Insomnia fears

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by caspar, Jul 15, 2015.

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  1. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Hi guys so I just feel really worried right now... I've been taking Mirtazapine for about 1 year/18 months now. Before I started on it, I had really bad insomnia, I was getting maybe 2-5 hours most nights, and often quite broken sleep. The mirtazapine for the most part, apart from every now and again where I take a while to fall asleep or have broken sleep, has blessed me with a solid sleeping pattern. I didn't really appreciate this until last night, where I ran out of pills (probably won't get them until tomorrow). I just couldn't sleep at all until about 6am I'd guess. Then got woken up by someone calling me a couple of hours later, and couldn't get back to sleep.

    I guess I'll preface this by saying I'm a worrier, but now I'm afraid of when I come off the mirtazapine, of the insomnia I'll get. I'm really afraid :( I think the team I go to want to take me off the Mirtazapine in September or so, they kind of mentioned it, as I have a personality disorder and apparently they don't respond to medication. But I won't be able to sleep :( What can I do? Honestly I try and explain symptoms like this to them (see a different doctor each time) but they just say no, medication won't help you. :( I will have to work and study too, early mornings, and the stress of insomnia on top of that is really bad for me.
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    IF it is helping you then the team should listen to you tell them about the missed dose and what happen ok they maybe able to find a different medicaiton that works as well for your sleep or help you get into a different routine at night that promotes sleep better. Here is an article i found on another forum that had good suggestion to promote sleep

    Re: Fall Asleep With No Medications
    If your mother used to give you a cup of warm milk before sending you off to bed, she had the right idea. Dairy foods are a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that your body converts to melatonin and serotonin — both of which are thought to induce sleep. Other tryptophan-containing foods include oats, bananas, poultry and peanuts.

    To improve your chances for a restful sleep, eat a light bedtime snack that is mostly carbohydrate with a small amount of protein. This high-carbohydrate, low-protein combination is thought to increase the availability of tryptophan to your brain, which helps it make more melatonin and serotonin.

    Some examples of bedtime foods that help you sleep include:

    A small bowl of oatmeal or cereal with low-fat milk
    Yogurt with granola sprinkled on top
    Half bagel or crackers with peanut butter, 1 ounce of cheese or a slice of deli turkey on top
    Sliced apple with 1 ounce of cheese
    However, avoid eating too much protein before bedtime. Protein-rich foods also contain tyrosine, an amino acid that stimulates brain activity.

    Other foods to avoid before bedtime:

    Heavy, spicy foods, especially if you're prone to heartburn. Eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable when lying down.
    Too much liquid. Drinking lots of fluids before bed can cause you to wake up repeatedly during the night to use the bathroom.
    Alcohol. Although it may initially make you feel sleepy, alcohol can cause unrestful sleep and frequent awakenings.
    Caffeine. A stimulant, caffeine increases the activity of your nervous system, which makes falling asleep more difficult.
    Nearly everyone has occasional sleepless nights. But if you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep that occurs on a regular or frequent basis, see your doctor to determine what might be the cause of your sleep problem and how it might be treated.

    Source: Mayo Clinic Sleep Center
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2015
  3. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Thank you Total Eclipse! Good information to know.
  4. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Lavendar oil on your pillow, hot chocolate or warm milk before bed, relaxing bath before bed (not if drowsy obviously) but I will be honest, the only thing that puts me asleep is a pill. I take zyprexa and can always sleep on it. I was taking stilnoct for 2 years, it helped greatly. I was in bed at 9pm and up around 7-8am! Sleeping pills are great but also addictive. Mirtazapine helped me greatly and I believe it was the drug that pulled me out of my depression. Good luck to you and be careful with whatever you choose is best for you :)
  5. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Thank you Petal. I will try those suggestions too. I hope to start exercising so maybe that will help too. Surprised you got prescribed Stilnoct for 2 years! I took it for a week once, but most doctors seem to be reluctant to prescribe sleeping tabs, especially for young people. they're a great help though if you're going through a really rough patch of insomnia... how long have you had issues sleeping for if you don't mind me asking?
  6. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Yeah a lot of doctors won't prescribe for that long because the pills lose their effect but for me i was on 10mg (max dose) for 1 year, then on 20mg which is over the max dose for another year because they helped me a lot. It was my own decision to come off it and i've been doing fine on the zyprexa since , im on 30mg for sleep which seems like madness to most people, but my doc has agreed it had more benefits and is not addictive so i can stay on it :) My sleeping problems were always present for as long as i can remember but i go through good/bad phases. I hope you find something suitable for you :hugs:
  7. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Glad you found something to help. My sleeping problems have been there since I was about 12, so quite a while too. Thank you.
  8. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Thanks, many anti psychotics can help for sleep issues as many are very sedating such a seroquel, zyprexa, maybe that is an option to look into. I've been through the ringer with sleep issues so if you need any help, I'd be glad to assist :)
  9. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Thanks again! I was just really worried about getting sleep issues again. I think it's tied up with the fact that my psych team don't really care to help me. So I doubt they would recommend any more meds for sleep issues. Honestly, they literally have gone 'no you don't' if i tell them I'm experiencing a symptom. So I think if I tell them I have insomnia, they'll go 'get some exercise' or 'no you're not'. It's really weird the way they negate things I tell them, like I'm making a fuss over nothing (which is upsetting too).

    Sorry I rambled there, basically what I was so upset about is worrying about getting insomnia in future, and them not listening to me. But there's no point worrying about something that hasn't even happened yet I guess :eek:
  10. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    That sucks, them not caring. Sometimes it feels like they don't care because sometimes they aren't sure what to do. And then sometimes they genuinely do not care and want to get on to the next patient . Put YOUR foot down with them and tell them how you feel. Explain to them how worried you are about this issue. Is it possible for you to see a different psychiatrist team? I once told a doctor to 'fuck off and get real' when he told me to stop drinking fizzy drinks after 7pm, while its true that drinking caffeine will keep you awake my issue was much deeper, on the same day I got to see a different psych and got sleeping pills, good luck :hugs:
  11. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Oh yes everything you said I feel is true. If they aren't sure what to do, (that sucks) but ok. I guess the next best thing is to just try and listen to what I'm saying? To be honest, I have only put my foot down and told them how I feel once, and it didn't go well. I was crying my eyes out, I could literally not stop, and they did not care at all. I had to beg the dr to get someone else to talk to me, because I was in no state to leave. I think whenever I do that they just put it down to my BPD - overeacting emotionally (one reason why I hate that diagnosis). The doctor I spoke to just made out I was trying to get benzodiazepines or an easy option.i will try again to get my point across though, and not get too upset if they dismiss me. Seriously it's like they have no empathy at all.

    Your issue with the fizzy drinks, I know what you mean that it was a deeper issue. It's not like you can just immediately stop doing some ingrained habit/coping mechanism which you've been doing for years. Like with exercise with me, I know I need to exercise, but I can't exercise outside due to social anxiety, and it's not something I can just turn off.

    I had a psych before who I thought was excellent and very kind, but I don't know how to see her again :/ I'm not a private patient, so I can't just change drs. I think if I rang the centre where she worked, they would just say that she can't speak with me as I'm not her patient anymore. So I don't know what to do, I so completely regret changing over to this place I am now, terrible mistake.
  12. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    I am diagnosed with BPD too, my G.P thinks I have had it all my life.
    I hate the fact that youngsters and addicts abuse benzodiazepines making it harder for people who REALLY need to get prescribed them. I am on 30mg of valium a day right now. That's not something they are going to take away due to fear of suicidal behaviour coming back if i am off them.
    Would it help to write down what you feel are how you are generally and hand it to the doctor, they might take that more seriously than someone in a state of crying hysterically (no offence intended there) just saying what I think. I have seen so many psychs in my life and I am only 26, talking to them, taking their suggestions and taking their advice will help them understand you are listening but what they are trying is not working.

    You say you have changed places, can you change again, if not back?

    I only see different psychs all the time 'cos there is such a huge surge in mentally ill people that the doctors are going through everyone fast and I might get a psych that has never met me before and has no clue about me. I hate that but glad my G.P listens.

    Put it out there that you understand you have BPD but don't think all your issues are down to that and it isn't fair of them to do that, it's just an easy cop out for them.

    Best of luck to you :)
  13. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Thanks Petal! I agree about the benzodiazepines, there are so many who abuse them and now they have been linked with that sort of behaviour, preventing their intended use for people with severe anxiety. I know I wouldn't benefit from them personally, so wouldn't ask for them. But they are great for some people. I will have to use your tip of writing things down, instead of crying hyseterically like you say (little lol at that, no offence taken, it was on point). I got moved to a different team because I moved house, so I don't think I can just change back myself straight away, but I'll ask. At this current clinic I go to I often see a different doctor each time too (trainee doctors), which is a bit annoying sometimes. I have said I hated the BPD diagnosis for that reason, but it's like I can't say or do anything now, can't express my concerns or feelings at all, without them going 'oh it's just bpd, ignore her, get her out of the room.' So I really don't even know how to talk to them now :/ but I'll try. Thanks for understanding.
  14. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    The problem with benzodiazepines is that if you take them for more than a few weeks, your brain's receptors adapt to them and they stop working - and they are also addictive, so when you stop taking them you get withdrawl which FEELS like anxiety - so you take a benzo which reduces the withdrawl and therefore the "anxiety" - and you get in a horrible loop.

    I take mirtazepine and more than once have been out of pills for a couple of days and I have exactly the same issues with sleeping if i don't take it - a couple of hours is the most I get without it. I have also been seeing trainee doctors - are you in the UK? I have been through several doctors over the past 18 months because they have all been trainees and then they move on and i end up with someone else - so I totally understand your issue. I spoke to reception and insisted I needed to see a female doctor who was not a trainee or a locum and that was much better.

    I told my doctor straight that Mirtazepine helps me sleep and that, more than anything else, helps my mental health so I don't want taking off it. She said if it helps, it helps. I am perfectly happy to remain on it to the end of time if it means i can sleep and it keeps me stable. It is a strange thing to decide you can stay on it until September and then no longer - if I were you I would ask them what their medical justification for that is.

    In terms of sleep hygiene, keep away from screens for at least two hours before you sleep - the blue light is a stimulant and even checking the time on your phone or similar can ruin everything. I also find that a cool room helps. I hope you figure something out. Insomnia really really sucks and I feel for you :hug:
  15. caspar

    caspar Well-Known Member

    Thanks Freya, good to know I'm not the only one with this issue. Yes I'm in the UK. Their medical justification for maybe taking me off it is I don't have depression... I have symptoms of it but not clinical depression *shrug*. I'm unsure of that conclusion but Idk I'm not the one with medical training I guess... I feel the same way you do though, I think it keeps me somewhat stable, as being able to sleep normally is massive and helps you to function properly. I wasn't able to function years ago because my sleeping pattern would go to shit when I was depressed. Thank you for your advice!
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