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Thread: Sudden Chronic Insomnia.

  1. #1

    Unhappy Sudden Chronic Insomnia.

    For the past 4 1/2 months I have been experiencing the worse insomnia I have ever experienced and it seemed to have come on suddenly. It started around the end of November in 2015. I was sleeping at my sister's house during the holiday when all of a sudden my mind was bombarded with random thoughts as I was in stage 2 sleep. It did this each time as I was falling asleep. I didn't think much of it that morning, that is, until my sleep ability took a turn for the worse. After that, I started having severe anxiety and then I started sleeping only every other night. I slept OK one night then I would not sleep the next. I am talking not a wink. I was awake from sunset to sunrise and it is a horrible feeling. Thinking it was the anxiety, I asked the doctor for Xanax. This helped the anxiety, but it didn't help the sleep at all. I suffered this on-off sleeping pattern for three months. I went to go see a psychiatrist at the beginning of March and he prescribed me Trazadone. This seemed to have worked temporarily for a month and even thought I felt better, I could tell something was off. I was unable to take a nap during the day, even when I was really tired.

    At the beginning of April is when the insomnia came back with a vengeance. I went a full 3 days without sleeping a wink, so my dad took me to the emergency room. They gave me a really high dose of Ativan, but it only relaxed my body and didn't put me to sleep. The doctor told me to take Zoloft. I took a Zoloft early in that morning and then crashed for about 4 hours.

    The sleep one night and not sleep the next pattern continues to this day. I feel that my insomnia may be getting worse. Sometimes, when I do sleep, I wake up and my body is drenched in sweat. What has me really upset is that even when I'm extremely tired during the day, I cannot even take a nap and make up for it. It is as if my brain has lost the ability to sleep. I have never had this problem before and it is scaring me. I've always been able to sleep during the day to make up for a bad night.

    One thing I want to mention is that I have been taking a low dose of Zoloft for 18 years and stopped taking it cold turkey about a year before I started having this problem. I'm just wondering if my brain is freeking out due to the loss of the drug that I have been taking for a long time. The psychiatrist and doctor tell that is is not withdrawal. I do not think that this is an anxiety or depression issue causing this horrible insomnia. I only feel anxiety and depression on those days I do not sleep.

    One thing this I am considering, and is really frightening me, is that this could be Sporatic Fatal Insomnia. Although I have not had paranoia, phobia, or dementia so far, it seems that the insomnia symptoms line up. I am willing to pay for a PET scan out of my own pocket just to rule anything out. It is really an empty feeling knowing you could have a serious neurological disorder like SFI. There are so many physicians who are unaware of this disease and who aren't willing to prescribe a PET scan just because you think you have a rare brain disease.

    I have been crying almost every day since the end of March and my family is really concerned. Any help would be appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Hi Mr Hanson, and welcome to BrainTalk!

    I am usually on the multiple sclerosis forum here and don't look at other forums very often. I'm sorry that your post has gone unanswered for a long time.

    I was unaware of sporadic fatal insomnia but I looked it up and hope that that isn't what you have.

    It's very VERY rare, apparently, and it runs in families.

    I believe that you should find a doctor who will do a sleep study (polysomnography) and a PET scan to rule out this diagnosis. Even though it's rare, you've been having very troubling symptoms for a long time and it would ease your mind if you find out that you don't have sporadic fatal insomnia.

    It does sound like a disorder you could worry about to the point where you'd develop some of its symptoms, though.

    Please keep on in your search for a doctor.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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