One of my biggest contributors to an episode of depression is lack of sleep. When I was on anti-depressants, I was always exhausted and wanted to sleep all day and sometimes I did. But come night, no matter how exhausted I was I could not sleep. I once was asked by my therapist at the time (there have been many) what my biggest fear was, my answer, going to bed at night and being unable to fall asleep and then once asleep, having to wake up and face another day. So, to fall asleep at night I took Truvalin (Dopaquel / Seroquel), this worked but at what cost?
I never read any of the medication insert leaflets in fear psychosomatic symptoms (says the mental patient), but when I decided to go off the medication I did some reading, and the side effects that were affecting me were, weight gain (I’m 30kgs heavier now, than before the medication), increased suicidal ideation & behaviour (hello, no wonder I never felt better) and that the recommended dose for sleep was between 50 and 100mg and I was on 175mg, I couldn’t get up in the morning. I am off all antidepressants now and I am finding my days brighter and exhaustion free. I no longer need to sleep my life away, however, I still battle and worry about sleep
If any of this is resonating with you, please don’t just stop taking your “meds”, you need to formulate an action plan. Your body is addicted, you need to get a script from your doctor so that you can decrease your medication slowly. If you want help going off your medication or want to know more about how I did it, please contact me.
I have come to terms with the fact that I have and always will battle with falling asleep, but I now focus on making sure I have it under control. I still take medication, but the more natural kind and at a much lower dosage. I take Circadin Melatonin 2mg, melatonin, a hormone that the body releases when it is dark, letting your body know it is time for sleep. Melatonin helps to regulate the body’s clock. Look, this medication also has some side effects, but I have been taking it for 5 weeks now and I am happy with the results, and apparently, this tablet also postpones aging, which I need after years lost to depression.
I also take Magnesium. When I picked up the bottle at the pharmacy and read how you would know if you had a magnesium deficiency, my first thought was maybe I don’t have depression, I just need magnesium. There are so many articles out there about magnesium and depression this one was posted in January 2018 with a link to a clinical study.
I have also downloaded a number of different apps that do sleep meditation. I use a few so that I don’t get bored, as most apps will give you one free meditation but you have to pay for more. So, having a few helps financially. Try out Sleep Well, Relax & Sleep Well or Sleep/Relax.
Sleep is no longer my biggest fear and I enjoy going to bed and having a Sunday Afternoon Nap every now and then. My bed is no longer a place to be feared because of depression, but a welcomed friend that comforts and supports me.
If you are struggling with sleep, I encourage you to watch this video on Guided Sleep Meditation with Deepak Chopra