Monday, September 13, 2010

Many Non-Depressed Insomniacs Have Suicidal Desires

Insomniacs have no shortage of alone time. Countless overnight hours are spent pondering, obsessing and agonizing over the inability to sleep and the stressful things in your life. This endless introspection may give rise to momentary suicidal desires.

The two-way relationship between sleeplessness and mental health disturbances is well documented at this point. Insomnia is both a symptom and a risk-factor for depression. In fact the DSM-IV lists disturbed sleep patterns as one of the nine main criteria for the diagnosis of major depressive disorder.

You don’t have to be depressed have suicidal thoughts with insomnia, a new study published in Sleep Medicine reports. The article concludes insomnia can predict suicidal desires, with or without diagnosable depression.

The clinical study involved 60 middle-aged patients with depression and insomnia. The subjects were prescribed the anti-depressant Prozac along with the sleeping medication Lunesta or a placebo. Over the course of the 8-week study, the patients were repeatedly assessed for insomnia, suicide ideation and depression.

Statistical analysis shows, although depression severity was directly linked to intensity of suicidal thinking, a similar relationship also holds true for severity of insomnia. Insomnia patients who were no longer depressed still had suicidal thoughts.

These findings further flesh out a disturbing revelation reported this month in the journal SLEEP. Middle-aged men with long-term insomnia are likely to die over a 14 year period. The large-scale, long-term study did not investigate the exact causes of the deaths, but it’s not too much of a stretch that some were suicides.

Like pushing through depression, conquering long-term insomnia can take hard work and dedication. Leading a longer and happier life is clearly worth the effort of working with a clinical sleep specialist to change your nighttime routine and eliminate harmful beliefs that prevent sleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment