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  1. I went to see a chiropractor/homeopath who my mother recommended and who I'll call Magic Nancy. I don't no what training alternative practitioners typically receive -- it varies I'm sure -- but Magic Nancy got into the healing business fairly recently after a longish career in an unrelated field. My experience with Nancy was negative. (Here's the simplified story) First, I am pretty open to alternative therapies. I won't list all the crap I've tried, but take my word for it. So I was open to Magic Nancy. I saw her a couple of times and developed some concerns. Nancy likes to read my body talk and then tell me what I am thinking beneath the conscious level. I saw this practioner in December and she told me that I was ready to heal and that I needed to repeat a mantra -- something like "I'm ready to let my body heal itself" -- and I was only one week away from a full recovery and good health. Ok. My body didn't heal itself on her schedule and I moved on. Recently I've had some problems and to appease my mother I revisited Magic Nancy where I had an extremely upsetting experience. I brought along a number of medications and supplements for her to muscle test. She listened to my body and then told me I didn't need to take almost any of it. She got strong "NOs" from my body on diazepam and clonazepam and said I shouldn't take them. Okay, whatever, I'll keep your recommendations in mind. Then she did her body reading session where she said I said that I am struggling with fear of failure, memories from age 16 and self-posioning. She said, by and large, that I once again am "ready to be well" and that I should put the past behind me and go out and be healthy and ... I don't know, get off my ass, basically. Her dismissiveness frustrated me. I told her so and we then had an awkward conversation which ended with Magic Nancy saying "I'm only telling you what your body is saying it needs, you don't have to listen to it if you think this is crazy, you're in charge, I'm just the messenger." Yea, I said but I don't know these things that my body knows and speaks to you. You're claiming I should do x,y, &z but not a,b,&c and you can't tell me why besdies "that's what my body wants" which is not a good enough reason to cold turkey benzos or to follow other recommendations. It's just not enought. Finally, Magic Nancy, your general attitude that I am A-okay except for my persistent clinging to a "fear of failure" pisses me off. I don't know if I am afraid of failure or not. But you telling me I am, is not enough reason to stop medications or buy supplements from you. Clearly frustrated, she told me that her work was difficult to understand and based in quantum physics which is incompatible with western medicine. She said I take a course in quantum physics and human health to better understand. Then, on second thought, she told me there is no such course that would apply to what she does because she is on the cutting edge. Of quantum physics!! The cutting edge of quantum physics research and application is on a gravel road behind the market in Williamson County Texas, who knew!? In a trailer home to boot! Anyway, I left. This was a very upsetting experience because some of the things Magic Nancy said actually made sense to me. However some advice didn't ring true at all. But my biggest complain was her hostile attitude. Her attitude implied I could be healthy if I was willing and that by implication only psychological fears and my unwillingness to listen to my body (from my subconscious to her) is keeping me sick, if I'm sick at all. It's messed up to play head games with a sick person. My illness is not my fault nor is it imaginary. One layer here is that I'd seen Magic Nancy earlier and not taken her full recommendations fully seriously. She was upset that I didn't make an appointment earlier, I think, and clearly brought a lot of hostility to our meeting. That my mother is a regular customer made things more twisted up. Anyway, she didn't take me seriously and she played a very nasty game of blaming the victim that made me feel icky and angry. Magic Nancy was the most upsetting health experience I'd ever had or close to it. It was uniquely bad as the one that felt the most emotionally exploitative. I wanted to share this experience because I'm sure we've all been treating poorly or misunderstood by healthcare professionals when all we want is help.
  2. blanketsareawesome

    Windows and Waves of Insomnia

    I have had insomnia on and off for the past few weeks. This used to correlate with my withdrawal symptoms, however, now it seems I’ll have great days where I can’t sleep and bad days where I can’t sleep. Same with good days that I can sleep and bad days that I can’t. Did anyone else have a similar pattern? I have felt a huge improvement the past few days, best I’ve felt in weeks, I’d say I feel about 85 percent myself right now, however, along with this I have only gotten 2 or 3 hours a night. Before this is was starting to sleep 5-7 hours some nights.
  3. I have had the good fortune to confer with some of the top brain researchers in the world this past 4 years. Michael M. Merzenich who has had several PBS brain specials, Robert Sapolsky at Stanford, Daniel Amen (also many PBS brain specials) Malcom Lader in the UK and many others. Off the subject of exercise but Dr. Merzenich is considered the father of neuroplasticity research and he told me to study primates brain ability to heal they give them SSRI's then stop them. OK Exercise - none of these experts had a clue on how to heal a drug damaged brain. The one common theme was aerobic exercise. There is a great book out on this called SPARK on this. There is also the work of the Cooper Center on the benefits of aerobic exercise for anxiety and depression being better than medications. For the first 3 years I could not do any more than walk - any strenuous activity made me critically ill. I still walk a lot and more if I am in a wave (which seems to be continual) but now I have been able to do some 10 mile bike rides. Has anyone else found benefit/determent to exercise??
  4. Hi, Is it possible to get natural sleep after heavy use of valium for about 40 years? I'm off from valium for last 3 years and tapering etizolam*. Took valium from 1970 to 2014. * Link to wiki information about this drug. Etizolam (marketed under the brand name Etilaam, Etizola, Sedekopan, Etizest, Pasaden or Depas) is a benzodiazepine analog.
  5. Started off on Clonazepam 0.5mg twice a day in Nov 2015 due to acute panic attacks linked to relationship and work related anxiety. Felt okish. Was put on prozac 10mg at night, additionally. Wasn't feeling all that great. By January 2016, started getting counseled by a psychologist at work. She tried to help me take a deep dive into the core reasons of my sudden, debilitating anxiety. It did help as I started working on them steadily. She then referred me to another psychiatrist who stopped clonazepam and Prozac and put me on escitalopram 10 mg at night and etizolam 1mg in the mornings. I was improving but nowhere close to being totally normal. He said it'll take 6-8 weeks, I ignorantly believed him and continued. In the meanwhile, got everything related to my palpitations and blood pressure checked. Things were ok except slightly high BP, which then made me insanely fear blood pressure readings and get more worked up and increase the anxiety more so. By May 2016, had issues with my sleep cycle so he added mirtazapine 3.75mg (1/4th) for my sleep. Continued this and the sleep got better but the anxiety plateaued and didn't improve (Should've realised the real reasons by now, sadly I didn't). On my next visit, he changed the whole prescription and I was put on chlordiazepoxide 5mg twice a day, zoloft 50mg at night for 2.5 months. Felt ok finally and by Dec 2016, in my haste to stop the meds( hated taking any sort of medicine), I quit taking any of them. Didn't know about any withdrawals whatsoever. Never visited the doctor again. After about 1.5 months (mid Jan 2017), suddenly woke up one morning feeling totally disoriented and severly sleepy even after 8 proper hours of sleep. Never had the slightest idea of what was happening. Continued in such severe misery for 5 months. Had sleep studies done (mild apnea), and tried some sleep apnea "gadgets" for 2 months. No relief. Nov 2017 and I was told I had moderate PLMD. Tried pramipex 0.25mg at night until March 2018. No change. Visited a psychiatrist in April 2018 and he started my back on escitalopram 10mg and lorazepam 1mg (temporarily to help my chronic insomnia since Dec 2017). I felt better initially as I slept more but was fatigued during the day. Felt better in the evenings. He put me on mirtazapine (AGAIN!) as my sleep wasn't getting better. I was taking 3.75mg (1/4th) and then 1.875 mg (1/8th). I felt close to 85% normal but had notoriously put on 4 pounds in a month during Apr-May 2018. He thought of stopping it as I was on a vry low dose. Put me bk on escitalopram 5mg, supposedly low. I feel disgusting again after I wake up. Don't trust doctors at all now. Did my own research and am using Mg transdermal, omega 3, B12 and D3 supplements. Have started excercise to lose weight. Should I stop escitalopram and start mirtazapine 1.875 mg again? That's what seemed to help me maybe
  6. Hi everyone, I have severe insomnia problem for more than a month. I was prescribed Zyprexa on March 29, 2018 and I took it only for less than 3 weeks. I stopped taking Zyprexa cold turkey and I switched to Risperidone 1mg. Now, I have severe insomnia. I cannot fall asleep and I just lied in bed from night to morning. My insomnia been going on for more than a 1 month. My questions for you. How many days, months, or years did it took you to sleep normal again after you withdraw or stop cold turkey from Zyprexa? Did you have to take another drug after stopping the Zyprexa to help you sleep? I’m desperate for advice and help. I really appreciate your input. Thank you.
  7. i stopped risperdal 4MG "Cold Turkey" and because of that that i can sleep only 3 hours per night. i am wondering regarding 2 issues: 1. How long will it last without start again and tapering ? 2. Can it make permanent damage to the brain so even after slow tapering the problem will persist permanently? If someone did the same, couldn't sleep and can share with his experience it will be great! Thanks
  8. Hi, my name is Trevor, I'm 28 years old and I have been recovering from Remeron withdrawal for a while now. I took 15mg Remeron for 7 years and every time I tried to stop taking it I experienced debilitating insomnia that would last for weeks til I just couldn't take it any more and went back on the medication. Finally I decided it was time to kick this drug for good and started out by reducing my dose to 7.5 mg for a few months, then I started the long process of slow reduction using the liquid titration method. I spent 5 months reducing from 7.5 mg to 0 and by the time I got down to 2 mg I was already experiencing insomnia along with other side effects like depression, anxiety, crying spells, body itching, heart palpitations, and chronic diarrhea. It's been three months now sense my last dose and I still can't manage to get consistent sleep. On good nights I might sleep 5-6 hours but most nights I only get 2-4. Even when I do fall asleep my dreams can get pretty disturbing and I wake up every 30 minutes to an hour. When I lay down to sleep my heart beats very heavy, not fast or sporadic like with anxiety, but slow and forceful. Even if I can get my mind to shut off and be completely relaxed my body will not relax. Any time I get my blood pressure checked it's completely normal but I have noticed my resting heart rate is kind of slow. The other day it was as low as 48bpm. I still get diarrhea some days, and it doesn't make a difference what I eat. It always happens first thing in the morning when I end up running to the bathroom every 15 minutes about 3-5 times. A few months back I went to an alternative health clinic and they started me on a bunch of supplements in an attempt to re balance my hormones and get me sleeping again. Some of the stuff I was taking was Chinese herbs so I don't even know what was in it. I got tired of spending 100's of dollars on supplements every month I didn't even know where helping or not so recently I began to cut back on the supplements. I even went to see a hypnotherapist last week and am going back later this week. The other problem is that I picked a very stressful time in my life to get off the meds. I had just quit my job and sold my house to go back to school plus my girl friend had just broke things off with me. Sense then I tried to date another girl who rejected me after a couple dates. My alcoholic father moved back to Missouri after living in Colorado for 14 years and just recently he got diagnosed with ALS and only has a few months to live. His ex wife came and got him and moved him to Michigan where she plans on taking care of him. I'm just glad I don't have to watch him die a slow death. School is going well but I'm taking easy classes right now, I'm afraid that if I don't start sleeping well by the time I get accepted into my program of study I might fail the program. It's so difficult for me to concentrate on my studies when I'm only getting 2 hours of sleep some nights. I used to be very healthy and full of energy, I was big into fitness like running, biking, and yoga. Now days I barley have enough energy to go for a walk. What advice would anyone have for someone who has already been off a drug for a while but is still experiencing side effects? I keep telling myself this can't go on forever and I will eventually start sleeping normal again but progress is so slow it gets very discouraging. This Friday I will be going to get my yearly check up with the VA. I haven't been to the VA clinic for any of this because I was afraid they would just try to put me on another medication. But now I'm beginning to realize there may be other things they can do for me like sleep studies or talk to a therapist. Any suggestions on how to approach my doctor about this? In my experience military and VA doctors are terrible when it comes to health problems like this, I want to make sure he gets me the help I need without me being disrespectful or acting like a know it all. Are there any treatments I should ask for directly?
  9. I accidentally stumbled onto this a few days ago while looking for a review of the book 'The Highly Sensitive Person' by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D It was pure luck that I discovered ASMR, I've had this my whole life, but had no idea it was even a 'thing' or had a name. I found myself about to watch a youtube video review of the book, but was puzzled why the letters ASMR were in the title. Then when the video started, the guy was whispering, I could hardly hear it, I had to turn everything right up, at first it was a bit annoying, but then he started talking about the book and relating it to something called ASMR and I got very curious, left the video to find out what it was all about and found myself in a whole new world. ASMR stands for Autonomous sensory meridian response, apparently some people experience it and some don't. For people who have this, triggering this response can be extremely relaxing, calming and induce sleep. I was looking for a short video which explains it, there were a few I found, but the one I'm linking to, does an amazing job of not only explaining it, but also by incorporating some of the triggers for ASMR in the actual presentation. A comment below the video sums up what I think may be the potential this has for some people "...i can't thank you enough, you've done more for me than my doctors have over the last 17 years." It works best if you use headphones and you may need to turn the sound up. I've only just started exploring these kinds of videos, but already I've found some of my own triggers and can't believe how relaxed some of them make me feel, the most surprising is the sound of a pencil being sharpened. Of course its not a cure for withdrawal, but it may help with anxiety, stress and insomnia.
  10. A few of my friends have suggested I have another sleep test to see what might be causing my sleeplessness. They see me struggling with severe insomnia, how not sleeping is making my life awful and impacting the neurological illness I have. I had a 24 hour sleep test maybe 7-8 years ago when my neuro muscular disease was out of control (pain, inflammation) and I wasn't 2 full years out from my psych drug taper completion so my sleep was deregulated. At this point I would like to see if the disease is a contributing factor and if not hopefully a sleep test could readily identify what might be causing my issues (or at least rule out some things). I do have a wonderful neurologist who'd evaluate the results. I was wondering from your perspective how effective sleep tests are, what do they diagnose and what information you could share/link me to?? What was your experience with sleep testing, problems found and how addressed? Have you had more than one sleep test?
  11. I am Charlene from Utah USA, I am withdrawing (w/d) from Lamictal, and would like some help with it. Shortish summary of most recent mental health drug history: 150 mg/day lamictal, 50 mg/night trazadone (as needed for sleep), are current medications. I have already sucessfully w/d from 300 mg/day effexor, prior to that abilify (prior med was respiradal). I have script for wellbutrim that I have not started on, though I have taken it previously without (w/o) serious side effects, but wondered if it was "working" for less depression. I was recently diagnosed with anxiety, due to great trouble at work, I started using proprananol, but have not continued taking it as I think the growing job anxiety was due to w/d from effexor, not "me". Diagnosis I have been tagged with in the last few years include: major depression, severe, recurring; bi-polar I, generalized anxiety, and the wonderful one, borderline personality disorder. I was hospitalized by consent in 2011 for 2 weeks (huge work related difficulties were a driver), which is when I got the BPD diagnosis, possibly due to continuing having suicidal ideations and conflicts in relationships there (and in usual life); which have continued most of these 2 years. But, I think some things like "getting along with others" is getting better, possibly due to w/d from effexor? I have been prescribed many tri-cyclic and SSRI and SNRI anti-depressants; my summary at this point on anti-depressant use for me is that at best some of them have "raised the bottom" of my low moods - which at times of stress has been crucial I suppose. None of them however are something that I want or intend on staying on the rest of my life, which I believe is the pro-pharma medical establishments recommendation for me up to this point. Augmentation with resperidal for irritability, then abilify later, depakote (more than a couple years ago) and now lamictal (taken previous periods too, w/d due to memory/concentration/focus Extreme problems in 2004 and 2010 - why do "they" keep putting me on it? I was on double the dosage back then than I was this time however. Other medical/physical diagnosis (most likely from taking the above!) include hypertension, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome. I am currently interested in continuing Lamictal w/d and trying not to go back on any anti-depressants. I am a bit concerned that continuing w/d may exasperate my tendency to disorganization and sometimes fluctuating mood and more irritability......things I have noticed over the previous 2 months or so. I am trying to stay very motivated to deal with low moods by actions such as hiking, biking, possibly getting back to running trails, staying involved in community by tutoring and organizing hikes, try to get back to daily meditation and other ways to deal with repetitive thoughts and low and not useful thoughts/actions. I currently work part-time at a lower stress job, have financial difficulties due to being on private disability for 2 years, which payments have stopped now. How do I go about slow w/d from lamictal? So far have decreased to 150 mg/day from 200 mg/day, by cutting the blue tablets in quarters. I went down to 100 mg/day, but felt rising anxiety from the turmoil and lack of patience and such that I was feeling, so went back up to 150 mg/day and have been back there for more than a week now.
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