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Like many of you, I've struggled recently with depression and anxiety. This year I've had a particularly tough time with insomnia (due to anxiety) - something I'm seeing a psychologist for who specializes in sleep disorders and anxiety. The lack of sleep tends to fuel my depression symptoms and can make a lot of days really tough. I've made some good strides but still have my bad days. I first started experiencing my symptoms in full force a couple years ago, coincidentally when I moved out on my own and started to feel the burdens of adulthood. Shortly after I moved out, I broke up with my girlfriend of almost 4 years, which was emotionally difficult for obvious reasons. I'm a bit of a loner and have always kept enough distance to avoid having really close friends. I believe all of these things converged to trigger most of my symptoms.

On the outside, you would think I should have nothing to feel bad about. I've got a great family. I graduated from the Univ. of Wisconsin and have a decent job. Still, it's like I'm missing that reason to get up in the morning. The work I do is pretty numbers driven and although I'm good at it, it doesn't give me a deep sense of satisfaction. And since I don't have much in the way of a social life, that doesn't leave much! I know that there's a purpose for me (and for all of us), but sometimes that cloud just comes overhead and is tough to get rid of. On top of that, I've dealt with social anxiety at times - not totally crippling, but I do have to put up with feeling particularly uncomfortable in certain situations, especially around people I don't know well. I make every effort to ensure that it doesn't control my life, but again it just makes ordinary things that much more difficult.

Anyways, that's the summary on me. I hope I can be of help to some of the rest of you for support and encouragement!

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Hi Unbridled,

Welcome to the DF! I can definately understand about not enough sleep effecting everyday life. I have gone through that myself. It can be very challenging to go throughout the day with little sleep. I often used to think that I didn't have anything huge that I should be depressed or anxious over, but it doesn't matter how small or how big the problems are, it is how we individually react to it. Loneliness, social isolation for me is huge. Having difficulty in small talk used to be a big deal for me. It takes acceptance that those are the things that bother us to be able to not be anxious over it.

Thank you for sharing your post

Ocean

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Welcome Unbridled27,

I have also suffered from sleep deprivation...for years now really...I wake up every hour, never sleep more than 4 hours at a time and that is a good night. It is definitely worth getting help for. There is a long list of things you can do to help like making sure you get to bed at a decent hour, have a process you go through to get ready for bed, stop watching TV at least an hour before going to bed, having a cup of chamomile tea or other nice comforting drink...light reading....distress...There are relaxation exercises, tapes and more. I like this one where you envision taking a walk in the country...and you come across a box and put all of your problems in the box. You can come back later and get them but for the time-being you put them in the box and continue on your walk... Eventually you come across a beautiful open-air yurt type building where you can lay down on pillows and blankets. There is no danger, no problems, only a light breeze, a trickling stream nearby and birds chirping...You lay down to rest...all you are aware of are you deep breaths and peace all around enveloping you....You are finally able to sleep.

Anyway, try and picture this or something similar that will help you.

I wish you all the happiness and glad you are here.

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Welcome and all the very best from me. I'm sure you will find many friends here, who will be able to relate and be a support. I too have Major Depressive disorder and it's not easy to say the least!!

Regards,

The Friend.

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Thanks guys. DreamAgain, thanks for the tips. My sleep issues have revolved around anxiety, mainly knowing that I have to get up early the following morning or just have a long day ahead of me. As you know, fighting the anxiety only causes it to increase, and it's been a problem at times for me to get out of the anxiety zone, for lack of a better description. Ultimately I find myself worrying about my lack of sleep, which only worsens things. For now, the lady I'm seeing started by having me keep sleep diaries (time to bed, time to fall asleep, # of times awakened, time I finally get up and start my day, etc). It led to her actually compressing my sleep time to fewer hours. Previously I built extra time into my sleep schedule as a reaction to the anxiety. But as with any form of anxiety, we find ourselves afflicted until we can come face to face with the issue and learn to accept our thoughts, feelings, etc. So far this has actually helped me a bit, which is encouraging.

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Unbridled, I just mentioned in response to you on my own intro post that I am not savvy about meds. One slight exception is when it comes to sleep aids.

I have chronic difficulty sleeping as well. I take lunesta to help with this. I don't know why so many people who take meds for so many other things are resistant to meds for sleep. I haven't suffered any ill effects from it and you do not build up a tolerance. When I take it I cut the pills in half or even quarters and it does the trick.

Something I discovered more recently that is amazing in helping with sleep is phenibut. I got some of this to see if it would help with my aformentioned social anxiety. It didn't do anything for that. However, it is extraordinary for helping me relax in the evening and get a deep sleep. You need to use this sparingly, not more than 2 or 3 days in a row, and taking a 2-3 day break in between using it.

BTW, I'm much like you-Outwardly pretty normal. Nice house, wife, etc. Up until recently I would have said nice job too, but that is suddenly in jeopardy now (primary reason for my anxiety and depression of late).

All this said, I have increasingly become a bit of a loner myself. I wasn't always that way. It developed more as I got older.

I'm glad you are seeing a psychologist and it seems to be helping a bit. Keep at it. I think that will be my next step.

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Hey thanks Morgan. I haven't tried Lunesta but did take a low dose of Ativan for a short time. For me, sleep difficulties have been purely anxiety driven. If I'm not anxious, then no problem. With the help of the psychologist I'm working with, I have gone off the Ativan (which I only used maybe twice a week for a month) and have been going through a cognitive behavioral approach. So far so good. I still have bad nights, but have been seeing improvement. I have actually tried phenibut as well and agree it did seem to help for an occasional boost of relaxation.

Edited by Unbridled27

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Unbridled, that's great that you seem to be making improvement on your sleep issues through CBT.

It sounds like your sleep issues were not as bad as mine to begin with as yours is purely caused by anxiety. I seem to have some chemical imbalance or something, as it is not caused by whatever mood I may be in (I could be on top of the world and totally anxiety free and still not be able to sleep).

Good luck continuing to make improvements with your psychologist. Keep up the good work!

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