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For all the insomniacs out there

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Birdie, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I completely understand. Everyone has to make that decision for themselves. The time has been right for me, but I don't have a physically demanding job like you do. And I was able to take some time off work completely to get through the really rough part. Not everyone has that luxury. And everyone's pain level is different because everyone's brain is different. There is no one way to address TMS. I'm not anti-medication in general, as I believe they have a role at times. I still take something when I feel I really need it. But for me, getting away from taking medication on a daily basis has been helpful in my recovery. I've needed to see who I am without the medication. Part of TMS recovery is finding the way that works for you. I'm glad you have found what works for you, Marco.
     
    lexylucy and Boston Redsox like this.
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen and Marco, keep up the good work in gradually getting off the meds.
    Keep telling yourself that you don't need them, that believing totally in TMS will get rid of all your symptoms
    and you will sleep peacefully.
     
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  3. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've made pretty good progress with overcoming the insomnia--I'm now sleeping fairly well more often than not. Still some sleepless nights and nights of not enough sleep, but definitely making progress.

    One thing I've noticed is that in many ways I feel better the next day when I don't sleep well. When I don't sleep, the fatigue and tiredness around the eyes is definitely there and annoying, my reflexes are slower, but I am usually free of any other symptoms, my mood is better, and I actually have more energy until late afternoon or nighttime. After sleeping well through the night, I often wake up with some of my old fibromyalgia-like pain, my brain is foggy, and I don't have much energy during the day.

    I believe this is due to a combination of two factors: the symptom imperative--since I'm not distracted by insomnia, I am now distracted by other symptoms. (Thanks primitive, unconscious brain.) But also the likelihood that my dreams are causing me to tense up as repressed emotions come up (I learned about this from reading Robert Scaer, the neurologist and trauma expert.) So it seems that insomnia may be something the unconscious brain does to protect us from our dreams and the emotions revealed and released through them. (Though I'm not remembering my dreams.)

    So as I have been seeking the holy grail of a good night's sleep, I find that it is not so holy after all. Still, I guess, I'd rather sleep than not. Just still so much work to do to be free of TMS and its equivalents.
     
    Peggy and Boston Redsox like this.
  5. Birdie

    Birdie Peer Supporter

    Ellen, are you affected by depression? Because sleep deprivation helps with depression! Depressed people have too much and disturbed dreem sleep. That's why, in some clinics, they keep people awake for some nights.
    I definitely know what you mean with the symptom imperative. The focus is much more on pain when I slept a little bit better. But unfortunately I really can't say that I feel better after a poor nights sleep, I have energy only for a few hours and even then I feel more dead than alive. But everyone's different.
    My sleep also slightly improves, had a few nights when I slept 5,5 h in a row, that's actually much for me. Coupled with an afternoon nap I feel ok during the day ;-)
     
    Ellen likes this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Birdie,
    Glad to hear your sleep has improved some. Oh, I wish I could nap. I've never been able to. But maybe some day....

    Your observation about depression is likely true. I am weaning myself off of an anti-depressant that I've taken for 25 years. I expect to have some rebound depression from coming off of it, so that is probably what is going on, though it is very mild and nothing I can't manage. Thanks for the observation.

    Wishing you more good nights of sleep....
     
  7. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Hi Ellen. I successfully weaned myself off an anti-depressant about 7 years ago, but I never was able to get completely weaned off. 7 years ago, I had stopped completely, but then after moving, had the worst insomnia I ever had in my life - like NO sleep in 2 weeks. I was at my wits's end! Then I went back to a really low does - and I could sleep again.
     
  8. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    Chickenbone

    if you don't mind me asking what where you taking and how much, I am on Lexapro 10 mg but winning down to 8 mg no side effects yet been on it for 4 months
     
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Chickenbone. So far my weaning off this drug is going pretty well. I am sleeping better than I was when on the larger dose, but I think that is mostly from treating insomnia like TMS. But if I find, like you did, that I need a low dose in order to sleep well or feel good in other ways, I'm fine with that. I don't feel any absolute need to be completely off medication, but I want to try. I want to see who I am without medication. I have 3 more weeks to go till I get there. I also know I need to give my brain some time to adjust to not having the drug, especially after 25 years.
     
  10. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    To answer both of you, I am taking 25mg of Amitriptiline. Ten years ago, I always took 50mg. I never took any of the newer ones. A lot of doctors wanted me too, but I never thought they were better. Now when I try to take less, like 10, I always end up going back to 25. I suspect that, since have been on this for 20 years, my brain is just used to it and does not feel right without it. I always try to warn people about starting on anti-depressants - I think you get dependent on them even if they don't do you any good. Ellen, sounds like you are successfully getting off - keep up the good work! I actually don't feel I NEED to get off, but I would prefer it.
     
  11. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Schubiner's book Unlearn Your Anxiety and Depression has a lot of good information about anti-depressants in it, and how if one stops taking them there can be a rebound effect till the brain adjusts. This information is helping me a great deal. Before I knew this, whenever I tried to lower my dose and I'd feel depression symptoms come on, I thought that meant I needed the drug to control my depression, so I'd go back to the original dose. But now when I notice these mild depression symptoms, I think I can work through them like all other TMS symptoms. Sometimes information works as a nocebo, but sometimes it is very helpful. My thanks to Dr. Schubiner and all the great information on this site.
     
  12. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Yes, Ellen, I think this is probably what happened to me. I don't have depression, but have been misdiagnosed with depression. Anxiety is my main problem. When I lower the dose from where I am now, I just have more problems with sleep. Even when I seem to sleep well, I actually don't feel like I have. The problem with treating it like other TMS issues is that I tend to have a recurrence of other TMS issues when I try to get off, so I get TMS overload until I take them again. Thanks for the info about De.Schubiner's book - I will see if this helps.
     
  13. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member

    Great story from this person who identified his sleep disorder with TMS. I agree with him, when you have hope, when you believe, of course you can be wrong, but there are more chances you will get what you believe.
     
  14. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had a stressful day yesterday and at bedtime I couldn't fall asleep. My mind was going over my worries again and again. Then I realized I forgot to take the sleep aid that I have been finding very helpful. I got up and took the little capsule and began to feel calm soon afterward and fell asleep.

    It's called Sleep Aid, a Kirkland product from Costco. I bought it from amazon.com. It's cheap and really works. It has natural ingredients, so it is harmless and not habit-forming. It might work for you.

    As for taking pain medication, even Dr. Sarno says it's okay, so long as you don't depend on it to solve your TMS pain which is caused by the emotions.
     
  15. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member

    Walt, Can you describe the ingredients? I am from Argentina, and I can try getting something if I know the plant, etc, that makes the base ?
     
  16. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    I have recently been in touch with a doctor in NYC who thinks my chronic insomnia may be caused by mild oxygen deprivation during sleep. This is because the shape of my jaw and my very narrow throat prevent me from breathing properly during sleep. I think he is right because, when I use large nasal dilators, I do sleep better. He also thinks that this is the cause of my nighttime reflux. I may have a little known type of sleep apnea called "Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome". I have been prescribed a CPAP machine. Have not started using it yet, but will let everyone know how it works for the insomnia.

    By the way, I successfully got off the antidepressant and only take a tiny dose of Ambien about 2X per week. SO HAPPY for that.
     
  17. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

  18. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Good article, TT. In fact, my husband, who has had terrible sleep problems most of his life, has tried segmented sleep. Instead of sleeping 8 hours at once, he now goes to bed around 8pm when he first feels tired. Then, when he wakes up around 1:00 am, he gets up for about 2 or 3 hours and goes back to bed when he starts feeling tired again. He has been doing this for about 6 months now and feels much better.

    I seem to have a different problem. Although I eventually get to sleep and often sleep in segments, I don't get properly refreshed during sleep. This is where I hope the CPAP will help.
     
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  19. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    If my mind is too active when I try to sleep, I tell it that I will think about those things in the morning.
    It seems to get the message.
     
  20. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member

    That´s exactly what happens to me but I had not realized until I read your words. I am curious about the neurologist you write about in one of your posts. Can you give some more information abut him?
     

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