Hey good morning everyone.. did you sleep well??? if you are like most of my addiction or mental health patients up all night worrying about stuff then chances are no. Am i right?
Have you asked your doctor for sleeping pills yet? keep in mind that even though sleeping medications really do sound appealing (after all the name alone sounds like its logical) there are a ton of caveats and issues. Here is the difficult part and the general golden rule.
ALWAYS TREAT THE UNDERLYING PROBLEM NOT JUST THE SYMPTOMS
You would all agree correct? YES , unless its about your own insomnia
THEN its ok to treat the symptoms right??? this is the problem. We talk the talk but when it comes to ourselves we don’t want to walk the walk. we just want the symptom treatment. After all, doesn’t the sleeping pill “treat” the actual problem??? NO it doesn’t… treating the the anxiety does, treating the depression does, treating the OCD with the constant mind racing at night does but the pill wont. Will antidepressants treat the insomnia or anti anxiety meds (NOT xanax- dont get me going on xanax) or cognitive behavioral therapy? Yes those things will treat the insomnia but we have been so conditioned into wanting everything now and yesterday that we don’t have the patience for that. Never mind that the insomnia, the depression , the anxiety have been brewing for 10 years right? but now all of a sudden since seeing that stupid ad for ambien on TV we have to have it immediately. That’s the conundrum!. Guess what? we do studies on this stuff and the TV is WRONG!!!. surprise, surprise
#1: Use CBT (cognitive therapy) that’s the most effective
#2: Use CBT (cognitive therapy) that’s the most effective
#3: Use CBT (cognitive therapy) that’s the most effective you getting the gist yet? YES i know we all don’t have time to do that kind of stuff…. yada yada yada… waahhhhh. well, GET it done!. no more excuses!!. stop whining and start doing!!. I know it takes time out of your day but so does not sleeping! THEN when it comes to meds:
#4 stop alcohol. I said med right? well alcohol is a “depressant” so it IS a med … just in the wrong direction… its like saying “stop taking a pill with the word UN-prozac written on it”
#5 Cut the caffeine. no elaboration needed
#6 Get your sleep apnea tested and treated. snoring causes a TON
of fatigue and depression. we’re all overweight and many have sleep apnea
#7 Benzos, ambience (which works like a benzo- not really surprising that its addicting). be super careful here. benzos cause long term memory problems like alzheimers.
#8. Newer sleep meds like belsomra lunesta. Can leave you with penny sucking taste and we have no idea what thats about but when a med causes such a neurological issue you might be careful….
SUMMARY: Go do this properly and get the underlying anxiety/ depression treated and go start with therapy!!!.
Stay alive Andreas
J. Edrich MD FASAM ADM MRO
“the addiction doc”