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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5559
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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the first thing is iam having alot of problems getting to sleep.

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the first thing is iam having alot of problems getting to sleep. once iam asleep i seem to be okay and so far can wake up several times to go to the toilet and then get back in bed and fall asleep again. BUT getting to sleep is a severe problem for me as my head either locks up in a permanent state where you get no sleep at all or if im a bit more relaxed i experience a loud noise in my head at tha point of falling asleep which jolts me and prevents me from sleeping. i then revert to the locked head syndrome and cant relax again. at the present time i am taking 15mg of zopoclone (which is only just working), 45mg mirtazapine (last 4.5 years) and 10 mg olanzapine. I did expereince some phycotic symptoms 4.5 years ago but dont now. i actually stopped taking the olanzapine for a while this year and was getting no physotic symptons. but soon started to experience severe anxiety and then after a few weeks completly lost the ability to fall asleep. once i lost the ability to sleep i soon started taking the olanzapine again as it has a strong sedative effect and the zopoclone which was not working, worked when i took the olanzapine. I have asked my doctor for zolpidem, but they are not exactly helpfull when it comes to changing medication. so i bought some zolpiden online and have it ready should the zopoclone fail to get me to sleep. What im wondering althouh im not experiencing any obvious symptons of anxiety is that my going to sleep problem is stress and anxiety related. Is there a pill that can relax me enough to prevent my head from locking up and help control the noises when i try to sleep. I think once i sleep it would not be long before i could stop taking this medication (anxiety med). I would also like to replace the olanzapine with a drug that helps induce sleep. i ve heard you mention promazine a anti histermine(or something like that). i accept my stress and anxiety will never be normal, but it would be good if i could get enough control so that i could sleep at night. After all if you cant sleep at all and no meds work for you you will eventually die
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like the anxiety you have is interfering with your sleep. Loud noises in your head can be anxiety, including the jolting out of sleep experience that you are having. That is a symptom of anxiety.

There are many ways to control your anxiety with and without medications. One of the best techniques is progressive relaxation. Learning it is easy and once you do it for a period of time, it can become automatic. You can also use it during your waking hours to help you relax. Here is a link to help you learn how to do this technique:

http://www.guidetopsychology.com/pmr.htm

You can also take medications for your anxiety to help you feel calmer and sleep better. Whenever medications are used for treatment, it is very common for people to need to try at least one or two different medications or more before finding one that helps. This is because everyone's body chemistry is different. So if one medication works for one person, it may not work for another or it might even cause adverse side effects. So don't be discouraged. You will find the right medication for you.

Here are some of the more common medications for anxiety:

Xanax (alprazolam)
Klonopin (clonazepam)
Valium (diazepam)
Ativan (lorazepam)

These medications are known as tranquilizers. They help to slow down your system and help produce a calming effect.They are also fast acting. As a result, they are very popular and often the first line of medications tried for someone with anxiety disorder. But they do have unwanted side effects such as slowing down reflexes and thinking ability, making a person feel foggy or even drunk. This can impair a person's ability to function in such situations as driving.

Anti depressants can also be used for anxiety disorders. Prozac, the one you are taking now, is an example of an anti depressant. Others include Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa. These work by regulating serotonin levels in the brain to elevate mood. They can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to establish full effect in the blood. Side effects include nausea, sleepiness and weight gain. Withdrawal is also an issue, requiring a doctor's supervision.

.
Another possible mediation is Buspar. It also works to increase serotonin in the brain like anti depressants do. It takes up to 2 weeks to work. But it has less of a sedating effect than other mediations. It also has low risk of dependence.

Talk with your doctor to see what you both feel might work for you.

I hope this has helped you,

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5559
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
hi, thanks for the advice on progressive relaxation. i tried it last night and was able to sleep without sleeping pills for the first time in over a month.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for letting me know! It's good to hear that it worked. I hope you are able to get many more restful nights from here on in. Let me know if I can be of any more assistance in the future.

 

Kate

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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Mental Health Professional
5559 Satisfied Customers
Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.