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INSOMNIA - RESOURCE CENTRE
"Insomnia can be a symptom of a psychological disorder
such as an anxiety disorder or depression,
and these disorders should be treated"
Insomnia exists in various forms: many sufferers experience difficulty getting to sleep, others have interrupted sleep, some wake up too early in the morning and a few simply have poor quality sleep and do not feel rested. If insomnia lasts for more than 3-4 weeks, it is termed chronic.
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH INSOMNIA
Individuals vary in their need for sleep: we all know of individuals who can ordinarily function well with less sleep than others. However, for people with insomnia, it causes distress and affects their everyday lives.
Poor sleep results in daytime drowsiness and can impair attention and motor coordination when driving or operating machinery. This can be dangerous. Poor attention and memory also affect studies and work productivity. A person deprived of sleep will tend to be irritable and this can impair his relationship with others. Hence an individual with a sleep problem may have an impaired quality of life.
It is also important to note that in many cases, insomnia can be a symptom of a psychological disorder such as an anxiety disorder or depression, and these disorders should be treated. Some individuals with chronic insomnia attempt to treat themselves by consuming cough syrup or alcohol. Unfortunately, such an abusive pattern of drug use will not only compound the sleep problem but also cause damage to physical health and create addiction problems.
INSOMNIA - DO I NEED ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT?
If you have poor sleep for more than 2 weeks and it has been affecting your activities and function, a consult with a doctor will be appropriate. This is especially so if you have other symptoms suggestive of a medical or psychiatric disorder such as depression – these will need to be addressed too and remember, they respond well to treatment.
The doctor will talk to you to obtain a thorough medical history, followed by a physical examination. This is to identify any medical or psychological factors that might contribute to your insomnia. Physical investigations such as blood tests may or may not be required. The doctor then makes the diagnosis and decides on the treatment.
Find a Psychiatrist
Dr Thong Jiunn Yew, Nobel Psychological Wellness Clinic