A Message to Those Without Insomnia
Dealing with chronic insomnia is hard. However, having someone without insomnia share unsolicited opinions or advice with you often feels worse. You are essentially telling us you know our condition better than we do even though you have no formal medical training.
Please stop with unsolicited advice
I promise we have all tried more than once lying down in a dark room with our eyes closed. Yet sleep still doesn’t come. A lot of us have probably tried things hoping for some relief. My grandmother had some pretty far out remedies I tried out of desperation. They tasted awful, and I was not better off than before I drank whatever concoction she handed me.
The word "insomnia," like many other medical terms, is so overused, and its meaning has lost value as a legitimate condition.
Our doctors don't take us seriously
This isn’t something we convince ourselves we have. We are often not taken seriously, especially by our medical providers. Before I developed epilepsy, which insomnia could seriously complicate, I would end up leaving my doctor’s office with a pamphlet on deep breathing exercises even after telling her I hadn’t slept for 72 straight hours. It does not get easier over time. To function, our bodies need sleep. We may adjust on some level, but the exhaustion is always there.
We make our health decisions
While I will never judge someone who chooses a natural homeopathic route, do not lecture me on the dangers of choosing prescription medication over the direct sales products you are selling.
I made my decision to start certain prescription medications after a long talk with my doctor and considering the options he presented to me. Please do not assume we want to be added to your Facebook group selling supplements or oils without asking first. I am happy for anyone with insomnia when they are able to find what works for them.
Sell your cure to those who ask for it
I appreciate your passion for what you believe in, but we are not a marketing demographic. We are people who have children, full-time jobs, and countless other things we care about. Playing to our desperation for normalcy when we are exhausted is cruel.
You may not view it this way but put yourself in our situation for a moment. Imagine coming home from your full-time job after a night of literally no sleep only to get a message via social media while cooking dinner for your family. You don’t know this person directly, but a friend of a friend told them about your insomnia. Imagine getting a long scripted message about how they can “fix you” if you just give them a few weeks. All it will take is their custom blend of oils and a lot of money.
We are more than our insomnia
We are more than our insomnia. Please do not call us insomniacs. When you do, you reduce us to one part of who we are, and we are so much more. While it does impact my life, it is not the only part of me that matters.
We have learned to live our lives despite not being taken seriously, even by our own doctors. I have dealt with insomnia since childhood, as many others have. We don’t want special treatment, but we do deserve respect.
What do you want to share about insomnia with others? Share your insomnia story below with the community.
Do you find your sleep is impacted by the change of seasons?