I am suffering from sleep apnea and some psychological problems. I strongly suspect that the two are related and that sleep apnea is causing psychological problems. About four years back, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea when the AHI was around 30. Gradually, my weight increased over a period of time, and this increased the severity of the sleep apnea as well. Even though I use the CPAP machine, I get an AHI in the range of 8 to 15 only. Generally, if I have a good sleep, I feel fresh in the morning but a bit lethargic and drowsy in the afternoon. In the evenings, I become active again. Because I feel active in the evenings and at night, I find it difficult to sleep. Sometimes thinking and worrying about things disturbs my sleep at night. But if I do not sleep early enough, I do not get enough sleep and feel bad the next day. As my weight and sleep apnea severity increased, I started experiencing some psychological problems as well. They are as follows: Anxiety and worry about low probable situations and what-if kind of scenarios. Sometimes anxiety causes brooding, which causes more anxiety which again causes more brooding. This vicious cycle leaves me feeling completely demotivated. Lack of ability to think clearly and analyze things to their logical conclusion (Muddled thinking). Mood fluctuations. Not able to constantly maintain a happy mood. 'Feel good' happens only sometimes. Sometimes, I feel demotivated to go for a daily walk. Worries impact the ability to stay motivated and positive all the time. Imagining worst-case scenarios instead of optimistic and positive thinking. Social problems and inability to deal properly with people.
Can you please help me with my problem?
Welcome to icliniq.com.
I read your query and understood your concerns. With available details, it is almost transparent that you are suffering from sleep apnea and secondary mixed anxiety-depressive disorder (MADD), which means sleep apnea itself causes anxiety and mood depression.
Now regarding the treatment, I suggest one of the following strategies:
Among the available options, you should explore the first option as it has a better outcome with limited or no side effects. I suggest tablet Armodafinil or Modafinil for sleep apnea and cognitive behavior therapy for anxiety and depression before exploring the other two options. In my opinion, using CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) for anxiety and depression will relieve you from these ailments and will give better energy to deal with sleep apnea. At the same time, tablet Modafinil or Armodafinil will help to reduce sleep apnea before the effect of exercise takes place.
I must also acknowledge that what doctors say about sleep apnea is correct, but it is not easy when someone suffers from anxiety and depression.
Once treatment for sleep apnea is started, psychological problems will also subside, as it is secondary to sleep apnea.
I hope this helps you. Feel free to write back to me if you have more questions.
Thanks and regards.
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