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Did your ADHD symptoms improve after Sleep Apnea/UARS treatment?
#1
Did your ADHD symptoms improve after Sleep Apnea/UARS treatment?
I've got mild sleep apnea and moderate UARS although my UARS symptoms are quite severe in my opinion. (I'm underweight and relatively young [20 years] so that might be why my UARS is much worse than my sleep apnea). I could almost live with the fatigue and insomnia if not for my ADHD, which I suspect might be exacerbated by the sleep issues (no confirmation since my ResMed hasn't come in yet), and it's been a big pain as it greatly impacts my studying and schedule. My ADHD symptoms are an almost total inability to concentrate, extremely easily distracted, mood swings, forgetfulness, easily frustrated. Of late even my ADHD medications haven't been working to help me focus, I've been taking them for the sole purpose of staying awake; without them I'm usually awake for less than 8 hours a day. 

For those of you that also had/have ADHD, did your symptoms improve when your sleep apnea/UARS was treated? If you could give a subjective percentage (my symptoms improved by ~30%) that'd be great, and in what areas - focus, impulsivity, etc. I recently read that the brain actually heals or something from the oxygen deprivation while your on treatment, so that looks promising.
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#2
RE: Did your ADHD symptoms improve after Sleep Apnea/UARS treatment?
I'm just shy of 65. I was first diagnosed with apnea in my early 30's; adhd in my mid 40's. reviewing my old report cards, it's clear I had adhd from at least kindergarten on. my memories and the reports of others suggest I had apnea from a very early age, teens for sure, probably forever.

there's no question in my mind that apnea at least exacerbated my adhd. the cognitive deficits from sleep deprivation align with typical adhd symptoms like the ones you list (depression too btw).

now, to answer your question: I can't say pap has resolved my adhd but it's clear that symptoms have improved compared to how severe the effects of sleep deprivation were in the years leading up to pap (I began pap treatment at the end of 2016 so I had decades of diminishing capabilities). my sleep still isn't ideal but to the extent it's improved, I have more energy and inner resources to fight impulsivity, to focus and concentrate more effectively and for longer periods, I care more about stuff, my natural curiosity has re-blossomed, etc. don't get me wrong, I still suck at organization, planning, efficient productivity, finishing things and so on; but there's no question I am better at these things than I was pre- pap.

so I wouldn't expect it to cure your adhd, but I would expect it to become a little less burdensome to the extent you will have more energy and vitality to work with it.

edit: I'll add that before pap I was taking 60 - 100 mg generic adderall and 200 mg modafinil per day. the generic adderall was prescribed years ago for adhd but became my lifeline for getting through day after exhausting day. now I'm taking just the modafinil. maybe that's a backhanded way to quantify how much my sleep has improved and how much better able I am now.
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#3
RE: Did your ADHD symptoms improve after Sleep Apnea/UARS treatment?
Thanks for the response
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#4
RE: Did your ADHD symptoms improve after Sleep Apnea/UARS treatment?
(10-13-2020, 07:00 PM)AlgebraicMisery Wrote: My ADHD symptoms are an almost total inability to concentrate, extremely easily distracted, mood swings, forgetfulness, easily frustrated. Of late even my ADHD medications haven't been working to help me focus, I've been taking them for the sole purpose of staying awake; without them I'm usually awake for less than 8 hours a day. 

I've not been formally diganosed, but all the online surveys I've taken say I have ADD.  I, too, had the symptoms you've listed.

I was diagnosed with "mild obstructive sleep apnea".  My sleep "doctor" said it was so mild it wasn't worth treating.  But I was desparate, told him nothing else has helped me with sleep, could we please try treating it.  And sure enough, a cpap has been a major godsend for me.  

As far as the cpap helping with my ADD symptoms... looking at your list, it has very much helped me with inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, and I do think it has helped with the mood and frusutration.  But it has especially helped me with staying awake in the day, feeling engaged with the day, and not feeling like I'm slogging through every second of the day just to want to crawl into bed despite the sure insomnia.

CPAP really has helped me so much.  I'm sure you'll see improvement in many ways as well!  Don't let your insurance company or DME slow you down - if they can't get you a machine ASAP, shop around and find a place that can.
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#5
RE: Did your ADHD symptoms improve after Sleep Apnea/UARS treatment?
(10-13-2020, 07:00 PM)AlgebraicMisery Wrote: Of late even my ADHD medications haven't been working to help me focus, I've been taking them for the sole purpose of staying awake; without them I'm usually awake for less than 8 hours a day. 

That could be a sign of the type of sleep deprivation experienced by people with sleep apnea. We think we're sleeping but in fact due to the sleep apnea we are unable to fall into the deeper levels of sleep needed for us to function properly and enjoy life. We keep waking up to breathe and have no memory of it, so we're unaware of the situation. It also leads to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Sleep apnea will make any kind of mental health issue worse, in some cases much worse. Many of the symptoms you describe could be due to sleep apnea, and those that are due to ADHD are likely made worse by the sleep apnea.

When you get your CPAP machine and start using it you may find that the very next morning you wake up feeling better than you have in a long time. But if you are like many of us, it will take some time before the benefits start to slowly appear.

You are young and can have a long and happy life.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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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