I had been married to a wealthy family who was desperate for an heir. After many years going through different kinds of treatment, including IVF, I failed to conceive. I started suffering from insomni and always felt an emptiness deep within me. I could not figure out who I was and what my purpose in life could be. At mid-30’s, when my career was advancing to top levels in a big multinational company, I decided to quit the dream job, finding an easier one so that I could spend more time & energy on the last IVF treatment. Unfortunately, it couldn’t go well. Turbulence started in my marriage, and I decided to free myself. For nearly a year after my divorce, I could hardly sleep at all. I got prescribed with sedative-hypnotic medicine (Zolpidem, which is used for temporary treatment of insomnia). Even with the medication, I could only sleep for 3-4 hours maximum and started developing an overdependence on sleeping pills. I often woke up tiredly, and I started suffering from eating disorder. I changed my job again but could not handle it properly due to lack of sleep. Things got worse when I started hiccoughing nonstop and was sent to the ER in a nearby hospital. After a week hospitalizing with many types of sedative-hypnotic medicines (e.g., Gabapentin, Benzodiazepine), the hiccough finally reduced but the insomnia was still significant.
I was referred to a psychiatrist who assessed me for depression and post trauma disorder. He gave me some more medicines. However, at the very first dose, my heartbeat jumped to more than 100 bpm with dizziness. I stopped the meds, and after multiple trials, I could find myself cheering up through practicing yoga and playing piano. I went to the church almost every afternoon during this time to find a peace in mind and calm my inner soul. After a year, I could reduce Zolpidem dosages from daily to twice a week and finally I could bring myself to sleep without the pills. I have started new relationships and registered for a master’s degree in psychology. It has been now 4 years since my mid-life crisis, and I have turned into a cheerful person. My career has started blooming again and I have just finished my master’s degree. Currently, I am doing some research into complementary & alternatives to medicines in mental health intervention. I hope I can contribute to the development of mental healthcare in Vietnam soon.