If you suffer from sleep apnea depression may be one of the consequences you are dealing with on a daily basis because of it. Although depression is not the only consequence of sleep apnea it can be the one that most affects your quality of life.
Depression can be a devastating disorder if left untreated and can ruin your life by leaving you feeling lost and alone and eventually driving others away. If your depression is caused because you are not getting good rest at night then you need to address it with your doctor and get treatment started right away. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea can lead to so many other issues, depression doesn’t have to be one of them.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, have your partner watch and listen to you when you are sleeping. If they notice any stoppage of breathing, extremely loud snoring, snorting or gasping for breath when you are sleeping you should see your doctor a soon as possible.
If you do not have anyone to listen to and watch you sleep, either set up a video camera or audio recording to get a good idea about your sleep habits.
Other symptoms you may have that go along with sleep apnea depression are mood swings, irritability, impatience with yourself or others, grogginess (even after a full night’s sleep), decreased mental function and inattentiveness.
If you are constantly trying to stay awake at work or drinking your own body weight in coffee each day or downing energy drinks like they are going out of style, you may want to check out if you are suffering from sleep apnea. Your doctor can order a sleep study where you go to a facility and get hooked up to monitors which record your breathing and blood oxygen levels while you sleep.
Treatment may be as simple as changing your pillow, losing weight or wearing an oral device made by your dentist. Other treatment options include using a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, a machine with a mask you have to wear when sleeping that continuously blows air into your nose to keep you breathing at all times. Oral devices may need to be worn if you cannot tolerate the CPAP machine but they will not be as effective as the CPAP machine so it is best to try to become accustomed to wearing the mask at night.
Your doctor will diagnose your sleep apnea as one of three types, obstructive, central or complex sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is just that, there is something blocking the nasal passages that prevent you from breathing correctly. In it’s most severe form this type may require surgery to remove the blockage. Central sleep apnea is caused by a glitch in the respiratory center of the brain where the brain cannot send the right signals to the muscles used to take a breath. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of these two. Sleep apnea depression is just one of the symptoms or consequences of sleep apnea, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.