Ask an expert
Question

22 Jul 2010

Insomnia after childs accident
Dear CS

My 4.5 yo son had an accident on Sat, tree-swinging, landed on face, 2 huge lacerations on forehead, stitches, ct-scan and overnight obeservation. He''s fine though apart from some worries about the repair of the one cut, for which we''re seeing a plastic surgeon tomorrow. Problem is that I haven''t been able to sleep since then. Its bit of an issue as I am 7.5 months pregnant and we also have a 1.5 yo. It was quite a traumatic experience, especially since my husband was swining him when it happened (I do not blame him at all!!) and it worries me to think how he must be feeling. The wounds were quite hectic, and ofcourse we were worried about skull fracture and brain contusion, although the CT scan came back just fine. I don''t know how to deal with this! its a different type of stress that I haven''t experienced before and its consuming me at the moment. The sleeplessness is the worst though. Would appreciate any input at all. Thanks in advance!
Answer 439 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Fortunately, kids as often remarkably resilient and heal well. If not, there'd be a lot less adults around. Howver acute stress reactions occur, and ghenerally resolve themselves within the first 2 weeks without further problems. These can include sleeplessness and general upset. You need to work through such issues as recognizing that just as neither you, your husband or the child are to blame ( accidents truly DO happen ) by disturbing yourself about the possibility that your husband may feel guilty, you may not be helping any of you, and simply giving him more to feel guilty about.
See how it goes over the next few days. If it doesn't resolve, a psychologist may be able to help you talk it through and learn more methods for relaxing yourself. Meantime, remember one of the key problems with anything that makes it harder for you to fall asleep or sleep through, is getting anxious about it. The more one allows oneself to feel alarmed at not getting to sleep, the more aroused and awake one will be. So if within 10 minutes you're not getting to sleep, especially if you're getting wound up by thoughts about the accident, etc., get up quietly, and out of bed, and in another room, sit and watch boring TV ( DSTV provide that in spades ) or read a peaceful book of magazine, have a warm milky drink and sit calmly till you get drowsy again, then return to bed. And if stray thoughts about the accident start to re-enter your mind, treat them like annoying flies, and just swat them away. As its hard to go blank when it'd be handy, try picking a pleasant place, perhaps from your childhood or a vacation, and calmly walk yourself around it, trying to recall the details of the place and the calm and pleasant feelings associated with it
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
32% - 9432 votes
No
68% - 19934 votes
Vote