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General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
Sammy_J
 
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Common sequela: anxiety and OSA

Postby Sammy_J on Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:56 am

Is this common? Apparently info is limited on the web and the same appears to be with my GP, sleep doc, and psychiatrist. In the absence of empirical data, it makes as much sense as the sun rising tomorrow but how does one prove this?

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Postby Julie on Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:56 am

Sequelae of what? Common to what condition? Or did you mean they have something in common with each other?

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Postby georgiaboy on Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:13 pm

I do believe in some cases that general anxiety is a causal factor in apnea. I know when I am anxious my AHI numbers are worse. My Doc(GP) thinks this way also and is thinking of prescribing some anti-anxiety medicine.

What experience have others had in this regard?


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Perhaps it is the other way around

Postby socknitster on Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:19 pm

About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. I was anxious all the time, day and night, but my biggest problem was waking up in the middle of the night with a feeling of TERROR and not knowing what woke me. I would get up, convinced someone must be breaking into our home and check all the doors and windows. THis happened night after night for years. Sometimes I would get up several times, sometimes I would just lay there in fear (cold sweat), sometimes I wouldn't wake at all.

I personally believe that I was experiencing apneas and not realizing that what was scaring me was coming from inside me instead of externally. The flood of stress hormones and lack of sleep probably compounded my anxiety during the day.

After a while the anxiety grew to be less but depression was my new diagnosis. It took years and lots of doctors later to get my real diagnosis. I have been tested for so many things including fibromyalgia among other things. I even asked my psychologist for a sleep study because of my excessive sleep about a year ago and he told me it was all in my head that I needed that much sleep.

Anyway, I'm just rambling now, but what I'm trying to say is that the apnea might be causing the anxiety, not the other way around. But I agree that they can co-exist. It only makes sense that your brain chemistry is going to be off-kilter if you aren't getting good sleep. Having your brain go low on oxygen during its refreshment cycle cannot be good for its primary functions!

JMHO, Jen

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Re: Perhaps it is the other way around

Postby roster on Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:16 pm

socknitster wrote:............

I personally believe that I was experiencing apneas and not realizing that what was scaring me was coming from inside me instead of externally. The flood of stress hormones and lack of sleep probably compounded my anxiety during the day.

............


Exactly! With undiagnosed apnea the brain is attacked on those three fronts: low blood-oxygen level, sleep deprivation, high levels of cortisol and adrenalin.

Because I was slim and athletic (and snored very little according to my wife) but had a stressful management job, four gps, a mental health counselor and a psychiatrist diagnosed me with anxiety and depression. After I had a sleep study I confronted the counselor and the gp whom I had seen the most. Both needed to be educated about slim people and osa!

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Postby Babette on Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:19 pm

I heard two different women explain at a sleep apnea workshop today that since starting cpap therapy, they are no longer diagnosed as psychotic.

The RT then explained that adrenaline shoots into your system during a drop in O2 levels, and that can cause some people to start awake in a panic - terror, panic, palpitations, sweating, etc. - it's all the same adrenaline reaction.

I think there's a very good correlation, and I think that I was quizzed about this during my pre-sleep study interview.

Good luck!
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Postby Justin_Case on Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:33 pm

Babette wrote:I heard two different women explain at a sleep apnea workshop today that since starting cpap therapy, they are no longer diagnosed as psychotic.

The RT then explained that adrenaline shoots into your system during a drop in O2 levels, and that can cause some people to start awake in a panic - terror, panic, palpitations, sweating, etc. - it's all the same adrenaline reaction.

I think there's a very good correlation, and I think that I was quizzed about this during my pre-sleep study interview.


Unfortunately, doctors don't agree. In the medical literature there is a relationship between depression and OSA but there is no mention of anxiety and OSA, probably because most studies have been done in the area of depression and not anxiety.


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Postby Sammy_J on Sun Jun 03, 2007 1:22 am

Babette wrote:I heard two different women explain at a sleep apnea workshop today that since starting cpap therapy, they are no longer diagnosed as psychotic.

The RT then explained that adrenaline shoots into your system during a drop in O2 levels, and that can cause some people to start awake in a panic - terror, panic, palpitations, sweating, etc. - it's all the same adrenaline reaction.

I think there's a very good correlation, and I think that I was quizzed about this during my pre-sleep study interview.

I personally think that the apnea can and usually does occur first and then anxiety sets-in. Like Justin wrote, doctors tend not to think this way just like they don't think antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds are harmful either...and for a while according to their way of thinking, neither was smoking or asbestos. With them, there is no such thing as common-sense or basic physiology.

Unfortunately, even some sleep doctors don't think that anxiety occurs in untreated sleep apnea patients unless there are 50 or 100 studies to back that up. So far, only one study was done as shown on Pubmed.


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What an awesome confirmation!

Postby socknitster on Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:27 am

Babette wrote:I heard two different women explain at a sleep apnea workshop today that since starting cpap therapy, they are no longer diagnosed as psychotic.

The RT then explained that adrenaline shoots into your system during a drop in O2 levels, and that can cause some people to start awake in a panic - terror, panic, palpitations, sweating, etc. - it's all the same adrenaline reaction.

CPAPopedia Keywords Contained In This Post (Click For Definition): CPAP


Wow! I was just guessing about it. You know they say hindsight is 20/20. Good to confirm that what I was experiencing was real and I wasn't crazy. I am curious to see how my body overall will change when I'm not flooded with stress hormones each night. Could be like a fountain of youth! This started in my very early 20's--shortly thereafter people were "guessing" I was in my 30's. Lord only knows what they think now. Now if I could just get used to sleeping with this windtunnel strapped to my face. . .

Jen


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**BINGO**

Postby ZZZzzz on Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:22 am

My sleep disorders nurse said she "expects" to see two things on a new patients' chart...and that's that they are on an antidepressant and a sleeping aid.
Indeed I was on Lexapro and Ambien.
I was miserable 24 hours a day.
All night long I was haunted and tortured by nightmares and getting jarred awake too hot etc...
All day long I was exhausted and plagued with physical symptoms that I just didn't understand. I felt like a freak medical case and on my way to being a mental case.

It's amazing how much my behavior has changed and most of my symptoms are gone after 5 months of CPAP.

-Bev

Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regrets; for I am far surer of what is kind, than I am of what is true.

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Postby Sammy_J on Sun Jun 03, 2007 1:38 pm

ZZZzzz, Lexapro is quite nasty. Did you have any side effects and how did you get yourself off of it? I hear that a lot of people who are on it regret ever starting the drug had they known of the nasty side effects and the the withdrawal symptoms trying to get off of the SSRI?

socknitster, many doctors like to make you think you are crazy because of the symptoms you may be having when they can't precisely pin-point the cause. it has to be shown to be definitive. kind of like with OJ. We know he did it but it wasnt able to be proven, the same with anxiety and sleep apnea.

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Re: **BINGO**

Postby jskinner on Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:26 pm

I could not agree more with whats being said in this thread.

ZZZzzz wrote:My sleep disorders nurse said she "expects" to see two things on a new patients' chart...and that's that they are on an antidepressant and a sleeping aid.


Sad but very true I am certain. I went down that road for many years until the OSA got to such a point that the meds could no longer mask the problem.
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socknitster
 
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Re: **BINGO**

Postby socknitster on Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:40 pm

Sad but very true I am certain. I went down that road for many years until the OSA got to such a point that the meds could no longer mask the problem.


Same thing here. I have been on nearly every type of antidepressant and sometimes more than one at a time.

Re: Lexapro. THis may be off-topic but good to know. I was on lexapro for years. My doc insisted I wasn't "addicted" to it, but couldn't explain why I was having horrific side effects when trying to wean off of it--dizzy spells, brain zaps (really!), extreme irritibility and anger management issues. The only thing that got me off lexapro was switching after about a week of insanity to prozac which I'm currently on still.

At my last visit my gp said, "You have big tonsils, you might have sleep apnea. Lets do some bloodwork to rule out thyroid, increase your dose of prozac and then do a sleep study." Not one to wait around and see, I decided to see my ent and he got me into a sleep study right away and bamm-o the first correct diagnosis in over 10 years of treatment of "depression." Even though I'm mad my gp didn't follow thru immediately I still want to kiss him because it was the very first time I had ever heard the words sleep apnea uttered by a doctor and his off-hand remark proved to be correct. I wonder if an angel was sitting on his shoulder that day!

I won't be trying to get off prozac (physician monitored of course) until I start sleeping again!

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Re: **BINGO**

Postby jskinner on Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:38 pm

socknitster wrote:My doc insisted I wasn't "addicted" to it, but couldn't explain why I was having horrific side effects when trying to wean off of it--dizzy spells, brain zaps (really!), extreme irritibility and anger management issues.


Its amazing after all these years that doctors still don't understand this about SSRIs.

socknitster wrote:I won't be trying to get off prozac (physician monitored of course) until I start sleeping again!


I'm surprised you can sleep at all while on Prozac. The only good news is that Prozac is probably one of the easiest SSRIs to get off of due to its long half life (Still not fun however)

If you don't already own it I recommend that you pick up a copy of the book "The Antidepressant Solution" It will help you get off with as little suffering as possible.

http://www.prozacbacklash.com/antidepressantSolution.html

Last edited by jskinner on Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: **BINGO**

Postby socknitster on Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:54 pm

I'm surprised you can sleep at all while on Prozac. The only good news is that Prozac is probably one of the easiest SSRIs to get off of (Still not fun however)


About 10 years ago I couldn't tolerate prozac. Just layed there all night and sweated. Now, after 10 years of sleep deprivation, I guess I'm practically narcoleptic at night! I can actually sleep 10-13 hours a night no prob. Though I'm mostly not breathing that whole time. :wink:

If you don't already own it I recommend that you pick up a copy of the book "The Antidepressant Solution" It will help you get off with as little suffering as possible.


I am not sure--I have a lot of books! I will check and if I don't I'll put it on my list--thanks for the suggestion! I'll do anything to avoid going through those "discontinuation symptoms" aka "withdrawal" again. Jen


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