insomnia for almost 4 years,tried all,any help/support?

Insomnia Forum Insomnia Help insomnia for almost 4 years,tried all,any help/support?

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This topic contains 101 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Tahereh 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 102 total)
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  • #27430

    ✘ Not a client

    It all started back in april 2015 when I had stressful situtation at work and had panic attack.
    They continued to bother me,and I was given antidepressants.Very soon I started to wake up around 2 a.m 3 a.m without any reason.
    After a month or so I lost sleep,I couldn’t fall asleep at all.I went to many psychiatrists here,I was given antidepressants (all SSRI) without any success at falling asleep.
    I took escitalopram for 2 years because psychitrists tought that depression is the reason for my insomnia.There were no results at all.I had to quit job back in 2016 for more then a year and was given zyprexa (which worked like 6 months),mirtazapine (2 months) and then back on various benzos.
    Back then only solution was to retire me,but in that case I would loose job and live with only 200 $ monthly here in Bosnia.
    I’m a shiftworker for 7 years,rotating shifts,and problem started back in 2015.
    After giving various meds for sleep,antipsychotics which knocked me out,there was contradictory situation that even when I was off work for more then a year I couldn’t fall asleep.
    So I had to take meds.Back last year in april I got suggestion that clonazepam could work and it knocked me out.But obviously taking clonazepam is not long term solution,so I went to neurologists and psychiatrist outside my country,no help at all.Giving them all those results on paper MR/CT of brain,EEG of brain,poligraphy all was OK but they couldn’t find a possible cause of my insomnia.
    Then I started to become very ill back at 2017,various infections,lung problems,heart problems,problems with gut,very unplesant headaches,so I sick-leave the job for 3 months.
    In the mean time I visited 2 specialists for somnology,one gave me no solutions.After 2 months I visited a younger doctor who is specialist for somnology,and she gave me fluvoxamine as last possible solution for insomnia.
    I took half of pill in the evening for like month and there was no result with falling asleep.
    Talking with her she told me that there could be 3 possible causes for my insomnia:
    1. probably genetics 2. stress 3. shiftwork
    And if this med doesn’t help she doesn’t have any other solution for me.
    I started to become upset because my health was in risk with all those infections,cold,and I even got allergy for no reason and paradontosis and serious lung problems which I never had.
    I cried and still cry every day.All this time I am still taking 1 mg of clonazepam (prevoiusly only 3 mg could knock me down),and 10 mg of nitrazepam and that puts me to sleep for like 5 h.
    I needed money so I had to go to work because obviously there was no solution going off-work because I couldn’t sleep anyway.
    After serious problems with lungs and insomnia they sent me to neurologist (the chief doctor here).
    He told me,how can I help you Sir.THERE IS NO CURE.
    You tried all the meds,went to many doctors I simply can not help you,you can even go to Alaska you won’t find cure for your insomnia.
    So that made me very sad.I started to have suicidal thoughts,and there was obviously one thing one my mind,there is no doctor who can help me I need to comit suicide I don’t want to suffer in this agony.
    2 somnologists suggested CBT basic one which I can only find here not for insomnia,so I went few times 5-6,but it’s very hard for me to concentrate and respond to therapist with this insomnia so I quit.
    I think I tried all the meds and only typical antipsychotics can knock me down,but my psychiatrist won’t prescribe me because she told me I’m not psychotic.
    I tried valerian,lavander,hypnosis,herbal pills,jogging,yoga,meditation you name it,no help.
    Now I work in shifts and I don’t feel as good as before after nighshifts,previously I could feel sleepy but could handle one night without sleep,but now second night without sleep which is 48 h with no sleep and I feel very very sick over day (extreme nausea,strong headaches,exhaustion,sleepiness but can’t sleep).Then third night I can not fall asleep at all,which is very concerning if I don’t take pills.
    So I beg you guys,what can I try,to anymore,is there a way to escape from this hell?
    Is the solution to travel to special hospital in Croatia for sleep disorder,or I don’t know anymore if there is anything left for me to try?
    I’m very concern about my health I’m affraid of serios lung problems,psychosis,brain damage,loss of immunity,and nervous breakdown (which I started to have).
    My immunity in last few months is very low (I keep getting various infections,and now even paradentosis).


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Hello frozensun and I am sorry to hear about your ongoing struggles with sleep.

    Let me first reassure you that there is no evidence that chronic insomnia causes health issues such as lung problems, psychosis, brain damage, loss of immunity or a nervous breakdown.

    Unfortunately, if you are working shifts it is going to be difficult for you to make the changes necessary to improve your sleep over the long-term. Do your shifts regularly change? Do you alternate between night shifts and day shifts?

    Do you remember what kind of CBT techniques you attempted with your therapist?


    ✘ Not a client

    You probably read,if you read all about sleep,and sleep deprivation that chronic sleep deprivation lowers immune system,no wonder I am constantly ill.

    I work in rotating shifts,I do hope you know what that means.

    Sleep is very important in regenerating cells,and eliminating toxins,which obviously doesn’t happen to me.

    The problem is that I can not even sleep over day to miss the sleep I didn’t have over night and seems to me I am stuck in vicious circle.


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    I absolutely do read, exactly as you suspected! Do you consider yourself to have chronic insomnia? If so, I can say again, with 100% confidence, that no credible studies have concluded that chronic insomnia causes immune system problems or any other type of illness.

    I am not saying that sleep is not important — because it absolutely is! What I am saying, is that there is no evidence that chronic insomnia causes health problems.

    Unfortunately, as I previously mentioned, it is going to be far more challenging for you to get your sleep back on track when you work rotating shifts.


    ✘ Not a client

    Hi FrozenSun,


    I really feel for you my friend.

    Like you I have nights of nil sleep. Real insomnia, not like the folks who “only” get four hours.

    I have rigorously followed CBTI with Sleep Restriction and Acceptance methods to the letter for long periods.

    And after 30 months I still have it.

    Have also tried lots of different drugs and homeopathic medicines, tried acupuncture, meditation, mindfulness, etc. but they all stop working after a bit. The only drug that works in Zopiclone but I hate that as it often only gives you 2 to 3 hours and you feel awful after. Plus, docs won’t keep prescribing it. So I rarely take that.

    I have seen the top therapist and been on two sets of courses with the NHS (UK health service) at top hospitals in London

    Basically, I am resigned to living with this condition for the rest of my life – and just accepting it. Either that or want to end it all. Not kidding, but I have a lovely wife and kid, so have to be brave, though I cry a lot.

    My insomnia just starts on its own and has no trigger at all, no stress. I am convinced it is caused by some chemical imbalance.

    I either sleep right away or cant sleep at all. I’m starting working on reducing stress when I don’t sleep straight away, mainly through mindful acceptance.

    It is a truly horrible affliction.


    ✘ Not a client

    Dear friend,do you go to work?

    I have serious responsable job and struggling with insomnia is mission impossible to me.

    I sent all the reports for varous neorologists and psychiatrists to Croatia to sleep clinic to see if there is any help if not,I am affraid the first solution is to quit job.

    Even after that I’m still convinced that sleep won’t come back but psychiatrist disagree because it never returned even when I was off-work for more then a year although I took a.d. back then.

    Now none of the antidepressants work to make me fall asleep,and psychatrist is thinking to give m strong typical antipsychotics even I  am not psychotic just to save me to have serious issues with health.

    But that is not a life,with meds like that you have what we call a life of a plant you are basically tied to bed,and even lower doses make me feel like I’m drunk,so that is not solution for me,and there is  chance I can go to job like that and have conecentration normally.

    I upped the dose of mogadon to 10 mg to see if it will help,if not I will up the dose of clonopin to maybe 1.5 mg and wait for response from Croatia and sleep clinic.

    But reading all this post makes me cry a lot,as I can see rarely someone cured the chronic insomnia.

    I wish I could only know the reason wat got me to this stage,then mybe it would be easy to work with therapist,now when all reports are OK,seems the problem is either shit work sleep disorder,my hipersensibility or some perament damage to neuroreceptors from giving varoius meds.

    I will suggest to my psychiarist to take me off all od the meds, but that’s double ended sword,to see if the natural sleep will ever return,Tried that one and I ended with 4 nights/days with not even 5 minutes of sleep after quiting Zoloft.

    The one thing which is not reasonable to me is that natural sleep didn’t come back even after a period over 1 year when I didn’t work,and I change place if living,change bed,chance city,country nothig helped.

    So I really don’t kno what to try anymore,what is left is acupuncunture,homeopathy and hypnosis.


    ✘ Not a client

    Man.I never been sick in my life then now.

    I had flue once in life,now with insomnia all hell broke loose.

    I’m really not in the mood to prove you anything,because,I know the best my body,and I told you I never been sick in my whole life until I got insomnia.

    Ofc sadly it is chronic,because for 4 years I can not sleep at all.I even stopped taking sleeping pills but ended in hospital with 96 h without sleep and got thorazine i.m. which did nothing to me.

    As for what insomnia can do to the body,read the following and it is sadly damn true:

    The worse things for me is digestion problems,nausea,worst headaches in my life,serious mood swings (from anger,frustration to depression,anxiety and crying),tiredness,breathing problems with lungs,and I never smoke a cig in my life and now even allergy and paradentosis.

    Insomnia is just tearing me apart and I seem can not do nothing about it sxcept comit suicide as the only solution to this agony 🙁


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Hello again, Frozensun. The link to Wikipedia lists associations between some health issues and “sleep deprivation”. When you look at the studies in question, many of them take healthy sleepers then deliberately deprive them of sleep and draw conclusions from there.

    Others will find associations between chronic insomnia and health issues — but not one study has found that chronic insomnia causes any health problem.

    If you read the Wikipedia article carefully you will see lots of statements such as “It has been suggested” or “researchers interpreted this result as” or “may be linked”.

    I could easily conduct a study on a link between people living in a house with ashtrays and premature death, then conclude that ashtrays lead to premature death. Of course, this is ludicrous — the association is there, but it’s far more likely that the homeowners smoke and this is leading to premature death.

    When considering research, it’s essential to bear in mind that an association is not a cause.

    Finally, please bear in mind that this is an insomnia support forum — so almost all of the posts you read will be from people struggling with insomnia. People who sleep well rarely contribute. You can read a number of CBT-I success stories here:

    Suicide is not a solution. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please speak to someone immediately. I am not sure what resources are available to you, but I did find this and I hope it may help:


    ✘ Not a client

    I really don’t need to proove you anything.

    I told you,I’ve become constantly ill since I got chronic insomnia,so I don’t need wikipedia,I talk about facts.

    Never been ill,had flue once in life maybe,never got infections until now.

    And it is not one statement that crhonic insomnia  pushes to body to it’s limit to the point where a person gets serious heart and lung problems,diabetes,hormonal issues.

    Now you will even tell me that chronic insomnia can’t lead to psychosis,which many of psychiatrist told me it can.

    Because I live in poor country and small city,I can’t find CBT-I therapist.

    Is there theory that hypnosis can help?I could try it but travel like 100 miles to even try that which is only thing left for me to try.

    Is there some online course and a book about it,so I can be my own therapist?

    I talked to like 20 psychatrist they told me there is no magic pill,and no help,the only help is giving strong typical antipsychotics and I’m trying to avoid that,because I don’t want to spend the rest of my life lying in bed.


    ✘ Not a client

    insomnia dos lower your health you reduce white blood cells, thereby weakening your immune system.    when we sleep we renew our cells that’s why we only grow in our sleep. it all depends on what resurse you look.  some professors describe insomnia as a shortening of your life you can get heart and vascular disease ,diabetic, mental problems, high blood pressure, mental problems, and  increased risk of suicide.

    other studies say that insomnia is not dangerous at all, but to be honest they are based on someone who  was able not to sleep for 11 days when he was 17 that seems to me not really a conclusion. that means we can verify a result in one in 7 billion people the chance is bigger you win the lottery and get hit by lighting at the same time.

    we know what we go threw it is not healthy that’s for sure. is there a quick fix no there is not. i understand you completely (frozensun) there is only one person in the world that knows his or her body better than any doctor in the world that’s yourself when your are sick your are sick.

    me point of view is there are gradations in insomnia. the less you sleep the worse you feel. trust me i know what you go thru.   it i also can be awake for days then sleep a little and the cirkel repeats is hell i know.  but you are not alone with this shit.



    ✘ Not a client

    Mmm, this is interesting.

    I respect Martin’s professional views on this, but the fact is I feel so bad after a night of nil sleep – tight chest, nausea feelings and high anxiety all day, that it is hard to believe that could have nil effect long term on the rest of my health.

    But what Martin says does echo what my NHS sleep consultant says and also Chris Winter (US based sleep expert) in his book, The Sleep Solution who drew a difference between people who are sleep deprived due to work / lifestyle choices (e.g. workaholics), who he said do suffer health effects and people who allowed themselves enough time to sleep but could not get much (or any).

    The latter, these experts all say, had nil effect on their health.

    I do like to believe them, but have to say, the way I feel after a nil sleep night, I find it hard to believe it has nil effects on rest of my health.

    I’m referring here to people like me, Davy and FrozenSun who have nights on nil sleep, not those people who often post on this site and who get four / five hours often, but still think that is not enough. No disrespect to them, and I don’t decry their experience, but in my view, they may not suffer any consequences to rest of their health, because they are still getting SOME sleep very often.

    At v minimum, the effect of ill health feelings after a nil sleep night must surely lead to suicide in at least some people, especially if depression arises from the high anxiety.

    Davy and FrozenSun, I’m interested if you have a family history of insomnia. I have  – both father and his mother lived with v severe insomnia with regular nil sleep nights. One good thing though, Granny lived to 84 and Dad is still going at 92!  They, like me had regular nil sleep nights. I’m just grateful I have never yet had two in a row, unlike FrozenSun. I do feel for him!


    ✘ Not a client

    One thing I would additionally comment on, having just now read Martin’s Success Stories, is that all the people there, before they enrolled on the course were actually apparently getting SOME sleep.. … Maybe not enough for their liking, but they were regularly getting SOME …. i.e. they were like Mac and Debs, who comment here regularly.

    None of the case studies seemed to reported NIL sleep nights, like Davy, FrozenSun and myself have experienced on a regular basis.


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Hello again, @frozensun. I am not asking you to prove anything to me. I know how awful insomnia can be and I am sorry that you are going through all these issues with sleep. All I am trying to do is reassure you that there is no evidence chronic insomnia causes any of the health issues you are concerned about. I only mentioned Wikipedia because that is the source you gave me.

    @davy — Can you post a link to the study that found chronic insomnia causes a reduction in white blood cells? I’d love to see it.

    Hi @daf! You’re right, one person started the course reporting six-and-a-half hours of sleep (but they spent three hours awake at night) and another reported five hours. Someone else managed only three-and-a-half hours. Remember that sleep durations are averages — they are not what someone managed on every single night.

    When it comes to reporting no sleep, there’s a difficulty. That’s because nobody gets NO sleep. It’s impossible! We may get a few nights of no sleep, but we all get some sleep. So, how do you quantify NIL sleep? I prefer to average nightly sleep duration over at least a week to get a better idea of someone’s average nightly sleep duration. If we only focus and record nights of NIL sleep, we easily reach the wrong conclusion and collect skewed data.


    ✓ Client

    It does seem that a credible study showed that white blood cells increased, but it was with lab-induced sleep deprivation, not actually insomnia. I do understand that not every sleep deprived person actually has insomnia (some people deliberately don’t get to bed at a decent time since they would rather do other things)—-but it seems that every insomniac will eventually be sleep deprived, unless it’s “just” sleep misperception.


    ✘ Not a client

    an to respond on your question daf yes insomnia runs in the family  my mother also sleeps 2 maximum 3 hours a night and have many night of zero ,her mother have it also.  but there cases of insomnia started at a later ages.   i am 37 and the say it get worse once you get older how much worst can it get

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