I just read an interesting article over at the New York Times Opinionator by a sleep doctor who tells us that insomnia is the “dreaded disease” of sleep medicine.
She tells us this is because insomnia is a disorder - a set of symptoms which are complex and not well understood. Furthermore, as the doctor tells us:
Insomnia is not that easy to work up, and it takes the one thing that doctors have so little of: time for questions and discussion with the patient.
I found it refreshing to hear such honest words coming from a doctor. I warmed to her even more when she then went on to urge people to be careful how they use the word 'insomnia' - which is used all too readily.
Hearing a doctor tell us that insomnia is a challenge for them to treat goes some way to explaining why many people feel their doctors aren't helpful when consulted about sleep problems.
My advice? If you feel that your doctor is brushing you off, find another one. They may dread your arrival, but they're still getting paid - and helping patients is what they signed up for in the first place.
Last updated: September 11, 2013