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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What should I do for Anxiety and Depression coupled with Insomnia?

    I have had a bout of serious illness which is all ok now, but had me in and out of hospital for over 7 months, traumatic tests, results etc, subsequently have anxiety and depression - Feel nauseous, muscle weakness, racing thoughts, all medical tests are all ok, - because of the sheer amount of medication in hospital, antibiotics, progesterone, somac to name a few I was given Zoloft by my GP but had a reaction to that and had to get off it, then was given Mirtazapine this weekend and have been vomiting, feeling faint, so got told to get off that, - I know all antidepressants have side effects I am just hoping if you know if there is one out there that is good for sensitive to medication people. I hope there is..I have sought CBT help too. I am crying everyday/feeling sick and anxious and can't get out of bed, I just want to get back to my "normal" self.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 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

    Typically anti-depressants like Mirtazapine take some time (4-6 weeks is normal) to kick in fully.

    I suggest that you get your GP to refer you to a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist will be able review your response to Mirtazapine with you - discontinuation of any anti-depressant should be done slowly with close supervision from a specialist.

    A psychiatrist will be able to discuss the option of other anti-depressants with you in the event that Mirtazapine does not meet your needs.

    All the best. 

  • Dr Wendy Roncolato

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Cloudberry Clinic is a clinical psychology practice specialising in women's mental health concerns. We offer a safe space to reflect honestly and explore emotions with … View Profile

    I'm sorry to hear you have had such a traumatic time. Seven months of being ill can certainly make you suffer psychologically also. It does take time to recovery fully physically and mentally, and this can be frustrating and distressing. 

    I understand that you are looking for an alternate antidepressant medication. In addition, have you considered some short meditations. Free iPhone apps such as smiling mind or 1 giant mind might offer you some distraction and help reduce your general level of anxiety. They can be listened to in bed and may help prepare you for sleep. 

    Once you are feeling able, you could benefit from a comprehensive treatment plan to work through the issues that persist.


  • Marie Bloomfield

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Marie Bloomfield is a highly experienced psychologist specialising in helping to manage anxiety, fears, panic attacks, depression, relationships, parenting, pain, trauma and weight loss. She … View Profile

    I am also sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult time. I really feel for you.  Recovery can be slow sometimes and requires a lot of patience and courage.

    Anti-depressants are helpful in times of crisis when life is overwhelming however psychological interventions have more long-term benefits and no side-effects.

    Many Psychologists like myself use CBT as well as  Mindfulness and other research validated approach to resolve anxiety and depression that have been proven to be as or more effective than anti-depressant.

  • Daniel Bonnar

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Anxiety and depression seem to be covered well in the answers provided so far. I might add a bit more about insomnia.

    One thing to keep in mind is that insomnia can make a lot of other conditions worse (e.g. depression), and your sleep won’t necessarily improve if the anxiety and depression are treated but the insomnia isn’t. So treating the insomnia in it’s own right may be important.

    To help tackle your sleep difficulties I suggest improving your sleep habits as much as possible. Things like not consuming caffeine in the early afternoon, having a regular and relaxing bedtime routine, and making sure the bedroom environment is comfortable. You’ll need to give these strategies a good go before you work out whether they are effective or not. I would recommend consistently applying them for a 2-3 week period of time. IF you’re still having problems sleeping after that, then a specific type of CBT for insomnia called CBT-I is a highly effective treatment with long-term gains.

    As Marie said above, recovery can be slow sometimes, but hang in there! I sincerely wish you the best of luck in overcoming your current difficulties.

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