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Old 09-23-2008, 09:43 AM   #1
Fleet86
 
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Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

I know that we have just had a thread about nightmares which I have re-read....I am posting literally in desperation!!

I have been at 15mgs for a good long time now and in the past I have always given up at 15mgs due to the withdrawal symptoms. I have ridden out all the normal withdrawal symptoms this time and was just thinking I was getting there but the every night nightmares are new and getting worse and worse until today I phoned a friend in desperation over it and thinking this is it I MUST stop weaning, I can't cope.

The thing is that I have been getting nightmares for a while but they are literally now getting worse each night. I am scared to go to bed...this really feels like I'm a little kid again. Trouble is I am screaming in my sleep (how embarrassing is that!!) but I don't wake myself up....just my poor husband and the other people in my shared house. I am thrashing about, the whole senerio.

Thing is I am at a loss. They are getting so disturbing I can't get them out of my head the next day. My Dad is in many of them (he died shortly after I went onto Paxil) and I expected that....but in the others I am constantly finding dead bodies, being attacked and they are in such vivid colour and so on. It's like every night I feature in my own horror movie and though I try very hard to forget it they are now becoming so a 'still' of the scene before me sticks in my head. I actually think I'm getting like Alison in Medium!!

I spoke to my doctor about the normal bad insomnia and he told me to take an over-the-counter Benadryl type thing to get me to sleep. I have tried taking the stuff/not taking it/warm milk/exercise during the day etc but I've reached the end to my endurance and ideas. The nightmares don't stop. I have a therapist and she is basically working on the feeling about my Dad's death....other than that she thought try to relax.

Does anyone have any ideas on sort of programming the mind to have more neutral dreams? I don't understand it, I had not been feeling too depressed....now it seems the dreams are feeding a depression. I should add that I have at present to take approx 2mg Klonopin to control Dystonia, a Neurological condition. I take them during the day to control the muscle spasms but try not to take an extra dose at night time (which the doctor tells me I can do). This is because I want to keep the Klonopin as low as possible so I can wean that after Paxil but could the timing of the Klonopin be making the nights worse?

Sorry this is such a rambling post. I am so tired and a kind friend is encouraging me to tough this out and get past the nightmares and continue weaning. ANY ideas would be VERY gratefully received.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:57 AM   #2
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

Nicci, I had the nightmare thing so bad that that's why I stopped taking Paxil. I also tried everything to try to get my mind "right" and re-program it to have soothing or neutral dreams, and nothing helped. I know that's not very encouraging, but I honestly believe that so long as the medication is in your system the dreams will continue; it's a common side effect of the drug.

Depending upon how long you've been on the Klonopin, it's also possible that you've reached tolerance on your current dose and are having some rebound effects when it's wearing off. I realize that you take it during the day to control your dystonia, but I'm wondering if it might not be possible to split the dose or take part of it closer to bedtime to help get you through the night.
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Adverse reaction to Lexapro led to Paxil, 10 months use, 2005. One month taper.
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Face. Accept. Float. Let Time Pass. — Dr. Claire Weekes

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Old 09-23-2008, 11:55 AM   #3
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

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Originally Posted by texgirl View Post
Nicci, I had the nightmare thing so bad that that's why I stopped taking Paxil. I also tried everything to try to get my mind "right" and re-program it to have soothing or neutral dreams, and nothing helped. I know that's not very encouraging, but I honestly believe that so long as the medication is in your system the dreams will continue; it's a common side effect of the drug.

Depending upon how long you've been on the Klonopin, it's also possible that you've reached tolerance on your current dose and are having some rebound effects when it's wearing off. I realize that you take it during the day to control your dystonia, but I'm wondering if it might not be possible to split the dose or take part of it closer to bedtime to help get you through the night.
Thanks Texgirl, maybe I have to just grin and bear these nightmares until the Paxil is completely gone from my system. I do think that the Klonopin could well be a factor as I have taken it for 11 years and do have some tolerance. Perhaps I will try to space my doses out so that I do have a night-time dose for now and see if that makes the nightmares bearable. I can deal with the Klonopin wean after the Paxil.

Thanks for you post. Even if I just have to put up with this, it helps to know I'm not going mad and others have had these too!!

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Old 09-23-2008, 02:18 PM   #4
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

nicci, i am sorry you are going through this. i had horrible nightmares during the weaning, but as i went through they dissipated. Please continue your journey you will get better as you reach the end! hang in there...
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:01 PM   #5
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

Please don't beat yourself up over these nightmares. They are horrible and very frightening and often you find yourself in situations that just aren't the YOU in real life. That's because the mind is sorting itself out as you sleep - rather like bring a filing cabinet up to date, throwing out the old stuff and reallocating files!

I used to have really bad nightmares ...... more likely due to the Paxil/Deroxat itself that the weaning ........... but even if you can remember them at breakfast or even into the morning, they are NOT REAL, and soon disperse in the harsh light of day.

Do not get stressed about these so-called experts and their 'dream analysis'. It is just your mind having a cogitate, and the reason behind them is the SSRI, pure and simple.

It is VERY NORMAL to see deceased friends and family members in your dreams, often in situations that are far from the truth. You have nothing to fear from them, and they will go away as time goes by.

My personal solution is to pray as I go to sleep and ask God to be with me during the night, whatever happens. I find the Nunc Dimittis prayer very helpful, which is said at the Compline service - last thing at night - in monasteries and other religious communities.

Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to your word
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be
world without end. Amen;

It gives me great peace and comfort for the night ahead, and I hope it might help you too.

Sleep well ................. It's very late here in France - gone 23H15 and I'm on my way to bed.
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:15 PM   #6
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

Quote:
Originally Posted by pax80 View Post
nicci, i am sorry you are going through this. i had horrible nightmares during the weaning, but as i went through they dissipated. Please continue your journey you will get better as you reach the end! hang in there...
Thank you pax80. It helps me so much to know that others have had these nightmares too and that they will fade given time. Also that I'm not going mad!
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:27 PM   #7
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alsacienne View Post
Please don't beat yourself up over these nightmares. They are horrible and very frightening and often you find yourself in situations that just aren't the YOU in real life. That's because the mind is sorting itself out as you sleep - rather like bring a filing cabinet up to date, throwing out the old stuff and reallocating files!

I used to have really bad nightmares ...... more likely due to the Paxil/Deroxat itself that the weaning ........... but even if you can remember them at breakfast or even into the morning, they are NOT REAL, and soon disperse in the harsh light of day.

Do not get stressed about these so-called experts and their 'dream analysis'. It is just your mind having a cogitate, and the reason behind them is the SSRI, pure and simple.

It is VERY NORMAL to see deceased friends and family members in your dreams, often in situations that are far from the truth. You have nothing to fear from them, and they will go away as time goes by.

My personal solution is to pray as I go to sleep and ask God to be with me during the night, whatever happens. I find the Nunc Dimittis prayer very helpful, which is said at the Compline service - last thing at night - in monasteries and other religious communities.

Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to your word
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be
world without end. Amen;

It gives me great peace and comfort for the night ahead, and I hope it might help you too.

Sleep well ................. It's very late here in France - gone 23H15 and I'm on my way to bed.
Thank you Alsacienne. I don't remember dreaming much whilst on Paxil so maybe it is 8 years of supressed dreaming coming through now that my dose is lower, I don't know.

I love the Compline prayer that you have given me and I will make sure that I say the prayer before bedtime. It is very calming and that's just what I need.

My thanks to you all for posting. Getting it out onto the screen has taken away some of the terror that was building up.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:08 PM   #8
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

Nicci, I don't have a prayer to share, but during my nightmare period, one thing that helped me as I was falling asleep was to repeat, "I know that I am held in the hands of God and I am perfectly, utterly safe." It's from a guided imagery CD called Healthy Sleep narrated by a woman named Belleruth Naperstek who has a company called Health Journeys. (You can google them to get the URL.) The whole CD is wonderfully relaxing and soothing and, while it didn't prevent the bad dreams, it did help me not to be so fearful at bedtime.
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Adverse reaction to Lexapro led to Paxil, 10 months use, 2005. One month taper.
Benzos (Xanax, then Klonopin), 2-1/2 years use, 2005-2007. 8 month taper (via compounding).
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Face. Accept. Float. Let Time Pass. — Dr. Claire Weekes

We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same. — Carlos Castañeda
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:17 PM   #9
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

Quote:
Originally Posted by texgirl View Post
Nicci, I don't have a prayer to share, but during my nightmare period, one thing that helped me as I was falling asleep was to repeat, "I know that I am held in the hands of God and I am perfectly, utterly safe." It's from a guided imagery CD called Healthy Sleep narrated by a woman named Belleruth Naperstek who has a company called Health Journeys. (You can google them to get the URL.) The whole CD is wonderfully relaxing and soothing and, while it didn't prevent the bad dreams, it did help me not to be so fearful at bedtime.
Thank you texgirl, that sounds like another excellent idea to calm me down and get me feeling safe enough to sleep again, nightmares or not. I will go and look for the CD you have mentioned because I think I could do with something to listen to, to re-inforce the calming thoughts.

Thanks again
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:12 PM   #10
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

Yeah this is a tough one. When I took melatonin I had nightmares consistently, so I would say to try melatonin - in your case it might mean no nightmares. I would also try anti-histamines. Worth a shot I think, but either way this will pass eventually.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:54 PM   #11
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

Nicci, I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this. It seems like a lot of us have nightmares in w/d, and I expect it's yet another w/d symptom. I remember being literally afraid to go to bed because of all the symptoms that were problems during the night.

My symptoms still seem to be worse at night, but far, far less than they used to be. Something goes on with our biochemistry at that time. But I don't think melatonin would change that, and if Leo had constant nightmares while on it, I'd be wary of it in your case, unless there's something about it I don't know (I've never taken it).

This wouldn't change the biochemistry that I think is the w/d root of problems like this, but do you think watching a funny comedy on video before going to sleep might at least distract your mind from the fear of sleeping? I didn't think to try that when I was going through acute w/d, but it might be worth a try.

I hope you feel better soon. Lots of hugs to you!
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20 mg/day; yrs later 15 mg
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4/27/06 - 10 mg
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5/21-24/06 - 2.5 mg (5/22 - none)
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:20 AM   #12
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

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Originally Posted by leo79 View Post
Yeah this is a tough one. When I took melatonin I had nightmares consistently, so I would say to try melatonin - in your case it might mean no nightmares. I would also try anti-histamines. Worth a shot I think, but either way this will pass eventually.
The over the counter sleep aids are anti-histamines I think (probably like Benadryl in US) so I will try to persist with those. I have only tried them occasionally but they are cheap enough to try again. Sadly I couldn't afford the Tart Cherry Extract that my health food shop told me would help my body produce melatonin naturally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TryingtoGetWell View Post
Nicci, I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this. It seems like a lot of us have nightmares in w/d, and I expect it's yet another w/d symptom. I remember being literally afraid to go to bed because of all the symptoms that were problems during the night.

My symptoms still seem to be worse at night, but far, far less than they used to be. Something goes on with our biochemistry at that time. But I don't think melatonin would change that, and if Leo had constant nightmares while on it, I'd be wary of it in your case, unless there's something about it I don't know (I've never taken it).

This wouldn't change the biochemistry that I think is the w/d root of problems like this, but do you think watching a funny comedy on video before going to sleep might at least distract your mind from the fear of sleeping? I didn't think to try that when I was going through acute w/d, but it might be worth a try.

I hope you feel better soon. Lots of hugs to you!
I like the idea of watching a funny comedy before I go to sleep. At least it would put nicer ideas into my head than the late night news I watch and that has to be a good thing.

Thank you both very much for your posts. It really helps to know that others have experienced this and survived. Sounds silly now but I thought I was going completely mad!
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:36 AM   #13
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

Vivid dreaming is a well-publicized side effect of melatonin, even for people who aren't on or in withdrawal from psych drugs. I took it once and it made things worse; I would not think it would be a good choice for someone who has nightmares already. The Benadryl should be a safe choice.

Try to keep your pre-bedtime routine as low-key as possible. I found that anything I did just before sleep (like watching a movie) ended up in my dreams later, and not in a good way. Start turning the lights low a few hours before bed; don't watch TV or use the computer. Sip tea, read a book, listen to instrumental or ambient music, do breathing exercises: things that are soothing and as free of stimulation as possible.
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Face. Accept. Float. Let Time Pass. — Dr. Claire Weekes

We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same. — Carlos Castañeda
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:45 AM   #14
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

Quote:
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Vivid dreaming is a well-publicized side effect of melatonin, even for people who aren't on or in withdrawal from psych drugs. I took it once and it made things worse; I would not think it would be a good choice for someone who has nightmares already. The Benadryl should be a safe choice.

Try to keep your pre-bedtime routine as low-key as possible. I found that anything I did just before sleep (like watching a movie) ended up in my dreams later, and not in a good way. Start turning the lights low a few hours before bed; don't watch TV or use the computer. Sip tea, read a book, listen to instrumental or ambient music, do breathing exercises: things that are soothing and as free of stimulation as possible.
I will skip trying the melatonin then and continue with the Benadryl. I must try to get my bedtime routine as calm as possible. I just seem to wake up at bedtime for some reason and I think I need to educate myself to calm down before sleep.

Thank you all so much for your ideas and your help. It is working because although I am still having the vivid frantic dreams I haven't seen one dead person/dead body since posting....I have my fingers crossed they have gone for good!!
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:35 AM   #15
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

Also be very careful what you ingest in the few hours before bed. I find that if I have too much sugar in the evenings it affects my sleep and dreams. I used to eat yogurt before bed till I started reading labels and discovered that one serving had more sugar than a small packet of animal crackers!
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Face. Accept. Float. Let Time Pass. — Dr. Claire Weekes

We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same. — Carlos Castañeda
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:10 AM   #16
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Re: Extreme nightmares causing bad depression

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Also be very careful what you ingest in the few hours before bed. I find that if I have too much sugar in the evenings it affects my sleep and dreams. I used to eat yogurt before bed till I started reading labels and discovered that one serving had more sugar than a small packet of animal crackers!
Hmmm, I have been having a glass of milk with a couple of sweet biscuits thinking that might help me sleep but I could be getting sugar crash from the biscuits once asleep...I never thought of that aspect. I will watch what I eat before bed. Thanks very much for that idea!
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