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    Old 04-29-2007, 06:13 PM   #1
    ajax18
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    All the sudden an insomniac

    I quit being able to sleep when I was 20 years 10 months old. I stilll remember. It happened early one morning. I awoke and couldn't get back to sleep.

    I've been on elavil since then. I've tried not taking it, but without it I simply do not sleep but 3 to 4 hours every 3 days. Even with elavil, my spine constantly burns, my head is in a fog. I don't think well, and it makes performing my job all the more difficult to impossible. Elavil does put me to sleep, but I'm always tired regardless. I've haven't felt refreshed in ten years, but for very brief times.

    I've had a full work up and nothing was found therefore the psychologist I've seen concludes that it must be mental. If it were simply an attitude problem believe me I'd change it. Something happened to me that night and I have given up finding out what. The doctors look at me like I'm the only one in the world this ever happened to. I know there must be someone else, otherwise they wouldn't have all these drugs.

    Has anyone ever heard of this happening to someone?

    Last edited by ajax18; 08-19-2007 at 02:33 PM.

     
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    Old 04-30-2007, 10:05 AM   #2
    mkgb
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    Re: All the sudden an insomniac

    Go to a sleep specialist and get evaluated for a sleep disorder.

    Let them know you can no longer sleep without this drug.. but even using said drug you wake up tired and fatigued. Also let them know your work performance is suffering and about the chronic back pain. All these symptoms point to a sleep disorder.. they might physically see an issue as well.

    You will be scheduled for a sleep study and get the answers you need if your problem is physical.. it could be the medication itself causing your issues. When you have a sleep issue.. see a sleep specialist.. no other for treatment.

    Sincerely,
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    Last edited by mkgb; 04-30-2007 at 10:07 AM.

     
    Old 04-30-2007, 05:36 PM   #3
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    Re: All the sudden an insomniac

    Definitely not a mental problem...do take MG's advice.

    When I told a pscyhologist that I worked with that I stopped breathing for periods of time (when I was awake), he told me that I was probably stressed and that's why I would stop breathing....I thought he was in la la land at the time because for starters, it usually happened when I was very relaxed. Anyway, years later I had a sleep study done only to find out that I stopped breathing in my sleep as well---two different causes, one was obstructive sleep apnea and the other was central apnea. Neither cause was related to stress or emotional/psychological issues (although the sleep deprivation that resulted caused some). I need to write that guy a letter....arghhh.

    Anyway, do see a sleep specialist, board certified if possible. The other guys just don't have a solid background in this new and growing field.

    Bsheba

    Last edited by bethsheba; 04-30-2007 at 05:38 PM.

     
    Old 05-01-2007, 11:51 AM   #4
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    Re: All the sudden an insomniac

    I disagree. It could very well be a mental problem. You all seriously underestimate the power of anxiety and depression. Insomnia is a well known side effect of both.

    Last edited by quiet storm; 05-01-2007 at 11:58 AM.

     
    Old 05-02-2007, 07:53 AM   #5
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    Re: All the sudden an insomniac

    Good experimental technique is to eliminate the obvious. A sleep study and evaluation will definitely confirm or rule out a sleep disorder. This in itself can provide peace of mind Quiet Storm.

    I never said it wasn't anxiety. However, anxiety is a side effect of sleep deprivation which is most often caused by a latent sleep disorder.. so what do you do. Get it checked out and track your symptoms to the source so you can treat or cure your problem. In the case of a sleep disorder you want to go to an ABSM sleep specialist because most other MD's are clueless to all the subtle sleep disorders out there. 60% of adults have some form of sleep disorder.. 30% have chronic sleep disorders. A good nights sleep can do wonders for ones disposition.

    Sincerely,
    MG
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    Last edited by mkgb; 05-02-2007 at 07:53 AM.

     
    Old 05-03-2007, 03:47 AM   #6
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    Re: All the sudden an insomniac

    Quiet Storm

    Having experienced both anxiety and depression, I assure you that I am well aware of the power of both.

    I will also say that it has been my personal experience that treatment of a sleeping disorder can reduce the intensity of anxiety and depression, if not eliminate the symptoms entirely. While factors in one's life may be stressful or troublesome, and may interfer with sleep, poor quality of sleep definitely interfers with our ability to cope with these factors.

    Bsheba

    Last edited by bethsheba; 05-03-2007 at 03:49 AM.

     
    Old 05-03-2007, 03:21 PM   #7
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    Re: All the sudden an insomniac

    whatever the reason for the original insomnia, it is known that most meds like antidepressants and benzos eventually worsen sleep problems. They interfer and alter the natural sleep cycles.

    I've known a few people who suddenly became insomniacs for apparentely no reason but in their cases, the insomnia got better without medication but it took some time and patience.

    When medication enters the picture, it seems to always complicate sleep problems in the long run, while usually only working well in the short run.

    I could be the AD makes you sleepy but does alter the nature cycles which would explain waking unrefreshed. Not being able to sleep without it indicates dependancy, which can take some time to reverse. The original problem may still be around or maybe it's long gone....chances are it is long gone, as our situations, anxieties and lifestyles sometimes change for the better.

     
    Old 05-07-2007, 02:17 AM   #8
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    Re: All the sudden an insomniac

    I have anxiety/panic and have been on klonopin and remeron for a month now. I found that was the only thing that worked to knock me out for 6 hours or so. Ambien didn't work, lunesta failed, xanax didn't work, etc.. even trazadone didn't work for me. But the combo I'm on now seems to be okay and so I will take it and deal with each day/night as it comes. Why worry about what the long-term effects of the benzos and stuff are when you need the help now. I say deal with what you need to now and then later, worry about what needs to be worried about. That's my attitude lately, since I finally have been getting some sleep, thanks to the meds! Prior to these meds, I was up every night for 3 nights straight and then would sleep 2-3 hours the 4th night. It was miserable and worsened my anxiety/panic, made me dizzy and shakey all day and nauseous.

     
    Old 08-18-2007, 10:42 AM   #9
    ajax18
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    Re: All the sudden an insomniac

    I had the sleep the study done about five years after I started with this problem. I had it done in Jacksonville, FL. I got insurance and slept in the lab one night. I got a letter a few weeks later saying that all the results were negative. Yet something is clearly wrong. Why it can't be located, I don't know.

    Perhaps the key for me is to get good enough insurance to afford Lunesta. The side effects seem remarkably less than amitryptiline. I doubt I'll ever be normal again, but mixing and matching drugs, along with learning how to cope with it better has helped my quality of life.

     
    Old 07-22-2008, 05:06 AM   #10
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    Re: All the sudden an insomniac

    Ajax18,I feel for you. It happened to me also. Doctors said they never met anyone being in a car accident and lost the ability to sleep. I had a sever whiplash and gradually after the accident (couple of months later)lost the ability to sleep, completelly.
    I told the doctors that it's cause I have chronic pain in the neck but they said they have never met anybody like that before. I didn't believe them.
    I totally lost the ability to sleep. I"m always tired but when I put the neck on the pillow I feel sever pain that won't let me sleep. I spend my nights sitting on the sofa that my neck won't touch the pillow. wide awake. It's that bad.
    It's been like that for 3 years almost. I used to spend nights without sleep at all. Every couple of months I would fall asleep(just like you)for 6 hours and that's it.(and that was every couple of months). So now I take sleeping pills but they are losing their strengh, only work for 2-3 hours and I don't feel like I slept at all.
    I know and sure it's not anxiety that cause it. It's the whiplash that day that probably I assume affect the spinal cord to my brain. I"m sure about it.
    Please don't feel alone in that.
    I really miss my 9 hours sleep before the accident but there is nothing I can do about it.

     
    Old 07-22-2008, 02:31 PM   #11
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    Re: All the sudden an insomniac

    I can totally sympathize and empathize with your situation. I developed severe insomnia, out of the blue, in the early 90's when I was in my mid-30's. Yes, I had an active life (wife, mother, career, etc.) but no trauma or overload of stress that I can recall. Seeing a sleep specialist did not help. I suffered insomnia, often going without substantial sleep for weeks at a time, for the next 2-1/2 years. I was evaluated for depression, but the director of a treatment clinic agreed I was not depressed, just sleep-deprived.

    When I tried Elavil/amitriptylline, I finally got some relief, but it brought its own set of problems. The weight gain was immediate and profound (30 pounds the first month), and no matter how much I complained to my doctor, he reassured me it would "level off" and start to come back off. Over 100 pounds later, he then scolded me that I needed to lose some weight. I believe some of my other health issues (sleep apnea, fibromyalgia) developed or worsened with the weight gain. Ultimately, after several years, the Elavil became ineffective and I found myself in a full-blown, permanent stage of insomnia and ended up having to leave my career and go on disability.

    Luckily, I have found a new doctor who is working on finding the source of my issues rather than just throwing treatments at me. I have suffered through two surgeries that I believe contributed to the total imbalance of my body's functions. Her initial findings have uncovered that my hormones are totally out of whack, and we are trying to get them back into balance to see what impact that may have on my inability to sleep.

    For the record, I have tried every "sleep hygiene" regimen there is, along with so-called "natural" remedies, such as Valerian, Melatonin, St. John's Wort, HTP, Kava Kava, Tylenol PM, Bendryl, Sominex....well, you get the idea. There is a chemical cause for my insomnia, and until we figure out what it is, I fear I will be suffering for a long time.

    I do agree that some people have anxiety issues that prevent sleep, but I think lack of sleep for any period of time can bring on many other issues, such as anxiety, depression and other, more serious health problems.

    A couple of things that have helped me recently are Phenergan/Promethazine, which is usually prescribed as an anti-nausea medication. It has a good sedating quality to it and has helped me with sleep. I also am now taking Soma for muscle spasms, and it has provided me with relief. These are things that you can check with your doctor to see if they are appropriate for you.

    I can only tell you, you are not alone, and you must keep fighting to find something that works for you. Find a doctor who is willing to test everything, try anything and get you some relief. Sleep is so necessary for your health and well-being that it must be treated as a top priority.

    Good luck and let us know how you're doing.

    Blessings,
    TexMom

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 04:49 AM   #12
    nochange
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    Re: All the sudden an insomniac

    Thx Texmom85, I'm taking now amitrypline for already 6 days and there is no change. I'm still awake, 24/7. I'm eating so much though, never ate like that before.
    Gonna try benadryl and phenergan as you recommended.

    Last edited by nochange; 07-28-2008 at 04:51 AM.

     
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