The Insomnia Diaries

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June 14, 2021 | 18 Comments


  1. Thank you Miranda.
    The terminology: prescription DRUG DEPENDENCY invites contempt and absence of empathy. A new service is indeed required, which would need a new specialist training. There seems to be a convincing case that hyperbolic tapering might be safer, but it seems that few prescribers are aware of this. They also appear to have an insufficient awareness and understanding of AKATHISIA.

    I don’t know what the least damaging words could be. Is it possible that
    ‘Prescription Medication Habituation’ (Syndrome?) might prevent the rejection by those who should be addressing this suffering with understanding, compassion and humility?

  2. Thanks for making us aware of your experiences, Miranda. I’m hopeful that your contribution might help bring about some system changes that can improve the situation.

  3. Hello Miranda,
    Thank you kindly 🙏 for having the courage to educate us about your roller coaster experiences, regarding the problems of ‘over prescribing’ antidepressants which induce akathisia and other unwanted health issues.
    Tim, is indeed mindful that a whole revolution in the health care system needs to take place, to avoid more horrendous experiences like yours from occurring.
    I believe that many clinicians know what is happening however, are too busy burying their heads in the sand and will never admit that the tools they use are to blame!
    These relentless experiences are more common than we think/believe, world wide.
    This is never bought to the attention of the media.
    I believe more people die of prescription meds than this COVID 19.
    When people pass away, due to prescription meds and it is blamed on something else, this is when Western Medicine has become totally unethical and immoral.
    Tim, I fail to see why humility, compassion and understanding are never at the forefront of health care, when there is a culture that chooses to remain ignorant and accepting of the current futile status-quo?
    It’s a sick industry, that needs to be reminded that people are being killed by an industry that has forgotten that human lives matter.
    We need to re-boot and start all over again because the current system has gotten too crafty and corrupt.
    There are some doctors and health care professionals, who are in their field for all the wrong reasons.

    • Thanks for your comment. I – and other commentators – are doing our very best to shout about this in the media. I’ve written several pieces for the UK national press about prescription drug dependency* in the last year.
      My view is that GPs and psychiatrists want to help/ are not intending to hurt us, but that this is the upshot of an out of date reliance on medication, lack of time and/ or unwillingness to learn about withdrawals etc.
      Which, yes, then goes on to create a great amount of devastation in people’s lives.

      * Ps) I thought ‘dependency’ was allowed! I was told to say that instead of ‘addiction’ – and now that’s wrong, too?? 🙂

  4. Thank you for your indefatigable writings and presence on matters most urgent –

    In this article, published in the Telegraph Magazine, Miranda Levy, shares her experience of prescription drugs.

    Millions of patients risk being ‘trapped for life’ on antidepressants

    Miranda Levy

    When ‘balm of hurt minds’ deserts you, and the psychiatrists move in, all hell (can) let loose.
    Thanks @DrDavidHealy @TheInsomniaDiaries.

    Top reviews from United Kingdom
    Several very enthusiastic reviews and 5 ***** Ratings

  5. During my time on Seroxat I slept for hours on end. I also developed sleep apnea resulting in the use of a CPAP machine.

    It’s no wonder that after all that sleep I never felt refreshed. Tests from a sleep clinic showed that my sleep was broken 42 times.

    So, although I thought sleep wasn’t a problem, it was.

    Lack of (or broken) sleep often results in agitation.

    There’s a drug for that, I hear.

  6. There are some GP’s and psychiatrists that want to help however, there are many on the spectrum that also do so much harm.
    I would not be naive to say that all want to help ~ This is not the case!
    There is no one who regulates GP’s, psychiatrists or nurses when harm is induced by meds, I was harmed and it was covered up. This is a travesty of justice! This is not duty of care. Many hand out meds like smarties and this is a form of murder. Anyone who hands out meds like smarties and harms people, is abusing their duty to care and in the wrong hands, it is no different than giving someone a gun.
    Finding descent health professionals is like finding a pin in the haystack!
    I have a very hard time trusting anyone in the health profession especially after many did harm and ran for cover.
    They not only did it to me. They did many barbaric things to my loved ones.

  7. There is alot about the current prescription system that I don’t understand given what is available online.  I don’t get why useful online tools such as and do not play a key role in a GPs prescribing day.  These are online databases that provide clear information about a supplements medicinal utility with pointer to papers that back up the claims.  These online database tools are very simple to use.

    I’ve just asked to tell me about Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) but you can ask it about any supplement.  A combination of Lemon Balm and Valerian will help alot with any sleep issues.

  8. This set of books looks really nice, but these days you don’t need to thumb through a book to search for these remedies. This one is Volume 4 and is relevant to our problems in here, there are five volumes here with the final one being published in November 2021. I still like books but for a GP sat in his office the online databases should be extremely useful.

  9. The book is getting some wonderful reviews and publicity congratulations on all you are achieving.

    Sophie Bostock is also doing great stuff She has written a forward to Miranda’s book As ever though it seems few are being offered the sort of help Sophie describes. Very unusually she invites questions and gives her e mail on web site

    First Name
    Do you have a question about sleep?
    Sign me up!
    Each month I’ll tackle a juicy sleep question in videos or blog posts. Sign up for occasional updates, or to get your question answered.

    If you’d like more information about speaking, coaching, or consulting, please get in touch! You can reach Sophie at SLEEP SCIENTIST

    Dr Sophie Bostock
    What’s the BIG idea?
    science unlocked: beCOME your own sleep scientist
    The last decade has seen an explosion of interest in sleep. Scientists have found that, in a nutshell, your Mum was right: sleep is crucial, and most of us aren’t getting enough.

    On the plus side, if you can optimise sleep and get your body clocks working in sync, you can take control of an incredibly powerful lever for improving performance, health and wellbeing.
    Few of us learned about sleep in school. The Sleep Scientist aims to make the latest sleep science more accessible: to answer questions based on evidence, to highlight new research, to signpost evidence-based resources and share advice from sleep scientists… to get started, please see the Resources page.

    The Sleep Scientist was launched by Dr Sophie Bostock with the aim of helping more people to sleep well, and thrive. Sophie is a scientist and speaker with a bias for action.
    Sophie’s research pointed to sleep an unsung hero of mental and physical resilience. She spent the next 5 years working on Sleepio, Big Health’s award-winning digital sleep improvement programme, first as a research scientist, then UK Innovation Lead. She has published research in collaboration with the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute in Oxford, and international researchers, demonstrating the impacts of better sleep on mental health and performance.

    Sophie became a passionate advocate for the importance of sleep, and evidence-based therapy. Sophie was awarded an NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellowship in 2016, and helped to make Sleepio available on the NHS to a fifth of the UK population. Sophie has been invited to deliver talks for Tedx and Talks@Google, and regularly features as a sleep expert in national media.
    Sophie now works as an independent Sleep Evangelist. She is currently training to row around Great Britain in June 2021.
    When not sleeping, eating, rowing, climbing, swimming or windsurfing, she provides keynote conference talks, consultancy and coaching for teams and individuals interested in improving their sleep patterns to boost wellbeing and performance.

    Connect with Sophie on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.

    Sophie is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the British Sleep Society. She remains a shareholder at Big Health and has consulted for sleep companies; any potential conflicts will be explained in individual posts. All hyperlinks are free of sponsorship

  10. I cannot fathom how these big pharma CEOs manage to sleep at night. Perhaps these CEOs are just so blinkered with their daily routine of pushing button and running the pill making machines they don’t notice how things are going wrong. It is a very bizarre situation that I’m not entirely comfortable with.

    I find I can sleep alot better taking some herbal anxiolytics at about 7.30pm an hour or so before my bed time. I now have quite a few such supplements that can help me sleep. It isn’t a very sensible thing to take too many herbal anxiolytics before bedtime, as a pragmatist I have tried doing that and I can report it produces negative effects such as stinging bloodshot watery eyes which you don’t really want if you are trying to get to sleep. I have now decided that less is more in such situations, just taking a Lemon Balm and Valerian capsule at 7.30pm seems to produce a desired sleeping result without throwing up any unpleasant symptoms that might end up keeping you awake.

  11. I am an Indian. I developed insomnia all at a sudden. Doctor prescribed me an antidepressant tablet and Xenex. After talking the antidepressants for ten days I left all the medication. I opted for Deep Breathing and meditation which are only solution to address sleep problems. In the Western world people tend to go for medication which is really bad. My sleep is improving a lot to follow these techniques. You have to have patience also. Trust me you will become normal again.

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