Sleep problems: Breathing and psychiatric disorder

Sanghamitra Sau Sengupta

Bhakti Vedanta Hospital - Mayapur Health Care Centre, ISKCON, India

Statement of the Problem: The cumulative long-term effect of sleep problems can be a cause and consequences of major psychiatric, physical disorders, diseases like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, anxiety, depression, mood swing, hypersomnia, ADHD, drug and alcohol abuse. Adolescents are at a greater risk. Worst condition can lead to heart attack, strokes, accidents, suicides. Insomnia is also linked to trouble breathing. Researchers have reported that out of different sleep disorders, chronic insomnia is a serious problem among adolescents and adults globally. Purpose of study was to describe the experience of seeking help for sleep problems by adolescents and adults in the context in which it occurs.

Methodology: Questionnaires, in-depth interviews, focus groups and the context in which it occurs.

Findings: Patients in this study were found to be hesitant and fearful of being labeled as having a psychiatric problem. Many do not seek treatment due to the societal stigma associated with mental health disorders. Some do not access mental health professionals due to lack of awareness of sleep problems and its consequences. Others due to shortage of mental health professionals face much difficulty in continuing their treatment.

Significance: Shortage of mental health care providers, less structured system to address prevention and health promotion as well as early identification of difficulties for timely effective treatment. Recommendations are made for more treatment centers and implementing eclectic psychotherapy, trainings and courses to bring up psychiatric nurses, mental healthcare providers and professionals. Awareness programs like positive parenting, prenatal and postpartum education, and public health education programs/events. Holistic trainings like breathing, chanting, mindfulness, guided meditation, ashtanga yoga, relaxation techniques and therapies, cultivating resilience, laughter therapy, drawing therapy, affirmations, visualizations in prevention and management. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder, in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

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