Sunday, November 8, 2009

Already nearly end of 2009 – November 2009!

What a month this month!

H1N1 Swine Flu
Hey I got vaccinated against H1N1 swine flu last weds. Lets see how I go!

I have been on a spiritual and learning journey this year after being made redundant early this year. I have learnt a lot about myself and why I get anxiety attacks and why I dont sleep well.

Home Office Disaster!
I spilt a 4L can of ceiling paint onto the floor in my home today (8th November). The home office is in a huge mess and I wasted 3 hours cleaning up. I was so furious as I have lots to do! Oh well. I managed to clean up a lot so far.

Australian Shares
I have purchased Myer shares
I have purchased guess what Altium shares. 10,000 of them at 26.5 cents.

Mental Health and deafness conference 2009
The Mental Health and deafness conference was good. Only confirmed my understanding of what constitutes mental health of deaf people.

800,000 deaf and hard of hearing Australians also experience mental health problems In response to the important issues facing many of our consumers, Deaf Children Australia and Deaf Services Queensland are hosting the 4th World Congress on Mental Health and Deafness.
The Congress theme is `A life to be lived’ and represents our focus on all life’s stages. The Congress will feature presentations on infants, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.

Background facts

  • 10 -16% of the Australian population experience hearing loss in 2005- 2006
    (Access Economics, February 2006)
  • The prevalence of hearing loss is expected increase to 1 in 4 of every Australian by 2050
    (Access Economics, February 2006)
  • 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness at some point in their life, a quarter of whom will receive treatment.
    (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 1999)
  • “Over three million Australians are affected by some degree of hearing loss”
    (Access Economics, February 2006)
  • 800,000 deaf and hard of hearing Australians may also experience mental health problems at some time in their life.

Andy Cornes was the key note speaker. One of the topics covered was the validity of research on deaf people in the past. It is now emerging that questionnaries were not well designed and did not elict honest or inaccurate responses from deaf people. Another keynote speaker by Dr Robert Pollard.  (Director – Deaf Wellness Center, University of Rochester School of Medicine)

Karyn Barrasso
Mental Health Policy & Communications
Deaf Children Australia
PO Box 6466
St Kilda Road Central
Melbourne VIC 8008
Ph: (03) 9539 5339
Fax: (03) 9525 2595

Extra resources on mental health

Good resources on Deafness

Sleeping Health

David Parker Nov 2009-11-07

David Parker’s sleeping issues

I normally don’t sleep very well. I often wake up to go to toilet. I often toss in bed because I am having anxiety attacks. I often wake up feeling very tired and lethargic. Sleeping badly or insomnia is often associated with depression if insomnia goes untreated.
I often hesitate to admit I have sleeping problems. I am a poor sleeper or sleep deprived. As a result my memory is often shot and my concentration is very poor. I have this problem all my life.
The World Health Organisation estimates about 30% of people complain of difficulty sleeping and about 30 percent of these people describe it as a long term problem.

Possible Causes of poor sleep

Untreated insomnia is associated with depression! An Oz study summed up two most common symptoms listed by insomniacs as lonely and frustrating nights followed by crabby and lethargic days. These are the symptoms of frustration, stress and possibly anxiety and have been linked to depression. This is fatigue and is linked to car accidents. I had a car accident in 2006!

  • Record your sleeping habits in a diary
  • Bedtime
  • Time spend in bed before attemping to sleep
  • Minutes taken to fall asleep
  • Time in bed after waking and before getting up
  • Naps during the day
  • Sleeping and other prescription medicines taken
  • Recreational durgs including cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine
  • Number of times woken during the night
  • Rising time

Patterns of sleep disturbance include

  • Difficulty in falling asleep
  • Frequent waking from sleep
  • Early morning wakening (common in those with depression)
  • Feeling unrefreshed despite a full night’s sleep (those with sleep apnoea)

Sleep Hygiene

Particular ways you prepare for bed in the evening and the actions you take if you wake overnight are collectively known as your sleep hygiene.
Alcohol – try not to have it for at least 3 hours prior to bedtime
Caffeine are stimulants and can interfere with sleep. Coffee, Tea, softdrinks, chocolate and food additive in some foods. It takes around 8 hours after consumption of caffeine for it to be completely excreted from the system.

Mental Health problems

Sleep disturbance is common in depression and is a contributing factor in the diagnosis of depression.
A typical pattern is early morning wakening and difficulty getting back to sleep after wakening overnight. Depression is often associated with tiredness and lack of energy during the day so the total sleep time over 24 hours may actually increase with naps during the day.
Anxiety disorder is the other frequent offender when it comes to mental health and insomnia. The sleep problem usually occurs at the start of the night when the anxieties of the day are mulled over and the relaxation is difficult this may also reflect the thinking and worrying pattern of the day which continues into the night.

Sleep apnoea

Apnoea means not breathing. Sufferers of sleep apnoea have frequent episodes throughout the night when they stop breathing for long periods. Snoring followed by some choking and gasping noises and then all breathing noises cease.
The person with sleep apnoea may complain of poor quality of sleep but frequently is unaware of the snoring or apnoeas and only recognises the symptom of excessive daytime drowsiness.

Insomnia can be managed and treated

Improving your sleep hygiene

Behavioural therapy

  • Changing pillows
  • Acknowledging problems and writing them down
  • Dont have a large meal just before retiring to bed. Have a small snack if feeling peckish and have a warm milk drink
  • Take control of your wake periods. If you can’t nod off, get up and do something until you are ready to go to bed again. This is key behavioural treatment.
  • Exercise – an afternoon workout is excellent.


Princeton healthworks Sleep book.

About deafdave

DeafDave is a Deaf person who uses Auslan (Australian Sign Language). He is from Australia.
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