Explanations for Insomnia

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By milliemoo27
Words 888
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Describe and evaluate explanations of insomnia

Short term insomnia is where some people suffer difficulties in sleeping for a short period of time, and example is days or a few weeks. Short term insomnia tends to be caused by immediate worries, such as an exam or a death in the family, noises at night, jet lag or a temporary medical condition, such as a cold.

Long term insomnia which is known as chronic insomnia describes sleep difficulties lasting more than four weeks. A distinction is then made between secondary and primary insomnia. Secondary insomnia is much more common.

Primary insomnia occurs when a person is having sleep problems that are not directly associated with any other health condition or physical cause such as drug abuse or medications. A person may be feeling stressed or depressed but such psychological states that are not the cause of the insomnia. It may be that the individual has developed bad sleep habits and this causes insomnia, but insomnia is the only problem. Sometimes insomnia may have had a identifiable cause but this has disappeared, yet the insomnia persists because of an exception of sleep difficulty - in their own words, the individual has come to expect that they will have sleep difficulties and these expectations lead to anxiety which then continue to cause insomnia.

Secondary insomnia is when a person is having sleep problems because of something else. There is a single, underlying medical, psychiatric or environmental cause. In such cases insomnia is a symptom of the main disorder, i.e. it comes second, after the main disorder.

It is important to distinguish between primary and secondary insomnia because of the implications for treatment. If insomnia is a symptom of another disorder then it is important to treat the disorder rather then the insomnia. So, for example, if insomnia is the result of chronic depression…...

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