I'm Nguyen Tam, I've suffered from OSA for around 5 years, possibly longer. Its become much more severe in recent months and I've been seeing a specialist via the NHS and use CPAP (although not every night).
Although I don't let it stop me from getting on with things I suffer from bouts of severe depression which can last anything from a few days into a week, I've managed to get a good handle on my state of mind and generally can tell when I'm getting depressed, not always though. I'm wondering how others may have broached any such mental health issues with the NHS? as I'm struggling with this. The doctor I've seen at the hospital advised me that the issue can and will affect my mental health and advised me to speak to my GP. My GP has stated they only want to discuss my mental health when the sleep apnea has been resolved. This is unhelpful as both come and go. I will raise this topic with Mind re advice on how to broach the issue with my mental health as I feel stuck in a loop of broaching it with my GP who can only seem to refer me to iAPT or in other words CBT which I've already done I just wondered if there are any OSA sufferes that have dealt with depression at the same time?
I wanted to share my experience that I've recently made a breakthrough with my personal fitness by taking up cycling on my commute to work and going to the gym at least twice a week for a pretty gruelling training session this has led to my OSA being far less of an issue. It now means I gave more good days than bad rather than vice versa which was the case last year. This worked for me and may or may not work for you but I can't say how important excersize is for both my sleep apnea and when I get depressed.
I wanted also to ask about others common experiences about OSA as I've been wondering about a few things for a while. Is it the case for some others too that it can get better or worse and have good and bad days/weeks with it like I do. Are others seemingly able to tell when they've had a particularly bad night of OSA by how they feel? I've read others have problems with moods too, I feel blessed I can keep mine in check but that doesn't help with being depressed. I'd describe my direct experience as feeling like I'm not "firing on all cylinders" or "wading through tar" I get mood swings, can't think straight, my memory and co-ordination seem impaired and I stumble over my words too.
That's how I feel today and I know I had a v bad night for OSA last night due to those symptoms/feelings I'm having. Also this seems to happen when I get "too much" sleep. If I get less than 7.5hrs sleep each night I'm nearly ready to drop by Friday and any more and I get up with the groggy sensations I've talked about.
To end my post on a positive note if anyone else gets at the end of their tether with these issues if you have a creative outlet such as playing a musical instrument, painting, drawing or whatever use it express your experience if you can, this helps me in a big way too.
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