rick blaine wrote:Hi Shanobeigh,
I'm sorry to read that you've been having a difficult time. And I agree, anxiolytic drugs should only be taken for a short time.
You are, it seems, having to deal with two things ar the same time - getting used to CPAP and dealing with psychological residue - and one is getting in the way of the other.
There are plenty of people here who can guide you through the to-be-expected gradual adjustment to CPAP, but I think your distressing psychological patterns need something else.
There is a new form of psychological treatment which you might want to investigate - it's called Havening, and I would say it is ideal for what you present.
Havening makes use of some simple but very powerful built-in-to-every-human 'mechanisms' to evoke non-stressful and calm reactions in the amygdala part of the brain - and have them replace or extinguish anxious, fearful ones. (The amygdala is one key part of the emotional framework of the brain.)
Havening is not only effective, it's also quite quick - for most problems, half a dozen sessions, rather than years or months.
I can't give you a contact in the US (I'm assuming because you say 'pulmonologist' that you are posting from somewhere in the US) as easily as I can point people to Havening practitioners in the country where I live. But I'm sure if you do a little digging on the internet, you will find some suitably-trained people sufficiently near where you are.
At some point, once those troublesome reactions are no longer present then you can advance with your CPAP treatment.
First of all, Rick: Thank you for your kind words.
Yes, I am in the USA
I searched for Havening practitioners within 100 miles of me (161 km if my math is correct) & needless to say, I came up empty. Sometimes, the US is behind the curve when it comes to treatment of mental health issues, sad to say. There may be some in the Seattle, WA area, but that's an almost 5 hour drive from here. I was hoping there would be at least one within 50 miles (approx. 80 km,) but alas... I am still seeing the same counselor that helped me escape my abusive relationship. We're no longer focusing on the fall-out from my leaving the monster & rather poke at it from time to time just to be sure there aren't any lingering effects. Now we're focusing on where I want my life to go & how to get there. Overall it's been the best thing I've ever done for myself. I will mention this treatment to him & see if he knows of anyone in the area we can tap into that may have some expertise in this technique. I'd never heard of it before & thank you for mentioning it.
The monster brought enough trauma to me & stole enough from me & if that technique helps me from losing anymore, I'll do it.
I'm fortunate that the man I am dating is so supportive. He's been so understanding of my issues with this. Has helped gently push me with the new mask - which I've finally come to the conclusion won't allow me to get wrapped up in tubing. Plus with it's overall design, I don't feel trapped by it. Now my hurdle is finding a way to not feel suffocated by the pressures of the CPAP. It was pretty bad in the sleep lab while on a fairly good dose of Xanax. I can't take that forever - it's far too dangerous. To further complicate things, I have severe insomnia on top of the OSA - the insomnia has been a life-long issue. There have been a few occasions when I've been up for 36 hours or more straight. Not recently, but it has happened. Generally, I just can't fall asleep. It's not every night, but when it happens, it's frustrating. I can't fall asleep & when I do, the apnea events wake me up, then I have to fight to fall back asleep & it starts all over. It's a vicious cycle. I'm doing all I can to figure it out, but I honestly feel very overwhelmed & just want to quit. I shared the back-story with my sleep specialist the day after my sleep study last week - I wanted them to understand that I'm not being difficult - I'm really trying to find a solution, but there are issues that I just cannot control right now that are getting in the way. I failed to do share my whole story on my first visit with her. I've had the same primary care dr for 17 years & she knows my entire back-story so I've gotten used to not having to dredge all that up. My sleep specialist was very sweet & said that when she receives the results from my sleep study (which should be today,) she will take all of those things into account when coming up with a treatment plan & machines & the like. I just know that in the lab the other night, the panic rose fast & furious when I would wake up trying to exhale against the pressure of the machine. I need to know what to do to handle this. I want my life back. But waking up feeling like I'm being suffocated will not help me stay compliant with CPAP, that I know.