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Daughter anxiety and insomnia. Help needed.

(22 Posts)
FANTINE1 Wed 22-Feb-17 13:57:02

Could anyone offer any help/advice?
My D is a student in London. She is having trouble sleeping which is making her anxious. She now appears to be in a vicious circle whereby she doesn't sleep because she is anxious, and she is anxious because she doesn't sleep etc.
She really feels that she needs to speak to somebody today. The GP is closed, and Student Services seem to have long waiting lists.
Can anybody point me/her in the right direction for getting help?
The problem seems to be getting worse.

FANTINE1 Wed 22-Feb-17 16:03:26


NolongerAnxiousCarer Wed 22-Feb-17 19:52:27

The GP is definately a good plan, do you mean closed today or for longer, surely there must be someone else covering if it is longer. It might be worth getting her name down with student services now anyway, as their waiting list is likely to be shorter than NHS councelling. Having said that in a lot of areas there are iapt services that you can self refer to for mental health help. She should let her personal tutor know what is going on too.

I have found that for anxiety exercise, meditation and mindfulness help me. There is a fab guided relaxation track called "the golden core" from which DH and I swear by. DH has found it really helps him sleep, and pukka night time tea can help with sleeping too.

Is there an underlying stress that is causing the insomnia and anxiety?

UnbornMortificado Wed 22-Feb-17 19:56:18

Short term in the past I've used phenergan (brand name sominax) it's over the counter and about a fiver.

It's an anhistimine/sleep aid and quite effective, it works for me and I've got a fair tolerance to MH medication.

It's obviously not a long term solution and she needs to see a GP. It's none addictive (unlike prescribed sleeping pills) and it can help with anxiety although it's not licensed for it.

(I'm not a doctor or prescribing HCP)

FrameyMcFrame Wed 22-Feb-17 20:01:01

Fantine could you ring the Uni and ask what she should do? It's getting urgent, they must have some emergency student support systems in place. She needs support today and the university is on hand, they need to be notified so they can provide help.

FANTINE1 Wed 22-Feb-17 21:37:49

She has spoken to a GP friend of ours who thinks it is anxiety. He says she needs to see GP. She is going to get an appt for tomorrow.
It is difficult to get student support. She is at a drama school. There is a long list for counselling. She had an episode of this when she started back in September, but it seems to have returned.
She says that she does drift off to sleep eventually, but then wakes up feeling down, and then spends a lot of time during the day thinking about not being able to sleep . It's a real vicious circle. I'm at a loss to know what to do really

Isadora2007 Wed 22-Feb-17 21:39:49

Focussing on breathing slowly helped dd. Maybe a cd or download of a guided meditation specifically for anxiety or insomnia could help?

Brown76 Wed 22-Feb-17 21:42:32

It's been suggested on MN before but for anxiety I'd highly recommend Claire Weekes books, audiobooks and there are some recordings of hers on YouTube as well. She offers a very practical understanding of anxiety and that even though the sufferer feels like they are going mad with it, the worry is worse than the actual issue they are grappling with.

beargrass Wed 22-Feb-17 21:57:15

I think she needs to be quite firm win her GP. If she would agree, it may help if you could attend with her? I also agree with PP that something short-term to re-establish sleeping will help, while other things are put in place to deal with the root cause.

Perhaps that could help her until the next set of holidays. If she comes home and stays with you, that may also help to embed some good sleep patterns/associations that she can use when back at Uni. I remember that I always used to sleep so much back at home. Uni can be a really hard place to get good quality kip at the best of times.

She may also benefit from ear plugs when back in more of a pattern just because Uni is often noisy at night. Boots muffles ear plugs are brilliant. Cut out all the crap but you still hear your alarm.

Uni is supposed to be an amazing experience but a lot of it is really quite tough flowers

UnbornMortificado Wed 22-Feb-17 22:02:08

Insomnia medication can be a bit of a minefield.

There is a few antidepressant (which also deal with the anxiety) that do have a sedative effect.

For sleep it's usually benziopidines (sp) and the z.drugs which are zopidem, zopiclone and one what's name escapes me. I've had problems with addiction to both in the past, if you have some influence FANTINE I would try and steer her towards therapy or CBT.

Obviously she's an adult and can make her own choices but it's what I'd try and get my own DD to do in similar circumstances.

I'm a massive advocate of AD's in general I just think sleeping pills can cause more problems then they solve sometimes.

(I'm a MH carer, but I don't prescribe or anything)

FANTINE1 Wed 22-Feb-17 22:11:50

I agree Unborn.....She has already said that she does not want AD'S. She is very open to therapy and CBT.
From being very young, she has never really slept well. She has to have the room pitch black with no noise. Where she lives is next to a busy London road. There is always noise of some description. She says that she always feels alert to noises, but she is not frightened.
I really don't know how she has got herself in to this situation. she also admit to drinking alcohol to send herself off to sleep. She now recognises that this is not good, and I think that it is causing her even mre anxiety.

UnbornMortificado Wed 22-Feb-17 22:29:04

Alcohol is a depressant. I can't talk because with anxiety in the past I have drank to calm myself down and I really should know better.

She sounds very sensible and I hope she gets referred for some help tomorrow flowers

FANTINE1 Wed 22-Feb-17 22:34:54

Thank you for your help. This is really something that I have never had to really think about before, and i am at a loss.
She is very sensible and talented too. She is determined that she does not want this to affect her studies. It is quite distressing to know that she is feeling so down. Unfortunately she is 3 hours away from us, so I can't go with her to see the GP, but she is coming home for the week end. Not sure whether that is a good thing or not.
Thank you again.

ragancarlino9 Thu 23-Feb-17 03:50:44

6 Natural Sleep Aids
And Remedies To Treat Insomnia

beargrass Thu 23-Feb-17 07:16:03

Also perhaps a travel blackout blind? I just throw ours over the top of curtain rails, it makes the room dark enough without having to fit it properly.

But if the cause is more deep rooted, then I think you just need to be reminding her you're there for her, and to keep in touch often xx

UnbornMortificado Thu 23-Feb-17 11:57:24

FANTINE I think it might help to think of it as her brain is just sick, which it is.

Poor MH runs in my family (mostly the women) I have bi-polar and 2 DD's and I'm worried for their health in the future.

FANTINE1 Thu 23-Feb-17 12:51:21

She has been to GP and basically is suffering with anxiety, but it has been brought on by alcohol. She has been drinking to fall to sleep', as well as socially. In fact, drinking too much. It is also wrapped up in being away from home etc
She has been offered counselling, but I am wondering if it should be specific to alcohol? Any ideas?
I think she feels better for having spoken to the GP, and must now try to reduce her intake

UnbornMortificado Thu 23-Feb-17 14:45:25

I think the GP would have done a drugs and alcohol referral if it had been needed.

Anxiety can make you desperate especially when it comes to sleep, obviously not ideal and a bit of a vicious circle but I wouldn't be worried about alcoholism if her GP isn't.

FANTINE1 Thu 23-Feb-17 14:49:58

Thank you. That's re assuring.

UnbornMortificado Thu 23-Feb-17 17:42:18

Your her mam, you'll know better then anyone on here when you see her. It must be hard especially when she's in a different area flowers

NolongerAnxiousCarer Thu 23-Feb-17 19:56:00

She needs to let her personal tutor know so this can be taken into account for her studdies. I got an extension on my disertation and also the GP wrote a letter to the exam board for my circumstances to be taken into consideration when grading my work. My personal tutor was very supportive too and used to meet with me regularly and discuss the impact on my studdies as well as having a generally suppotive chat.

FANTINE1 Thu 23-Feb-17 20:46:44

Thanks, Nolonger.........., but she is at Drama school, and her study is different to uni . There is no academic work as such.In fact, she says that she feels great when she is at school, which is a good thing.
I have spoken to her this evening, and she feels better for having talked to the GP, so hopefully she may have turned the corner, small steps!

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