I wasn’t able to post this one right away since I was at a conference and my iPad wouldn’t see the wireless. My newest guest post is at the Mesdames of Mayhem, where I discuss why we love mysteries from a psychological point of view.
As a psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist, I hear the following three complaints most often in my practice:
1. I can’t sleep.
2. My mind won’t stop racing.
3. Why is this anxiety/depression/sleep problem happening to me?
I address the first two a lot. The third one doesn’t come up quite as often because people, being naturally curious about themselves and their own lives and minds, usually have a good idea of how their sleep problems started. However, when I ask if they can think of what kicked off their insomnia, about ten to twenty percent of patients frown, wrinkle their noses, and eventually admit they can’t say why or give some vague answer like “stress, but my life has always been stressful, so I’m not sure that’s it.” Some are very distressed that they can’t figure out the origin of the problem because, as human beings, we like to have explanations. Knowing why gives us a sense of control.