk to someone! It could be a friend, a trusted adult, or even a mental health professional. Sharing your feelings and experiences can be a relief and the first step towards getting the help you need.

  2. Practice Relaxation Techniques! There are actually many ways to relax, but picking up specific relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation can help you manage anxiety and stress specifically. These techniques can be especially helpful if you’re waking up hyperventilating and feeling suffocated. There are many videos on Youtube that has instructions on how to do so!

  3. Try your best to replace electronic use with some other activity. It’s common for people to turn to electronics as a form of distraction or escapism when dealing with stress and anxiety, but excessive use of electronics, especially before bedtime, can disrupt sleep patterns and exacerbate anxiety. Perhaps you could consider setting boundaries on your electronic device usage, particularly in the evening. Or you could replace the use of electronics with something else such as taking a walk, or drawing!

  4. Dig deeper! If you feel the sudden urge to use your electronic, you could ask yourself - Am I feeling anxious now? What is causing me to feel this way? We can find out many things about ourselves when we actually sit and observe and ask ourselves questions :slight_smile:

Most importantly @minh, please don’t ever feel like you’re alone in this - you’re not! We’re all here to support you and there are many, many resources available for you to tap on. When you’re ready, please do speak to a mental health professional such as your school counsellor, to share about these symptoms and talk more about how to manage the root issues.

Rooting for you!


Hi @minh! I’m so sorry to hear that your attacks have gotten worse after what happened to you and your friend. It must be really heartbreaking to experience this, to the point that you had a breakdown. It sounds like you’re having some trouble with regulating your emotions, and I’m really sorry you had to go through the difficult moments at night.
To encourage you, I really think it would be good for you to share your troubles with your parents even though you’re worried about their response. You could have an honest conversation with them and tell them that you’re not sure what to do, or perhaps they can support you to seek help from a mental health professional too. It would benefit you to reach out for further emotional support because it does sound like you’re having a really hard time. When you reach out for help, you would be able to learn many new ways to regulate your emotions, share further about your anxieties, find strategies to manage, and much more! We all need a helping hand, and I encourage you to speak to a professional soon.
Meanwhile, it would be good for you to try the below techniques or strategies that can help you tide through those moments for the timebeing:

  • Breathing techniques or grounding techniques (can watch them on youtube with instructions!)
  • Journaling your thoughts and feelings
  • Drawing, painting, or anything else relaxing for you
  • Exercising, getting fresh air, movement for the body

Please do remember to practice self-care and seek further support!