Obstructive sleep apnea and depression

by Eliza
(Philippines)

I would like to ask, if a person has obstructive sleep apnea, is it normal that he'll also become depressed?

How long will it take before he will be cured provided he is taking medication?

And is it caused by a very stressful work environment?

Thanks.

Answer


There is a very high probability that a person with obstructive sleep apnea can develop clinical depression.

Being constantly very tired does get you down, and having an untreated sleep disorder, which means having no sleep for many nights in a row, is a very effective mental torture that causes massive mood disorders and hormonal imbalance to your body.

Fortunately, appropriate treatment for obstructive sleep apnea will reverse your depression. However, please keep in mind that every patient is different and depression doesn't disappear instantaneously when you start the treatment.

Many patients have a difficult time adjusting to CPAP (the standard therapy for sleep apnea), and they may find that depression worsens because sleep becomes even more disturbed during the problematic CPAP adjustment period.

However, once you get through that difficult period, you should start to see significant improvement in your mood.

So, please try to remember that if you have depression and sleep apnea, sometimes the things may get difficult but they will improve once you start sleeping better. Your body has a lot to recover from so many sleepless nights.


Regarding medical treatment for depression, some medications can relax our throat muscles when sleeping, especially when sleeping on our backs. Muscle relaxants and antidepressants is an obvious combination that comes to mind, but there are others, too.

So...you should discuss with your doctor about these types of antidepressants because they can worsen your obstructive sleep apnea.

Furthermore, combinations of antidepressants and stimulants can really mess up your sleep architecture. So be careful what are you taking.

An alternative for treating depression while also having the treatment for sleep apnea is a special microcurrent electrical stimulation device. This device has a very low incidence of adverse effects.

In ALL cases, medications should be checked out with your sleep doctor in advance. There are many medications for depression, but your doctor will consider what other drugs and symptoms you already have to choose one that is the best for you, so be sure and give a good medical history.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide


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