What you describe is very typical for anxiety, the worries about being "crazy", the racing thoughts, high levels of anxiety, sleep disturbances, etc.
For one, you don't have to worry about being Schizophrenic. People with psychotic illnesses do not realize they are abnormal. Also, the term "nervous breakdown" was coined many decades ago, before a lot was understood about anxiety disorders. There really IS no such thing as a nervous breakdown.
The MOST important thing for you to do is to seek professional help for your symptoms. The first step would be, if you haven't had a thorough physical lately, you need to schedule one, and explain your symptoms to your doc. He/she will rule out some common disorders that mimic panic/anxiety (thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances due to issues with the endocrine system, etc).
Once you get a clean bill of health, you will want to be evaluated by a psychiatrist. He/she will be able to offer an accurate and official diagnosis and then discuss treatment options with you, which may include medications, therapy, or a combination of both. Combining therapy AND meds increases success rates dramatically.
I know this is stressful, it's so hard to function when experiencing such high levels of anxiety, sleep disturbances, etc. However, there IS help out there, you just have to take the bull by the horns and seek it out.
As for your son (how old is he?), he very likely could be acting out due to the stress levels in the home. Even when we put on a happy face, our kinds are very smart, they know when things aren't quite right. Of course, you will also be less patient, more withdrawn while going though something like this. He may be finding negative ways to get your attention. Don't jump the gun assuming your son may have ADD/ADHD or other problems just yet. If you continue to see concerning behaviors and other problems down the line even after YOUR life has improved, then you may need to have him evaluated. Just remember, if you ever DO decide to get him assessed by a psychiatrist, make SURE it is a doc specializing in the treatment of children/adolescents. That makes a HUGE difference in both the eval process and treatment options. Don't get ahead of yourself. You're feeling a lot of guilt because you are not at 100% right now, you feel you aren't being a good Mom because of what you have going on...been there, done that, hon. It's not true, you just aren't yourself right now, it's very hard to function like we want to with high levels of anxiety hanging around. You'll work through those feelings also with a therapist.
Please update us, let us know how you're doing! Hang in there!
Sleep deprivation can make you sound and act crazy. I have been there. As for having trouble falling asleep, that could be due to high cortisol.
You need more rest. Is there any way you can get it?
She has said she suffers from sleep deprivation. She can't be made whole until she sleeps. That in itself might be the cure. I have suffered sleep deprivation. The symptoms are a feast for a psychologist ignorant of the physical body.
I totally agree, but she also has a history of anxiety and depression. The two issues are both important to address. Working night shifts take a toll on people, been there, done that...and it is not easy to get into a solid routine. However, one problem may be causing or exacerbating the other (the sleep deprivation could be causing an increase in anxiety or increases in anxiety could be interrupting her sleep patterns)...therefore I think it would benefit her to seek help for both problems.
If she only had the sleep disturbances, I would agree that the sleep concerns may be the answer, however, I think she would be wise to seek help for both issues, they will feed off one another.
It is hard to separate things out. Does sleep deprivation cause anxiety? More likely than the other way around. Since emotional symptoms are very hard to ascribe a cause to, from my point of view it is more efficacious to begin by treating the physical problem. With that taken care of, it would be easier to identify emotional problems. I agree that night shift work disturbs the natural rythm and can have serious consequences.
yes, there are definitely times when I need to get caught up on sleep and it does help drop the stress level all together down a bit when I am rested. I agree with you that, first, I need to focus on getting sleep.... but it is so hard to try to drop everything that I SHOULD be doing when I have a spare moment to rest, such as when my babies are at daycare for a few hours (ie: cleaning, making the boys' and my appointments, laundry, make dinner, mow the lawn, not to mention try to get some much needed EXERCISE for myself and our family dog to try to lower the cortisol/stress)
And we are very financially strapped so we can't afford full time daycare, lawncare, dog-walkers, house-cleaners, you name it, just so I can get some much needed sleep:(
Not to mention, TIME... I don't have time to make and keep appointments for therapy/counseling, although I do agree that combining meds and therapy is the best treatment....
My husband works long hours as well and comes home and wants to relax and have a break, too, but helps out with the kids... also, we don't ever have a chance to focus on our marriage... or let off tension intimately (if you catch my drift:) So, our marriage is suffering, too.
I know I am complaining a lot and making excuses, and you're right, NurseGirl, I do feel like a bad mom, wife, friend right now with all that I have on my plate now.... It is sad to say, I even feel like a single mom at times. My husband helps with the kids only, but I do wish he would understand what it is like for me and want to help ME out, too. My recently widowed mother understands it all and I am so grateful to have her reasonably close to help out as much as she does, and tries to stay busy to keep her mind off the death of my dad; but she can't be our full-tme nanny/maid either and needs to focus on her well-being, not mine. I do realize that I am very blessed, even with all this complaining.
So, I agree it is a vicious cycle of depression/anxiety, financial struggle, sleep deprivation, chronic physical and emotional pain, and grief. Honestly, I have always had suicide in the back of my mind, but never would actually go thru with that and do that to my loving family. But, geez, I don't feel like I can handle it all at times:(
Thanks for responding and reinforcing the need for SLEEP and THERAPY!