Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sleep apnea and depression

You can’t sleep and you know why you can’t sleep, because you have sleep apnea. In the morning you are grumpy, irritable and no fun to be around. It might even be worse than that because there seems to be a connection between sleep apnea and depression.

I have been struggling with sleep apnea for years and I had also been struggling with depression for years. I had never made the connection between the two. My depression is now under control thanks to medication and quite a few counseling sessions. Depression isn’t a clear cut illness that you can point to one reason that you have it. It may be the culmination of many things, a bad childhood, heredity, chemical imbalance and yes, even sleep apnea.

I don’t know why I didn’t consider my sleep apnea as a contributor to my depression. I had always thought that it was due to a chemical imbalance or heredity or something else. The thought that my lack of sleep could make me depressed didn’t cross my mind. The light bulb in my head finally turned on when a doctor mentioned that sleep apnea could be a cause of my depression.

It makes perfect sense because sleep deprivation wears down not only the body but also mind. If your mind and your emotions are hindered by lack of sleep it seems logical that depression wouldn’t be far behind.

I’m not saying that everyone with sleep apnea has depression but there does seem to be a connection there.

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