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My dreams are killing me


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I've always been a morning person, annoyingly bright and cheery even before I've had my coffee. Now I always wake up with a pounding heart, or just plain in a shitty mood. I don't have the vocabulary to really describe my dreams, but some of them are siiiiiick. Others are just weird. Some are just depressing. At times I can't go to sleep because sleep paralysis is there threatening me.

It seems my dreams affect me (and my mood) a lot. I can be down for hours before the aftertaste of the dream goes away.

I recently cut down on Klonopin to sleep, and I rarely take it anymore. I was on a pretty high dose, 4 mg, so I guess it could be some kind of withdrawal, but I don't have problems sleeping or any other symptoms. I also lowered Geodon to 120 mg a day from 160 mg.

Psychologically, I have some issues with my love life, but it's been worse before and I'm handling it reasonably well. I just started therapy as well, and some painful stuff has been brought up.

I don't know what this is. I just need to fix it before my moods crash which they tend do this season. Knock on wood.

Any ideas of what it is and how to stop it?

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi dweii--

I sympathize with your problem... although I am not, and have never been, a morning person. I guess my pineal gland's not the sharpest tool in the shed and takes some time to react to changes in light/dark... If it were up to my body, I'd be going to bed around 4 AM and waking up at 1 PM.

Society (and college and work) have now forced me to awaken by 8 AM, so I have to take meds to force my rhythm into something societally acceptable (right now it's Lunesta/eszopiclone aka the better half of Imovane/zopiclone in the PM to knock me out, and then Provigil/modafinil to get me out of bed the following AM). FYI, the Lunesta stopped working recently.

Anyways, although I'm not a morning person, I've had the same difficulties with excessive dreaming and sleep paralysis (I am narcoleptic [daytime symptoms fixed by Provigil], so the sleep paralysis is no surprise for me). Before Lunesta (and now, after Lunesta's stopped working), I'd repeatedly wake up drenched in sweat from an intense dream, sometimes paralyzed and falling back asleep that way.

By the way, can I take a shot at what's at the bottom of your signature? I'm fluent in 2 of your cousin languages...

There ends the search, listen.... ??????

Searching forever before my only... ????

That's when it's time for me to stop with the Norse language crap and stick to my claims that I can read Dutch fairly well...

P.S. Check with your pdoc about the Geodon. I have no scientific evidence here, but I do have friends who have had sleep paralysis and/or excessive (and/or lucid!) dreaming whilst on this drug. Some enjoyed the lucid part, but that's all entirely subjective.

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I have the same dream problem you do...every night, it's a grand theater of some sort of humiliation, gruesome death, and/or pornographic sex. The dreams are obviously very dark in content and very haunting. It is sometimes hard to start the day on that note. I occasionally wake up in a cold sweat. I'm so used to it, though, that it seems normal to me. I bet I spend an unusual amount of time in REM sleep.

I'm not sure "what it is," scientifically speaking, or how to stop it. There's a good chance your pdoc might know.

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fwiw, i took klonopin [clonazepam] every night for five days at a very low dose, and when i stopped, i had withdrawal nightmares. really fucked up stuff that really affected me. i only take it prn now and don't find a problem with this in regards to klonopin.

i'm going through a similar thing now, which i think might be related to lamictal [lamotrigine] titration.

can't speak about the sleep paralysis though, just the vivid dreams.

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By the way, can I take a shot at what's at the bottom of your signature? I'm fluent in 2 of your cousin languages...

There ends the search, listen.... ??????

Searching forever before my only... ????

That's when it's time for me to stop with the Norse language crap and stick to my claims that I can read Dutch fairly well...

P.S. Check with your pdoc about the Geodon. I have no scientific evidence here, but I do have friends who have had sleep paralysis and/or excessive (and/or lucid!) dreaming whilst on this drug. Some enjoyed the lucid part, but that's all entirely subjective.

It's something like this:

The only thing I hear is my heart that is beating

I'm too far away in my own fucking thoughts

(Of course, it sounds a lot better in swedish.)

You speak german right? Out of curiousity, what would said rhyme be in german? German is in some ways very similar to swedish, sometimes I can listen and at least have an idea of what they're talking about, other times it's just gibberish.

Anyway, it might be another nasty side effect from Geodon. My love/hate-relationship pill.

Topamax got rid of mine. It turns out that frequent vivid nightmares can be symptomatic of temporal lobe abnormalities.

This is really interesting because just the past few days, I've been thinking about the possibility I may have some... abnormalities up there. I had complications at birth, and some coordination and memory issues which make me wonder. I don't know how to confirm/dismiss this?

Ok, since it is my thread I'll keep on whining:

The sleep paralysis seems to come more often and be more intense when I've been meditating/praying. Even after regular relaxation breathing techniques. What the hell is up with that? I have to do something spiritual or just some breathing exercises to go to sleep, but then if I do go to sleep I get sleep paralysis of the aliens-are-abducting-me kind. Catch 22.

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It's something like this:

The only thing I hear is my heart that is beating

I'm too far away in my own fucking thoughts

(Of course, it sounds a lot better in swedish.)

You speak german right? Out of curiousity, what would said rhyme be in german? German is in some ways very similar to swedish, sometimes I can listen and at least have an idea of what they're talking about, other times it's just gibberish.

Anyway, it might be another nasty side effect from Geodon. My love/hate-relationship pill.

...

The sleep paralysis seems to come more often and be more intense when I've been meditating/praying. Even after regular relaxation breathing techniques. What the hell is up with that? I have to do something spiritual or just some breathing exercises to go to sleep, but then if I do go to sleep I get sleep paralysis of the aliens-are-abducting-me kind. Catch 22.

Well, I wasn't TOO far off on my translation... wait... I was... hehehe

Let me try for you to loosely translate your lines above into German such that they sorta rhyme:

Mir ist taub ausser meinem Herzschlag

zu tief in Scheissgedanken begrabt

I'm very bad at poetry and have always been (I'd been bitched out by a former German prof, who otherwise had loved me, about how I couldn't do meter/rhyme properly).

The above literally translates to:

"I'm deaf besides [hearing] my heartbeat

buried too deep in my own fucking thoughts."

And as for your sleep paralysis, try sleeping on your side. Unless you're like me and end up tossing and turning all night (dreams irrespective), this should greatly help. Also, there's a medication called gamma-hydroxy butyrate (GHB) that is available as a prescription in some countries. Due to its reputation as a "date rape" drug back when it was an uncontrolled substance, its distribution is now prescription-only, scheduled, and tightly regulated (at least in the US, I don't know about Sweden). Its dosing schedule to say the least is a bit inconvenient and once you take the initial dose, you'd better be at your bedside ready for getting knocked out.

More information (at least about some of this) is available on the page that VE linked above.

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I've posted this a few different times but I don't know if you've seen it

http://www.pni.org/neuropsychiatry/seizures/ptls.html

No I hadn't seen it before so thanks. That was a bit scary because I have some of those symptoms. But then again I can read about any disorder and think "that's me!". I think it's called "doctor's disease"? When you read up on diseases/disorders and think you have them all. I remember when I started a medicine course and was convinced I had cancer.

So what is actually done to determine what it is? I couldn't fully understand the language on the site, sorry. EEG?

And as for your sleep paralysis, try sleeping on your side. Unless you're like me and end up tossing and turning all night (dreams irrespective), this should greatly help. Also, there's a medication called gamma-hydroxy butyrate (GHB) that is available as a prescription in some countries. Due to its reputation as a "date rape" drug back when it was an uncontrolled substance, its distribution is now prescription-only, scheduled, and tightly regulated (at least in the US, I don't know about Sweden). Its dosing schedule to say the least is a bit inconvenient and once you take the initial dose, you'd better be at your bedside ready for getting knocked out.

Scheisse! GHB isn't available here, although I'm sure I could get it off the street. Uhm...

Sleeping on the side doesn't seem to work when I do try it. My normal position falling asleep is on my back, really straight like a mummy.

So how come you know German? (Look, capital G!)

I thought Americans weren't big on foreign languages. I've taken three foreign languages in school, soon to be four since I'm taking Russian this year. Despite that, I only know English. As I said, my memory...

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I've always been a morning person, annoyingly bright and cheery even before I've had my coffee. Now I always wake up with a pounding heart, or just plain in a shitty mood. I don't have the vocabulary to really describe my dreams, but some of them are siiiiiick. Others are just weird. Some are just depressing. At times I can't go to sleep because sleep paralysis is there threatening me.

It seems my dreams affect me (and my mood) a lot. I can be down for hours before the aftertaste of the dream goes away.

I recently cut down on Klonopin to sleep, and I rarely take it anymore. I was on a pretty high dose, 4 mg, so I guess it could be some kind of withdrawal, but I don't have problems sleeping or any other symptoms. I also lowered Geodon to 120 mg a day from 160 mg.

Psychologically, I have some issues with my love life, but it's been worse before and I'm handling it reasonably well. I just started therapy as well, and some painful stuff has been brought up.

I don't know what this is. I just need to fix it before my moods crash which they tend do this season. Knock on wood.

Any ideas of what it is and how to stop it?

all kidding aside - have you considered marijuana? I don't think I can say that. Uh, nevermind.

This had happened to me. Only for a few nights in a row, but not since a few months ago when i started to smoke po----- I mean, had a med change. Mayu I suggest a new cocktail for you? I vote it's the K. THe K suicks you in.

Topamax got rid of mine. It turns out that frequent vivid nightmares can be symptomatic of temporal lobe abnormalities.

It's like that stuff Nancy was taking so she wouldn't dream in Nightmare on Elm Street III.

Aw fuck. now I have temporal lobe abnormalities.

Was that before or after that chick from Just the Ten of us was made into a bug and got stuck in the roach motel???

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I've posted this a few different times but I don't know if you've seen it

http://www.pni.org/neuropsychiatry/seizures/ptls.html

No I hadn't seen it before so thanks. That was a bit scary because I have some of those symptoms. But then again I can read about any disorder and think "that's me!". I think it's called "doctor's disease"? When you read up on diseases/disorders and think you have them all. I remember when I started a medicine course and was convinced I had cancer.

So what is actually done to determine what it is? I couldn't fully understand the language on the site, sorry. EEG?

What language did you have trouble with?

It would have to be an eeg at the moment when you have the symptom, so an ambulatory EEG, a helmet with electrodes that you end up wearing around for days. A lot of it seems to overlap with what Dr. Amen calls "temporal lobe ADD."

Since it is sometimes effective as a mood stabilizer, can help with specific types of ADD, and some of the other symptoms related to the temporal lobe, you might want to investigate topamax a bit.

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Dweii--

I know German since I chose to take it after I switched high schools (approx. ages 14-18 typically is HS in the US) midstream... I started off with Latin and then, where I transferred, they didn't offer Latin, so then I chose to take German because of its importance in science and such. Strangely, my second high school was a Catholic Jesuit one...

(I know more German than I should now... since I decided to minor (5 courses) in it in college and then was duped into doing a second degree in it. Strangely, in practical terms, it was more useful than my other degree, which was nothing but four lines on my resume and a few more on my college transcript implying that I was eligible for some jobs and graduate school.)

VE--

I am going to define "Paroxysmal Ignorance Disease", a disease some clinicians experience whereby they assume nothing's wrong with the patient, if, they see the patient and nothing is wrong with the patient at the time of the office visit. This disease is present in clinicians, always co-morbid with the patient having various "attack-based" disorders, such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, migraines, cluster headaches, cyclical fevers, cyclical viral infections...

I'm not sure how sarcastic the above was.

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What language did you have trouble with?

It would have to be an eeg at the moment when you have the symptom, so an ambulatory EEG, a helmet with electrodes that you end up wearing around for days. A lot of it seems to overlap with what Dr. Amen calls "temporal lobe ADD."

Since it is sometimes effective as a mood stabilizer, can help with specific types of ADD, and some of the other symptoms related to the temporal lobe, you might want to investigate topamax a bit.

I actually called my pdoc just now because I was freaking out. We talked for a bit, and she mentioned an EEG since she suspects my weird symptoms have something to do with temporal lobe epilepsy or other abnormalities there. I've always had these "floating sensations", all my life. Among other things.

Topamax sounds scary, worsening of psychotic and depressive symptoms and increases in panic attack as potential side effects. Just what I need. Yeah, I know those are potential side effects, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to risk anything. I'm hoping for an EEG and then go from there. But I'll mention Topamax at my next appointment next week.

I don't know what to do. I'm so scared I'm falling into that deep winter depression again, the last one lasted four months. FUCK FUCK FUCK.

Oh yeah, I had problem with the English. Or I was just tired.

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What language did you have trouble with?

It would have to be an eeg at the moment when you have the symptom, so an ambulatory EEG, a helmet with electrodes that you end up wearing around for days. A lot of it seems to overlap with what Dr. Amen calls "temporal lobe ADD."

Since it is sometimes effective as a mood stabilizer, can help with specific types of ADD, and some of the other symptoms related to the temporal lobe, you might want to investigate topamax a bit.

I actually called my pdoc just now because I was freaking out. We talked for a bit, and she mentioned an EEG since she suspects my weird symptoms have something to do with temporal lobe epilepsy or other abnormalities there. I've always had these "floating sensations", all my life. Among other things.

Topamax sounds scary, worsening of psychotic and depressive symptoms and increases in panic attack as potential side effects. Just what I need. Yeah, I know those are potential side effects, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to risk anything. I'm hoping for an EEG and then go from there. But I'll mention Topamax at my next appointment next week.

I don't know what to do. I'm so scared I'm falling into that deep winter depression again, the last one lasted four months. FUCK FUCK FUCK.

Oh yeah, I had problem with the English. Or I was just tired.

{{sniff}} Hang in there man.
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Dweii--

Looking at your signature again... what's "DAMP"? Is it like MOIST?

...of note, I get to stay the hell away from Topamax, temporal lobe issues (which I may likely have) notwithstanding, since my psiMS hit my verbal centers HARD and the symptoms are residual between my attacks. Some other cognitive functions are going AWOL as well. The Christmas Day concussion of '06 didn't help either.

VE, you might be interested in knowing that my psiMS hit my English badly ("tip-of-the-tongue" phenomenon, just like what you may get with Topamax), but left my German pretty untouched (verified with a few native speaker friends of mine).

One day I'll be moving to central Europe, after all my English has been disposed of by this disease. By then they'll probably only be speaking English there as well. ;)

Back to sleep disorders... I know that Cymbalta (when taken at night) really calmed my dreams away and helped with the sleep paralysis, etc. Apparently the neurotransmitter norepinephrine has that effect on REM and dream sleep (there've been several papers written about this).

Unfortunately, due to severe orthostatic hypotension (the major norepinephrine side effect, and probably partially the fault of psiMS too), I'm probably going to have to quit the stuff soon and go back to the standard SSRI du jour.

Also, note that some people find Cymbalta, as with its cousin drug Effexor, to be too stimulating for evening use. Norepinephrine is a bit of a bizarre neurotransmitter.

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What language did you have trouble with?

It would have to be an eeg at the moment when you have the symptom, so an ambulatory EEG, a helmet with electrodes that you end up wearing around for days. A lot of it seems to overlap with what Dr. Amen calls "temporal lobe ADD."

Since it is sometimes effective as a mood stabilizer, can help with specific types of ADD, and some of the other symptoms related to the temporal lobe, you might want to investigate topamax a bit.

I actually called my pdoc just now because I was freaking out. We talked for a bit, and she mentioned an EEG since she suspects my weird symptoms have something to do with temporal lobe epilepsy or other abnormalities there. I've always had these "floating sensations", all my life. Among other things.

Topamax sounds scary, worsening of psychotic and depressive symptoms and increases in panic attack as potential side effects. Just what I need. Yeah, I know those are potential side effects, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to risk anything. I'm hoping for an EEG and then go from there. But I'll mention Topamax at my next appointment next week.

I don't know what to do. I'm so scared I'm falling into that deep winter depression again, the last one lasted four months. FUCK FUCK FUCK.

Oh yeah, I had problem with the English. Or I was just tired.

I guessed it was english. I meant if there were any particular phases.

FWIW topamax has helped my anxiety and OCD quite a bit. I'm able to get by with just it and cymbalta, no need for an AP and prn benzos are rare. Recurrent depression is the reason I was first given it. It's kinda helped there. A presidential impeachment would help more.

I found carbamazepine much worse in the side effects department than I have topamax.

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I guessed it was english. I meant if there were any particular phases.

FWIW topamax has helped my anxiety and OCD quite a bit. I'm able to get by with just it and cymbalta, no need for an AP and prn benzos are rare. Recurrent depression is the reason I was first given it. It's kinda helped there. A presidential impeachment would help more.

I found carbamazepine much worse in the side effects department than I have topamax.

Oh right, sorry. I meant the medical English. And I have trouble reading texts without paragraphs. I'm re-reading right now. For example, "Controversial PTLS"? Ok, so PTLS is possible temporal lobe symptoms, but what do they mean by "controversial"? I know that word, but I don't get it in that context.

I'll ask about Topamax on thursday, but I think I'll want to do an EEG first. But I'll see how complicated the process of getting one is.

Tegretol made me depressed as hell and half-psychotic. And Tegretol works on the temporal lobes too right?

Hell, a (US) presidential impeachment would be joyful even for me as a Swede.

Herrfous:

DAMP is a very controversial diagnosis only used in Scandinavia. It's debated whether it really "exists" or not.

It's basically ADHD with coordination and perception problems. My pdoc wrote ADHD/DAMP on my form to apply for uhm... something like SSDI. Maybe 'cause it sounds more disabling than ADHD, I don't know. I do have coordination problems though, I've walked into her plant at the office several times, so I guess she's been observing that. Heh.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DAMP

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I know what you're talking about. Coordination and perception problems are not uncommon in ADD. I think it's rather silly that my diagnosis would be different if I'd been born Scandinavian.

By controversial, he means there is disagreement about if they are PTLs or not. They may be his personal theories. Considering the guy doing the research is an MD+phd, he's in a better place to do that than many people.

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I know what you're talking about. Coordination and perception problems are not uncommon in ADD. I think it's rather silly that my diagnosis would be different if I'd been born Scandinavian.

By controversial, he means there is disagreement about if they are PTLs or not. They may be his personal theories. Considering the guy doing the research is an MD+phd, he's in a better place to do that than many people.

Both the diagnoses ADHD and DAMP are in ICD-10, which Sweden uses. But since health insurance isn't common there isn't much need for official diagnoses anyway. Personally, I think DAMP as a diagnosis is just bullshit, but that's me. Gillberg has done some good research about autism though.

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