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Insomnia related sleep disturbances and depression : a case study approach


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Minehan, Penelope 2010 , 'Insomnia related sleep disturbances and depression : a case study approach', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Insomnia, the most prevalent sleep complaint, is a common symptom of depression,
as well as constituting a 'primary' diagnosis. Controversy remains about whether
insomnia should be regarded as 'secondary' when co-occurring with depression,
given that insomnia often occurs prior to other symptoms. This study investigated the
extent to which insomnia is considered secondary to unipolar forms of depression
using a qualitative case study approach to allow for individual differences and to
address the phenomenology associated with these conditions. Seven participants (six
with self-reported insomnia, four of whom had also been diagnosed with depression,
and one suffering from depression only) were interviewed in a semi-structured format
and asked to describe their experiences in terms of symptom onset and impact, and
their thoughts about the nature of the relationship between insomnia and depression.
The participants with both conditions mostly considered insomnia and depression to
be independent, despite commonly experiencing insomnia alongside core depressive
symptoms. They all had insomnia prior to depression, and they considered insomnia
to be 'primary' rather than 'secondary'. Five out of six participants with insomnia
reported having an overactive mind when attempting to sleep. Those with only
insomnia potentially differed from other participants due to the content of their
thoughts and the presence of factors in their life that may be protective in terms of
developing depression. Despite experiencing negative and overactive thoughts, the
participant with depression, but not insomnia, attributed having an active working life
to avoiding insomnia. Further research investigating the complex interplay between
life circumstances (risk and protective factors), the content of overactive cognitions,
and endogenous versus reactive forms of depression, would be beneficial to better
understand the nature of the relationship between insomnia and depression.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Minehan, Penelope
Keywords: Insomnia, Insomnia, Depression, Mental
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2010 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Available for use in the Library and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (MPsych(Clin))--University of Tasmania, 2011. Includes bibliographical references

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