Arg - Insomnia

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    OK, folks. Tell me what to do. I have had horrid sleep problems my whole life. Since I can remember to be exact. Night terrors, nightmares, hypgnogogic sleep hallucinations, insomnia, etc. You name it, I suffer from it. So the last 8 months I have been taking Ambien, and it has changed my whole life. None of the aforementioned symptoms have reared their ugly head in 8 months. Now my dr is worried I will get addicted to it, and wants me to stop. So, I tried last night. Welp............guess what? Apparently I am already addicted to it, because without the Ambien I slept two hours last night. That was it. The rest of the time I laid awake counting the stucco nubs on the ceiling and counting the seconds between the lightning and subsequent thunder that was rolling through.
    Very special:dissapointed:

    What do I do? The dr is not going to give me more Ambien. So, I can change docs, go to a psychiatrist, or go to a sleep clinic - but all of them have the same outcome - giving me some sort of medication. I do not want any Trazadone or Lunesta, both of which I have tried and I detest the side effects, and I don't want to be "addicted" to anything. So am I stuck just dealing with this life long sleep issue? It was SO nice to sleep!!!! I do not want to lose that!
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Is it possible to wean off of the ambien??

    Have you tried melotonin? You can find it in the vitamens at the store. It's the substance made by our bodies that make us sleepy. So it is natural, not a drug. I know many many people who use it successfully. Travis did for several years, and easy child still uses it.

    Also I'm wondering if with the night terrors. and the halluncinations if you've ever been checked over by a neurologist and had an MRI and EEG? If not it may be a good idea.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Steely, I have been on Ambien for years now. I had to go it alone or with OTC benedryl for the two years I lost insurance but now I have it back. I think I started on it sometime back in 2001. Maybe earlier...cant remember.

    I dont think Im addicted to it...maybe dependent on it to get me something that is necessary for life. Addiction denotes that a person would do anything up to and including illegal things for a substance. I have robbed anyone just to get my

    For me this is no different than if I was dependent on insulin or blood pressure medications to keep me healthy.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I HATE when docs think you are "addicted" to something because you took it for a long time. "addiction" is a psychological problem.

    You may have a physical dependency, but htat is different than addiction.

    If you have never slept well, and the ambien lets you sleep, there is problem no reason to discontinue it. If you are addicted you may need frequent increases, take it inappropriately, etc..... IT sounds like ambien does for you what your body will not.

    I would go to a sleep clinic or get a sleep study.

    I don't sleep. Never have. Ambien only works for a short time for me. Same with lunesta. Won't do trazodone, can't ever wake up from it.

    If the medication works, why on earth would you want to stop it??? Seems strange, and I really think seeing a doctor who is more experienced in sleep issues is a necessity.



    Up all night with you!!
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I look at it as having been addicted to not sleeping. I never slept. I take Lunesta and have for several years. I dread the day that I can't afford it. I wouldn't worry about it. But maybe that's because I'm an addict too. ;)

    I don't mean to be flippant. I'm just in the same boat you are. You have too much going on right now. If you are worried about it, you can talk to a therapist about learning to sleep. But that's not going to happen by going off of it cold turkey.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't know the answer, Steely. Sorry- I just wanted to offer support and remind you to take it easy on yourself. Do what you know feels right, no matter what, and it will work out. I haven't slept well throughout the night in a long time- that isn't the same thing you are going thru, but remember it does take time to get through things and it still might take a little longer to be ready for any changes in your life. If you feel you need something and it isn't causing you a problem, do it. Otherwise, talk to a therapist.

    What the H***- do both!!!
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yeah, here I am wide awake, being tormented by nightmares. I am really mad, and sad - and kinda freaking out.
    This dr and another dr will not give me Ambien - which means I am going to have to fight to get what I need. I agree with you guys, it is no different than taking the medications our kiddos have to take. I am just so bloody steamed that I have to fight to get myself taken care of, and made to feel like I am an addict or druggie because of it.
  8. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Oh for pete's sake! You know, if the side effects could harm your body, like, you'll end up wearing your kidneys for earmuffs, then I'd say you need to stop taking it.

    But if it ain't broke don't fix it!

    Why in God's name would they even think of messing with medication, that works mind you, right after you've gone through everything that you have, speaks of cruel if you ask me. Not thinking very highly of your dr's right now!

    I only sleep 2 hours at a clip and then I'm up and wandering. I tried tylenol pm 1 night and was "hung over" for 2 days (with only 1/2 a dose mind you!).

    For all of the beer that I could drink in college, you'd never think that I'd be such a lightweight now! lol!

    I'd switch dr's if I were you!

    Talk to you later!
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    What Beth said!

    Steely, sorry that you're having to do battle with your doctors, on top of everything else that you've been through and are going through.

    I agree with the others. If your current doctor isn't getting the message, then one with more expertise in sleep disorders (or just one that will listen to you!) might be a better option.


  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thank you guys for giving me the strength to fight. I just called the dr back, crying - and told him I had not slept in 2 days, repeated that my sister had just died, and I was not going to make it through this in one piece if he did not take me back to the Ambien. The quickly and without question sent me in a script to the pharmacy!
    Thank you guys for your encouragement in doing this. I so needed it.

    To anwer your question about EEG, no I have never had one. However, it is on my list of pertinent things to do now that I have good health ins. I am also going to go to sleep clinic. I have been tormented by this for 41 years, it is time for it to stop.
  11. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    So glad to hear that your doctor saw sense.
    Sometimes they need a metaphorical kick-in-the-pants to understand just how serious a problem it is for you.

    Hope that you are able to get in for an EEG and sleep clinic assessment soon, and get some answers from them.
  12. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I'll try this reply again. Keep getting logged off. Ugh.

    My doctor gave me 2 good suggestions. They were hard in the beginning but have helped over the long course.

    #1 - get rid of all our clocks in your bedroom. I had two. One was the regular alarm clock, the other was a ceiling one that broadcasted the time in huge letters on the ceiling. I would wake nearly every 30 minutes to see what time it was. I wanted to know if I had 30 minutes to sleep, or 5 hours.

    #2 - Get rid of what is traditional for sleep time. I go to sleep easily at 9pm and wake at 5am. husband, not until 4am, then wakes at 9am. Let your body decide what it needs.

    It's very frustrating to be tired.