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Terrible anxiety and insomnia

(13 Posts)
AlmaMartyr Wed 15-Jun-16 10:25:49

I suffer from anxiety generally, which tends to come on every now and then (once a month or so). When I'm suffering I don't sleep. This week has been particularly bad - I've been awake until 4/5am most days and getting up at 7.30am for the school run. I have a huge pit of dread inside and feel terrified but I don't know what about. I've made an appointment with my GP - he's been very reluctant to give me anything in the past and has recommended CBT which helped a bit but doesn't really help in the middle of night. Appointment isn't until the 27th though so doesn't really help now. The more tired I get, the more anxious I am.

I was just wanting to share really sad Not sure who to talk to in RL today.

Realitea Wed 15-Jun-16 11:25:18

Youre in a cycle of not sleeping and being anxious about not sleeping. Anxiety in my experience is a lot worse if I haven't slept so I can understand how horrible this must be!
It sounds like a generalised anxiety disorder, the sense of unease or panic. CBT doesn't always help straight away and it sounds like you need something else to help you sleep.
Before the doctor prescribes something (most probably sertraline or similar or a mild sedative just for the night) you could try taking some antihistamine as a temporary measure, or valerian like 'kalms' tablets. Other natural things can help such as magnesium in the bath, camomile or lemon balm or valerian tea.
You'll get there in the end, remember anxiety doesn't last forever!

fassone Wed 15-Jun-16 15:22:45

Is this once a month in any way associated with the onset of your menstrual cycle?

AlmaMartyr Wed 15-Jun-16 16:51:14

Thanks so much for all the advice Realitea, that's useful. I bought some Kalms for now, and some magnesium supplements which I think have helped in the past.

Fassone - it does seem to be cyclical but appears to be mid cycle rather than PMS which is a bit odd.

Thanks for replying flowers

Realitea Wed 15-Jun-16 17:07:00

It could be ovulation, I get anxiety and migraines at ovulation time and again when it's pmt time. Lucky me! Try an app like 'clue' for your phone where you can log when the symptoms appear, it might be useful to figure out the cause.

AlmaMartyr Wed 15-Jun-16 20:09:54

Oh, that's interesting. Maybe that's it! It is cyclical although that doesn't help in the moment! I'm trying to decide whether I should resign from a role I have - would leave lots of people in the lurch but it seems to be the major trigger. But then, some months other things feel like the trigger.

Realitea Wed 15-Jun-16 21:58:45

Anything stressful could be the trigger, if not work it could be something else later on. I left my little part time job as it was definitely making me worse and I'm glad I did!

lists4life Thu 16-Jun-16 18:54:34

So I'm a trainee GP, but I've also had horrendous insomnia in the past. I know for a fact that doctors do not get taught how to deal with sleep problems and they are also very reluctant to prescribe medication for insomnia.

I'm really sorry that you are having such bad sleep problems. I know it can have a knock on effect on your whole life and it feels really lonely. I personally found that Clipper do a great tea call 'Sleep-easy' and a couple of mugs of that before bed was really calming and helpful.

What needs to be addressed is your anxiety levels. I found that taking up mindful hobbies such as reading and knitting really helped me as I had to concentrate really hard on what I was doing and this meant that I couldn't dwell on the fact that I was exhausted and scared. Try and get some daily exercise too, that will boost your endorphin levels.

There's an app called Calm you can download on smartphones which is really helpful, they do a meditation course called 7 days of sleep where someone talks you through guided meditations to improve your sleep. If you don't have a smartphone then try going on to Youtube and searching 'guided meditations' as there are some good calming videos on there that I found really helpful.

I've decided to write an ebook about this actually because I've come across so many people who are suffering so that's currently in the pipeline. In the meantime I have a few pages on my health blog I could recommend if you would like to read them. It's all tried and tested stuff I used myself when I was at my worst. I hope this can help you:

Sleep improvement:
listsforlifeblog.com/2016/01/12/improving-your-sleeping-9-simple-but-effective-tips/

Mindfulness activities:
listsforlifeblog.com/2016/06/16/5-easy-mindful-activities-you-can-try-at-home-today/

And this one is all about the Calm app (please download it!):
listsforlifeblog.com/2016/04/10/why-you-should-download-the-calm-app-today/

Remember this is temporary and things will get better for you.

AlmaMartyr Sat 18-Jun-16 18:12:58

Thanks for this advice lists4life and Realitea. The Kalms and some of the herbal teas suggested have definitely helped so far. I've also taken some steps to address a stressful situation which is good!

Realitea Sat 18-Jun-16 21:39:36

Fantastic! So glad they're helping. Kalms are really good, it's a shame I'm allergic to them sad
Tackling any stress/addressing the cause is the best thing you can do. Plus learning relaxation techniques. There are lots of good self help books at the library too.

MaQueen Sat 18-Jun-16 22:37:07

If it's happening mid cycle it could be that your surging estrogen is causing you to feel agitated/anxious and the insomnia, too.

You're better off seeing a gynaecologist rather than your GP. Do you mind if I ask how old you are, because if you're anywhere near your forties your hormones may well be starting to play up as you enter the perimenopause. Random anxiety/insomnia are classic symptoms of peri menopause.

Realitea Sun 19-Jun-16 18:44:48

Do you have to be referred to a gynae through your GP? It would be so much easier to just go straight to a gynaecologist.

AlmaMartyr Mon 20-Jun-16 17:55:33

Hmm, the estrogen thing makes sense. I'm 32, so could be hormones. I had a very unexpected pregnancy and miscarriage a couple of months ago which did throw me for a while. Since then I've had the mirena out so I guess that would be playing around with hormones?

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