The past few months to a year I’ve been getting pretty bad anxiety when I’m getting ready to sleep or when I can’t sleep. Whenever I get this, I get really nauseous and have to sit up and try to distract myself. Sometimes this helps, and sometimes this doesn’t. When it doesn’t help, it gets worse. I have to start pacing around in order to start feeling better. Every time I look at the clock when this happens I realize how late it is and it’s almost like I feel as if I will never get to sleep and it’ll just last forever. I’ll feel as if I’m not my own person, as if I’m not even in my body…sort of like I’m watching myself do the things that I do – I’m not sure how to explain it. I’ve learned not to clench my jaw when this happens because that makes the nausea worse.
I don’t know why this is happening but it all started around the time my ex came back to my school after moving 4 hours away for nearly 2 years. That added together with the fact my dad had stomach cancer, nearly died, went though chemo, survived but became depressed and is now fighting alcoholism….I’m not sure if those are the reasons why I’m getting such bad anxiety but I’m not educated in it well enough to know how to cope with it. I want to know what to do when I feel an anxiety attack coming on and how to handle it. Please help me
Now, you say distractions don't help, but maybe you are trying for the wrong distractions. I found that nothing worked unless it was something I could really immerse myself in to. The thing that helped me was Symphony of Science. It's a beautiful series of science and original composition and wonderful video sequences. Anyway, it was something that pulled me in completely, and was able to take my mind away from my body long enough for everything to regulate. It's never a guarantee and it doesn't last forever, but it gave me some peace as I was dealing with what I was going through.
I think what we experienced, are anxiety attacks. The only way to deal with them is to psychologically deal with what is causing them. For you it seems like you have a lot on your plate and maybe you're having trouble working through them. That is where you must also put your focus. For me, it was writing in a diary. I could focus on one problem at a time and go back when you're feeling stronger and work on it.
I wish you the best.