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Anxiety Support
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Fear of Sporadic Fatal Insomnia

Last month, I saw a documentary about Familial Fatal Insomnia, and felt fine. I watched a couple more pertaining to this topic and no bad feeling whatsoever, until I came across a rare variance of this disease-- Sporadic Fatal Insomnia. On that day, I couldn't sleep; I kept indulging on the fact that I have it, but statistically this was unlikely. It was about 3 A.M until I've had enough and turned on some white noise. This worked for a couple of days. When that didn't work I turned on some relaxing music, and after a couple of day my fear affects me minimally.

Until a couple of days ago when that fear came back, I couldn't sleep easily. Felt really scared. I started researching for this disease but the results were strange. On one source it said there was about eight people with this disease, on another, at least sixteen. The symptoms to this disease include: insomnia, ataxia, and other "pyramidal signs". I became really scared; I don't know if I have these signs or not, and having no knowledge of how to test them makes my insomnia worse. Any clarification on the symptoms and prognosis is hugely appreciated.

I should also mentioned I am traumatized by scary things easily, and since my sleeplessness started ever since I watched the documentary I felt that that's the culprit. I really want to forget that this exist and go back to my normal self. I've been tired physically and fretful mentally. Any reassurance is good. Maybe this is just anxiety.

1 Reply

Sorry to hear of your bad time with this. You definitely need your sleep to help fighting any anxiety you have. I have a few suggestions to try maybe not everyone will agree with all of them but i alternate between these.

1. Distractions, before bed replace your usual activities with something that will distract like a really good book you can get your teeth into. I know you said music helped for a while but try alternating, i watch a few comedians sometimes too.

2. Avoidance, i know im bad with end of the world films, they scare the life out of me, and i slip into depersonalisation where i am scarily aware of my existence. BUT i know this so i avoid them films, i force myself to not go swimming round the internet researching them. And when my mind starts going down that road i tell myself NO! This will hurt you. nothing can be gained by dwelling on something outwith my control. And then i have a distraction ready. Having company helped too. Some people might say im not facing my fears and running but this has been the best way for me. I thought it would be difficult but once i did it once and turned the thoughts around its easy to stop them in their tracks now.

3. Tiring yourself. Going for a good walk or run in the fresh air, so when your head hits that pillow you can do nothing but sleep. Even a bit of lavender oil and a nice bath to soothe.

4. Anything to do with animals getting hurt really really disturbs me and sometimes flicking through facebook or just in life or on tv your going to come across bad things that bring on this fear. I know i cant fix the world, heal the animal, stop people hurting the world but what i do when i see something like that, i acknowledge the pain it causes, have a cry, and do a good deed myself, so at least i have done something, and at least one good thing has came from a bad.

Last thing. Maybe write it down, this hasnt really worked for me as i just get frustrated at my messy handwriting in all honesty but i know people who it does work for.

Really hope even a tiny bit of my reply might help, know its not exactly the same situation but i try and keep the positives in my life and when i work hard on the good thing the bad bits get easier to handle most of the time.


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