Bullied due to your sleep problem?

Does anyone else get bullied because people assume they're on drugs? Anyone else been discriminated at work or pushed out of social groups for being tired?

Posted 7 Feb 2013 at 5:31 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Have you got a decent GP in your practice? Write out your sleep diary and take it to them, or take a laptop – that should demonstrate the extent of the problem. But you do have to pick the right one; in ours there's one you want to avoid unless your leg is hanging off – she's scornful of anything that isn't physical. If you don't know, you could try talking to the receptionists. When my old sympathetic GP retired I asked them about the batch of newbies and they recommended a real star. He mentioned this course to me about the same time I saw it mentioned in the press.

  • Sleepio Member

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    That’s great advice from katecelyn. My first GP told me my insomnia was because of how my brain was “wired up” and that I should just get used to it! My mom recommended her GP to me and he’s been very supportive and seems to know a lot more about CBT methods for insomnia. I think you have to have had insomnia for around 4 weeks for it be diagnosed as chronic

    There is some usefull advice on insomnia and work on this website.

    http://www.insomniacs.co.uk/work-issues-insomnia.html

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 4

    I've had a hard time with gps. Some have been very rude and of no help at all. When my sleep started ruining my life my dream refused to give me sleeping tablets. I believe 12 years ago if he had of given them to me I'd have been okay.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Don't know about that rich. May be you be well addicted by now. Some of us here have been on pills for30 years. They don't solve anything.
    Must say if my gp was rude to me I would be out of there.

  • Sleepio Member

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    i guess you're right. I just think it might have stopped me getting to this point. I've had 3 gps being rude to me. One was laughing as i told her how bad things were. I was in a very bad way.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 4

    So has no one else been bullied at work or social situations for being tired or as they percieve “on drugs”

  • Sleepio Member

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    I've never been bullied in social situations but my insomnia has made a huge impact on how I interact with people. Sometimes I can become quite anti social and quiet and can appear very moody or scatty. I've had insomnia for around 10 years so I've learned to hide it well for most of the time, especially around people I don't know so well. Quite often though, I won't even bother to go out or socialise and I've lost contact with a lot of friends and missed out on a lot which is what gets to me the most.

    So what has been your experiences then richrich?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Would you necessarily know in a work environment, I dont think most employers and colleagues would actually come out and accuse you of being on drugs? I was sidelined and eventually made redundant at work. At that time insomnia was not diagnosed, it wasn't until after that and I started sleepio and kept a sleep diary I realised how bad it was.

  • Sleepio Member

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    The worst part about insomnia is that people don't really want to hear about it. It's the silent killer. I have gotten to the point where I almost don't talk about it with family or friends. I'm trying hard to not depress those around me by talking about how BAD I feel most days. I seriously have faith with Sleepio and can't wait for a better quality of life. I have SO much I want to do when I feel normal and productive (like most around me). Thank you Sleepio Community!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Without the support of my close knit family: my partner and daughter; best friend, I would feel totally insane, from the sleep deprivation and how it has had a negative effect on my whole personality: confidence and abilities. I had informed my practice manager that due to the menopause I had suffered insomnia for a very long time; that I had recently been put on prescribed sleep medication which because was short-term and then using on and off; I was experiencing difficulty with sleep on daily basis. Sadly, due to sleep deprivation affecting my work performance, it had a negative effect on how I was viewed in the work place and there was no understanding of what I was going through, because it was a younger work-force. I was made redundant 2 days before Christmas after 9 weeks of ill health due to having nights of zero sleep, anxiety and panic attacks… I was a car crash at Christmas; panic attacks and very upset, low mood and high anxiety through the lack of sleep and losing my job. It will be difficult to build the confidence to take on another work role (and I am a woman of a certain age; the pandemic is producing many in the same boat as myself with losing their jobs!) but through the Sleepio programme and CBT, I am learning to be kinder to myself and hopeful that though it is a slow recovery process, I can improve my sleep pattern and use strategies through these helpful programmes.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi kas,
    I am so saddened to read your story above – that’s dreadful.
    What an awful place to have worked where you aren’t given the help and support you need.
    SR and QHR are horrendous – but they work. It’s a shame your employer couldn’t have given you some lee-way.
    What is truly wonderful is the support you have had from your family – priceless!!

    Are you still suffering with menopausal symptoms? I had really bad night sweats – would wake up drenched then shiver!! They aren’t as bad now as I discovered sage leaf tablets – they’ve helped enormously and I would recommend them. I’m in the U.K. and get mine from Holland & Barrett – only when they’re on special offer thought cos they’re outrageously expensive!! Lol! Don’t use the sage oil – I was told it didn’t work.

    Did you work at a surgery? You mentioned a ‘practice manager’....just wondered, as I would have thought any sort of health provider would have been a bit kinder.

    It’s really good to hear that you are giving yourself compassion – you need it and it’s super to hear that you have such great support at home and that Sleepio is helping with your sleep. None of this can be sorted over night, sadly, so take your time and keep referring back to discussions on the Community pages and use all the programme sessions with the prof in your Library – it stays there for the whole time you are on Sleepio.

    It is a slow recovery from down in the depths where you have been but you are on your way back up….and if you need us, we will be here to help you on your way.
    Keep in touch.
    I’m leaving you a message on your profile page too so you can join us in the Sleepio Community ;0)

    Koko! Keep on, keeping on – you’ll get better and better!
    Best sleepio wishes
    Kurly ;)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Kurly,

    Thanks so much – yes it has been an awful experience, but the only way is up! I am sure I am not alone when I state that having zero sleep and how you feel when you get to the morning having had no sleep, is a living hell. It is so debilitating and nothing I have ever experienced until these past few months… I have slept badly/poorly since experiencing peri, and menopause. The night sweats and flushes through the night are really unpleasant. I am on HRT (topical gel and tablet to protect from womb cancer). It helps during the day (which I didn't feel was a difficulty as flushes were rare in the day); but has not helped at night… I had to increase from 2 pumps of gel to 4. However, I saw on a forum that some people split their 4 dose to 2 in morn and 2 at night. Well! This is a revelation and I don't know why I didn't think of it myself…! I have managed to drop the zopiclone and am now on 40mg a night, amitriptyline. Since Sunday night, I have had 4 consecutive nights of 7-8 hrs sleep. I am so tired, so I think it is just my body trying to catch up on all that it has lost. Through Sleepio, I am developing much better sleeping habits. I am still going later to bed than I would ideally like but I feel like I am finally after experiencing severe difficulties from last November; getting somewhere on the sleep front! I am so happy to be taking myself off of Zopiclone. If I had realised just how disruptive long-term they can be, I would never have agreed even to short-term use. If any one was to mention thinking of taking; I would say try a more natural method and CBT, to try and help you with your sleep difficulties. Thanks for the message and it is great to read about everyone's individual journeys. Makes you feel better about your own!
    Take care everyone. :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Karen,
    I’m glad if I can help. Hate to think of you in such a dire situation. Having no sleep is the worst sort of torture. My rheumatologist told me he could give people fibromyalgia by stopping people sleeping – I was diagnosed with it about three years ago. Sleep was awful and continued to be until I found Sleepio. Thank crunchie for the prof 80))
    Ah I haven’t gone down the HRT way – been put off it – so battle away with my sage leaf tablets!! And they help enormously. Don’t often get massive night sweats!

    This zopiclone sounds like a nightmare – I do wonder how so many people get prescribed these drugs and then have so much difficulty getting off them again. I totally agree with you that people should try CBT – but the problem is the same as many other illnesses or difficulties – people want a fast way out and are not always willing to put the effort into the cause rather than treating the symptoms.

    I am thrilled you have managed less disturbing nights and 7-8 hours a night!! Think you are probably catching up!! Just try to stick to the same schedule each night keeping your bed and rise times the same – don’t deliberately sleep-in or you may end up with that awful jet-lag feeling…nicht gut!! 80((

    Keep getting natural daylight and if you can, get some exercise outside too…all helps our minds body and definitely our sleep;))

    Any problems or worries – bob me a message on my profile page – I’m more likely to see it there.

    Koko, dear Karen, you’re doing really well.

    Best sleepio wishes
    Kurly ;)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    I wasn't bullied as such initially but my line managers took the approach that by my reporting my sleep difficulties I was trying to avoid doing my share of night duty, probably because it was no secret how much I hated the way they structured the shifts because of the impact they had on my (& my colleagues) day to day lives)
    Significantly the people writing the off duty & ratifying it were not working unsocial hours themselves & were not sympathetic, thinking only of their primary responsibility to patient care by providing nursing cover 24/7 & ignoring the influence that staff well being had on their ability to do this.
    With much perseverance I got permission to concentrate my night duty obligation into a block of night-duty-only for 3 months alternating with a block of day-duty-only for the same period – this huge concession was actually in their favour as I exceeded my night duty obligation in order to make up my monthly hours, however, it made the nights more manageable for me as I got into a pattern of sleeping during the day for those 3 months instead of having to do a random mix of days & nights in the same week, often with only 1 sleep day (not even a proper day off) separating a night shift from a day shift
    Then I had a series of significant bereavements which compounded my sleep problems as being too busy during the day to think, I would like awake at night ruminating over my losses & the resultant consequences.
    My chronic back pain worsened, other significant stressors occurred, my sleep deteriorated further, I needed to use my sick leave quite heavily following surgery & although I was initially supported through this, when I felt I was at risk of making a serious patient care error due to exhaustion I flagged this & I was fobbed off.
    Eventually I conceded to myself that I was now depressed as well as exhausted & got referred again to Occupational Health who got a concession that I could work days only for a period. When this period expired I was given the choice either to redeploy or return to incorporating night working into my off-duty despite no improvement in my mood or sleep efficiency in spite of attending a sleep hygiene course & CBT for depression.
    I did not want to leave ITU so accepted that I would need to work nights, which is when I feel that I had been bullied.

    The consequence of this was more severe depression resulting in me exhausting my sick leave & very nearly being forced to apply for medical retirement.

    Further bullying from my line manager was inhibited by involvement of the HR manager who was firm but kind in implementing policy for redeployment failing which, termination of contract & intervention from a very supportive union rep resulting in my being redeployed to a more sedentary job which vastly underutilises my 30 years of nursing experience but has office hours, so not altogether a poor outcome but nonetheless a process which has caused me a great deal of unhappiness & impacted negatively on my self esteem.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Wow, J2F, that is such a worrying message here. It’s like saying ‘do as I say not as I do’...and they never had to do the night shifts or any sort of irregular pattern so they would never understand the implications on health.

    I feel really sad that you now do a more sedentary job, even though I am sure you do it well, but it’s not what you trained for and not what you excelled and enjoyed doing.

    It is a well-known fact that night shifts wreak havoc on our mental and physical health. My goodness, I had a brother and father who worked night-shifts in with day/mornings/evening shifts but the nights were always followed by 4 days off to recover! My brother’s job was more involved than my father’s but still nowhere near what you would have been doing on a hospital ward. Brother has finally retired after 35 years doing shift work and is so grateful not to be doing it. Father gone, sadly 8(

    I’m really sorry that you had to go through such turmoil with your managers (who obviously cannot manage very well – says it all really!) but also you went through bereavements as well. That is always hard – even when you are not ‘close’ to the person who has died…still a shock,

    It is bullying and HR should be made aware – it seems more and more youngsters are going into nursing – I do hope they do well and maybe the government cut down on the ‘mismanagement-managers’ soon!!

    I welcome you here to Sleepio – this is a good programme that will hopefully get your sleep back on track. It’s not always easy – but it’s worth putting as much effort into it as you can.
    I’ll pop by your profile page and leave you a message on what happens over the next couple of weeks – and then you can go from there.
    Well done for writing here – when you do visit your profile page you will see on the left hand side, a section that says Comments..you will have a green dot in there to show when you have reached targets ;0)
    If you have any questions – do contact us and ask.
    Here to help you on your Sleepio journey <80))

    Best sleepio wishes
    Kurly ;)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    Thanks Kurly, it has helped to share, & it feels good to have someone view the situation from my perspective with me.

    Take care

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 1

    Hello, I've just found this website about 15 minutes ago if I'm being honest. I'm from the UK. I figured I'd sign up because I feel like a lost cause when it comes to my sleep. I've been to the doctors. I was diagnosed with delayed sleep phase syndrome and referred to a sleep clinic, then prescribed melatonin. I think it might have been 5mg, I'm not sure. It was something like a months prescription and It was just to see how I go. It worked for a while and at first it was amazing to have a normal sleeping schedule and actually go to bed before midnight and wake up in the morning but then it just stopped and I was back to square one so I gave up. I don't really like the idea of having to take something long term just so I can get a good nights sleep. And it's so frustrating when everyone else around me can sleep fine. It makes me feel like somethings wrong with me.

    When I went to the sleep clinic though and I spoke to the doctor, it was so refreshing to feel like someone actually understood me and what I was going through for the first time. Yes, she hadn't experienced it personally, but she was actually qualified in dealing with people who had sleep problems. With every previous GP that I had spoken to, it always felt like they didn't take me seriously, I've had sleeping problems since I was in school, probably since year 9 I'd say, I was about 17 when I finally went to the doctor about it and I think they just figured that I was lying about how bad it was or they thought it was just teen problems and I just stayed lying in bed on my phone all night and it was because I was on my phone that I couldn't sleep. They would brush it off and say it was just because I was a teenager, I would grow out of it.

    It was the same thing when I went to the doctors because I had regular headaches and migraines. Looking back, I think it was because of the lack of sleep I was getting. I mean, I was going to school and doing exams on no more than 3-4 hours sleep a day. I actually don't remember getting more than 1-2 hours sleep during my GCSE's. Quite a few of them I did on zero sleep. It could have been stress induced back then, it's more than likely. I was told that I had Chronic Tension Type headaches and put on medication: Propranolol and Amitriptyline both at separate times. They didn't help and I'm not a doctor but I'm assuming they didn't help because it wasn't the medication that I needed. Anyway, when I spoke to GP's about these headaches that I was getting even then, they just said it was because of my age, that I was a teenager and I would grow out of it. I was constantly getting passed around between GP's and I never saw the same one twice, it was annoying explaining my problem to different doctors and never feeling understood. And it was the same when I went about my sleeping problems. I'm just curious to know if anyone has felt the same.

    Also, when I explain my problems to my family and friends it feels like none of them understand me. My parents and sister just act like my inability to sleep properly is self-induced. It's my fault that I can't sleep, I do it to myself. I must obviously 'stay up too late playing on my phone or watching movies, etc', they say that I don't go to bed at a reasonable time which is why I don't sleep properly. My friends say they get it and act more understanding than my family but I can tell they don't fully get it. I think they just pretend to be nice about it when I vent about my problems with my family but I think they feel the same. I can understand that it could be hard when they don't experience it themselves but it's just frustrating and lonely when you're dealing with it by yourself.

    I lie awake all night and sleep during the day. I barely see my family and friends properly because I'm awake when they sleep and I sleep when they're awake. I've been furloughed from work during the Pandemic but when I do work I barely get any sleep it's about 3-4 hours. I did try a night shift job at one point to see if that would work better for me and the sleeping was better but I quit because again, I barely saw my family and friends.

    My sleep score was 0 when I just did the test.

    My sleep varies. Sometimes I go to sleep between 3-4 am, sometimes its 6-7 am or 8-9am. Even when I don't get any sleep, the following night I can still struggle to get to sleep till 5-6 in the morning. I don't necessarily struggle to get a good sleep, it's more just getting to sleep that's my problem. Sometimes I can wake up in the middle of the night but it's not a regular occurrence. Hence, the diagnosis of delayed sleep phase syndrome. I sleep in till at least 12pm, lately it's been quite bad. I've not been getting to sleep till 9-10 am and waking up between 2-4pm.

    I think it's become so bad due to not doing anything and being stuck in the house at the minute due to COVID.

    I just really need to find a solution.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Sorry for the essay by the way. Thank you if you've actually read it. I would just love to hear that someone can relate or know what I mean.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Another thing I'd like to add, I've had panic attacks for years, since I was in school. I actually don't know what causes them, they started quite randomly. When I get no sleep or very little sleep, my anxiety always becomes really bad. It's become a common thing now for me to have panic attacks when I get zero sleep and I'm in a social situation. Is this something that anyone can relate to? I'd love to know if unfortunately someone has also experienced this.

    Thanks :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Swiftbird,
    Thank you for posting your account here.
    I'm sorry you've had poor experiences in response to your sleep problems and headaches but glad you've found Sleepio and might be able to start addressing them.

    Yours is a very common experience sadly, in terms of GP care and not finding any solutions. Having said that I can say that they are partially right – often young people do “grow out” of headaches, stomach aches and general anxiety. I hope this is the case with you. Having suffered panic attacks in my teens and 20s (although we didn't know to call them that way back then!) I know how frightening they can be. However I also know that they do pass – both the actual attack and the recurrences. I don't have them any more – I learned how to tell myself at the time that I would be ok and also to recognise the feeling that preceded one. It's not surprising that yours are triggered by not sleeping and the attendant anxiety.

    I do hope you'll be able to start solving your sleep issues with Sleepio – it is hard work and requires commitment and a lot of work, but it will be worthwhile. You are starting from a very low point – it can only get better! Many of us have struggled with poor sleep and Sleepio so if you need support post something on your profile and it will appear on the banner of the Community page where more people will see it and someone will always answer you. Hope this helps.
    Best Wishes,
    Jarabia

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