I'm not sure how active this board is, or how active Braintalk is anymore for that matter. It used to be very active when I first started coming here in 2002, that was a long time ago and for very different reasons.
I started having issues with insomnia when I was in my late 20's, at that time I attributed it to stress and anxiety. I was given a small dose (.5 mg) of Ativan, problem solved, at least for a while. Unfortunately, I became involved with a doctor who's main goal was to seemingly amp patients up to very high doses of benzodiazepines. I was not aware at the time the dangers of this practice and became dependent on Klonopin and by 2010, I was taking over 4 mg a day, sometimes as much as 6. I use the word dependency and not addiction for a reason, I believe there is a big difference. I was using the drug to knock myself out at night as my insomnia seemed to get worse, he added Ambien into the mix :( This doctor also ascertained that I had ADD (at 32) and put me on Adderall, took myself off after 6 months :) In most cases, I do not put blame on doctors for someone becoming dependent or addicted to medications but when I look this guy up online, I see 15-20 other people with similar stories.
Fast forward to today, I tried to go off benzos cold turkey in 2010 and had a horrible time, reinstated after 60 days of hell. I am currently taking .5 mg of Xanax for panic attacks (twice daily) and 1 mg of Klonopin for insomnia along with Remeron and Trazodone. Over the past 20-30 days, after a year (or so) of sleeping reasonably well, once again I have developed terrible insomnia. I will admit that I've doubled my dose of Klonopin on occasion to induce sleep, it hasn't work. I've added Xanax at bedtime per my doctors approval, it hasn't worked. I've also tried 100 mg of Trazodone, although it's helped a little, it often causes horrible sleep paralysis. More often than not, it takes a good 45-90 minutes to fall asleep and lately, I've been waking up after about 2 hours of sleep and been getting between 4-6 hours a night, not nearly enough for me. I refuse to take any more than 2 mg of either Klonopin or Xanax and if I combine the two, it's 1 mg of Klonopin and .5 mg of Xanax. I do not drink, smoke, take pain medication or use any other drugs including marijuana.
When I went through benzo withdrawal in 2010, I literally went 45 days sleeping less than 30 minutes a night and became very ill, also worried at that time I had developed fatal insomnia or some other horrific neurological condition. During that period, I was on a myriad of antidepressant medications to induce sleep, none of them worked, in hindsight, I think they made it worse. Seems like benzos are the only thing that's ever worked and now they're failing me, so I'm frightened. I had a sleep study in early 2011 that was normal, no sleep apnea. Had a brain MRI for numbness and tingling a couple weeks ago that was normal, not sure if that matters or not but I figured I would mention this. Seems like only a few diseases have insomnia as a symptom and these conditions are relatively unpleasant to consider. I realize that there are diseases that cause insomnia like liver disease or chronic pain but I do not have these issues. The muscle pain I have is due to exertion and goes away when I lie down.
May seem like this is a dependency issue and should be addressed somewhere else but my main problem is sleep, if I don't sleep I get very ill and can't function. Over the course of my 12+ years of insomnia, I've tried most of the antidepressants that make you drowsy. Ambien was not very effective and Restoril was useless to me. I could take 10 mg of Ambien tonight and stay up and watch television, it simply doesn't work.
Does anyone else here have treatment resistant insomnia? Seems like a high dose of benzos or Ambien will knock anyone out, can't help but think that I may be suffering from a serious condition. Since I started having insomnia back in 2000, I've also developed some strange (undiagnosed) neurological problems like muscle twitching, weakness/fatigue, muscle pain and lightheadedness (not vertigo)
Haven't come across too many people who've been sympathetic, including doctors. I started exercising again a couple weeks ago, walking about 2 miles a day at a brisk pace which is a lot for me, hasn't helped although it's improved my energy levels a bit. Will continue to do this as long as I am able. Only slept around 3 hours last night so please excuse any errors or if I failed to mention anything important. Thanks very much for reading my rant and any feedback or insight would be appreciated.