Many people experience depression and the feelings of sadness and hopelessness it brings. The chemical imbalances that cause depression can result in a loss of interest in things that you use to enjoy, days full of fatigue, and sleepless nights. Depression can affect every aspect of your life if left untreated and depression with CPAP can be helpful in management.
Depressive disorders can be set-off by genes, medications, stress or poor mood regulation. Depression can also be caused by a lack of sleep, and those who suffer from sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, have a much higher chance of also suffering from depression.
What is depression?
Depression is more than just having a bad day, or even a bad week. It is feeling sad and down for weeks or months at a time. Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain that do not just go away on their own and must be treated. A person experiencing depression loses motivation. It may be difficult to muster up energy to complete daily tasks, and, in the worst cases, depression can lead to suicidal thoughts.
Depression and Fatigue
A lack of sleep can impair your mood. Likewise, mood disorders can affect your sleep. When you suffer from sleep apnea, for example, your sleep is interrupted many times a night. These interruptions can disrupt sleep cycles and result in poor sleep, leading to fatigue.
When someone feels chronic fatigue all day, they are more likely to lose motivation and feel depressed. “If you were to follow people with insomnia and no history of depression, they would be four times more likely to develop depression than individuals with no history of insomnia,” says R. Robert Auger, MD, a sleep specialist at the Mayo Center for Sleep Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.
It can be difficult to determine which came first, the depression or the sleep disorder, because they are closely related and affect each other. A lack of sleep can create poor mental and physical health.
Dealing with Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing repeatedly starts and stops during sleep. If the sleep apnea is serious, it can become dangerous. People with sleep apnea don’t get great sleep. This can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, which can result in feelings of depression.
The first step to address both the sleep apnea and the depression brought on by excessive fatigue is to receive a diagnosis and begin treatment. If you want to get control over the depression, you must first address the sleep apnea. If the sleep disorder is controlled there is a better chance you can control the depression.
Using a CPAP Machine
Doctors often recommend those with sleep apnea use a CPAP machine while they sleep. A CPAP machine, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, helps a person with sleep apnea breath better at night.
When the CPAP machine blows air at a prescribed pressure into your nose, it can solve most apnea. Research shows that continuous positive airway pressure decreases daytime sleepiness, especially in those who have moderate to severe sleep apnea.
Once the sleep apnea is controlled, there is less daytime sleepiness, which in turn can reduce some symptoms of depression. It is important to remember, though, that while a CPAP machine can solve the apnea issue, which may lessen symptoms of depression, it does not cure depression. Although there is a correlation between sleep apnea and depression, you still need to see a doctor about your depression as you work to control your sleep apnea.
Lack of sleep and depression are closely linked together. If you suffer from sleep apnea and are feeling depressed, it may be time to get a CPAP machine. It will improve your sleep and help improve your mood.