By On April 21st, 2014

Exploring Insomnia’s Link to Suicide and Depression

Researchers have been falling over themselves to confirm the damage that sleep deprivation has on our brains and mental states ever since studies began to discover lack of sleep is magnitudes worse on our mental health than we ever thought.

Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can kill brain cells, create brain damage similar to a traumatic brain injury, cause memory loss, and make us gain weight. But, we are just beginning to really measure the damage caused by lack of sleep.

Those studies peak at the tip of the iceberg, but we are also finding that insomnia and lack of sleep can increase the risk of suicide and may be associated with many of the negative symptoms of mental illnesses linked to insomnia such as depression.

Thomas Roth, Ph.D., from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit spoke at the recent Psychiatry Update 2014, where he cautioned the crowd that “Having insomnia increases the risk of suicidality. This is especially truein adolescents.”

Roth is considered an expert on the growing understanding about the association between lack of sleep and mental health, and he gave an interview shortly after his Psychiatry Update speech where he discusses what primary care physicians can do to help manage the huge impact of sleep deprivation and insomnia.

He offers extensive insight that helps show our current perception of how sleep affects the body and mind while also giving realistic and tangible advice for health care professionals who may not be as experienced in treating mental health or sleep disorders. You can view the interview over at Clinical Psychiatry News, though it must be noted that CPN and the sponsor of Psychiatry Update 2014, Current Psychiatry are owned by the same parent company.

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