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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can someone help me with Insomnia?

    Ive had chronic insomnia for over 3 months now, literally no sleep. Its been hell, and it is not changing. After 2 weeks of not being able to sleep, trying different natural remedies that did not help, went and saw a GP to get some meds to sleep. He thought i was depressed and gave me Mirtazapine, which i used for about 5 weeks with no help in sleep. Went and saw another GP who prescribed Quitapine tablets because i explained i have restless legs. Used this med for over a month and still did not help me sleep. Recently saw a pchysytrist who gave me tablets Sandoz sodium valporate, this is apparantly used to treat epilepsy and i do not have that. Any help is appreciated
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  • 4

    Thanks

    Dr Adrian Chazan

    Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Physician

    Dr Adrian Chazan is a Respiratory & Sleep Disorders Physician and General Physician with a number of special interests including asthma and obstructive sleep apnoea. … View Profile

    It sounds as though you have had an unpleasant and frustrating few months!

    Insomnia is complex and it takes a thorough assessment to explore and unravel the factors causing it. It may be tempting to reach for sleeping tablets but unfortunately they rarely solve the underlying problem and they may cause extra trouble. 

    As a sleep physician I encounter people with similar experiences to you every day. I would strongly recommend asking your GP for a referral to a sleep physician for a proper assessment. 

  • 2

    Thanks

    Jessica Cole

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I am registered and endorsed as a Clinical Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia, having completed a Bachelor of Psychology at University of Western … View Profile

    I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you are having with your sleep. 

    I agree with what Adrian has said, in that there can be many factors causing your insomnia and it sounds like medication hasn't been too helpful. 

    Psychological treatment for insomnia is very effective in identifying and treating the underlying causes of your sleep difficulties. In a thorough psychological assessment we would look at a number of factors including sleep history, physical complaints, and thoughts/feelings in reaction to sleep loss which may be perpetuating the insomnia.

    Psychological treatment for insomnia does not necessarily mean there are mental health issues contributing (although anxiety and overthinking is often common), however it is likely that you will need to address your sleep behaviour so that going to bed is associated with 'sleep' rather than 'lying there awake.' A clinical psychologist who works with insomnia should be able to help you address this. 

    Good luck with your treatment. 

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