Been having a huge amount of Sleeping problems since the events in November 2013. I used to struggle to function if i didn’t get a good 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night, would wake up grumpy and tired if i didn’t. But for the past 10 Months I’d be lucky to get 6 hours a night. And even then its not full restful sleep. Its unbroken and difficult. Although on the plus side do get to see some lovely Sunrises over Manchester as I’m still awake as the sun comes up (chance for a Twitter or Facebook upload).
Suffering from lack of sleep is horrible. It brings your mood down, you cant concentrate on anything. Everything is so much effort and there is just no motivation at all to do anything.
I’ve been having Counseling through Bury IAPT services for the past 3 or 4 months to help with my flashbacks and nightmares that started after my breakdown. This has helped to control my nightmares and Flashbacks but they still appear from time to time, Classic symptoms of PTSD. The main flashback that troubles me is one of the memories i had when Greater Manchester Police (GMP), first came to the flat and made me think that my Fiancee and love of my love had died. Its of a police officer that was stood in my the flat. in a certain stance, he was wearing full police uniform including high-vis jacket. And had his arms up holding onto the top of his stab vest. This image haunts me. The Police tell me Officers stand like that cause its more comfortable as the stab vest and equipment they have is uncomfortable. But i saw it as a very aggressive stance. It looks like his fists were up and ready for a fight and he was ready to launch at me any moment.
The Nightmares are truly awful, waking up covered in sweat, heart pounding, jumping up and screaming. The nightmares although were different in scene setting, people in them but there are 3 main themes which keeping troubling me and keep coming up time and time again. The first one is seeing Police in my nightmares, this would start of my anxiety/panic attacks and after waking i wouldn’t have a chance of getting back to sleep. On numerous occasions the Nightmare of the Police raiding the flat or me opening the door to see a policeman there, would require me to get dressed and walk around the block to confirm that there are no Police nearby, this sometimes stops the panic attacks but rarely stops the anxiety attacks. The policeman is always the same, same face, doesn’t matter what I’m dreaming about he’ll walk my nightmares to find me. The second theme again stems from the PTSD and the thought that my other half had died. In the nightmares I’m loosing someone close to me. friends, family the person who dies or goes missing is always different but the emotions and feeling of loss just brings me back to the way GMP left me in November after the first visit they paid me. The emotion and feeling of loss is huge and very dark, Some very dark places and thoughts come after these nightmares. The 3rd theme is quite simply fear. Just being afraid scared of everything and anyone, again down to GMP and me loosing my ‘safety net’, no-one is there to help or protect me and this leaves me feeling very alone, very vulnerable and very scared.
At the moment i have no sleep routine, I sleep when i can and when needed. I still try and go to bed and sleep but normally just lie there for hours in between 20 minute power naps. I’m constantly tired and not through lack of trying to sleep. Back in December the GP put me on medication (Zopiclone), some strong sleeping tablets. I was only allowed that one prescription of it (28 tablets) due to them being addictive. They did allow me to sleep for a good uninterrupted, restful time.
Although the flashbacks and nightmares have improved with the help of counseling. Its not just the sleeping that’s an issue. My Anxiety disorder is next on the list that i need to get help for. I’m actually scared/worried of waking up. As silly as it sounds, but when I’m asleep, no one can hurt me. There is less people about at night and generally less noise so allows me to get things done and completed without jumping at every noise from outside or elsewhere in the building. In November the 2 days the Police arrived at the flat they woke me up and got me out of bed. So I’m extremely anxious in the mornings. This could be why i stay up all night before going to sleep when the sun comes out. Then again when my Partner Mike was having his flashbacks/rough/dark times they generally were at night. So I’m not sleeping as heavily as i was to listen out to keep me eye on him.
So really my Sleeping issues are a mess. And that’s just the mental health side of things troubling me when i try to sleep. Not to mention the back or knee pains. [whohit]Sleeping-issues[/whohit]