I don’t want to be a zombie

I’ve been having trouble sleeping for the last few weeks.  I’ve talked about what sleep deprivation does to me before.  It’s not pretty.  It came to head this week after not getting any sleep for 2 days.  Mental Health’s solution was for me to take an anti-psychotic, a drug that also has the side effect of being sedative.

Had it been 5-6 years ago I would have taken the pill without a second thought, glad for the enveloping darkness of sleep.  Now I am a little more hesitant.  I’m hesitant about the side effects that a sleep of nothingness causes.  Our conversation seemed to become one sided once I had said that I wouldn’t be taking a sedative.

Since having Mr 4, I have been more hesitant about the medications I take.  Only starting a new one when Paul is here, paying close attention to the side effects it causes.  I’ve been in ‘the system’ for over 11 years, I’ve been on nearly every medication there is.  While before Mr 4 I would have been happy to take a sedative, happy to spend the days in bed or walking around in a foggy haze, that’s just not viable anymore.  I am already tuned out, I don’t need drugs making the situation worse.

My ability to parent Mr 4 isn’t the only thing affected by me taking sedatives.  The medication takes me too far the other way.  I want the thoughts to go away, but they make everything so slow I feel like I am wading through quick sand.  Imagine a brain so foggy that even simple tasks become mammoth efforts.  My brain just doesn’t work.

Two things that I use to keep myself out of crisis mode are reading and writing.  I can’t do either while on sedatives.  It’s like a constant writers block.  I just stare at the page, cursor mocking me with it’s blinking into nothingness.  Reading feels like my brain is on idle.  The words blend together, never sinking in.  I reread the same sentence over and over again, hoping it will make sense.  A book that would normally takes me days, takes months.  Somethings got to give when the positive coping mechanisms are being wiped out.

There are many people who can lead perfectly normal, stable lives while taking anti-psychotics.  I am not one of them.  Maybe I am more sensitive to the properties of the medication, I don’t know.  I just know that they don’t work.

The preceding story is my personal experience with sedatives.  It is not meant to be taken as medical advice.  If you are having issues with your medications side effects, please speak to your doctor.

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20 thoughts on “I don’t want to be a zombie

  1. Me

    I know what the lack of sleep can do to a person being someone who was lucky to get 2-3 hrs sleep per night for months on end. Eventually I just couldn’t function. I tried some sleeping tablets but then I would spend the next day until about lunch time feeling all foggy in my head.
    A nurse recommended Temazapan to me – I have tried it on nights when I am jus so exhausted I know I won’t be able to function if I don’t sleep – and it doesn’t leave me feeling all foggy in the morning. I can get up and go to work and function fine. Maybe speak to your dr about that.
    Currently I am on some melatonin tablets from the naturopath which have been absolutely amazing – aside from A’s snoring after each of his birthday celebrations, I have been sleeping so much better and feel more human for it.
    I hope you can find a solution soon because I know exactly how you feel being sleep deprived.
    Try to have a good day !
    Me

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      I think that I must just be more sensitive to the sedative effects. I have taken temazepam in the past and had the same hungover feeling (without the fun of the night before 😉 ) I have heard good things about melatonin supplements and I thin that will be my next step.

      Reply
  2. Dani

    Having a baby who hasn’t been a fan of sleep since he arrived 15 months ago has meant prolonged sleep deprivation for me, so I understand how terribly debilitating it can be, and how you can’t afford to be like a zombie when you have the care of a child.
    I hope that you can find a solution, and wish that these things were ever easy.

    Reply
  3. Becc

    It is so very difficult to get on with your life and parent a 4 year old with these complications. I know what it is like to walk around in a fog and not be able to complete the most basic of tasks.
    Good on you for taking your stance. Try every natural therapy, coping mechanism or whatever is on offer and give it a burl. The end result is worth it.

    Reply
  4. Rachel

    You should be so proud of how far you’ve come and if you EVER have any doubts about what a good Mum you are you should just re-read this post. Have you ever tried any natural sleeping aids like valerian? I have a couple of colleagues who say it works wonders.
    Keep writing and doing the things you know will help to even out the bumps xx

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      I bought some brauers sleep remedy on Friday, just waiting for it to come in the mail. I am hoping that it will help Mr 4 and I with our sleeping.

      Reply
  5. Alicia

    I don’t do well on not much sleep, I turn into an emotional, short tempered mess. I know it’s not good for me and especially not much fun for those around me. I can’t imagine what you go through with your illness and the battle and frustration with trying to get help from assuming doctors. I hope you find an even balance somewhere, it mustn’t be easy with a four year old to consider first before your own sleep deprivation xxx

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      You described exactly what I turn into without much sleep. Added on to that, I am not much of a morning person in the first place and it’s a recipe for disaster. I am trying out some natural remedies and hoping that it will have a positive impact.

      Reply
  6. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me

    My entire family has had problems with sleeping, including me, since as long as I can remember. My mum, in her mid-60s has medication, which she uses when she’s gone a week without more than 4 hours of sleep a night. My younger sis uses other means to get to sleep, which aren’t particularly healthy. As for me, before I had kids I was a chronic insomniac, went quite cray cray, stressed, emotional, coffee addict and then made changes, a king sized bed because I can’t stand anyone breathing/sleeping beside me. The UBER tiredness of having 3 kids in 3.5 years has helped – but noy sure what I’ll do when everyone sleeps through – vodka?! Ha ha. I’m not making light of what you’re going through, in fact I do hope one day I will be able to overcome my insomnia naturally xxx

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      Sleep has been an issue for me for a long time too. Let’s hope we can both overcome our sleep troubles soon xx

      Reply
  7. Toni @ Finding Myself Young

    I am having exactly the same issues atm. I was put into the mental health ward a couple of weeks ago with post natal depression and severe anxiety. It caused me to have insomnia. They put me on sedatives to try to sleep but my brain actually overrides them because im so anxious of what they will do to me. I took sleeping tablets plus the sedatives and still couldn’t sleep. Now I just don’t bother taking them.

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      Oh Toni, I am so sorry to hear that you have been struggling. I hope that you can find something to help you feel less anxious.

      Reply
  8. Sarah@Slapdash Mama

    Oh T I’m sorry you are having such a crap time with sleep. I totally understand your reluctance to take the sedative though. I really hope they sort something out that works and allows you to get sleep but remain more alert when you need it. Sleep deprivation is bloody torture. Thinking of you x

    Reply
  9. Alison

    If it wasn’t for Bruce I don’t know how I would have coped over the years, with two kids and intermittently fucked up sleeping patterns. He’s a bit hopeless about many things, but at least I know he is there to look after the kids if I cannot. You know my experiences with meds, though have not had anti psychotics. Some medical practioners just cannot seem to accept that meds are not a cure all, catch all, fix everything for everyone. I hope your sleep patterns improve soon 🙁

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      Thanks, I bought some Braurers sleep remedy the other day and just waiting for it to arrive. I am hoping that it will help both Mr 4 and I get a good nights sleep.

      Reply

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