To sleep or not to sleep

Posted , 6 users are following.

It's getting late and I am gonna have to make a choice

Probably

I want to stay awake because sleeping gives me the fear of a nightmare happening. Sometimes I remember them, sometimes I just wake up in a cold sweat.

But I also want to sleep because I don't want to relive it again, and that's all I do when I'm awake anyways. I'm distressed and angry and unconsolable

It's a horrible battle that feels like it's tearing me apart right now.

Honestly the only way I see myself getting through the night is by going back to self harm, a coping method I said I wouldn't go back to

But it's just hard not to at this moment.

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    I struggle with insomnia as a result of my ptsd too, half the time I'm too terrified to even get into my bed but then the terror causes me go have flashbacks and I lay on the floor having a flashback until I pass out from exhaustion and often wake up to nightmares. I've found that taking some time and making sure I care for myself before bed helps. My ptsd is from sexual violence that was done to me while I was asleep and from being in fires as a child and being woken up in the middle of the night to escape the fire. I have aelfharmed and still do occasionally because of it. I've been told by counsellors that if its safe and not to attempt to kill yourself and its just a way to get rid of suffering temporarily then its not terrible to do though its still not advised and I would always avoid it, I always try to

    For insomnia based in ptsd may I suggest you keep things by your bed that engage your senses, I use sour sweets, lemongrass essential oil and a stress ball as well as earphones for music. This engages the senses so hopefully you can pull yourself out of a flashback. It doesn't always work but sometimes it does. I find that lavender helps and I light lavender incense and let it burn for a bit before putting it out and then sleeping as this can help with sleep and the scent promotes calmness in the brain.

    Failing all else you can buy over the counter sleeping tablets and take them to help aid in getting to sleep and trying to tone down the nightmares as sleeping pills subtly change your sleep cycle so you don't really tend to dream as much. If you continue to be terrorised every time you try to sleep, go to a doctor and see what they can do for you, its currently what I'm attempting to do, I hope some of this helps, and maybe one day we'll manage to get peaceful sleep ?

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  • Posted

    It happens same to me as you have this problem, but hope the god will help us and will be in the future with an excellent health, without any issues that we are possess at this time "Hopefully"  

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  • Posted

    Hi Max (wolfe)

    It's clear that your mental health is not good, and that your in a very perturbed state. Your post is short and you do not mention the reason(s) for your PTSD.

    However, I would suggest that you weigh up the 'pros and cons' re the situation that you are in. It's far from easy to make decisions when your in this terrible state of mind.

    I've had severe PTSD for decades and in my case I have come to terms, a long time ago, that I'm mentally scarred for life. I hasten to add that I've tried virtually every treatment going and it's only medication that has given me relief. ( plus my Christian faith).

    Like you, I suffer awful night sweating  and sometimes my bed is absolutely soaking when I awake in the morning. It's so debilitating!

    My night terrors are frequent, although sometimes i cannot remember the content. I often scream out loud and it awakes others. It's out of my control! 

    I had a bad experience regarding EMDR and a few  years ago as it came to my knowledge that my therapist had stated  issues in my "report" that were incorrect. I was not meant to see the report, but when I read it I felt betrayed which made my health worse.

    Trust is a very big issue for me and, as a result,  it's now ultra hard for me to talk freely about my PTSD. I did not approach the person concerned but it's left a mighty big mental scar. 

    You do  not say if you take any meds, but as far as I'm concerned, I could not do without them. It's often trial and error in order to find out what med is right for the patient. 

    I can tell that your "battle" is causing you an enormous amount of suffering and that you need some form of help -  as soon as possible! Self-harm is obviously a backward step, but I can understand that your plight is a desperate one...and that you need relief of some kind! I hope that you get well sooner rather than letter.

    May the Lord Jesus truly bless and comfort you at this very hard period.

    God blesss

    John

     

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    • Posted

      Hiya John, I suffer with PTSD symptoms, from childhood abuse, and 4 yes ago being attacked with a machete, which left me in hospital for a week, So I was just reading your reply, seeing if there's anything that might help me, can I ask what is EMDR?

      Thank you,. Stephen

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    • Posted

      Hello there Stephen,

      I apologise for not getting in touch with you sooner but my computer needed repair.

      You ask about EMDR; it stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reproccessing and it's basically a form of psycotherapy. It was discovered by a lady called Francine Shapiro a few decades ago. In short, it deals with eye movements in relation to PTSD.

      Are you a suitable candidate for this treatment? Well, you'd need to enquire with medical professionals in order to get your answer in full.

      You need to realize that EMDR does not work for everyone. I received 3 treatments but they were not successful in my case. Many others state the opposite, and  that it helps their mental illness.

      I note your issues concerning flashbacks and other PTSD symptoms. You do need to be careful if you have two or more instances of deep trauma. EMDR is usually designed for one PTSD.

      I would suggest that you consult a mental health doctor or similar, and make a desicion when you have collated most of the facts. Hope things get better for you.

      God Bless

      John

       

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    • Posted

      Hiya John, thank you for your reply, and it's information sounds good for me to look into, just asking, would this be available in the UK?, as im not sure if this forum is just UK citizens or international, as there is certain medical complaints that are recognised in the USA,but not in the UK, for example complex PTSD, Which is what I have ""unofficially" been told I could be suffering with, but that it isn't recognised by the UK medical board, but it is in the USA, that's when the cause (trauma"s) happened in my case, well the main causes of my symptoms, ""*flashbacks, panic attacks,anxiety, anger issues, loneliness, drug) alcohol problems"""", even though I have suffered major traumas recently 30odd yrs later in adult life that all adds on to my symptoms, So some things will be believed by UK doctors, and other things won't, but my Doctor is a nice good understanding man, and it was him who told me about the"unofficial"" C.P.T.S D.sorry for going on a bit there, I get carried awAy sometimes, my mind goes off with my painkillers I take for arthritis, So forgive me on that part please, and I thank you again for telling me about EMDR. Stephen

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    • Posted

      Hello John, Stephen again, I've not actually been diagnosed with PTSD, I've been told I have symptoms "relating" to, or symptoms like PTSD sufferers, I'm 49 in July, and have never seen a psychiatrist, who I am told is the only person in the UK who can diagnose you with PTSD,I am already on disability benefits with my osteo-arthritis which I have severe in lower back, and moderate in both knees, I was never over-weight, so I don't think that caused it, I was actually quite fit healthy, in physical terms anyway, but mentally I've been a wreck since I started running away from home at 14-15 yrs old in mid 1980's, It's just so hard for me to get a diagnosis, I get so many anti-depressants which all make me like a walking zombie for the first week or two, then im back to my normal head in the sand self, I've suffer about 35 yrs bring a mental, emotional wreck, and feel like now with my arthritis getting worse every year since I got it about 4 years ago, I could be unable to walk soon, and with my mental state, I don't think I've got long left on this planet, and I'm not ""feeling sorry for myself"" as I know there's 100's thousands people worse off than me, but I live in a country that is supposed to be in the top 5 richest in the world, so for my last 20 yes or whatever I have, I wouldn't mind the correct diagnosis and medication as I'm only here for one go at a good life , and the first 50 years has been s**t, I'm going on again, Sorry John, you probably don't need to listen to me going on, I'm sorry.

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    • Posted

      Hi Stephen

      I've read your recent posts and I can understand your frustration and other issues.

      i would state that I'm not from the USA but west Wales, UK. You are correct about the medical differences and I suggest  that you stick to UK  diagnosis from now on as things can get really complicated. For example, Cyclothymia is considered as Bi-Polar in America whilst in the UK it's not.

      I think you should be in touch with your GP again in order to be referred to the "mental health team" psychiatrist and psychologist. You need a clear diagnosis so that you can move forward. Perhaps you may have to persist in getting treatment; although you say that your doctor is nice, good and understanding. Do insist on getting an appointment. You are perfectly entitled to do this. But there shouldn't be a problem as I see it.

      I would mention that your physical condition is not helping your psychiatric state either. It so happens that I have back trouble too, but i have recently given up on morphine for my pain. The reason being that I was concerned about "analgesic prescription addiction."  It's a fine line! I'm not suggesting for one moment that  you do the same, of course not, but be alerted to certain drugs that might cause you added difficulties; both psychiatric and analgesic medication.

      I take big doses of anti-depressants and, by and large, they work for me. I would not be able to cope without them. I know sleep pretty well although I continue to have night terrors and chronic sweating, due to PTSD.

      I would be interested to know what medication you receive in total, including doses.

      The fact that you ran away from home in your mid-teens suggests that you have had a very terrible and extremely difficult up-bringing, along with other factors that you mention. Childhood is so important to us all! It can make or break a person!

      To be honest, i don't understand why you have not seen a psychiatrist. You clearly have PTSD sypmtoms and you require immediate help. Do you continue to have illegal drug probelms and alcoholic issues?

      It's not easy to deal with so many medical conditions but I feel you need to start afresh and get the ball rolling and see your GP as soon as possible.

      I take one day at a time and i think you need to do the same.

      I hope that i've been of some help and i will pray for you.

      Take care Stephen.

      God Bless

      John

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind reply John, yes it was my childhood that made me the wreck I feel like today, I've just seen my Doctor about my physical symptoms,as I hate talking about my mental state over and over again, He told me about nearly 4 years ago I had osteoarthritis in lower back and both knees, Today he just told me it's "moderate spondylosis" in lower back, and arthritis in both knees, My back is constant pain, never goes, and I get a lot of shooting nerve pains, from my back and going down my leg, My medications at the moment are

      Escitalaporam, 20mg daily at night

      Gabapentin 300mg, 2 3 times a day,

      Lipitor for blood pressure.

      And I did have a drug problem which I Now manage with 30ml of methadone daily instead of drugs, I've tried all sorts of anti-depressants over the years, "venlafaxine, sertraline, mirtazipine, olanzipine, and I think these are the best out of a bad bunch , "the Escitalaporam", also the gabapentin do help quite a bit for my nerve pains, I can tell if I forget a dose or 2, the shooting pains are a 9 out of 10 on pain scale,so I've got to check out what"spondylosis"means now, I did get to mental health and seen a psychologist for a 6 week session, once a week, but I give up after 4, it was just making me feel even worse when I'd finished the session, it was all me doing the talking, so I was repeating my abuse over and over every week, and then I'd have a bad week, being really anxious, alert, angry, flashbacks, so it didn't work for me, I'm nearly at a point where I'm thinking this is how I'm going to be for rest of my days, as the anti-depressants make me feel groggy for a week or 2, then im Back to normal self, and because I've had a drug issue in the past, I get the impression they think I'm just after tablets or medication to get high, when really, I just want to be believed and get the help that someone in my situation should get, .Thanks John, and sorry for dragging my talks on and on.

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    • Posted

      Hi Stephen

      Your medical situation is more complex than I first thought. It's a big jigsaw puzzle and putting it all together is rather difficult. However, i have very similar problems so you are not alone.

      I was rather surprised about your meds as I thought that you would be prescribed much more.

      Having said that, you have a long history of taking different medications, including SSRI's, anti-psychotics, analgesics and more.  I am well acquainted with Escitalaporam and  Gabapentin. I was taking the latter for nerve pain too. It helped a bit re sciatica but i am no longer prescribed this drug.

      As far as the SSRI is concerned, has it helped your depression, anxiety, panic attacks and PTSD? I realize that you are very hesitant about taking medication which I can fully understand. It's a very debatable topic!

      I'm on the highest dose of Venlafaxine (375mg) and it has been of benefit to me. You mention Olanzapine (anti-psychotic) and i was taking this drug  but i had a bad reaction to it so I stopped it, and it was replaced with another medicine which again proved beneficial. 

      How long have you been on Methadone? I would imagine that your illegal drug taking is a result of a damaged childhood, significant teenage problems and no doubt many other factors too.

      My PTSD goes back 31 years. Like I said, I don't expect it to go away (in my case) but I do get much needed relief with the aid of prescription drugs. In short, a very troubled friend of mine killed his mother and the murder scene was horrific; hence PTSD, night terrors, shouting, sweating and so on.

      I do not relate about it often, especially as there has been mistrust in the past. The only person whom anyone can fully trust is the Lord Jesus! My Christian faith plays a big part in my life.

      Coming back to you, I still feel that you need to re-examine your whole situation and begin afresh. And what about your your PTSD? Like many others I know, you have been part of the so-called "system" for many years and trying to climb the ladder anew is far from easy; in addition you may feel that you do not want to do this which is completely understandable.

      Can I ask you as to what you would like to see happening?  You've stated that relating about your PTSD over and over again makes the situation even worse. You do not want to see a psychologist  as it's not proved fruitful in the past. You have not seen a psychiatrist at all, but would you like to do this? I hasten to add that I don't want you to think that I'm coming over in a "heavy" manner: I just want to see you getting much needed relief re your whole case.

      You have done exceedingly well concerning your drug problems, and I would think that your methadone intake is well controlled. So what about prescription psychiatric medication? Do you want to erase them completely? As far as your physical ailments, you clearly need a strong analgesic for your back, knees etc.

      I would recommend that you keep things as simply as possible. Do reflect on the issue of EMDR. Try and get as much info on the subject and proceed from there.

      Again, I hope that all aspects of your health will greatly improve as time moves on.

      God bless you

      John

       

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    • Posted

      Yes, sorry John, I just read my txt again, I'm also on 2 100mg tramadols a day, for pain, which I swap every 6 months for dihydrocodeine, 30mg, 2 tablets up to 4 times a day if needed,. At the moment I'm on the tramadol, the swapping of pain med's was my idea as I thought I was getting used to them, so swapping every 6 months would work better for me, I don't know what I really want/need medical wise now as I know most of my trauma/misery is in my mind, So the only way I think to block my mind from the past is being "dosed" up on painkillers, but I'd rather get a fix, if there is one where I'm not feeling anxious, having flashbacks, anger issues, but nothing I've tried over the years seems to work, as I can be ok for say 3-5 days, then all of a sudden, I'm really anxious as I've seen something that reminds me of past time,. So I'm getting used to the idea that this is how I'm meant to be, living a life of painkillers, and ssri's to try keep me from going insane, I can't see anything else working now after 30 odd years, I'm 49 next month, and I had a bad time till I was 14, when I started running away. So 36 years of misery, and drug abuse in between, I've got my methadone intake to 30ml now, and intend to cut down.

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  • Posted

    Hiya Max, I'm not a professional by anyways, I suffer with nightmares myself,and flashbacks sometimes daily, I can't tell you what's best for you, but I try and put myself in your shoes for a minute,"which I know is impossible"", we all go through our own hell's, but I'd try and sleep, if you wake from a nightmare I think it might be better than self-harming, I have thought about the obvious self harms that I see/hear about, which is slicing arms , but the blood stops me, I'd faint with sight of blood, So would you please think before you self harm, and I think that you probably need to sleep anyway, Please don't self-harm, I know something has put you into a situation where you think you want/need to, But if you just take a minute and think before you do anything, think/ know you are better than that, Even read, Google on what issues are making you feel the way you are, and have a sleep, I wish I could say something more , but I hope you have a good sleep, and stop anything that hurts yourself,.

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  • Posted

    You need to work out why you can't you can or can't sleep! You worry about you, only you. Be honest you can't sleep because? Ask for help, see someone and tell the truth. It's making me feel slightly better, but so tough, all the counselling I've had to have for PTSD.

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