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Do I have Insomnia?

Since you are reading this, I’m going to take the not-so-giant leap and guess that you are having some struggles when it comes to sleep. You are wondering, “Is this insomnia?”

There are two ways to answer your question. The first involves having you tell me your symptoms and asking some questions and then checking to see if this meets the official criteria for diagnosing insomnia. But here’s the thing: do you really care if it’s officially insomnia or do you just want to be able to sleep without the struggle?

In order to be officially diagnosed with insomnia, you have to meet certain benchmarks. These include having trouble with sleep a minimum number of nights per week and having these sleep problems for a minimum number of months. Months! If you are having problems sleeping, is it worth waiting until you can check off the criteria and get an official diagnosis of insomnia? I’m going to guess not!

In fact, I am going to advise you to not wait. By the time you meet the DSM’s* criteria for insomnia, you have developed chronic insomnia. If we can treat it before then, you will suffer less and it will be easier to resolve. Don’t worry, though: before we get started you and I will talk about the history of your sleep problem and I will screen to make sure treatment is appropriate for your case. I will still assess you for clinical insomnia. However, I won’t insist on meeting the full criteria if you have all the symptoms but just haven’t had them often enough or long enough to merit a diagnosis.

I invite you to visit my “Do I have insomnia?” page  and answer a few questions for me about your symptoms. You will also tell me if you prefer for me to reach you by phone or email. I will look at the information you submit and then get in touch with you to let you know if I think my insomnia treatment is a good fit for you. There’s no cost and no obligation. This evaluation is NOT required for an appointment with me. If you are confident you have insomnia, you can call (816) 226-4678 and schedule an appointment.

* The DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The current version is the DSM-5. This is the diagnostic manual published by the American Psychiatric Association and used by mental health professionals of all kinds when making diagnoses.

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