Is This Situation Reversible?
July 4, 2012 8:38 AM Subscribe
Is there help or hope for my situation? Post- manic episode: insomnia, various medication trials, zombie brain state.
posted by airguitar2 to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had a manic episode a few months ago, started taking lithium and was initially doing fine. Then, about two months later. I started to have early-morning awakening and depression. Thinking I could handle it on my own, I doubled down on yoga and music and art... but kept having worsening insomnia and worsening mood. I haven't gotten a full 8 hours of sleep in two months. Most nights it's been 3 or 4 or 5 hours; many nights I slept zero hours.
Fast forward two months, and a few sleeping aids taken in addition to the lithium (sedating anti-depressants, each of which made me feel ill and confused in the morning), and the past week of taking Benadryl at bedtime: I'm in a state of diminished mind and capacity I fear is permanent. I feel like my old self is gone-- the person I've been for 30-something years is, like, no longer there. I'm afraid to take further medications because they might make me even more like a zombie than I already am. I feel stuck in this state of nothing-ness, and I'm worried that I've done permanent damage to my brain and personality.
What I'm missing: sense of self, purpose, joy. Inner monologue. Sense of motivation and aim. Speed and clarity of thinking. Sharpness. Wit. My mind feels like a bag of sand, and I can't come up with interesting things to say in conversation-- I'm limited to one sentence answers. I feel blankness, apathy toward, and disconnection from the world around me. I don't want to talk to my friends. I feel extremely dependent on my family. When I wake up and am lying in bed in the morning, I can barely tell if I'm asleep or awake. It's terrible.
I'm scared. Can psych drugs, combined with severe sleep deprivation, cause permanent damage or change to a person's brain or personality? Can people recover from this amount of sleep deprivation? Have you recovered from something like this or worse? Please tell me my old "self" is still in there somewhere.