Sunday, February 6, 2011

When I’m Not There...

Tonight my son had a hard time going to bed after a fun day. He wasn’t going into a rage, just struggling internally with feelings of anger and stress because he couldn’t get himself to sleep fast enough. We tried massaging his head, listening to ocean waves, turning the fan on, then turning the fan off, we tried all the regular methods, but his mind was having trouble settling down. At one point he started crying, saying that he wished he could take Seroquel.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you might remember that we tried Seroquel for about a month but had to quit because it made him severely depressed. But one of the benefits that my son clearly remembers is that it sedated him at bedtime, I mean it just knocked him out to sleep and he loved that.

Unlike the rest of us, when we try and settle down, we can use our mind to calm us, such as imagine the ocean waves crashing at the shore. Or we can read a book to make us ready for sleep. But for my son, his thoughts during these times always turn to scary images and he can’t read since his mind can’t stay focused on the page. We’ve even tried having him write or sketch, but he said last night that being creative just increases his energy, so he’s left with a lot of frustration that escalates as he starts to panic about not falling asleep fast enough. This in itself becomes a vicious cycle.

But during this time I’m by his side, watching every move he makes and trying to keep him steady and calm. It’s almost like a a game of chess, he makes one move and I react, thinking three steps ahead of him to facilitate the best outcome.

But seeing him tonight, crying and wanting to take Seroquel, a medication he knows made him feel bad in the long run made me nervous. I couldn’t help and think about what will happen when he’s older and I’m not there to help him through these struggles. Will he resort to something that can be harmful in order to get his brain to sleep? Will he hurt himself in the process?

Watching him struggle is painful to see, but to think he may have these kind of nights and I won’t be there to help him just frightens me and makes my heart ache. How will he do this alone? Will he be able to reach out for help when he needs it? Will he be ok when I’m not there?

Good night and sweet dreams my precious boy.


  1. Oh, how I hear you. Our son has had trouble sleeping as of late, too. He tries so hard then gets so upset! One thing we are allowed to give him to help is Benadryl. Could you ask his psychiatrist if he could take that? It's pretty inert and harmless and they use it in psych wards for anxiety and sleep. It's just a thought.

    Your son is in my heart and prayers.

  2. I've found 10mg of melatonin seems to do the trick.

  3. We have just added Trazadone into our daughters' med. cocktail. It has tremedously stopped her racing thoughts at bedtime and normally within half hour of taking it she is asking to go to bed. Just a suggestion of something you can talk with your P-doc about.

  4. We do benadryl, too. There is NO WAY he can get to sleep without it. We always know when we forget.

  5. I have a ton of trouble sleeping at night and they started to give me Hydroxyzine (sp) and it knocks me out, not in a bad way, and lets me stay asleep without any bad dreams or anxiety.

    I'm sorry I haven't been commenting as much, been dealing with a lot of stuff. Hope things get better for your son. :)

  6. Thanks for the feedback!

    Hayden-sorry to hear that you've been dealing with a lot of stuff-hang in there kiddo!

  7. I agree that Benadryl is good. That is what we used to use before our son got a lot bigger and we went to Seroquel (which you can cut in half or in quarters if you need to).