Posted by Reggie BoStar on January 1, 2007, at 6:27:04 [reposted on January 1, 2007, at 22:12:01 | original URL]
I was wondering if any of the folks out there with severe and/or Bipolar depression had really bad sleeping patterns like me.
I was severe unipolar for many years, am now diagnosed with bipolar II (the cycles are severe depression to hypomania). Sometime around the onset of the bipolar version, or maybe when I had ECT in 2005,I started having these bizarre sleeping patterns that I can't seem to work around with meds, exercise, therapy, whatever.
Here's a typical pattern: for 3 or 4 days, I'm doing a day shift more or less OK. By the end of that period, though, I start really winding down fast. Within hours, early in the evening, I'm nodding on and off all the time and my muscles feel like lead. I used to try to postpone the inevitable with caffeine, but now I now better.
Sometimes, just before I do collapse, I've got the chills and a mild sore throat. The MD has taken culture to check on that and they've all been negative.
Anyway, I finally collapse early in the evening (6-7pm) and sleep through that night, the next night, and lately through to the next morning around dawn. I get up for the bathroom but nothing else - no food, no meds (not even for one of my cats, who will have seizures if he goes too long). That's a total of about 48 hours, and it isn't even a struggle. There's a lot of disturbing dream activity, but getting up and staying up until that third day is impossible. I know, I've tried. I just wind up collapsing again after a shower.
I just woke up after one of those marathons. I got up about 6am, did the shower, meds (including the cat's!), etc, and seem to feel as though I'm headed into another few days of day shift. But the first few hours of being awake are pretty morbid. This is when suicide thoughts come and go, mixed in with the despair of all that time lost (this time it included New Year's Eve - all gone); then comes fear. What is happening to me? I seem to be less and less alive as time goes on. I spend almost all of that first day trying to shake off this mood, along with all the memories and emotions hanging around from those dreams.
They tested me for sleep apnea and found nothing. Lately they've upped my Wellbutrin and decreased my Cymbalta, on the theory that the Wellbutrin would energize me more and the reduced Cymbalta would be less likely to sedate me.
I see the pdoc next week. I just saw the therapist last week. In addition to the med changes they try to talk me out of this with suggestions, but nothing seems to work. There's just total exhaustion after only a few days' low-level activity (I walk for exercise) and then I'm off to coma world again.
What is this? Anyone else with severe depression going through this? I'm starting to get really worried, which I don't need. In fact, I'd better not worry too much. Who knows what'll happen next?
Well, Best Wishes for a Happy New Year; hope we all feel better this time around.