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Inability to sleep due to Twitch and Anxiety
waterlily222 posted:
I am 10 weeks pregnant and within the past three weeks, I recently came off of antidepressant meds, Effexor, Abilify and Nortriptyline. For the past week I have been suffering with what I can only call sleeping panic attacks. While falling asleep, my body twitches, jerking me awake. This goes on for a 45 minute period until I am awake enough to begin to feel the panic take over. I don't know if this is a result of being without the meds, but it is the scariest feeling I have ever felt. Even though my mind seems to be calm while I first attempt to fall asleep, the longer the twitch-waking goes on, the more I begin to let the anxiety take over. I then need sit up and turn on lights and distract myself so as not to enter a full blown panic attack. I am fearful that I will never be able to sleep again! At the recommendation of several anxiety web sites, I am going to start jogging tomorrow in hopes it raises my serotonin levels and that the physical activity tires me out. I followed the doctor's regiments and titrated off of my meds slowly and feel fine with the exception of the twitching and the sleeping panic. Please help with any suggestions, I really don't want to go back on any meds, for both my sake and the baby's. I have tried calming techniques like deep breathing and once I am awake, I am usually able to ride the wave of anxiety in a successful manner. It is just during those sleep spasms when I am groggy and out of it that the panic becomes all consuming. There is definitely some sort of chemical reaction going on in my nervous system/ brain, as this is not just in my mind. I am at my wits end. Please Help!

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For more information, visit the Duke Health Sleep Disorders Center