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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I cope with this insomnia/depression/anxiety?

    I suffer with chronic insomnia/depression/ect. I can handle dep/ect but with no sleep its bad. feel realy ill. will 30mg mirtazpine help? what is the best way to take it? im sure if i get some sleep i will be able to cope. also im 72 y/o and have sufferd with anx/dep for many years since a bad accident. and left on anti dep for too long; ie valium/diazpam/ect. i got myself off these long ago. also lots of stress recently.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1




    I am a psychologist in private practice.I also lecture and supervise psychologists/psychology students at University.I work with clients who suffer from depression and anxiety. I … View Profile

    It seems that you are having a difficult time at present. I think it would be sensible for you to discuss your medication with your local GP. This is a complex issue and you want to be sure that you are taking the right medication in the right dose.  I can comment on counselling issues. If you have suffered from depression and anxiety for a number of years, I think this must have been very stressful for you. I think that psychological counselling can be very effective, in helping you to manage your symptoms, deal with your problems, and therefore improve your quality of life. If you can relate to what I have said, you can begin the process by seeing your GP and discussing both your medication and also the possiblilty of a psychlogist referal. I hope this helps.

  • 1


    Bruni (Brunhilde) Brewin

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist

    Bruni Brewin is President Emeritus of The Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association (AHA), the oldest and largest National Registration Body for hypnotherapists in Australia founded in 1949, … View Profile

    You say that you have had this anxiety/depression/insomnia since your accident - you didn't mention what year that was, nor how many years you were on medication for.

    There is a book called the 'Accidental Addict' by Di Porrit and Di Russel (I think it was written in 1994).  I have had the original for many years, but it is still valid reading for people that have been on Benzodiazepines for a long time.  In many cases people realise that their anxiety gets worse through the taking of this medication for extended periods of time.  It gives you examples of peoples experiences, how long the side effects can last when you come off the medication - and that can be for years  (I notice that you can now get a free pdf download at this url:

    Benzodiazepines are a class of drug commonly known as tranquillisers and sleeping pills.  Familiar names are Valium and Xanax but there are many more.  The reason I know of these specifically is because my mother had anxiety, fear and phobia and was on Valium for years.  She never really dealt with the 'cause' of her need to be medicated, which can end up like putting a bandaid over the sore that isn't healing.

    You also say that you can handle the depression etc. but you still suffer insomnia.  This suggests to me that you are coping on the head level  (conscious mind), but there may still be stuff going on at the sub-conscious level.

    My thoughts are wanting to know more in terms of - do you have problems still with suffering pain from the accident?  If you think about the accident, does it constrict your breathing and still bring in anxious feelings?  Or both?

    72 is not an age to be concerned about - it is your attitude to life in general that is often the determinant to healing.  Which then also brings up the question - what was life like in childhood and over the yeas since?  These can all determine how we view the world.

    Hypnosis is well known to assist in pain control - so getting yourself someone that knows how to help you in that area could assist you there.

    Hypnosis, NLP, EFT, TIR and other new methods of trauma release can also help to release feelings and emotions from events that have caused you the anxiety and depression.   You shouldn't have to cope with anxiety and depression you just need to find the right person and the right method that can release that for you.

    Being taught Self-Hypnosis (like a structured meditation), where you keep your mind busy when going to sleep can be helpful.  Getting an Insomnia CD that you can listen to can also be helpful.

    Make sure your hypnosis practitioner has the skills to help you.  Ask questions and use your gut feeling whether you feel that you can work with them.  That goes with any profession, not just hypnosis.

    Mirtazapine is an antidepressant. It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression.  Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of Mirtazapine.  Mirtazapine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.  There are also warnings about any other health issues you might have where it is not safe to use Mirtazapine.  So it is important you discuss these things with your GP who can advise you properly and can monitor you with you any side effects.

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    I think that Dr Barnes and Ms Brewin have both offered you excellent advice.

    As far as your insomnia is concerned (this is something that has been an issue for me in the past), I have found that applying medication-free sleep hygiene methods has been helpful.

    Essentially what sleep hygiene means is habits which can help you to sleep well.

    You might find the ideas in this link helpful:

    All the best.


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