Multiple Issues Filter: I've been dealing with depression, anxiety and trouble sleeping for the past few years. I was on meds (effexor and klonopin) for 8 and 4 months respectively before tapering off of them rather quickly so I could have a sleep study done. Last night was my sleep study. The tech woke me up at 2am to adjust a wire, and when she entered the room I started screaming at the top of my lungs.
posted by infinityjinx to health & fitness (34 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know what happened, but she clearly scared the shit out of me. I was feeling fine before the study, even after a few weeks of really feeling shitty due to withdrawal. I had gotten past that. But after I woke up screaming I was incredibly creeped out, couldn't stop shaking, and knew I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. The tech told me if I wouldn't be able to sleep, I should just go home and reschedule the study (which was also to include the MSLT, or daytime nap study, the next day).
I was completely freaked out, and called my boyfriend to pick me up. We have been friends for a long time, dated once a long time ago, and got back together long distance this summer. I moved to his city after Christmas, 1000 miles from where I grew up and was living. He knew about the issues I was having but insisted that I come live with him, so I could get on his insurance and get better treatment, and so we could be together. I love him.
Since arriving here in January, I have met with a new physician twice, gotten blood work done, seen the sleep specialist once, and was given the OK by my psychiatrist at home to go off effexor and klonopin. I went on effexor at a low point in my life last year, and while it helped me from becoming too depressed to function, after some time it made the issues I already had with sleep and dreaming way worse. I have always suffered from excessive dreaming, nightmares, sleep paralysis, waking up feeling exhausted, etc. These medications ultimately made these things worse. My dreams were incredibly vivid and usually either bizarre or downright scary, I would become too anxious to sleep at night (hence the introduction of klonopin at bedtime), or I would need to sleep for 12-14 hours to feel rested. I lost my job in August in part due to these issues - I was falling asleep at work. I've been out of work since then - occasionally looking for jobs, but also seeing a lot of doctors and trying to figure out my health issues.
Even though the meds withdrawal sucked and I was sick for a few weeks, had trouble falling asleep at all, etc., things did start to get better. My doctors, my boyfriend, and his family (whom he involved in my health issues with good intentions but to a degree I am not happy with) had all been looking forward to the sleep study for a diagnosis of why I don't sleep well. My doctors were guessing it would be narcolepsy or some REM disorder. Well, since I freaked out at the sleep study and went home, there were no answers. I may go back, though now I'm sort of too traumatized to think about rescheduling for anytime soon.
The sleep study was unsuccessful at this time, but the good news is I am feeling better for the first time in a while after discontinuing the meds I was on. And a big part of that was feeling that I was supported by my boyfriend, and his parents as well. I feel like I'm strong enough now to stick to a plan - talking to my doctor, setting up therapy appointments, and joining a gym. I have also stopped all caffeine and stimulant intake (I was given an rx for ritalin to ward off daytime sleepiness).
Clearly I have anxiety, on top of which is rebound anxiety from going off meds. All my doctors agree the best way to combat that, as well as to sleep better no matter what sleep disorder I may have, is to start exercising hard regularly (which I've been bad about doing because I was so tired/achey before). But, I finally feel healthy enough to do so and am looking forward to getting to the gym ASAP (I have been athletic all my life, but the past few years I've been too tired to work out regularly).
Here's the rub though: My boyfriend dropped me off at his parents' house this morning so I wouldn't have to be alone at our apartment all day. Then he called his mom and asked her to have a chat with me and give me my options - either aggressively seek treatment or move back home. He also had her tell me that I would be sleeping at their house tonight, instead of our apartment. He screwed up at work today because he didn't sleep last night because I called him in the middle of the night to pick me up, and he needed to sleep alone tonight.
I get that he's tired and overwhelmed by my issues, but I have been doing my very best to figure them out with the resources I have. I think I was even too aggressive in going off my meds so quickly, just so I could have the sleep study done as soon as possible. I could never imagine putting someone who has trouble sleeping, who woke up screaming in a strange place the night before, out of the only bed they feel comfortable in within a thousand miles, and insisting that his parents confront me with my 'options.' I tried talking to him on the phone about it but we were both too upset to make much sense. He says he loves me and doesn't want me to go home, but that he still felt it was necessary to cast me out for the night and have his parents give me the ultimatum of 'aggressively seek treatment or go home.' He says he loves me more than anyone he's ever been with, but my issues sleeping (waking up a lot, having scary dreams, being anxious in general) are keeping him from getting a good night's sleep and also keeping him from his school work, his friends and could cost him his job (he works full time and is going for an MBA at night).
I feel terrible that my moving in with him seems to be ruining his life. I know better than anyone how much it sucks to not sleep well at night. It is not intentional, but yes, sometimes I do have a bad dream and I wake him up in the middle of the night to comfort me when he has to be up early for work. Or I encourage him to stay awake with me until I am exhausted enough to fall into a deep, dreamless sleep. I know it is taking a toll on him and I feel awful about it. I wish he would take care of himself first and foremost, and I wish it hadn't come to "Mom, take infinityjinx for the night so I can get some sleep." I *am* trying to get help as aggressively as possible, as well as look for a job, make new friends here and spend quality time with him. But I also feel extremely betrayed that he now kicked me out for the night and has taken the problem to his parents to admonish me over (naturally they care more for their son than they do me). I wish today that he had just told me he was feeling overwhelmed and asked if I would be OK sleeping at his parents. I thought he was my one true confidante, but I found out tonight that he has shared a lot of personal stuff about me with his mom, and I'm extremely uncomfortable around everyone now. He says he is 1000% in love with and committed to me, but I feel so betrayed. He says he and his parents just want me to get better, but I don't understand how they think it's helping to confront me with 'my options,' and for him to insist I sleep outside of our apartment, the only place in a strange city I feel comfortable. (I am not going to sleep tonight.)
So, my questions: how can my boyfriend and I forgive each other? Is it possible or have we wrecked things with each other? He feels hurt that I keep him from getting a good night's sleep, that he is messing up work and school because I cause him so much worry, and I feel hurt that he ditched me at his parents house so they could have an intervention with me (I believe they have some caring feelings for me, but their son is always going to come first!), and hurt that he is blaming me for him messing up at work and school, and hurt that he pushed so hard for me to move my entire life to his city just so he could give me an ultimatum less than 2 months later that amounts to 'fix yourself fast or go home.' I know we love each other (to the point of marriage and a future together), but this feels so fucked. I actually really like it here in my new city, and am really devoted to getting better and taking better care of myself, doing whatever is necessary, and I am finally feeling like, even though the sleep study didn't work out, getting off those meds was a blessing and I can work with my doctors here to figure this out. But now that I'm finally starting to feel better, the 3 people I know here and trusted, my boyfriend and his parents, are giving me ultimatums and talking about me going home! This doesn't make me feel good or supported! It makes me feel like I'm not wanted here and I should go home. What should I do??
Also, if anyone has any insight into my sleep issues based on what I've described, I'm all ears. I'm female, 27, he is male, 34. Please hope me :( Sorry so long.