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Have not slept right in years

First off, I'm a 24 year old male that just finished off his masters and oh, I work nights and sleep 3 nights a week. I know this is probably a huge cause of all this (nights), but at this time I can't afford to switch jobs - it pays very well and helps me pay rent, student loans etc.

When it first started to happen I asked the Doctor for something. I was given Zopiclone... this worked. For a bit. Then it stopped working, but being not too bright I decided to keep getting it and upping the dosage without telling my Dr. Eventually that stopped working so I started adding alcohol to this mix in a desperate attempt to find a way to simply sleep... this too worked for a bit.

Then everything sans getting so drunk that I passed out stopped to work. The Dr. then took me off the Zopiclone as I burned through it way too fast and as a result I could not get to sleep for 3-4 days a week. Maybe I was addicted to Zopiclone, but this was almost a year ago. I should have gotten over it by now right?

Due to this total lack of sleep I started to get incredibly depressed (break down crying for no reason), stressed, barely eat and as a result have lost 80lbs since MAY! The latter bit isn't so bad as I peaking at 270lbs before all this. I barely go out anymore as I'm either a combination of too tired or simply 'sad'.

I've been back to the doctor numerous times now, taking blood tests, asking for some help. They really want to give me some anti-depressants, as my "insomnia could be caused due to depression". But before all this I was fine; they simply won't listen to me when I tell them that I'm simply depressed because I cannot sleep!

I did start going to a psychologist as was recommended, but this hasn't improved my sleeping at all.

Now for something I'm not proud of.

I've also started to buy 2 drugs illicitly since Sept, lorazepam and secobarbital. I take them once a month (not together - but good god do they work!) and of course don't tell anyone about this... I don't want to get into any sort of legal problems and ruin my life fresh out of school.

So now I ask for some advice. I've told 99% of this to my Doctor(s) and so far nothing. Besides "valerian root and exercise" (which I've also tried), the exercise is hard to do as I'm so tired all the time.

What can I do? Life feels so weird now and I sometimes think to myself "I really want to sleep forever". It feels like every organ in my body is tired.
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replied November 28th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I feel for you!
There are few things that fuel each other and contribute to your insomnia case.
You are right that your depression is mainly due to your lack of sleep, but, being depressed adds to your inability to fall asleep, too.
I guess your worry for not being able to fall asleep decreases your chances to fall asleep.
Drugs, like lorazepam, even used only for a week, can cause depression and rebound insomnia.
Also, it is very possible, that a big part of your insomnia and depression is due to the withdrawal syndrome after usage of Zopiclone.
Acctually, further insomnia and depression, as withdrawal symptoms, can last up to two years after withdraw if the withdraw was done too abruptly.
Working on artificial schedules with nighttime hours and not sleeping on a consistent schedule, lead to less sleeping hours and light and not refreshing sleep.

Have you consider using a bright light machine?
Do you, usually, consult your GP or a sleep specialist for your insomnia?
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