So I had an exam at 8 AM this morning, and stayed up all night studying for it. I drank two cups of coffee (and had two cups of hot chocolate some hours before) and they weren't like big cups, maybe the 12 oz ones you'd find at Wawa. I'm not sure how strong the coffee was, but I did dump a good amount of sugar in the cups (I don't use sugar normally; I prefer Sweet and Low).
So a few hours later, I was beginning to feel more awake. But then it got really scary. I started feeling all panicky and it's like, every negative thought I have had in the past few weeks just HURLED itself to the forefront. I used to be a cutter; I haven't done so in a little more than a year, but the past few weeks, due to anxiety about my grades, it's been running through my mind. But last night, it was all I could do to stop myself from sprinting into the bathroom and grabbing the razor, and I had racing thoughts of smashing the window with my arm and just wanting to scream.
Throughout the months I've been very happy, but then once it became clear one or two of my classes was becoming trouble for me, that's when I started getting all anxious and upset again. But it NEVER got like this until last night.
And I've gotten crazy from caffeine before, years ago, but it was just a normal hyperness thing, nothing creepy like this. For a little while, I had thought I had some kind of mental issue, and last night just completely freaked me out.
So I ask you ZU, what do you think? Am I just overthinking things, or is there something to be concerned about?
well, you already being a cutter (and hopefully arent anymore) and havit anxiety attacks on top of it surely doesnt make me feel settle or comfortable because with your anxiety it can cause more damage to your health.
Have you tried seeking help? I.E. Talking to a friend or with family about your current situation?
I would say just calm down a bit, take a breather, and relax and dont overthink too much. Id like to think your hyper attack last night was just due to you being on caffene. But it is something to worry about if you are having those thoughts again
so I've actually been in your exact situation before: I used to cut, hadn't in a while, was having a good year. struggling in a class, had been studying for the exam all day, drank two coffees too quickly, then entered this unstoppable spiral of anxiety and self-perpetuating negative thoughts and felt the uncontrollable urge to hurt myself and couldn't keep it under control.
it has not happened in a year.
for me, it was just a lot of stress and pressure bubbling to the surface and I was already way wired from the caffeine. but at the crux of it were these negative, anxious cognitions I was having: it's like I'd become a big pile of dry timber, and one negative thought was a spark. after that, I was out of control.
what's happening to you is fairly normal, so don't get creeped out and think you're possessed or anything. but DO be nice to your body and mind for the next couple of days. sleep a lot, exercise, lay off the caffeine, read a good book, go a long time without looking at a clock.
the good news is that you already know what the precursors are to this weird manic breakdown, you already know how you get there, and it's fairly easy to stop yourself from spiraling next time. when it starts to happen, when you start having those negative "HOLY ♥♥♥♥ EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE" thoughts, get up, take a walk, breathe in deep, watch one episode of Spongebob or something (an 11 minute break won't kill you) and come back to what you're doing. letting those negative cognitions get the best of you will essentially kill your productivity for the rest of eternity.
I would like to write a great deal on this subject because it's one I have pretty substantial experience with. The thing that's precluding me from doing so is pulling an all-nighter, ironically.
I will say though that I find I am much more relaxed if I just have a small bit of sleep before a test. I will normally wake up the day before a test at my regular time, work all day, go to sleep around 12 am, get up at 2 am, and then work until test time. For me at least, this works. Don't know if this will work for you, or alternatively if you have time to sacrifice to it.
Caffeine in high doses does carry the side effect of panic attacks, since it ups the CNS and causes all sorts of increases in heart rate, breathing rate, etc. Couple that with previous anxiety and it's not a pretty mixture.
What you should do if you're anxious is quite simply to relax, not use uppers like caffeine to pull all-nighters. In fact, that's actually one of the worst ways to study for a test that I can think of. Plan ahead next time, and spread your studying out. You'll be glad you did.
I find that a lot of people (actually, a surprising amount of people on ZU) overthink everything as far as mental symptoms. It would be very wise to monitor the issue closely, but not assume every negative aspect of your life is caused by your anxiety or the results of the caffeine and lack of sleep.
TL;DR: Rest, don't use excessive amounts of caffeine to stay up without sleep, and if you're anxious, find ways to relax. You're probably normal and are overthinking the issue, but if problems persist, see a psychiatrist.
Yeah I definitely wouldn't recommend caffeine anymore. Or "energy" drinks. and sugar in general, try not to have too much of it. sugar in itself can be a danger.
It's like these things just help to fuel unnecessary thoughts