Symptoms and Treatments for Insomnia

Therapy Topics

How Could Insomnia Be Psychological?

It’s late at night, and you’re lying in bed, tossing and turning, wishing that sleep would come. Insomnia is both a physical and psychological disorder that can make functioning in day to day life exceptionally difficult. Everyone needs sleep. Without sleep, people become groggy and struggle to comprehend the events of the day. It slows your reaction times, increases the likelihood you will lose your temper, and makes it even more likely that you will make the wrong decisions.

Once you realize that you are suffering with chronic insomnia, it’s important that you speak to a professional. If it’s purely physical, then you will need to speak to a doctor, but if there’s a psychological component to it, then you will only be able to start sleeping again once that psychological issue is dealt with. This means you’ll need to find a psychotherapist or another licensed psychologist.

Most people assume that insomnia must be only physically based. After all, your body is just refusing to sleep. The New York Times published an article summarizing a series of studies from various universities. The article stated that the majority of all chronic insomnia cases are psychological in nature. In most cases, the symptoms and causes are mixed. The most common of these are:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Mania
  • Schizophrenia

The most common are anxiety and depression. Most people presume that they are just feeling anxious or depressed because they aren’t getting enough sleep, but in chronic insomnia that is actually the preceding cause. In most cases, the things that you think about that depress and worry you are what keep your body from resting at night. Most of the time, these emotions and fears are deeply rooted in your psyche. You have to deal with them, but you cannot do it alone as you may be avoiding the real issues.

How Could a Psychologist or Therapist Help?

When dealing with insomnia, some people are reluctant to go on a therapist search. They feel that this is something that they should be able to handle on their own or with sedatives. Nothing could be further from the truth. Self medicating with sleeping pills and the like can actually lead to a number of problems on down the road including heart irregularities and addiction. Qualified psychologists and therapists help to cut through the chaos and the frustration to get to the core of the problem.

Psychologically induced chronic insomnia is a challenging disorder to sift through. In most cases, you will have multiple layers interconnected with one another. This is what makes the therapist search for a qualified psychotherapist so important. You need someone who can help you to see what is really causing the problem. Once that happens, the psychologist or therapist will help you to start addressing those issues. This may be through active exercises like meditation or taking steps to resolve the stress. It may also be that once you realize what you are stressing about, you can let it go. The purpose, though, is to get you back to the point where you can enjoy a drug-free and restful night without anxiety or depression.