Hi Abby. I have a long history of depression and anxiety. I just started CPAP therapy about a month ago. I have to say that I am definitely feeling less anxious.
It's probably too early to tell what the ultimate effect for me is going to be, but I feel hopeful. It's nice not to wake up with my body already feeling stressed. It seems to give me more capacity for dealing with stressful events when they come up. I have been taking the antidepressant mirtazipine/Remeron for the past year for depression, anxiety, and sleep issues. It works really well for me.
I have also noticed that my anxiety gets worse if I skip meals. I assume that's due to fluctuation in blood sugar.
I hope that you will see an improvement. I'm assuming that your anxiety is probably pretty severe if you are taking Xanax. Best of luck to you.
I have had serious issues with anxiety that actually led to the discovery of my sleep apnea. There may even be a connection on some level between the two, in my case. Before CPAP therapy, I would wake up with attacks or episodes as I would call them because there was alot going on that may or may not have been purely an anxiety attack. Through a lot of trial and error with meds, xpap, and cutting my alcohol intake by about 2/3, the occurrences have been less frequent and less severe. However, the last few weeks have been virtually rest-less because of constant awakenings that do not always sync with respiratory sleep events. Mysteries I need answered as well.
My advice is; try hitting the problem from every angle because there never seems to be just one cause, or one solution. That is to say, talk to as many different doctors as it takes, but you must see a psychiatrist for the right meds, eat healthy, don't smoke, watch alcohol intake if at all, exercise, do things that reduce your stress and improve your mood, stay on top of your cpap therapy.