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Anxiety Medications and CPAP
#11
RE: Anxiety Medications and CPAP
Another factor is ramp. In your other thread you mention that you are using it. That may be a mistake if you have trouble tolerating low pressures.

There are knowledgeable folks here, willing and able to help you get this sorted out. Alternatively, you could call your pulmonologist's office on the phone and say that you feel as though you are suffocating. I'm sure they are used to getting such calls - just don't allow yourself to fall through the cracks - keep calling until you get a response.

Why be medicated so that you can tolerate a problem that should not exist in the first place?
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#12
RE: Anxiety Medications and CPAP
(12-18-2017, 02:18 PM)kiwii Wrote: Another factor is ramp. In your other thread you mention that you are using it. That may be a mistake if you have trouble tolerating low pressures.

There are knowledgeable folks here, willing and able to help you get this sorted out. 

Hi TBonz,

Prior to becoming active in this forum I was using the ramp option excessively; if I was still awake when the ramp timed out I would press the button and re-start it. Some nights the ramp was probably used 12 or more times. One of the first things I picked up on with the forum is that many people do not use ramp at all. That was a couple of years ago and after the first night with no ramp I never used it again. Now most nights I am asleep moments after the machine kicks in.

Give it a try, nothing to lose except a bottle of pills.

Stan
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#13
RE: Anxiety Medications and CPAP
I panicked when I first started the machine with the pillows. I think it was not getting enough air did it.
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#14
RE: Anxiety Medications and CPAP
"Drowning in air - inability to exhale against the pressure. This sounds like your problem, and is best treated by increasing the EPR setting and/or limiting the maximum pressure (if EPR fails to help). Try increasing your EPR to 3 (assuming you have a Resmed machine) and see how that goes."

I did that a month ago. It helped a small bit.

"Another factor is ramp. In your other thread you mention that you are using it. That may be a mistake if you have trouble tolerating low pressures."

Turns out ramp is off (this stuff has me so crazy that I don't know if I'm coming or going!)

I put the pressure up to 7 last night and increased my anxiety drug to the max. It was a bad night. Coughed for a half hour, took longer than that to sleep.

"What I don't understand is, why is your team focusing on finding the 'right' medication instead of finding the right mask and settings?"

My pulmonologist's office has been less than helpful. They're great when I am IN the office, but outside of it? Nope. I've only been there twice and seen two different doctors. Both sympathetic but that is of little use at home. I told the second one of my woes (at the time) and supposedly the pressure was supposed to be increased, but that never happened 'til I did it myself. Regrettably, changing providers is not an option at present time.

My primary, who DOES know me, is the one trying to help with the anxiety over the CPAP, but she's limited since it's not her playing field.

I may push the setting to 9, which supposedly works best for my apnea. I'll try the pills again tonight. If that doesn't work, I'm off it until I can physically go back to the pulmonologist's office (hard to get an appointment there and with Christmas this weekend and New Year's next weekend, I don't expect to get in 'til after the holiday and it'll be whatever doctor I can see) to straighten things out. I'll tote my husband along as he can help in explaining in what's going on and I can get his opinion on the doctor.

Who knew this would be such a terrible road? I never anticipated it. I figured a short period of adjustment and then I'd be used to it.
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#15
RE: Anxiety Medications and CPAP
TBonz,

Randomly changing your pressure is NOT a good idea.

Please wait until you have some guidance.

Pick up an SD card reader and post some charts.

There are people here that can help you, but they cannot help you without seeing your charts.

But randomly increasing your minimum pressure IS A BAD IDEA.

edit: Sad   Anyway, I'm a little over-excitable. I'm not one of the people that would be able to help, even with charts. I wish you well though.
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#16
RE: Anxiety Medications and CPAP
TBonz, the "drowning in air" you describe can be caused by several different phenomenon, and is rarely the air pressure itself. Most of the time people with that sensation, or the choking you are describing actually have central apneas that are made worse by EPR. The anti-anxiety drugs can make that problem (and others) worse. Anxiety is a difficult complication in CPAP therapy, and it takes time to adapt and work through it, but rarely is increasing dose the best course. Take Kiwii's advise and let the forum help you by sharing the kinds of events you are having and preferably posting a chart or two. We can usually find a way to help very quickly.
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#17
RE: Anxiety Medications and CPAP
Sleeprider Wrote:TBonz, the "drowning in air" you describe can be caused by several different phenomenon, and is rarely the air pressure itself. Most of the time people with that sensation, or the choking you are describing actually have central apneas that are made worse by EPR.

That was actually me who raised the concept of drowning in air, and I remember it very distinctly. I do have central apnea but the drowning sensation occurred when pressures rose after an obstructive apnea or hypopnea. (As tracked on Sleepyhead). EPR fixed that problem, but of course I needed the VPAP Adapt to overcome the central apnea.
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#18
RE: Anxiety Medications and CPAP
Hiya Tbonz

I also suffered from anxiety when I first started. I was desperate to get treatment for my sleep apnea but the initial weeks were so tough. And yes, I did not think it would be that bad. And yes, like you, I thought there would a small period of adjustment and then everything would drop into place. It did not and took far longer than I expected.

I did not have any problems falling asleep before CPAP therapy. It got such that I feared going to bed as the problems of trying to sleep and the long night of high pressures/leaks/ramps/EPR/etc etc etc would put me off and yes, anxiety did set in.

However many on this site and forum were so so encouraging. Reading widely here helped me understand the process. It also took me some time to get a card reader as well as my Mac does not have a SD slot. I used MyAir initially but it was only when I got the USB reader and was able to upload Sleepyhead data that I took control of my therapy and was able to dial the right figures. With data, the Gurus here guided me and 'held my hand' whilst I changed settings with confidence proven by my sleepyhead reports.

Do hang on in there. We need the therapy to give us back our wakeful life.
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#19
RE: Anxiety Medications and CPAP
Hi TBonz. I am sorry for getting so excited earlier.

I also had an episode of feeling like I was suffocating. Except I woke up in that state, in pure terror, believing that I was back in time... back to 7-year old me, basically being drowned by someone. Except that I survived, so it was a near drowning.

When you came along and said that you felt like you were suffocating and were taking medication so that you wouldn't care, well, I thought that was about the worst idea I'd ever heard of. It's because I cannot imagine willingly enduring that sensation.

I'm sorry if I gave offense.
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#20
RE: Anxiety Medications and CPAP
You've given no offense. Don't worry. I'm pretty thick-skinned anyhow. I run a BBS for Trek fans so I have to have a thick skin.

I had just put it up to 7. I didn't do anything else the last time I used it even though I was considering it.

At any rate, I am getting a cold. And I'm sick as well as being sick and tired of not falling asleep before 5, at the earliest. I don't need or want the stress of the CPAP when I'm sick (bad timing!) and so I'm going off of it until I'm well. Plus - I'm going back to the pulmonologist as soon as I can get in there. I need to get this sorted properly. And I need to get my sleep schedule back to regular.

Once the holidays are done, I'll look into the card reader. They're not too high in price and it looks like they'd also be useful for getting pics off the iPhone as well. I'm not sure if my CPAP machine has a card in it. Then I can do all that crap to get the charts. Looks like a bunch of work but once the holidays are done I can properly focus on this.

I don't know why the $*#@ the docs don't do something like Sleepyhead to make sure it's working. I mean really, my doctor (well, another doctor in the practice) saw me and even though I was starting to have problems, it was like, "I'll see you in six months!" Really? Don't you want to see stats? Don't you want to know if this machine is actually doing its job properly? And I can't be the only patient who has had this happen.

Not acceptable. I need the pulmonologist, not the primary, to sort this out. It's part of their job and I assume they're paid plenty by my insurance. They can earn it.
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