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Chronic insomnia and the fear of it coming back

solaine

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May 24, 2018
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Hey guys,

I've been suffering with generalized anxiety disorder for 11 years and last year was by far my worst one, because I went through about 8 months of chronic insomnia. Throughout those months I usually had trouble falling asleep 3/7 nights in a week and it felt like I wasn't living but just surviving. I couldn't sleep over at my friends', I couldn't go on a holiday and every day I feared not sleeping at all and being unable to go to work the next day or feeling shitty while there.

Thankfully, that's all gone now, mostly thanks to the mix of Buspirone and Cipralex (Lexapro), which really lowered my anxiety. And I also still take Mirtazapine before sleep, which didn't work then but now it works like a charm again, probably thanks to my lowered anxiety due to the other meds. Trust me, I'm not glad that I have so many meds but therapy does nothing to me, my anxiety seems to be rooted too much in my subconsciousness (I still have no idea why the insomnia started in the first place). And these meds are also better than benzos which I have only as a last resort if I can't sleep and which I had to use only 4 times this year.

But even though I'm really good now - I usually fall asleep within minutes - the fear of it all coming back in full force is still there, even after almost a year of being fine. One day when it takes longer to fall asleep or something stressful happens during day is enough to make me panic before going to bed. And I haven't been brave enough to sleep somewhere else than my own bed yet. But, I'm going on a beach holiday in a month and I'm really terrified I won't sleep there at all. And, most importantly, that it will cause months of that awful insomnia even when I'm back in the safety of my own bed.

So, I wanted to ask if anyone here has experienced anything similar and how long - if ever - did it take you to stop fearing some anxiety symptom coming back? And did it ever come back?

I've had insomnia once before, when my whole anxiety started 11 years ago (again, no visible triggers), but that was only a week before I got meds that worked like a charm. I've never had any anxiety symptom last as long and be as debilitating as insomnia, and judging by how I keep replaying those months in my mind almost every evening before falling asleep, it's got me thinking that it might have caused a mild case of PTSD, though I'm not at all sure if that's even possible.
 

Akenn

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Jul 25, 2019
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Hey guys,

I've been suffering with generalized anxiety disorder for 11 years and last year was by far my worst one, because I went through about 8 months of chronic insomnia. Throughout those months I usually had trouble falling asleep 3/7 nights in a week and it felt like I wasn't living but just surviving. I couldn't sleep over at my friends', I couldn't go on a holiday and every day I feared not sleeping at all and being unable to go to work the next day or feeling shitty while there.

Thankfully, that's all gone now, mostly thanks to the mix of Buspirone and Cipralex (Lexapro), which really lowered my anxiety. And I also still take Mirtazapine before sleep, which didn't work then but now it works like a charm again, probably thanks to my lowered anxiety due to the other meds. Trust me, I'm not glad that I have so many meds but therapy does nothing to me, my anxiety seems to be rooted too much in my subconsciousness (I still have no idea why the insomnia started in the first place). And these meds are also better than benzos which I have only as a last resort if I can't sleep and which I had to use only 4 times this year.

But even though I'm really good now - I usually fall asleep within minutes - the fear of it all coming back in full force is still there, even after almost a year of being fine. One day when it takes longer to fall asleep or something stressful happens during day is enough to make me panic before going to bed. And I haven't been brave enough to sleep somewhere else than my own bed yet. But, I'm going on a beach holiday in a month and I'm really terrified I won't sleep there at all. And, most importantly, that it will cause months of that awful insomnia even when I'm back in the safety of my own bed.

So, I wanted to ask if anyone here has experienced anything similar and how long - if ever - did it take you to stop fearing some anxiety symptom coming back? And did it ever come back?

I've had insomnia once before, when my whole anxiety started 11 years ago (again, no visible triggers), but that was only a week before I got meds that worked like a charm. I've never had any anxiety symptom last as long and be as debilitating as insomnia, and judging by how I keep replaying those months in my mind almost every evening before falling asleep, it's got me thinking that it might have caused a mild case of PTSD, though I'm not at all sure if that's even possible.
I have chronic insomnia. I take Ambien 5mg and now I find myself waking up at 3am and cannot fall back to sleep. I'm thinking of switching to extended release version. I just have hard time sleeping anywhere. I wont fall asleep unless I take it. I was down to taking half and had an event happen which triggered anxiety and back to 5mg. I can take 10mg but I dont want to get dependent as I feel medication works but doesnt last so need the extended release. I also use sleep app with headphones. Its hit or miss as sometimes it works and others it doesnt. I wish you luck.
 

foreverworrying

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Sounds like it's going generally quite well for you at the moment... I can understand worrying about it returning, I'm the same with absolutely anything, turning positives into 'What ifs...' which usually are not helpful at all!

Regarding the beach holiday, it's sooooo normal and usual for people to find it tricky when in a new location. Hopefully you'll be fine, but if you have a few restless nights, just tell yourself how most people sleep less well in new locations for a variety of reasons (whether comfort, time zone, not feeling as secure, different light levels in room etc). So if you do struggle to sleep, it's likely to be a mixture or one of those reasons. Doesn't necessarily mean anxiety is returning like before, so please be kind to yourself :)
 

solaine

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May 24, 2018
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I have chronic insomnia. I take Ambien 5mg and now I find myself waking up at 3am and cannot fall back to sleep. I'm thinking of switching to extended release version. I just have hard time sleeping anywhere. I wont fall asleep unless I take it. I was down to taking half and had an event happen which triggered anxiety and back to 5mg. I can take 10mg but I dont want to get dependent as I feel medication works but doesnt last so need the extended release. I also use sleep app with headphones. Its hit or miss as sometimes it works and others it doesnt. I wish you luck.
Have you tried taking antidepressants with a sedative effect? They're usually safer than sleeping pills, I've been taking Mirtazapine for 11 years and had no problems whatsoever. Last year it didn't work as much because my anxiety was skyrocketing but now it's back to putting me to sleep within a few minutes. Just a side note if you ever try this particular meds - the higher the dose, the less sedative effect. Lower doses are better for insomnia, higher doses for depression. My doc had no idea about that and upped my dose to 45 mg which made my insomnia worse, until google told me this little trick and I went back to 30 mg. I wish you luck too :)

Sounds like it's going generally quite well for you at the moment... I can understand worrying about it returning, I'm the same with absolutely anything, turning positives into 'What ifs...' which usually are not helpful at all!

Regarding the beach holiday, it's sooooo normal and usual for people to find it tricky when in a new location. Hopefully you'll be fine, but if you have a few restless nights, just tell yourself how most people sleep less well in new locations for a variety of reasons (whether comfort, time zone, not feeling as secure, different light levels in room etc). So if you do struggle to sleep, it's likely to be a mixture or one of those reasons. Doesn't necessarily mean anxiety is returning like before, so please be kind to yourself :)
Thank you for your kind words! Yeah, I have to keep reassuring myself like that, even though it's not easy. But it's true that last year the situation was very different, I had a lot of things that were stressing me out while this year has been better.
 

Akenn

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2019
Messages
75
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Hey guys,

I've been suffering with generalized anxiety disorder for 11 years and last year was by far my worst one, because I went through about 8 months of chronic insomnia. Throughout those months I usually had trouble falling asleep 3/7 nights in a week and it felt like I wasn't living but just surviving. I couldn't sleep over at my friends', I couldn't go on a holiday and every day I feared not sleeping at all and being unable to go to work the next day or feeling shitty while there.

Thankfully, that's all gone now, mostly thanks to the mix of Buspirone and Cipralex (Lexapro), which really lowered my anxiety. And I also still take Mirtazapine before sleep, which didn't work then but now it works like a charm again, probably thanks to my lowered anxiety due to the other meds. Trust me, I'm not glad that I have so many meds but therapy does nothing to me, my anxiety seems to be rooted too much in my subconsciousness (I still have no idea why the insomnia started in the first place). And these meds are also better than benzos which I have only as a last resort if I can't sleep and which I had to use only 4 times this year.

But even though I'm really good now - I usually fall asleep within minutes - the fear of it all coming back in full force is still there, even after almost a year of being fine. One day when it takes longer to fall asleep or something stressful happens during day is enough to make me panic before going to bed. And I haven't been brave enough to sleep somewhere else than my own bed yet. But, I'm going on a beach holiday in a month and I'm really terrified I won't sleep there at all. And, most importantly, that it will cause months of that awful insomnia even when I'm back in the safety of my own bed.

So, I wanted to ask if anyone here has experienced anything similar and how long - if ever - did it take you to stop fearing some anxiety symptom coming back? And did it ever come back?

I've had insomnia once before, when my whole anxiety started 11 years ago (again, no visible triggers), but that was only a week before I got meds that worked like a charm. I've never had any anxiety symptom last as long and be as debilitating as insomnia, and judging by how I keep replaying those months in my mind almost every evening before falling asleep, it's got me thinking that it might have caused a mild case of PTSD, though I'm not at all sure if that's even possible.
Never tried antidepressants for insomnia. Thank you for the info.
 
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