The difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that:
Psychiatrist has a degree of MBBS. And prescribes medicine to patients (usually without going to the root of the cause) whereas a psychologist has a degree in psychology. It can be M. Sc or an M. A. They use psychotherapy also known as talk therapy to treat patients. They usually go to the root of an issue and try to tackle it. And one of the main differences is that they CANNOT give medication. (There are some psychologists out there that prescribe vitamins or other supplements in the name of medicine. Vitamins and supplements do not require a prescription.*)
Now what I want you to know is that both these professions have become highly commercial worldwide. There was a decline in sleeping pills prescription from 1970s to 1990s, this is when the direct-to-consumer advertising started leading to a dramatic increase in sleeping pills prescription by a 60% from 2000 to 2005. The makers of Lunesta, Ambien, and Rozerem spent over 600 million dollars on advertising. Sleeping pills now garner a total of 4.5 billion dollars in annual market. The advertising tells the patients that the pill will magically make all their sleeping problems go away. But this is not true. They have severe side effects. One of them being daytime sleepiness (also thinking and co-ordination issues.) One of the worst side effects is ‘rebound insomnia’ (when a patient stops using the sleeping pill he may experience the return of insomnia with much more intensity than before).
We can presume by the above that these medicines are a long term deal for patients. Most patients use it for a year or even over 5 years and a couple of them use it forever. Now guess what, these drugs haven’t been tested for long term use. In fact they haven’t been approved for such long usage. The body even adapts to it and the dosage needs to be increased to get the same effect as before.
So what happens due to the long-term usage? Elevated mortality risk and most deaths were recorded as cancer. This is like smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. Most of these studies looked at older barbiturates ad benzodiazepine sleeping pills.
Getting to the best part of sleeping pills (Sense the sarcasm): They may/do not improve sleep but due to their amnesic effects people THINK they sleep better under the influence of sleeping medication because they don’t remember being awake.
Stay tuned to read more about this topic.
Oh. By the way, don’t give up on your sleep yet… there are ways to improve your sleep WITHOUT taking medication. CBT-I is the most EFFECTIVE treatment for insomnia available to date.