13 Apr Sleep-wake disorders are defined by disturbances to a person’s sleep patterns. Sleep disruptions impact physical, mental, and emotional health. There are 10 groups of sleep-wake dis
Sleep-wake disorders are defined by disturbances to a person’s sleep patterns. Sleep disruptions impact physical, mental, and emotional health. There are 10 groups of sleep-wake disorders described in the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013): insomnia, hypersomnolence disorder, narcolepsy, breathing-related sleep disorders, circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, non-rapid eye movement sleep arousal disorders, nightmare disorder, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, restless legs syndrome, and substance/medication-induced sleep disorder.
The two key symptoms of a sleep disorder are fatigue and trouble focusing. People with mental health disorders like depression often have co-occurring sleep-wake disorders. It is critical that the clinician conduct an in-depth assessment when a client presents with a sleep-wake disorder, to include among other questions the following: nutrition, energy drink and other supplement/stimulant use, exercise, trauma history, technology use patterns, social and familial relationship health, and medical history with medication history
Consider the following scenario:
Alex, a male African American adolescent aged 14, has come to therapy because he is experiencing the symptoms of a sleep-wake disorder. His sleep-wake disorder is disrupting his school work, causing absenteeism from school, and negatively impacting his social engagements due to an increase in irritability and irrational thinking.
Write out a mini script showing what you, the counselor, might say to Alex
Respond to the following prompts using your mini script.
- Provide four potential questions you might ask about Alex’s current sleep hygiene.
- Explain the role of counseling alongside sedative hypnotics.
- Explain the long-term consequences of a sleep-wake disorder.
- Include an empathetic reflection to Alex
Reference: American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5). Washington, DC: Author.
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