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Diagnosed with major depression and lack of energy. Getting nightmares. CAT scan and EEG done. What treatment should I take?

I am a 24 years old woman. Since summer 2006, I have been diagnosed with Major Depression. In May 2007, I started pharmacotherapy with pills to sleep (or else I just dream awake) and cipralex ( escitalopram ) for depression. Then, I added and#or changed medications: effexor, seroquel , trazodone, wellbutrin, concerta . Here is my story: For 6 years, I have had 1-3 bad vivid dreams- nightmares EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I run, fight, hide, jump, etc... all night long, as if I had a second life in parallel. Then, when I wake up,it takes time to come back to me. During the day, any nightmare of the last 6 year haunts me either completely or partly. Then, it is hard for me to analyse and decide if this memory is from my real day life or nightlife, even if it is highly unprobable. I remember better my nightlife than my real one over the past 6 years. At first, when the vivid and real-like nightmares (at least the feelings related to them) started, I was confused and started to get more tired. A couple of months later, I quit school due to a Major Depression, which led me to be as alive as a zombie. Over the years, I gained SOME energy but lost it all again 6 months ago, again. I always thought that my depression CAUSED my nightmares, until I started Lithium . SOMETHING happened the first night and only this one night that I started to take Lithium, to stabilize my mood: When I woke up, I woke up just like I used to do 6 years ago: alarm ringing and me jumping out of bed. No need to come back in my body from the limbs. Then, I realised I did not have nightmares. In fact, I had had good and peaceful dreams. First night in 6 years!!!!!!!! As for the day, no bad dream haunted me and I had all my energy back, just like before 2006. This event made me and my psychiatrist realise that maybe my nights and nightmares WERE the CAUSE of my depression and lack of energy (with lethargy, tiredness etc...) as opposed to my depression causing sleep problems. I did a CAT SCAN and EEG that are both normal. I also did a sleep study (with naps the following day) for which I am still waiting for results. However, I am not very optimistic because I did hours of reasearch on INTERNET, and I did NOT find a SINGLE solution or explanation for my problem. My doctor started me on Prazozin (for PTSD, which I do not have, because EVERY SINGLE NIGHTMARE IS DIFFERENT!!!) THEREFORE, I can t live my live fully, only about 20% (on good days) when I compare with my energy before 2006. IF A DOCTOR or ANYONE ELSE can HELP me, PLEASE!!!! For a quarter of my 24 years, I have been inapt to live a normal life. All I have left is some hope to find an answer or a cure, just like a stade-4 cancer patient. So I try to enjoy life the way I can, even though I can barely take care of myself with my very low energy. THANK YOU!!!!!
Asked On : Fri, 13 Jul 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  60
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

I'm sorry to hear that you've been going through a difficult time dealing with your sleep problems. Your symptoms are suggestive of a sleep disorder, and you need a Polysomnography (Sleep study) to establish this diagnosis. I would suggest that you wait for the sleep study results to get a clear picture. Please stay positive and don't lose heart. I'm sure that with appropriate therapy, you will soon be able to overcome your problems.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Answered: Thu, 25 Oct 2012
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