I’ve not slept for two weeks

Posted , 5 users are following.

I am suffering from somniaphobia, fear of having a severe illness, depression and have had to go back on Valium which is barely helping.

I wanted to be reviewed as an inpatient in a psych hospital so all my meds can be properly assessed. Instead all I get is the doctor throwing some medication at me. He knows less than me. I haven’t even been referred to the community team. I feel so alone and I know it is a huge strain for my family. I just can’t stop the thoughts. 

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Ruth,

    Dont know if this will help but I am experiencing the exact same thing as you. I have severe health anxiety and for months have been constantly stressing about having cancer/ MS/ A brain tumour etc. so bad to the point my body actually mimics symptoms. I constantly have headaches, feel weak, have heart palpitations and feel weak. I have been so unwell for months and even now, find it extremely hard to believe that anxiety could cause this much physical pain. Ive spent months feeling sorry for myself and worrying I'm going to die, but yesterday I decided to take charge. I am on sertraline and it hasnt helped whatsoever, the doctors are no help, so we need to take charge of our own emotions and get better. It sounds easier than it is, I know, for months Ive got angry at people who tell me to drink more water and meditate however i've realised I shouldn't push away ANY advice as to be frank, it cant get much worse. Drink more water, meditate once a day, write down your goals for every day and all the things you've achieved that day etc. Its all about changing your mindset, once you believe you're getting better, your body will start to believe too! 

     

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    • Posted

      Imogen, thank you so much for coming back to me. You have wonderful ideas. All would work if I could just sleep. My brain is waking me out of all sleep. I can only get light sleep. I am exhausted. It’s the professional help I need. My body is so sensitive to medications that I feel I need it reviewed not just abandoned in the abyss. 
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    • Posted

      Ruth the "Professional" advice would begin with just what Imogen says. I'd add in really long walks each day. There is so much CBT - based stuff on-line - the same stuff professionals give you to do between visits - mindfullmess, excercise, gratitude lists, shifting focus of attention etc. Its the simple things that really do work. R

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  • Posted

    Hi Ruth I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling so neglected, we call it health anxiety in UK I'm not sure where you are resident, I don't think it's UK though as vallium/diazepan is not advised here due to its ability to make users become addicted.

    There are plenty more appropriate medications available with a much better outcome, as you say your family are struggling to cope o think you are maybe under 20

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    • Posted

      No, I am actually 47. Thanks so much for replying. I live with my Mum. I am in the Uk and where I am Valium is happily prescribed. I have reached the point where my brain will just wake me out of sleep, I can’t seem to get beyond very light sleep. I just want and can’t get professional help. The more anxious I get the less sleep I get. I am so sad but am happy there are people out there replying to me. 
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    • Posted

      I realize because someone lives with family I shouldn't presume their youngsters, anxiety and panic disorders don't have a great respect for age sadly.

      I am much older And i so wish their had been internet when I was younger to help with coping strategies, ok brutal truth is that there is only one way to live a life not

      ruled by this horrible affliction is as Imogen says and that's you taking control, it want be easy but I promise it's really possible.

      First of we have to learn that health anxiety in itself cannot kill you, it can of course be debilitating and actually present with all the symptoms, so much so you can have all the pain etc that can mimic anything from cancer to a heart attack, so you have to decide if you want to spend all your life worrying about something that may or may not happen, taking medication is ok but to be honest it want actually cure you, it might make you feel calmer but I bet it doesn't stop the thoughts.

      Being sectioned wouldn't help either that's why it's not a treatment they use so much nowadays

      Talking therapy is good because it makes us face our fears and your halfway their

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    • Posted

      You’ve been great the way you have come back to me. I don’t want to be sectioned, what I wanted was a few days in hospital where a balance of drugs could be worked out and the when I have slightly more energy I can work on the talking therapies.

      It is the constant waking out of sleep that is so disturbing. I will drift off and then wake seconds later. I even somehow seem to wake myself out of a deep sleep that has lasted only 4 minutes. I am physically and emotionally exhausted to the point that I can’t enjoy life.

      Alexander you are great. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Ruth, I'm stating the obvious here but your adrenaline levels must be sky high, which is what is preventing you from sleeping. I've experienced this but not to the extent you are. You are so anxious your body is stuck is full on 'fight or flight' mode. Again, stating the obvious, you need to bring your anxiety levels down.

    What dose of diazepam are you on? I was given 2mg tablets which were useless. It is highly addictive I know but maybe a higher dose just for a few days might help? 

    My anxiety can go through the roof, so I know how incredibly hard it is to bring it down yourself, but my psychologist told me that the brain can be tricked into thinking everything is fine, just by doing deep breathing exercises. This automatically reduces adrenaline levels. If you can I would force yourself to sit quietly a few times during each day to breath in deeply through your nose (for 5) and out through your mouth (for 5). Do this for a few minutes each time. And do it when you get into bed. If you feel the anxiety rising again, repeat the breathing. 

    And maybe, if you can, a brisk 10 minute walk outside before bedtime. Then even a shower with some really nice smelling soap, before you get into bed. Then take your diazepam if you need to, and do the deep breathing.

    These are just some ideas. 

    I used to have health anxiety a long time ago. I can still worry now and again and I don't really know how I got over it, I just did, so I can't really help you with that. I have that much wrong with me these days anyway! The only thing I know is that if my mind had too much time to dwell, then I would start worrying about that headache, or that freckle, or whatever nasty illness I'd just heard about. But if I had plenty for my brain to do, these thoughts would be less of a problem. My brain likes to think, so I need to make sure I occupy it with positive things - I can't do it right now, but I've done some Open Uni modules, which was great. Maybe doing a course in something might help you?

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    • Posted

      I think you might be right about the Adrenalin levels. I am sure of it. You lovely people to come back to me. I didn’t know there was such a forum. It is helping me feel connected.

      I do the deep breathing and the walks all to no avail.

      What I feel is missing in all this is the professional support. I am very motivated to get well but I have a lot of troubles with medication and nasty side effects and I’d like it all coordinated by someone alongside the talking therapies. It seems the only way to get help is to say you want to kill yourself which I don’t. I very much want to live. If I stopped eating there would be an eating disorders clinic but stop sleeping and it’s a black hole. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Ruth you won't generally need an inpatient stay (not desirable anyway) for a meds review. But if you are not feeling heard by this doc, go to a different one. Is s/he a psychiatrist? Can you go on-line and find some CBT-based interventions for managing anxidty? CCI and Psychology Tools are great practical sites for consumers.

    All the best. R

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