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Depression and long term sleep problems

Posted by DL on August 28, 1998, at 22:25:45

2 years ago I was diagnosed with Major Depression. I had not slept for a long time, lost 25 lbs and was constantly on the verge of tears and tied up with anxiety. I walked out of work and into a mental health clinic.

I had similar symptoms after the births of my children--especially severe after the last one 19 years ago, but was finally treated by an OB/GYN with a sleep med for about 3 mos (I had not slept for weeks and was ready to give up]. I did not start to feel normal again for about a year.

Within the last 2 years the psychiatrist at the clinic has tried Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin and Pamelor. I had an instant terrible reaction to the Paxil--my anxiety totally took over. I felt like I was plugged into an electric outlet. I went out and ran and ran just to try to mask the terrible racy feeling. Then I became terribly hot like a hot flash that wouldn't stop and dizzy unless I hung my head down. This all happened in 3 days (2 days 10 mg and one day 20 mg]. I stopped it then. The only thing that kept me going was a sleeping med also prescribed that let me sleep a few hours. Effexor and Welbutrin did the same thing to me even though I started with tiny doses. At that time the sleeping med had been stopped and I went the weeks trial of each without sleeping. Terrible again! Pamelor after 8 wks was still not up to blood level the MD wanted because when I tried to raise the amount I had a tremor, dizzyness, and dry mouth so that my gums started to bleed, and I STILL was having trouble sleeping.

Somewhere in there I was prescribed klonopin (.5mg at bed time] and that has been the only thing that has helped. I can sleep 5-6 hours with it and feel less anxious during the day. I have never increased the dose (over a year) and for a while tried to cut the tablets in half because I was feeling drowsy in the afternoon. But if I stop taking it within 2 days I am sleepless again. I found the drowsy feeling was more related to lack of sleep than to the klonopin. Even when I sleep I wake about every 90 min. This is no way to live. Nothing is enjoyable.

I do see a counselor when the health insurance will cover it, but the clinic psychiatrist sees me about 4 times year for about 10-15 min. He gave up on AD's a year ago and has just kept me on the klonopin.

I want some feedback on what I can do. Are there AD's or other things out there that might help? I sort of feel passed over by the health care system. I also can not drink coffee, tea or eat dark chocolate or I feel racy and hyper. I think I have a very sensitive system. I also am menopausal and since I had problems after birth I think hormones may be involved,
When I originally went to the clinic I had been on a trial of HRT with premanin and provera. I think the provera contributed to my crash into depression. Recently I have been trying natural hormones (estradiol and natural micronized progesterone). No bad effects so far, but also the depression has not changed.

Any ideas? I think some of the responders are psychiatrists or psychopharmacologists. I would like to hear if other people have this severe reaction to AD's and what else works. I have also taken 3 months of Yoga classes and learned deep breathing. I exercise 2-5 times a week. And, yes I do have a lot of stress in my life. PLEASE give me any ideas. I don't even remember what it was like to enjoy things. Then only emotion I seem to have is sadness. DL




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