We all experience sleepless nights occasionally. But more often than not, we are able to fall back into normal sleeping patterns within the next day-or-so. But when an individual frequently has trouble sleeping or displays symptoms of insomnia, mental health problems could be on the horizon, or may already exist.

Sleep Problems Often Indicate an Underlying Condition

Sleep problems can be a two-way street. Those who suffer with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression typically have trouble sleeping. Conversely, prolonged periods of sleeplessness or partial sleep deprivation can eventually lead to the development of mood disorders and other psychological difficulties.

Insomnia sufferers were discovered to be up to five times more likely to develop depression, and up to 20 times more likely to develop panic disorder and other anxiety-related issues, according to an extensive “Sleep Journal” study. Additionally, young adults who are sleep-deprived due to stressful situations in their lives or irregularities in their sleep patterns are far more likely to eventually suffer from depression — sometimes in severe forms — and develop substance abuse problems.

Treating Sleep Disorders

In the absence of a more serious physical or mental ailment, those who have trouble sleeping can take steps to try to develop healthier habits. These include avoiding caffeine, adhering to a regular schedule of going to bed and waking up and refraining from napping during the day. But if these and other “self-help” measures do not adequately address the issue, a medical evaluation may be necessary.

If mental health problems are at the root of a sleep disorder, various forms of psychotherapy — often in conjunction with medications — have proven to be among the most successful modes of treatment. With sleep playing such a vital role in our physical, mental and emotional well-being, those who struggle to get the rest they need should not hesitate to seek help.



This blog is written and published by Lindner Center of HOPE.

Diagnosing specific mental health problems and disorders is not always easy. The human mind is very complex. Even highly-trained and vastly experienced mental health professionals may occasionally experience some difficulties in pinning down a definitive diagnosis.

This is especially true in regard to co-occurring disorders. Also referred to as “dual disorders” or a “dual diagnosis,” a co-occurring disorder exists when a mental health condition is accompanied by at least one other disorder.

Co-occurring disorders are relatively common. It is often the case where the symptoms of one condition will present themselves while other conditions lie beneath the surface. This is the challenge for psychiatric professionals; to determine whether there are underlying issues that may be affecting or exacerbating what appears to be a particular mental illness.

For example, it is not uncommon for ADHD to be accompanied by anxiety or mood disorders; or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to coexist with depression. The symptoms of these illnesses can play into each other, overlap or display themselves as a result of the other.

Such is the case with addictive disorders that are well-known for existing with other conditions. Many who struggle with depression or mood and anxiety disorders turn to substance abuse to relieve their symptoms.

Treating Co-occurring Disorders

To effectively treat co-occurring disorders, each condition must be isolated and addressed. Every patient has their own unique background and set of circumstances. Therefore a treatment plan must be tailored to meet the needs of each individual.

After initial evaluation and assessment, an “integrated” approach to counseling and psychotherapy is usually preferred when treating co-occurring disorders. This is where substance abuse counselors, psychotherapists and anyone else involved in the treatment process will coordinate efforts and share information regarding the patient’s condition, care and progress.

An integrated program for those with co-occurring disorders is usually administered in stages. Various avenues of treatment are incorporated into a comprehensive strategy that includes helping the patient understand their condition, establishing goals and guiding the patient toward the development of healthier behavior patterns. Group therapy and aftercare can also play an important role in an overall plan to help a co-occurring disorder sufferer heal.

One in every ten Americans suffers from a mood disorder. While there are many different types, some of the more common mood disorders include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and dysthymia.

Mood disorders can develop at any age, but are most likely to first appear during childhood and become more severe as individuals become adults. However, doctors are now finding more severe levels of mood disorders in children as young as six years old.

Making a Diagnosis

Diagnosing mood disorders in children can be a challenge; as symptoms such as irritability, periods of sadness and frequent mood swings are not as prominent within younger patients as they are in adults.


When it comes to treatment options, both children and adults seem to react best to a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Psychotherapy is an important component to an individual’s treatment plan and can occur in various forms.

A significant difference between children and adults when it comes to treatment is adults typically start on medications prior to psychotherapy, while children usually begin with therapy.

Finding the Right Treatment Center

One of the premier facilities for diagnosing and treating mood disorders is the Lindner Center of HOPE. Located in the greater Cincinnati area, the Lindner Center has both outpatient and residential facilities. In addition to featuring the latest resources and equipment available for treating mood disorders, the Lindner Center is run by Dr. Paul E. Keck and Dr. Susan L. McElroy, two of the most renowned and respected individuals in the field of psychiatry.

For more information on the Lindner Center of HOPE and its mood disorder treatment programs, call 888-536-HOPE.