I hope that I can with my experience shed some light on "what to do". With disturbance of sleep, a lot can happen in the body, I've taught. Muscles start to ache, you get more and more aware that your body needs a proper night's sleep and so forth. The body is an amazing machine. When it is in balance, we usually only have one or two aches here or there that won't last so long.
I've always had a pattern of sleep that means I sleep best from 3-5 in the morning until late morning. I love night-work because I function so much better. Don't ask me why it is that way - I don't know.
Now to the physical side of it! In 2005 someone finally suggested that my backache came from tensions in breathing musculature. I had been on medical leaves on and off and 50% for a year. My primary care physician was stuck in one set of thinking. Thanks to a replacement as she had vacation that summer, I got a second opinion. The physician had worked a longer while within psychiatry. He took one look at me and said: "Forget the backache. You're breathing wrong".
Pain-management program it was. 8 weeks, daily exercise. I had the weekends off to be at home.
For me, that was the start of finding a way to help myself through the depression. The back-ache was gone, my hips didn't bother me. It was ALL about posture and activity. For me at least. At this moment I'm procrastinating exercise because of a troubled knee, but I'll get back in motion as soon as I have talked with my PT about how to get it done.
That doesn't mean that exercise is the solution for you but what I usually say, is that if you haven't tried it already: Try adding 3-4 walks each week, swing your arms and let the stress drop off your shoulders. Walk untroubled, de-stressed and as if you had no issues.
It can of course sound like a depression, but the danger about self-diagnosing oneself is that it is wrong. The physicians all around the world have a great education and lots of more practice in diagnosing - it is their job. Maybe your quality of life can improve if you get the right diagnosis?
I know that the day the diagnose changed from "Chronic backpain" to "High costal breathing and muscular tension" I was really relieved even if I knew I had a tough job ahead.
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I also suffer from similar problem for the last six months, in particular:
-Insomnia (all night long), often accompanied with anxiety/difficulty to breath
-Abdominal discomfort, that may persist for hours or days, but is not intestinal in nature
-Tingling sensation in the back, when walking
-Difficulty to concentrate
-Loss of energy
-Loss of interest in prior joyful activities
-Very poor QOL
I did not buy the depression case, because I have been super-optimistic for 45 years of life. Recently, I had my testosterone level tested. It was found very low (140), which could be related to a previous fertility treatment with Nolvadex. I am now 1 month on T-replacement therapy with very good results. I have more energy and interest, NO back pain at all, still some insomnia and abdominal discomfort, especially during periods of immense stress (I am not easily stressed, but lead a very demanding job and lifestyle). So, I suggest that you check your hormonal levels.
I also find the breathing recommendations of Florena very useful and will seek professional help to apply them to me, as well.
P.S. To Florena: Just curious, are you living in Europe, like myself?
I used to think my body was too complicated to understand at all and did seek medical attention primarily for the backache. It left me on more and more medical leaves because my job included too much lifting for me to even dream of hippe-ti-hoppe-ti joyous to work...
Living with "chronic pain" and insomnia does something to one. It is disabling at times. It was a relief to get proof that exercise even helped on the fatigue. I was for a while addicted to exercise. All is good in the right amounts!
Very much is connected with how we breathe. Anxiety did for me become more copeable with the relaxation techniques I taught - and to jog in the morning helped me wake up and breathe with the entire system.
To find the right way, seek a physical therapist as the starting basics are quite important.
For me it costed quite a bit since I was on rehabilitation for it, but asking your GP to refer you to a physical therapist won't cost half the shirt I paid...
Skin_kin, yep I'm living in Europe. More specific Scandinavia, the land of the real trolls and mooses....
Scandinavia is just wonderful! On the other hand, I am from the Meditarranean.
YES the creepy, nervous feeling welling up in the abdomen and achy all over are my symptoms also. I try everything to get rid of it! I wish I would lose my appetite... because I eat. I am too sensitive at work and cry. I have been on Zoloft but it seems to have quit working. I am thinking some of this has to do with hormones.
Riding my bicycle and walking, working in the yard and my artwork and pets help me feel better. Sometimes think about suicide by injection of the stuff they put you to sleep with in the hospital but when I think ,"What would my pets do if I were to go?"...I won't do it.
Thank you all for your responses with helpful suggestions. I live in Japan and have a language barrier with medical matters.
Hi ParamedFlorena: Are you saying high costal breathing is bad? Is low costal breathing better? Is there a website with the exercises you are doing? I do exercise, walking, etc., when my weak aching legs allow.
Hi skin_kin: I'll look into the testosterone angle. I'm 62, so if there is a deficiency it could be age-related.
Hi Anonymos: I have the opposite problem to you, I can't eat enough. I'm trying to get my weight up; for my height my ideal weight is 73kg but I fluctuate between 57.5 and 59.5kg. My appetite is OK, although occasionally I can't face breakfast. Don't think about suicide. I did once but couldn't think of a way that was foolproof, and then like you thought of what my family, friends and cat would do.
I don't have any real pain. My main symptoms are:
Insomnia: I cannot sleep at all, a Lendormin 0.25mg tablet gives me at least 5.5 hours sleep; if I try to take a nap in the daytime, which I used to be able to do easily, just as I'm about to fall asleep the unpleasant, uncomfortable feeling wells up from my abdomen
Weak and aching legs: Prevent me from cycling and hiking that I used to do before March this year
Unpleasant, uncomfortable feeling: Stops me enjoying many things that used to be very enjoyable
I've recently been diagnosed as having moderate depression, but don't really believe it. The only thing I have to be depressed about is the above symptoms. That diagnosis was based on the results of a questionnaire and the fact that I retired at the end of March 2007. I had something similar the winter before as I was preparing to retire, which the doctors could not give me a diagnosis, I recovered completely. I don't know if it's something to do with a drastic temperature change; in 2006 the first bout started as the abrupt seasonal temperature drop occurred in November; I didn't have the same problem in November 2007, but this second bout started after I returned from Cambodia at 32 centigrade to Japan at 4 centigrade.
Anyway, I'll let you know what transpires. I hope all your health problems can be resolved soon,