Another night..

Posted , 7 users are following.

Yet another night sunk into a bottle of whiskey. It's the only way I can sleep. I have depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and a personality disorder, and I know alcohol is a depressant.. But it's the only way I can sleep. Every other month my psychiatrist gives me a months sleeping tablets, but I can't have them all the time because of their addictive nature. Surely a controlled addiction is better than my alternative with alerting blitz on alcohol every night? I don't know what to do. I know I'm not doing the right thing. But I can't find anything else that helps me sleep as well. I do intense exercise for at least an hour a day and I always feel tired when it's time to 'sleep'... But I just can't. I've been like this for years and into been using alcohol for about 3 months. Can anyone help? I've spoke to my mental health team and they don't seem concerned. But I know it's not right. But I can't stop. Any suggestions?

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm no doc/shrink....can't spell psychiatrist....oh wait...we can only give advice. I know it's easy said than done, but pour your whisky in the sink, all of it....your not doing intense excersice before you try to sleep are you? as that will do the opposite as your pumping more oxygen into your blood stream.

    In my opinion any addiction controlled or otherwise is not an ideal solution. Again that's easy to say if your not dealing with everything you are. I don't know enough and I don't want to sound preachy but have you tried changing health teams or if you feel a lack of support maybe taking that issue further?

    Sorry for not being much use bud

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  • Posted

    go to your doctors tomorrow and tell them
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  • Posted

    Hi what about trying an ad such as mirtazapine?  They are not sleeping pills but I take them at night so I can sleep and they do help a lot.  They are not addictive either - well not like sleeping pills are.   My doctor wouldn't give any of those out! 

    I must admit on the odd night I still can't sleep I use alcohol too.   It always works,  but I wouldn't do it on a regular basis.   I agree to see your doctor and tell him/her of this.   Take care  Bev x

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  • Posted

    You need to see Docs, have second opinions.
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  • Posted

    Hi there Innmate, I'm not going to go there with your name but it sounds like your illness has been with you for a long time. You have very complex mental health problems. You cannot deal with the problem of each condition at the same time. You need to start with one thing first. What do you think is causing you to not to be able to sleep for instance.

    Dual diagnosis is the worst case senario to treat and have the required outcome. However I would link your problem sleeping on every single condition you have. As every one in this forum knows by now I will call a spade a spade. But will talk to you with empathy and compassion. As Matt has stated I am not a shrink/doc but I do have a great knowledge base in which to work with.

    Putting all the diagnosises together can I ask you if can to try to put the diagnosies to one side for a minute and remember before you had your first condition diagnosed. What were you like as a person i.e. Happy, outgoing, confident with high self esteem and self worth, enjoying life to the full or anything else you can think of before these episodes in your life began.

    I do not have a crystal ball but I would think that firstly the reason you have problems sleeping is your alcohol intake. If you consume a high amount of whiskey a day, stopping and going cold turkey would most probably kill you. You can cold turkey from smack with a few severe side effects. Cramps, vomitting, pain in all parts of your body, tremours and hallucinations., oh not forgetting anger and remorse. 

    If you are now dependant on alcohol you will need a detoxification program. Maybe at home in the community with the help and support of the Drug and Alcohol CPN. The CPN will come in at each medication time and whatch you take the prescribed medication of choice. The other way is to go to a clinic as an inpatient, so the staff can monitor you condition. But and I say BUT you must be ready to quit. Your decision totally. Until then we can only put forward suggestions to help you to achieve a normal sleep pattern with out the need for  benzodiazepines (psudo sleeping tablets)

    Sleep is required by every living thing, why? to replenish our cells, muscles and organs. They just go into a stat of inactivity, rejuvinating you mind and helping you to get through the next day.

    Animals don't have sleeping problems. Why? because they are hunter gatherers, if they didn't work for their food they would die. They are less fortunate than humans not to be able to go into a supermarket and buy food. Animals work, work, work and work again so they can survive. They use energy so they need sleep to rejuvinate.

    What do you do in the day apart from half an hour vigorous excersise in the morning? If you could space that out through out the day and add to that other activities that require brain power you would burn up more callories making you feel tired at the time you go to bed. If you drink Coffee through out the day there is enough caffiene in it to keep you awake for 3 days. With all you mental health conditions combined your thoughts must be racing like a formuler 1 race car. How do you slow them down with out medication to help you sleep or drowning your self in alcohol. Learning and practicing Deep Muscle Relaxation. Controlling your breathing and working on muscle sets in order to make them relaxed so you slow the thoughts racing around your head and drift off into peacefull sleep.

    With all of your conditions you mentoined they can all have similar symptoms i.e. Anxiet, anger, restlessness, impaired memory processes and thoughts of being person centred as if you are the only person this condition effects. With all this pent up anxiet and anger you could use that to your advantage. Look for a boxing club in your area and spend some time on the punch bag getting rid of that anger and frustration, this could when put to the wrong use can cause you to be on the wrong side of the law.

    I will finish here and let other members of the forum give their own advice and how they dealt with their experiences of insomnia. But just remember  that you must be in the right state to sleep. Even if you can get 5-6 hours sleep per night then you will feel refreshed when you wake up. Best regards Peter.

    PS, Have you ever served in the forces?

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  • Posted

    Thank you for your advice and support everyone.

    I have had Mirtazapine in the past but I suffered with bad side effects from it so had to stop.

    I've struggled to sleep for years, and very badly the last two years. Ive only been using alcohol for the last three months, and I only drink alcohol when I go to bed as being drunk is the only way I manage to get to sleep. I don't drink during the day. Although it's tempting as it helps me with my confidence.

    I exercise for an hour as soon as I get up in the morning. I have a fairly active job that's also very mentally challenging. So I always feel exhausted when it comes time to sleep time but I just can't fall a sleep.

    And no I've never been in the forces.

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    • Posted

      Hi Innmate, looking back at a few cases that I have dealt with it appears that with all these diagnosises you could be schizo-affective disorder.

      Schizo refers to psychotic symptoms and Affective refers tonMood symptoms. If you have symptoms of psychotic episodes within or together with mood episods then it is most possible that youar suffering with this disorder.

      Drinking to get to sleep drunk as you say appears that you need this as a medication. I do not refer to being alcoholic. That only gives you another lable to contend with. I would say that if alcohol is used as a medication to effect your life in some way ie to make you sleep, then you have a problem with alcohol. It is totally your choice to consume alcohol but it is only a crutch and you should ditch it in favour of learning to cope with your problems in another way.

      People with many mental health problems can hold a job down but struggle with relationships within the work place and outside of the work place. Do you drive ? Do you drive to work? If you do you are likely to fail a breath test because if you drink whiskey to get to sleep then you will be over the limit the next morning. It takes 1 hour for the liver to get rid of 1 unit of alcohol. You consume 15 units of alcohol at night to medicat yourself, count how many hours from the time that you stop drinking. Say I stopped drinking and fell asleep at 02:00 hrs I would not be able to drive my car until 15:00 hrs the next day. Increase this by about 7 hours due to the fact that you are on psychiatric medication which intencifies the alcohol effects and the alcohol intencifies the medication effects. A catch 22 situation.

      You have a psychiatrist and a CPN? The psychiatrist deals with the medication for the differnt symptoms i.e. Psychosis, Antidepressant and Mood stabiliser. The CPN should be offering Talking therapies such as CBT, person centred therapy or a variety of other therapies to suit you. You have a right to ask for these therapies. One may work well for you but another one might work better. Its your choice as the patient. Take care Peter 

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  • Posted

    Hi ,from an ex-drinking alcoholic (once one-always one) I can tell you that drink aint the solution.I haven't drank for 25 years and was on 1.5 to 2 bottles of vodka a day at its worst + still worked !!.Looking back I drank due to my social anxiety which I am sure i have had all my life.I only wish that it had been diagnosed decades sooner.I finally got help last sept when my anx went ballistic and i paced around the house for nearly 2 weeks and realised that "normal" people don't do that ! Anyway ditch the drink.My last year has been full of ups and downs-more ups than downs,am on my 4th AD,am going thro ven cold turkey ,i do not sleep,my wife started chemo this week -but I still haven't picked up a bottle.Ditch the drink or it will lead to addiction like mine did and it aint any fun stopping.It took me a good few years.Good luck
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