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Expert advice

Paul Morgan: mental health advisor

Paul Morgan is Deputy Director of SANE Australia, the mental health charity. He is a leading expert in promoting understanding of mental illness in the community. ASK ME A QUESTION

Sleeping

Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Tell the doctor everything that has been on your mind, including how you feel about your current employment situation, and the anger and sadness you have been feeling.

Question:
Lately I have had to take a job cut and since then I have felt angry, frustrated and sad. I also have hard time sleeping, and I only get one or two hours sleep each night.

Answer:

There are lots of reasons why we might have trouble sleeping. This is certainly a problem that affects many of us at different times in life, and for a variety of causes. Worrying about not sleeping often adds to the stress this causes too.

For some people, not being able to sleep (or sleeping too much) can be associated with a condition such as depression. Only a doctor can diagnose whether someone has depression, of course, just like any other medical condition, so it would be a good idea to make an appointment to discuss this with your GP.

Tell the doctor everything that has been on your mind, including how you feel about your current employment situation, and the anger and sadness you have been feeling, for example.

The doctor can then make an assessment, suggest ways to improve your sleeping, and discuss with you the reasons for your poor sleeping habits and how to address them. If the doctor diagnoses depression, for example, then a treatment plan can be made which will include steps to improve your sleep, as well as psychological and other forms of support.

If you would like more information or want to discuss this further, call the free and confidential SANE helpline on 1800 18 SANE or send an e-mail via www.sane.org.


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