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Insomnia friends - help me beat this

(142 Posts)
GetDownYouWillFall Thu 23-Feb-12 10:43:08

Am gutted to be resurrecting this thread as it means I am back in that same dark hole where I never wanted to be ever again.

But here I am.

My nights are so filled with anxiety I can't bear it. My body is so so tired, yet something in my mind fights sleep and just won't let go.

I know that the only way to beat it is to beat the anxiety. I used to know how to do it. But I've forgotten the secret. Please insomnia friends come back and help me remember how to beat it.

I've been here so many times before. I know in my mind it won't go on forever, but I'm not being rational. It feels like I've forgotten how to sleep. It's ruining my life. I'm irritable, forgetful, shaky, clumsy, miserable.

I love my baby and I love my little girl. I love my husband. Why is this happening. I don't have any "real" problems like so many people. I feel so guilty.

I just want to sleep again, and feel normal.

madmouse Thu 23-Feb-12 11:31:46

Well done posting on here Getdown

I don't understand the comment about you not having real problems. You are guilt tripping yourself in a very unhelpful way. You somehow link the fact that you are blessed with a lovely family with your insomnia and anxiety and feel you are not allowed to suffer one because of the other. That link makes no sense!

What you are feeling is bad enough by itself, without adding guilt into it.

Sleep is crucial to our functioning, enjoyment of life. If you're not sleeping anxiety will take over, and believe me it doesn't need a reason, it just does.

GetDownYouWillFall Thu 23-Feb-12 11:39:42

thanks madmouse. So tired I am not really making sense. Yes I know there is no grounds for feeling guilty but I do nonetheless. My DH has been up in the night with me the past 4 nights and he has to go to work and do a stressful job in the day on top.

I dread letting people down. If I have anything arranged I feel I have to cancel if I've had a bad night's sleep and then I feel really bad, or if I push myself and go anyway my anxiety gets much worse and I have feelings of not being able to cope.

I am not someone who easily gives in to insomnia - I get up at normal time (7ish) regardless of how little sleep I've had. I don't lie- in. I don't nap (don't have time). People think I don't sleep because I'm not tired enough, but it's not the case. My body is so physically exhausted. I force myself out to walk the dog. I do everything round the house and look after the DCs. I am so tired by the end of the day but I still don't sleep.

I am sick of it. I just want to rediscover the way of beating this thing.

joanne34 Thu 23-Feb-12 11:48:04

Hey Getdown,

I am at the moment having a really bad phase, been a couple of weeks since i last slept over 4 hours naturally.

I went to the Docs last week and broke down in tears. I dont know why... tiredness does that too me, plus i had a big argument with my DP on the weekend and told him to move out.

She said i had moderate depression and severe anxiety and i was prescribed Citalopram and some zopiclone to take for a week. Also refererred to a therapist.

I have been taking the zopiclone on and off. ( i have a history of anxiety and not brilliant sleep)

I think i do have a problem with drepression probably from all the anxiety. I am constantly stressed. It's like i have to do everything and i cant stop ever - i must keep going - i have to be superwoman. But I cant ! Im fed up with trying to do everything and im wound up like a coil !

I tried to do the whole no negative thoughts on tuesday night, but yet again managed to fall asleep around 5am ! So i called into work sick........ which i feel really guilty about. I took DS1 to school and DS2 to nursery and i slept in the afternoon for about 3 hours ! Typical.... so i know there is no pressure for me to get to sleep, its ridiculous, I am my own problem ! smile

I am hoping the Anti D's will help... (when they start working) But I really need to address this negative thought pattern !

So you are not alone and i am happy to chat about this.... We will sleep ! We just need to find that off switch (and its not shaped like a bottle of vodka !)

GetDownYouWillFall Thu 23-Feb-12 11:53:07

Hi joanne sorry you suffer too. It sucks doesn't it. I hate it. I feel I can cope with life if I get my sleep. But if I don't it just takes everything away.

You're right, it makes you tearful. Also irritable. I can understand why you cried at the drs. and why you had a row with DP. It's just so so hard when you are sleep deprived. It's like you can't see straight.

I just feel shaky and sick right now. It's like being physically ill although people don't really understand because there are no physical signs (other than the bags under the eyes).

I really hope the citalopram works for you. I've done the rounds with ADs. I'm currently kind of taking mirtazapine, but trying not to at the same time. It;s complicated.

madmouse Thu 23-Feb-12 11:56:05

Getdown would 1 week of zopiclone help you get a bit more on an even keel?

and is it time to go on ADs again properly?

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 23-Feb-12 12:04:30

GetDown I feel for you. I know how it doesn't make sense when externally everything is fine. I used to think the same way 'I have three lovely boys, friends, a lovely husband why can't I sleep?' I used to think I was being selfish. I thought I was letting them down. None of which is true at all.

Have you being using our friend Paul at all? I actually couldn't sleep last night and felt the anxiety starting. I did use the ipod for the first time in about a month, which is probably the longest I've ever gone with good sleep every night, and it did work.

I know how horrible it feels when you are tired. I really feel for you. I think you need to remind yourself how well you have done so far since your DS was born. You really have. You will be ok, I know it. Perhaps madmouse is right and perhaps you need to think about going on ADs.

We're hear for whenever you need us x I wish we lived closer together I'd be over there now to give you a big hug, make you a cup of tea, etc.

joanne34 Thu 23-Feb-12 12:05:54

Getdown - why arent you sleeping ? Silly question I know, but write it down here, now to us........

( from your last post, you sound so anxious about not sleeping because you feel so ill, because you have to work etc....... ? which is causing a vicious circle ??)

Madmouse - The thing is with me, is im a worrier. I worry about not sleeping, i worry about taking zopliclone, i worry about becoming psychologically addicted to it ! I worry ! I got to bite the bullet and change my thoughts !

ChiefPotterer Thu 23-Feb-12 12:06:42

I would avoid the Zopliclone where possible and start taking your Mirtazapine properly. I came off Zopliclone and started on Mirtazapine on the advice of my (then) CPN - I had became very ill due to extreme lack of sleep (2-3 hours a night even on full dose of sleeping tablets) and within days I was beginning to feel much better and within weeks was fully cured and now sleep SOUNDLY for 7-8 hours. Sleep is utterly essential to your well-being I didnt realise how important until I literally had a breakdown. Not trying to scare you as you might deal much better than me with little sleep but I would book an appointment with your GP to discuss your options. You can beat this but maybe not without a little support/assistance. I am on 30mg - worth discussing as I cant begin to explain the difference it has made to me. Best of luck in beating the dreaded insomnia - in a few weeks you will be feeling great.

joanne34 Thu 23-Feb-12 12:07:49

I even sound Anxious ! blush

GetDownYouWillFall Thu 23-Feb-12 12:14:47

madmouse I don't want to take zopiclone even though I have a few tablets left. Not ready to give up breastfeeding it would break my heart. Also it doesn't even work when I feel anxious.

becky I'm glad you posted, I'd hoped you would see this. Thanks for your kind words. I did use Paul McKenna last night - twice! The first time I actually fell asleep briefly about 3 times, but the anxiety jolted me awake. The second time it didn't work. In the end DH gave me a back massage and I kind of drifted in and out of fitful sleep for a while, and then was awake properly again in the early hours. Then had to feed DS at 5 and it was all downhill from there - proper knotted tummy, and diahorrea this morning sad

Thanks for posting chief I know I probably should start the mirtazapine properly but until now I have survived very well on using it to help me sleep, i.e. occasionally. I know it is not meant to be used this way, but works very well usually. I find if I take it continually the sleepiness effect wears off, and then I have nothing to resort to other than benzos or zopiclone which I hate and end up making my anxiety even worse because of fear of addiction etc. etc.

You don't need to tell me how essential sleep is - I have been hospitalised through lack of sleep, and no, I don't cope well without a good 7 or 8 hours. I know some people do, but not me. I don't want to see the GP. I already see a psychiatrist and CPN, I am tired of all of them TBH. I know the only one who can beat this is me, but I just can't remember how. I am worried I am seriously losing the plot and I really need to get the old me back.

madmouse Thu 23-Feb-12 12:20:01

Getdown I'm not sure about this 'the only person who can beat this is me' lark - you need support. If you could do it on your own so easily you would have done it long ago.

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 23-Feb-12 12:22:04

GetDown I get that too. That knotted tummy and diahorrea. It is the anxiety. I know how hard it is to convince yourself that that is all it is, the anxiety stops you sleeping so if you can get rid of the anxiety you will sleep. I know it is really hard and easy for someone else to say but you need to convince yourself that you can cope with not enough sleep and that if you can't sleep, it really is no big deal, you'll have a crappy day and feel tired, dizzy, sick etc but you WILL sleep the next night, even if a few hours it is enough. You say you can't cope but I think you can. You feel worse than most people, as do I, with lack of sleep. It's not fair. DH has had 3 hours for two nights in a row because of work and he copes. He's maddingly fine with lack of sleep! Don't start thinking 'what if I don't sleep?' You have survived in the past on very little sleep, but you have caught up. You need to tell yourself that you can sleep. Read Paul M's book again. Please for me smile read it today. It's much easier ot be positive than negative, you've told me that one!

GetDownYouWillFall Thu 23-Feb-12 12:22:45

my experience this far is that i've had to beat it on my own. It is a v lonely place to be. excuse one handed typing baby on knee

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 23-Feb-12 12:24:44

Joanne34 you are just like me. I was told to take zopiclone for two weeks and spent that time googling bad stories about it and sending myself into a complete frenzy of worry. That was two years ago. I now sleep, with the odd blip, very well. It will get better x

madmouse Thu 23-Feb-12 12:29:29

I haven't slept well for almost 5 years now (pregnancy, then bf for a year, then PTSD and it kind of never recovered) but I rarely get anxious about it and that does seem to make a difference in coping with it. My anxiety goes into other issues.

Getdown rather than doing it on your own thing about doing it your way but with the support of others. Just sharing how you are feeling and being vaildated helps so much - you know that - it's why you are posting here.

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 23-Feb-12 12:33:17

I agree; you need support. I remember posting on here at 7am in floods, anxiety, etc, after 2-3 hours and you or madmouse would reply and give me encouragement, wise words, etc that really, really helped me get through the day, and get through that next night. Are the CPN etc actually doing anything to help? What are they saying; what do they suggest?

madmouse Thu 23-Feb-12 12:36:34

Becky your blips seem quite rare at the moment?

loopydoo Thu 23-Feb-12 12:40:47

I think your problem goes deeper than not being able to sleep. If you're anxious (even if you don't know what you're anxious about), cognitive behaviour therapy could really help.

Rather than anti-d's (I'm not dissing them), it's a way to combat underlying issues so that you can then, hopefully learn to sleep again.

Check out a sleep clinic website; have you looked into a sleep clinic before?

EnglishEponine Thu 23-Feb-12 12:41:41

Hi getdown I've got nothing useful to add sorry but just wanted to let you know you're not alone, I'm going through exactly the same thing, PM me any time you want to talk, literally any time, never asleep these days

GetDownYouWillFall Thu 23-Feb-12 12:57:45

Thanks yes I do need support. At the end of the day I need to deal with this anxiety. I do know that feeling awful is less to do with the lack of sleep than the anxiety about lack of sleep. I've learnt that much.

loopy yes I've been to the London Sleep Clinic. They were extremely expensive and not all that useful. I've done CBT but it focused on getting me to see that lack of sleep didn't matter, and I couldn't get my head round it because lack of sleep does matter to me - a lot. I know there is a lot of helpful stuff in CBT, perhaps I should revisit it, but I just can't put the mental effort required in right now.

Thanks english sorry you suffer too sad

loopydoo Thu 23-Feb-12 13:07:26

Do you think getdown that you may also be suffering from pnd? Just a thought? I know your insomnia is an ongoing prob but wondering whether pnd, if you have it, is making it worse.

Sleeplessness is a common symptom of pnd.

madmouse Thu 23-Feb-12 13:14:49

Getdown I am under no illusion that it will solve your problems all at once, but I find The Worry Book very helpful. It's a Christian book which may appeal to you - Vicar Will is a great and Rob Waller is a christian and a psychiatrist. The book also looks at guilt over feeling anxious x

joanne34 Thu 23-Feb-12 13:29:04

Quote; Loopy; I think your problem goes deeper than not being able to sleep. If you're anxious (even if you don't know what you're anxious about), cognitive behaviour therapy could really help.

Rather than anti-d's (I'm not dissing them), it's a way to combat underlying issues so that you can then, hopefully learn to sleep again.

Check out a sleep clinic website; have you looked into a sleep clinic before?

I dont know about OP, but this is the way i am heading. (CBT)

It's funny how i now realise that, this is down to my childhood. My Dad was always telling me to be careful and turning off switches.... this was passed onto me.... hence me having panic attacks in my late teen and early twenties, i learnt to overcome that,(though i am anxious of my children being careful and i am scared of flying and i wont drive on a motorway either !)over the years it has taken over my sleep.... i know that i am the key.... but change is hard !

Sorry dont mean to take over thread, just sharing. Obviously OP has written it all on here before ?

GetDownYouWillFall Thu 23-Feb-12 13:45:11

joanne you sound similar to me. I won't drive on motorways either and am very "careful" and risk averse. Yes we had a long running thread a few years back when we all suffered with depression and insomnia issues surrounding our DC being born. My DD is now 4 but I have another DC who is 5 months.

madmouse have just ordered that book - thank you x

loopy yes it could be PND, but I feel fine when I have slept ok

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