During my discussion with the doctor while I was inpatient I had explained to him what he informed me is referred to as “racing thoughts”. This is something I had experienced for as long as I can remember and never thought was abnormal.
For me racing thoughts would occur all the time. Every decision had various outcomes and every outcome would have multiple scenarios attached to it. During the day this wasn’t so much of an issue, it occurred but it didn’t cause any significant problems. At night was when this would be a problem.
My normal nighttime routine consisted of me going to bed long after everyone else. I was used to not falling asleep until after midnight and waking up for work between 4 and 5 to go to work unphased by the lack of sleep. I thought this was normal and some people just need less sleep. I had been this way since I was a teenager. I didn’t realize just how wrong I was.
Night time racing thoughts would result in me laying in bed thinking of all the various scenarios I needed to prepare for. For example if my family was going on a trip to the beach I needed a canopy for us to all keep out of the sun, then I needed stakes for the canopy that worked in the sand, then I needed a shovel to dig out the truck if we got stuck in the sand, then I needed a small grill for cooking on the beach…. etc. And it would be endless. This type of thinking kept me up for hours. But it wasnt just thinking. I would buy things to address all the issues that came up in my mind. My home had become filled with junk I didn’t really need. Our trips were plagued with me planning out every possibility and no longer had any spontaneity.
Nighttime racing thoughts also led to some other extremely negative behavior that I later learned is indicative of manic episodes that I will get into in another post.
Once the doctor prescribed my mood stabilizers I was so excited for these racing thoughts to stop. After 2 days of no change I told the doctor that it didn’t seem to be working. I wondered if maybe he was wrong about my diagnosis. The doctor took my input and increased my dosage; by the second night of my increased dosage I was finally able to experience a clear mind. Individual thoughts would come without being clouded by infinite other possibilities or outcomes. PEACE. I experienced peace in my mind for the first time that I could remember.
I was finally sleeping 8hours a night without sleeping pills. I’d never really experienced that before. It’s been over a week now and my body is telling me that I’ve always needed this much sleep it was my mind that was keeping me from it.