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Intrusive memories and insomnia

FuzzyPeach

FuzzyPeach

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Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
92
I am dead on my feet. The intrusive memories come from the moment i wake until the moment i am sent off to sleep by my medication. My head spins so much i feel sick and dizzy. I get bad headaches.

I talk to the helpline all the time, most nights, sometimes days. I am on the list for more talking therapy.

Please tell me how long this will last. It's been two years now and i don't know how much more i can take.

I thought i was working through everything. Processing, but i feel like i'm getting worse sometimes. I cry, sleep, eat, cry, sleep, cry. My head races though, almost all the time.

Fashbacks suck me into their world so that i'm not present. I'm having lunch with someone and my head is somewhere else and i can't hear what they are saying.

My attention span is poor.

I'm 32 and have been off work for 2 years. I need to live again. I need to work again. Im trying to take this time to heal my mind and help my brain to fix itself but it is taking too long.
 
R

Rose19602

Guest
I'm so sorry that you are suffering so badly and for so long. It must feel interminable - especially if it's affecting your ability to sleep, work, function socially. I do feel for you.

I haven't experienced PTSD....but imagine that the severity of the trauma has a bearing on recovery time.

If you also need further therapy and you are on a waiting list, it's also clear that what you have received to date has been insufficient.

I really hope that you can get through this and that further therapy is helpful.
Keep talking to us and to those helplines in the meantime.
Believe in the need to keep talking it out and reaching out to people.

We'll help all we can.
x
 
FuzzyPeach

FuzzyPeach

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Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
92
Thanks Miss Kitty. I am fuzzy today from the medication so today should be alright. It'll come back though, it always does.

The insomnia is a big problem. My system on alert. I get paranoid at night that someone is going to break into my house and hurt me or my little boy.

I was attacked and very badly hurt, i won't say anymore than that, when i opened my door one day, i was coming home from work and must have been followed.

I relive that moment again and again. Over and over. Nobody can tell me for how long this will last.
 
R

Rose19602

Guest
Yes, I understand about paranoia and that feeling that your senses are attuned at too high a level of alert at times. It's deeply disturbing and unsettling and impossible to sleep through once the feeling is aroused.

My therapist described it as an understandable reaction to perceived threats and danger....in your situation, entirely understandable and reasonable....I imagine we would all be the same, particularly if you have a child in the house too.

Everyone hears sounds at night. The creaking heating, road noise, pipes, animals etc...the explanations are endless...but at night they seem to have more effect on us. I used to wake in a lather for years after just an attempted break in at a flat I was living in....what you have been through is a great deal worse.

I think that the mind grips fear and can't let it go. Then when anything triggers the memory - a sound, smell, taste, situation - the fear takes over and your mind convinces you that it will happen again. That's a bit of what happened to me before I started to experience some paranoia. It's so hard to control.

My therapist suggested EMDR....have you tried that or had it suggested to you? I think it can be traumatic initially, but there is quite some success reported with it amongst patients. Finding a trauma specialist might be worth thinking about. Could you pay privately?....might speed things up if you can.

x
 
FuzzyPeach

FuzzyPeach

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Jan 3, 2015
Messages
92
I was told I was unsuitable for emdr because I have suicidal thoughts and depression a lot.

I feel so alone. So alone with my intrusive memories. My insomnia. My medication problems. Just had a fall out with mum. She interfers in my treatment trying to get me to stop the zopiclone but I can't. Arguing with me over when I take my depression medication. I'm switching to the morning instead of evening as that might be causing insomnia. The real oroblem is the intrusive memories. Also I feel my self esteem is rock bottom. The attack has left me feeling like I cannot cope with living. With work. With relatiinships. I'm defective. I'm a rubbish mother. I'm a bad tempered stranger. I'm so different now. I used to be jovial and confident. I've lost myself. I'm angry with everyone. I can fake a smile and fake love but I don't feel anything anymore. I'm an empty shell.

And evidently I have very negative thoughts.
 
R

Rose19602

Guest
I was told I was unsuitable for emdr because I have suicidal thoughts and depression a lot.
Ah, that's a shame. What about a referral to a trauma specialist? I was in contact with a poster on here who got referred to an expert through her CMHT....wouldn't happen in my area (!) ... but you could ask perhaps?

I feel so alone. So alone with my intrusive memories. My insomnia. My medication problems. Just had a fall out with mum. She interfers in my treatment trying to get me to stop the zopiclone but I can't. Arguing with me over when I take my depression medication. I'm switching to the morning instead of evening as that might be causing insomnia.[/QUOTE

Hate to say it, but "z" drugs can add to the problems and are highly addictive. /www.benzosupport.org/the_z_drugs.htm Take a look at this link for support and help with this class of drugs. I know you need them to help you sleep....but they can be counter productive. Take some time to read this site from top to bottom. There's a lot in there that may help you.

What are you taking for depression. I took citalopram and my sleep was badly disrupted. It went back to normal...eventually....when I came off it. It's a tricky balancing act between being medicated - particularly if you are suicidal which is something I would take meds for - and dealing with the side effects which can cause all kinds of additional problems after a certain amount of time.

I'd advise contacting a benzo support group in the first instance.

The real oroblem is the intrusive memories. Also I feel my self esteem is rock bottom. The attack has left me feeling like I cannot cope with living. With work. With relatiinships. I'm defective. I'm a rubbish mother. I'm a bad tempered stranger. I'm so different now. I used to be jovial and confident. I've lost myself. I'm angry with everyone. I can fake a smile and fake love but I don't feel anything anymore. I'm an empty shell.
I think you've nailed the problem with those few sentences. The attack has shifted all of the boundaries in your life and left you with all of these problems to manage without the resources to cope, because the feelings are alien to you....and undeserved! I would feel angry too and that anger needs to come out!

Keep talking your feelings out on here. I'll listen if you like. I had similar feelings after my heart problems changed everything for me...and issues with meds too. I've had a lot of help from this forum.


And evidently I have very negative thoughts
Understandably....it's a very nasty chain of events and I think anyone would be having thoughts that ask "why me" "what's happened to my life as a result" "why can't I deal with this and move on?"

You're entirely normal in this. The trauma must have been shattering. Give yourself time life will improve gradually. I have faith that you are a good person and will overcome this.

xxx
 
FuzzyPeach

FuzzyPeach

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Jan 3, 2015
Messages
92
You talk sense Misskitty.

I'm sitting here with a glass of red listening to moby. I'm owning my sorrow. This is my downtime.

I don't get suicidal much anymore. Just transient sorrow, intrusive memories and anxiety. Today has been a good day. I went for an interview with a temp agency but not sure if I'll take it up and ditch the esa.

Songs are triggers in many ways. Sorrow and joy triggers. My home is tidy and clean. My son is content and back at school which allows me time to just be.

I continue to despair. I continue to question why me. I strive to accept I have a mental health disorder that will potentially take a lifetime to work itself out. It'll improve slowly as time ticks by.

This despair though is sometimes crippling. I'm doubtful I'll be able to work alongside this despair but I'm determined not to allow myself to wallow. Although a bit of wallowing is allright.

Life with despair is still life. Emotion is life after all. As long as I'm not suicidal I'm trying to think of it as acceptable. There are happy times and sadder times and I have to ride this rollercoaster.
 
FuzzyPeach

FuzzyPeach

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Jan 3, 2015
Messages
92
Things are getting easier to cope with. People in my family I mean. I'm more independent from them now and their agro is like water off a ducks back now. Feels good.

I've been thinking, and I'm catholic so I do believe in the afterlife, but I thought that my attacker plus others that have caused me pain, they will one day die and be judged. They will be taught and told what harm they did. I mean that this life, it isn't the end imo and so I need not feel angry and like I have to do anything as it will be rectified in the next life.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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I've been thinking, and I'm catholic so I do believe in the afterlife, but I thought that my attacker plus others that have caused me pain, they will one day die and be judged. They will be taught and told what harm they did. I mean that this life, it isn't the end imo and so I need not feel angry and like I have to do anything as it will be rectified in the next life.
I believe that this isn't it either, and I also have faith that justice will eventually be served in one way or another (though i'm not catholic).
However, I did just want to say that whilst you don't need to 'do anything', you shouldn't box away your anger or deny it because it's a healthy emotion given what's happened.
Some people are hurt and never get angry - they believe it's their fault or that they deserved it.
To recognise that it is not ok that you were hurt and that you are angry, at least in my view, is a good sign.

I also want to say i've read your posts in this thread but am unsure how to respond.

I have something very similar going on with trauma.
This morning when I woke I noticed that within 15 minutes of waking, a really traumatic incident (one in a string of many) was playing vividly in my mind...
15 minutes! That's not even enough time to have a wee and put the kettle on, and immediately i'm being tortured.
And I dream about it. And i'm kept awake whilst trying to get off to sleep thinking/replaying things.

So whilst i'm not really in much of a position to advise you on how to get better or when you can expect to see an improvement, I can offer you a huge amount of empathy and love. :hug1:
 
FuzzyPeach

FuzzyPeach

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Jan 3, 2015
Messages
92
You are so kind.

I'm sorry that you experience similar things to me. That whole waking up, having maybe a minute before the onslaught of intrusive memories, it is unbearable sometimes. It prevents you from getting up much of the time.

The problem for me at the moment is insomnia. I'm becoming noctural. I tried to not take zopiclone last night but gave in at 4am but woke up a couple of hours later anyway. Today i'm dead on my feet again and if it weren't for coffee i doubt i'd be able to move from the couch. Replaying is partly to blame, as i'm sure you know. I'm trying a type of meditation at night where i clear my head of thoughts. I try to see a black screen, a blank, nothing, and this image helps to push thoughts away. They come, and i push them back away. Sometimes it is just enought to get me off to sleep.

Anger is healthy i agree with you on that. I've been through the whole guilt period, the shame period, the depression. I'm now at the anger stage. I cannot forgive yet. I was told that right now the priority is not to forgive but to look after myself. He said forgiveness would come in time but not to force it.

I'm having my hair cut tomorrow. I am looking forward to the head massage whilst they wash my hair. I look like crap. I look like a POW! Stress affects your appearance. I need to try and feel good about myself by dressing up nice every day. Putting on a bit of makeup and perfume.
 
FuzzyPeach

FuzzyPeach

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Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
92
I might try screaming and puching pillow to release the anger. Maybe i will join a gym and use the punch bag. Currently the release of anger is through picturing myself shouting and screaming. This raises the stress levels though and i end up shaking. I can getg lost in these images for hours and that is not healthy. My aim at the moment also is to stay grounded in the real world as i often get lost in my head. This happens when driving and i find myself moving into the other lane sometimes which is frightening when i come to.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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Aww i'm glad you've got yourself a haircut booked and hope it's as nice as it sounds. :)
Pampering yourself is a good demonstration of self-love. x
 
R

Rose19602

Guest
I tried punching a pillow to get the anger out....it didn't work for me, but some people say that it does.
I wrote long letters (never sent) outpouring the frustration and anger I felt....not sure that really worked either, but I used to feel tired afterwards from the outpouring of emotion if nothing else.

A haircut and some pampering sounds like an excellent idea. I always feel relaxed having my hair done.
x
 
FuzzyPeach

FuzzyPeach

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Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
92
I also have written letters as well as role-play, talking to someone as if they were in front of me, telling them how they made me feel and giving them a piece of my mind.
 
R

Rose19602

Guest
My therapist asked me to "address an empty chair"...imagining there was the object of my anger sat in it. I felt a bit of a twit!
Did that work for you?
x
 
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