Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Let us start with Insomnia

I want to explain my insomnia, and insomnia in general, because it is so much of who I am. At times it defines me.

Insomnia is not a disease. It sounds like one, feels like one, and has symptoms like a disease, but it is not. Insomnia is 'just' a symptom. For many it is a symptom of emotional distress or depression. For others it is a symptom of weight gain. There are some who's insomnia is lifestyle related, caused by what they eat/don't eat, what time they work, when they exercise. For me insomnia is related to depression.

My depression started when I was twelve, and has long since passed, but the years it was with me will not be forgotten. Right around the same time the insomnia came, and though it leaves for days, sometimes even weeks, it always pushes its way back in to my life.

Insomnia is described as lack of sleep or poor sleep habits for more than three weeks. Three weeks would have been a lot easier than this! When I first had trouble sleeping I went to a psychiatrist who prescribed medication (Trazidone) which would help with my depression and lack of sleep...or not. She had me keep a 'sleep diary' also, which was a daily record of when I slept and when I woke up. All the diary did was tell her I had insomnia.

My 'symptom' affects my life in so many ways. It causes me to have poor concentration and effects my memory. It makes me irritable and moody. I get very tired at odd times, and sometimes fall asleep in not-such-a-good-time-to-sleep situations (like driving, eating, talking on the phone). I feel like I'm in slow motion very often. I look at the clock and wonder where the day went and why I only managed to clean the kitchen, or why my girls are now an hour late for lunch. I dread the night. I enjoy it for its productivity, but I dread it because I know not sleeping is what makes me feel awful every day. Yet I can't change that. I can't seem to function around people anymore. I am 'scared' of going anywhere with groups of people, basic social interaction is terrifying.

I could go to another psychiatrist. He or she could prescribe me a different medication. I could talk about the past and hope to unlock some mystery that keeps me up at night, but I've done it all before. I can't go on a medication that would cause me to sleep so heavily I wouldn't react to my girls. I have been through endless years of therapy with no feeling better about my past. I chose to work it out on my own. I'm hoping I will overcome this in time, like I did my depression. I am hoping for at least several nights with four consecutive hours of sleep or more, all in a row.

In the meantime I wait. I wait for sleep to come.

Anonymous Anonymous had this to say:

That's a great story. Waiting for more. film editing classes

10:27 AM EDT 

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