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Feeling Down? Depression May Be Linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea

April 14, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drmogell @ 3:37 pm
sad woman in bed

If you suffer from depression, you’re far from alone. Over 16 million adults in the United States have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, and an estimated 15 percent of the adult population will struggle with depression at some point in their life. Clearly, depression is a serious issue that deserves our attention. There are various treatments available to help depressed individuals, including medication, talk therapy, and more. One often-overlooked therapy that may help is treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in Vero Beach.

Depression and Sleep Apnea

A 2015 study found that 70 percent of individuals with sleep apnea also experience symptoms of depression. This may be because sleep has a profound impact on how the brain works and how chemicals throughout the body function. Without enough high-quality rest, sadness, stress, irritability, and anxiety inevitably worsen. The severity of the subjects’ sleep apnea was directly correlated with the severity of their depression.

The study also indicated that OSA sufferers who began using a CPAP machine to treat their condition reported dramatic mood improvements. Thus, some researchers have stated that sleep apnea can even be misdiagnosed as depression.

A separate study found that depressed individuals are five times more likely to have a breathing-related sleep disorder than people without depression.

A Complex Relationship

Of course, the above information doesn’t mean that sleep apnea treatment should be viewed as a cure for depression. However, individuals who are genuinely depressed may find that their symptoms are easier to cope with if they achieve adequate high-quality rest each night.

Various sleep disorders, including both insomnia (which may be a symptom of sleep apnea) and sleep apnea, can worse depression. However, insomnia is often viewed as one of the early indicators of depression. Thus, simply encouraging a depressed individual to get more sleep may be pointless. A team of medical professionals, perhaps including a primary care physician, a psychologist, and a sleep medicine expert, may have to work together to help a patient regain a happy, balanced outlook on life.

It is also worth noting that in some cases, medications used to treat depression can worsen sleep disorders. Doctors should keep such risks in mind when they are striving to design the best treatment regimen for a particular patient.

Are you struggling with depression? Talk to your doctor about your sleep habits. Treatment for sleep apnea in Vero Beach, or other therapies designed to improve the quality of your sleep, might be able to lift your mood and help you start feeling like yourself again.

About the Author

Dr. Kenneth A. Mogell is a dentist with over 30 years of experience in his field. He has dedicated much of that time to learning about sleep apnea and providing effective treatment for individuals who suffer from it. If you suspect you have sleep apnea and would like to speak to Dr. Mogell about your condition, contact our Vero Beach office today at 772-882-6800. 

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