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Insomnia is So Much More Than Being Unable to Sleep

I wish more people understood the complexities of living with insomnia and sleep anxiety. It is so much more than what people see on the surface like staying up late, sleeping in, daytime tiredness, and the struggle to be on time for things.

According to Cleveland Clinic, “Roughly, 1 in 3 adults worldwide have insomnia symptoms, and about 10% of adults meet the criteria for insomnia disorder,” and “About half the people with chronic insomnia also have at least one other mental health condition, like anxiety or depression”(Cleveland Clinic, Insomnia: What it is, causes, symptoms & treatment 2023). That is a LOT of people struggling to sleep at night. People are quick to judge and blame it on technology use before bed but for some of us, we’ve been struggling with sleep long before ever owning a cell phone. At least, that’s been the case for me.

Insomnia for me is crippling. It’s intense dread each time the sun begins to set. It’s an anxiety response each night when bedtime rolls around. It’s a constant battle in my mind of knowing I should go to sleep at a certain time but anxiety runs through my body as I watch the minutes and sometimes hours passing by as I lay in bed. It’s a struggle to wake up in the morning because you finally fell asleep in the wee hours of the morning with the help of a sedative which leaves you groggy and still exhausted.

Insomnia is daytime anxiety, emotional sensitivity, and irritability because of the fatigue that radiates through every cell in your body. It’s the desire to lay down and take a nap but knowing that if you do, it will just make it even harder to sleep that night. It’s snapping at those you love because the exhaustion is just too overwhelming to your nervous system. It’s anxiety and dread for events or appointments planned in the morning, not because it’s something you don’t want to do but because you know that having to get up early will wreak havoc on your body and mind.

You see when I have something in the morning and I lay down in bed the night before, my mind races. It calculates how much sleep I’ll get, how that will affect my body, mind, and mood when I’ll be able to take a nap if I can, and how I’ll be able to put on a mask for the thing I’m supposed to do. While I would love to wake up early, see the sunrise, and be productive every day, that’s not my reality or the reality for many suffering from insomnia.

I would love to be able to wake up early on Sunday mornings to go to church but instead, I’m having to weigh the costs between going or staying home to sleep.  It’s a constant fight internally between going to church but dozing off through the entire sermon, getting incredibly irritated, and needing to come home and nap anyway or just staying home to sleep in but missing out on seeing important people in my life and hearing bits and pieces of the sermon. It’s a constant battle each week trying to decide. Something that many people with insomnia have to deal with daily. Getting up early for me isn’t an issue of laziness. It’s an issue of anxiety and depression.

Not only is insomnia associated with anxiety but it can also be a result of depression too. For instance, while I have been in this long fight with Treatment-Resistant Depression, my nights are often filled with hopelessness, overwhelming sadness, and dread for the next day of waking up and facing it all again. This dread turns into anxiety which keeps me up in fear of having to face another day of the same fight.

Insomnia can also cause serious damage to one’s body too. For instance, according to Hopkins Medicine, Insomnia and poor sleep quality can lead to complications like “increased risk for heart disease, increased risk for stroke, increased risk for diabetes, excessive weight gain or obesity, depression, and increased of injury to self or others, such as a car accident caused by driving while drowsy” (John Hopkins Medicine, Insomnia). It is so much more than what one sees on the surface.

Insomnia affects so many people worldwide and is multifaceted. It’s complicated. It is crippling. And it’s incredibly infuriating for the one suffering. I just wish more people could understand or have empathy for people like me who struggle with it.

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Was at the vet with this boy last week, he’s down to 4.9 kg (9 months ago he weighed 7.5kg) he’s started his kitten vaccines. He’s 3 & never been vaccinated. He’s well on the way to losing the weight he needs to be healthier. I refer to him as fat, dumb & happy! He got excited about a toy for the 1st time yesterday, which tells me that he’s feeling better in himself, if he still felt like he could barely move he wouldn’t be jumping around playing! Sadly no amount of weight loss will fix the damage to his joints that 3 years of obesity caused, but it takes the strain off them.

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What is the point?

What is the point of taking all these antidepressants if the side effects are weight gain and excessive sweating? I have been taking them for two years now. I am still depressed, but now I am also miserable, fat, and sweaty. Even if the medications worked and I am not depressed, I still will be miserable, fat, and sweaty. I was better off just being depressed.

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Morbidly Obese C-Type

Two weeks ago, I weighed 203.5 pounds. Today, I weigh 191. Semaglutide shots are working for me, and I should be happy about that. However, I still look in the mirror and see a fat face. I don’t see progress. In my mind, I’m still the 125 pound 26-year-old that I used to be. It kills me to see the flabby cheeks and two chins that I’m currently rocking. My stomach protrudes. My thighs rub together. My arms wobble. I exercise and I eat right and I’m still fat. I’m still morbidly obese c-type. I’m angry and I dislike myself and my body.

I’m also over this body dysmorphia garbage. I’m not healthy. I’m not happy. This isn’t dysmorphia, it’s an unhealthy body that needs to be fixed.

My obesity also causes other aspects of my life to go wonky… work? Harder. Friendships? Harder. Being an aunt? Harder. Being a good sister? Harder. Being a good dog mom? Harder.

Per usual, not looking for advice. Just a safe space to vent and feel heard.

Thanks 💗

Please enjoy the picture of my delicious, homemade salted caramel macarons. Reason 973 for my obesity—I love baking.

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TW: Eating Disorder, disordered eating. CW: Disordered eating and weight loss. Anyone losing weight and has a history of disordered...?

Does anyone else on a weight loss journey with a history of disordered eating, find the medical/psychological terms and tips used by the medical profession to just be fancier/medical jargon-filled terms for what you did when you were ill in the throes of disordered eating? 🤔

'Like make sure to drink a ridiculous amount of water. Or try to make sure your movement output matches the calories you're intaking'.

It really just dawned on me how fatphobic most of our global society is🥲

You're praised for engaging in those restrictive measures when you're overweight. As if 'finally you've seen the light' when working out multiple times a day when in a bigger body.

I do want to lose weight, but it feels like every system and institution is almost goading me to fully engage in disordered eating. And to hell with the consequences as long as you're in a smaller body😮‍💨

#ChronicIllness #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #Agoraphobia #Fibromyalgia #ChronicPain #ChronicFatigue #BackPain #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS #BingeEatingDisorder #DisorderedEating #EatingDisorder #EatingDisorders #AuditoryProcessingDisorder #Deafness #BulimiaNervosa #Anorexia #Obesity #Insomnia #Asthma

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Depression and obesity

It’s a truly vicious cycle. When I’m depressed, I shut down. I stop moving. When I’m depressed, I don’t eat all day then I binge at dinner. I get more depressed because I’m fat. I have no motivation to do anything. I just shut down. It all feels so hopeless. I’m not looking for advice, just a safe place to be sad.

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Raising Awareness of Bardet-Biedl Syndrome - Sharing Our Son’s Journey with a Rare Disease

Part 1 of 2 Most new moms would agree that bringing a baby out in public attracts attention from strangers. It’s heartwarming to see people of all ages and backgrounds smiling at our cute babies or making comments about how much they look like us. When I had my son Everett in June 2006, strangers would often do double takes. He was a beautiful baby, of course, but people were shocked to see that he had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. In a way, letting people see Everett’s differences as a newborn was the beginning of our family’s efforts to build awareness of Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS), the rare disease that he would finally be diagnosed with at age five.

People with BBS can experience a wide range of symptoms beyond being born with extra digits on their hands and feet. The condition is caused by mutations in more than 20 different genes, which explains the variety of ways in which it impacts those living with it. Some of the most common traits associated with BBS include visual impairment caused by retinal abnormalities, kidney malformations, hypertension, thyroid problems, learning disabilities, neurological complications, early onset, severe obesity and an intense, insatiable hunger known as hyperphagia. The disease presents itself differently in each person, even those who are in the same family. Because of this, many people with BBS, including Everett, face a long and frustrating diagnostic journey. While there is no cure for the disease, treatments have been approved to address some of its effects and many children with BBS benefit from physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Everett is considered “lucky” because he has what is considered to be a milder case of BBS, but the condition has still taken a toll on nearly every aspect of his life. He began having seizures when he was 20 months old and his life only grew more difficult from that point on. While the first five years of a child’s life should be filled with trips to the park, playdates with friends and having fun outside, Everett’s were far different because he was considered to be a medical mystery. Constant trips to the doctor’s office, blood draws, scans and every kind of test imaginable were all normal parts of his everyday life. Eventually, a geneticist reviewed his symptoms following an extensive number of tests and correctly diagnosed him with BBS.

While Everett suffered from many BBS symptoms as he got older, one that had a notable impact on his life was hyperphagia. While most children and teens become more independent when making food choices as they get older, Everett’s appetite was increasingly difficult to control. My husband and I frequently had to rush into the kitchen late at night to stop him from snacking. Everett had a hard time concentrating at school because constant hunger would distract him. He was known to sneak second lunches and borrow money from strangers to buy food at the local bagel shop.

While Everett’s hyperphagia was a constant battle, it was not the most difficult part of his life with BBS. Vision loss is a troubling experience for many BBS patients. He developed a lazy eye around the time he was diagnosed. His vision declined as the years went on and by the time he was 12 years old, he was legally blind. While he has enjoyed learning braille, he misses being able to read the books he loved while growing up. He has also had to transfer to a school for the blind so he could learn how to navigate life without his sight.

Despite Everett’s medical challenges, there have been many positive experiences during his journey with BBS. When we learned Everett would likely become blind, we created a bucket list of places to go to so he could experience them while he could still see. We made many special family memories at the Grand Canyon, NASA’s headquarters, Disney World, Universal Studios and Japan. He has had a wonderful experience at the Wisconsin School for the Blind and he is planning to start his next educational journey at Perkins School for the Blind in Boston.

Everett’s journey with BBS has only made him braver. In December 2018, he was one of the first people to enroll in a study evaluating a new treatment that helps control hunger and weight in patients with BBS. Everett’s eating behaviors changed markedly once he started taking the medication. Before, he never left a scrap of food on his plate. Now, he does not finish all of his meals. He can focus on exploring his passions, including building LEGO kits, educating himself on shipwrecks and listening to audiobooks.

While researchers have made great progress in the development of treatment options for BBS, I hope that stories like Everett’s motivate them to continue to prioritize patients’ access to more advances care. Everett has thrived in ways I never would have imagined before h

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About a week and a half ago I developed a yeast infection so my doctor prescribed to me fluconazole for 3 days and I took it... But it made it worse. A lot worse. So I saw my doctor yesterday to figure out what kind of yeast infection this is. When he saw it he kind of was like holy shit that's really bad You must be miserable and I'm like yeah yeah I am. I had blood work done on Monday and I didn't get the results yet but I guess he did so we went over what the results said while I was at the appointment. The most important blood work that I had done was checking my A1C. 4 months ago it was 8.6. but now it's and my doctor was just like oh damn it You need to be put on insulin. We were really trying to avoid this but my pancreas is just not working anymore.
My whole family is telling me that I must be eating really bad food but I've been eating incredibly healthy for the last 3 months. I eat a lot of chicken and vegetables and steel cut oats and it just isn't helping so I asked my doctor what I'm doing wrong. He said I'm not doing anything wrong, my genetics are wrong. I had met my birth mom about 13 years ago and found out that my entire matriarchal family has diabetes. They also have more bit obesity in the family. So my genetics are absolute trash and I was not set up for this to be a good fun thing. So I'm really stressed out and I'm exhausted and I'm in pain.
I called the pharmacy this morning to find out when they're going to be able to send out the meds and they said that they had to call me back and let me know. They did call me back and let me know that all the meds that my doctor prescribed to me have to be special ordered and I won't be able to get them until the earliest next Tuesday. One of the anti-fungal meds requires the PA so that's going to take a few days too. So I'm super upset that I don't have relief of the pain but also the insulin that I need