Immensly scared of being alone at night. - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Immensly scared of being alone at night.

I have my own place with my boyfriend. He works nights. I started sleeping on his schedule (during the day) because of my intense fear of somebody breaking in and hurting/killing me while he is away. I am aware that this is ridiculous and the chances of this kind of thing happening are next to none.

Last night was terrible as usual. There were noises at the back door twice within a few minutes and I freaked. Made sure it wasn't just my cats, nope, wasn't them. Panic some more. I got my shoes on, stood in the living room, shaking, ready to book it out the front door for almost an hour. No more noises. Just stood there waiting for it. TV muted. Clutching my phone. Scared to death.

I guess it was pretty windy out last night. That's probably all it was.

I just thought of something that would make my problems go away but it's pretty embarrassing. I am considering going over to stay at my boyfriend's mothers house while he is at work. She lives only a couple of blocks away and I know she won't mind, aside from thinking I'm crazy. Just having someone there, even if they're sleeping is all I need. Her being a sheriff's deputy and having weapons and training and all that doesn't hurt either! :P

I am currently taking meds for SA that are helping with that a bit, but not with this at all. I guess I assumed it would help since they are prescribed for so many types of anxiety. Honestly I don't really know what this is either... is this general anxiety or something else entirely?

I guess I am looking for another person's point of view on this. Has anyone else been though the same issues? What helped you, if anything? Does staying over at another person's house every day seem insane? Do you have any other advice?

"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths."

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 04:49 PM
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Welllllllll.. You have us the SAS to keep you company ina way. Idk start threads and talk to us lol.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 05:40 PM
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My fear of being alone at night was intensified when I was younger. Than again, I've always had someone living with me in the apartment.

I have skylights so I was majorly paranoid someone would break in through the roof of the house at night.

A couple of things that may help. Listening to calming music (ambiance) while completing tasks or laying in bed. Perhaps even upbeat music; anything that makes you happy.

Ever thought of adding another lock to the back door, or an alarm system? How about getting a dog, though I read you have cats and don't know how well that might work out.

I don't think you're insane for wanting to spend some time at your mother in law's house. I'm sure she'd be understanding as well. Is it possible you could have a friend sleep over from time to time?

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 05:52 PM
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As a young child my parents let me watch all kinds of horrid TV. So into my teen years/20s i had some really strong fears. Until i understood where they came from i.e. innapropriate TV, older siblings that were allowed to scare me and exposure to 6 o'clock news at a young age, i was really scared. Just sharing so you know you're not the only one.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 06:04 PM
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Rest easy!

Remember the key truth that for anyone to do anything mischievous of any sort to another person, there has to be a MOTIVE in the first place. What do you have to worry about?

Anyway, do you live in a pretty decent neighborhood, surrounded by other houses (inhabitated by people/families)? If so, ask yourself: Why if anything would they choose YOUR place?

Bottom line: The odds are less than 1/10000 that an act of severe infliction would RANDOMLY happen to you by a RANDOM person. You'll be fine!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 07:10 PM
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I wish I could tell you what this is because I deal with it too!! When I lived alone I would go around my apartment at night and lock and re-lock all the windows and doors. I'd lock myself in my bedroom with my phone right next to my pillow. If I'm alone at night I am terrified that someone is going to break in. And god forbid I had to shower in an empty house--that's something I just can't do.

What helps me to fall asleep alone is just distracting myself really well with things that relax me. I listen to calming music, watch tv, and just generally try to relax and get myself away from panicking.

Also I got familiar with what someone breaking into my apartment would sound like because my roommate actually did break into the apartment one evening (the idiot had lost his keys again and scared me half to death). Not a very intelligent thing to do, but at least from then on I didn't get nervous when I heard a few taps on my window.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 07:14 PM
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 07:16 PM
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As long as you lock all your doors and close your windows, you should be fine. If you're that scared, try leaving the lights or even the television on mute. On the off chance that I get too scared at night (though mine is usually related to my addiction to horror movies and not some real world fear of being alone), I just leave the TV on and that takes care of it!


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 07:21 PM
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Hide under the sheets and hope nothing happens.

Seriously though, just try to relax. I was home alone for 3 months when i was 16 and i ended up sleeping on the couch, just so i could hear if there were intruders. The majority of the noise came from my cats running around.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 09:46 PM
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I feel the SAME EXACT way. I thought I was just crazy because my mom makes fun of me and tells me how I think everyone is "out to get me". I recently just moved in with my boyfriend, and he works second shift. Not to mention It's my first time having my own place. It's really tough for me being alone at night, even though my parents only live two houses down, and my neighbors downstairs are my landlord aka uncle's friend. It just an irrational fear that hopefully will get better. I'm thinking of meditating, listening to relaxing music, or even doing yoga when I'm alone. As that has helped me a great deal when I was having a panic attack before. My panic attacks are so bad that I feel really sick to my stomach and I sweat a little. If anyone has any other advice to learn to cope with this, please let me know. I spent my first night alone, and that was hard enough, especially knowing there will be many more nights to come
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 04:04 PM
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OP, I can't believe I just read this.

My fiance used to work night shift and I too started sleeping days and staying awake at night because I was so afraid of someone breaking in. I suffer from OCD, Social Anxiety and General Anxiety (which is where I believe the fear of someone killing me comes in). I had such a nightmare with it and spent most of the night petrified.

I am afraid I cannot help you much as my fiance left work after a few months of this routine and I hadn't figured out how to feel better in the situation. I just stayed up surfing the net and wathing TV, waiting for the sun to rise.

I know it has been months since you wrote the OP so I'm assuming you may have found some way to cope. If you have can you share it with me as even nowadays if my fiance stays away and I have to be alone at night I am terrified. I hate having to stay up until sunrise just to get some rest.

Hope you're coping better now and it worked out for you.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 04:09 PM
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 11:30 PM
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This is my EXACT problem too!

I am absolutely terrified of being alone at night. Any tiny noise and I have a panic attack. I can't fall asleep until the sun is coming up. It does seem to be a little triggered by the act of turning all of the lights off and getting into bed. Where as if I stayed on the couch all night in the living room I wouldn't be quite as freaked out (still overly vigilant of unusual noises though). If I am calm enough to fall asleep the lights have to be on.

It's just so crazy considering I'm fine with roommates in the house, and I sleep like a baby when my boyfriend is home. I just can't even remotely be alone when it get's dark. It's so awful. What exactly is this problem? A disorder? Does it have a specific name? What are ways to overcome it? It is reassuring that it happens to others too.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 11:05 AM
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Also terrified to be home alone

I know this is an old thread, but maybe someone is still reading the posts - especially the original poster: PsyKat.

Ever since I was a little girl (a LONG time ago) I have always been afraid of the dark and of being home alone at night. When I went away to college, and if my roommate or boyfriend was with me, I was fine. In fact, I slept better in total darkness. But if I didn't have someone with me, or nowadays when my husband is out of town (kids are grown and gone), I was/am a wreck! And I'm not just worried about a human breaking in and getting me. I wish it were that easy to remedy. (Security system, gated neighborhood, gun.) I also think about paranormal stuff. I SO wish I had NOT watched scary movies (especially The Exorcist at age 15) over the course of the years, but it's too late for regrets.

I've tried everything. Ativan and other anxiety meds helped enormously, but then I found myself unable to sleep under "normal" conditions without them. Plus I become too easily addicted to stuff, and I knew I liked the effects of benzos TOO much. I also tried melatonin, valerian, and magnolia bark - which all help a little - but not with severe anxiety. And forget soothing music, wearing myself out with intense exercise, and all that kind of thing. My fears are too great once the lights go out - or at least when I turn the lights down - and if I leave the music or TV on, I can forget getting ANY sleep. I do think a dog would be a great comfort, but we can't afford a fence right now. Cats are out of the question - my husband has asthma. Plus I've had cats in the past. They didn't help me feel "safer" or more comfortable.

The reason I'm writing is because I may have found something that helps - I'll find out in two weeks when my husband goes on a business trip for four nights. I've been taking lemon balm extract (an herb) for the past couple of months for general anxiety. (Worrying about money, family problems, my health, etc.) I have been very impressed by how well it takes the edge off my fears and worries. I call it my Don't Give a S*** pill! I can't remember if I'm allowed to name products here, but it is lemon balm in liquid caps - not the melissa leaves (from which lemon balm is extracted.) I hope it helps me get through my husband's absence, and I hope it helps someone else out there!
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 12:28 PM
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I live on my own and check that I've locked up at least 3 times before I go to bed. Although if I hear any noises I convince myself it's my neighbours as the walls are thin. Don't ever feel scared about going to stay somewhere else because they might think you are crazy. Whatever makes you feel better can't be crazy!
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 03:03 PM
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this is what i did to secure my house:
get a ccw / cqc training (i use a fnp-90 around the house because its great for corners/small/full auto/50 round clip)

m4 shotgun:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dibSfoBtGU

fnp-90
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojthP7z9hTk
(the ammo is expensive but worth it)

there are so many things around the house that can be used as an improvised weapon...

judo/jujitsu - great work out and great for take downs

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 10:24 AM
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I know this is a really old thread but I have this problem:-( I've grown up watching horror movies mainly slasher and paranormal which has obviously intensified my fear of being home alone. I don't mind being home alone in the day but its at night as my dad is out alot then. Last night was my first time being home alone all night and it was terrible. My main fear is probably someone breaking in, as i'm only 15 and female I don't think I would succeed in fighting off the intruder although I sleep with a golf club at my side. Having the tv does help and is of some comfort because if I hear a noise I can dismiss it as being on the tv, but because I fear someones going to break in, having the tv on makes it harder to hear if that did ever happen.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 05:48 PM
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I used to be a lot more afraid of this. I don't sleep alone every night but when I do I keep in mind that one, I live in an apartment complex where if there were intruders around, I could scream for help, and two, that I have a dog that's no fighter, but would definitely warn me of someone trying to break in.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 06:06 PM
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I would recommend buying a gun and learning how to use it. At my parents house we have a Remington 870 shotgun and a Glock 9mm for home defence.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-26-2014, 09:28 AM
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^ you cant shoot a poltergeist.
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