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[Symptoms] OSA and Anxiety
#1
OSA and Anxiety
Hello All!  I'm wondering if anybody has had a professional connect "morning anxiety" with their OSA.  I was diagnosed with OSA almost ten years ago and treat it with CPAP.  A couple of years ago, I started experiencing anxiety upon waking or shortly after waking.  It has become more and more consistent until the point where it is pretty much every day now.  I also typically feel physically shaky upon waking.  The feeling of anxiety doesn't typically fade until mid to late afternoon.  My instinct is that my body is producing a heavy dose of cortisol in the morning.  Could it be doing this to help me wake and is this what is causing my anxiety?  While I'll be doing another sleep study soon, my primary care physician, to date, has kind of shrugged off potential physical causes and simply states "it's anxiety."  Wondering if anyone has had similar issues and if anyone has had a professional that feels OSA and this type of anxiety are connected.  If so, would like to know if there is anything that helps with ending or minimizing the morning anxiety.
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#2
RE: OSA and Anxiety
Hi NewEnglandGuy! - Welcome
You list your CPAP as a Resmed. Depending on the model, you may be able to acquire detailed sleep data using an SD card. Using this data along with a free analysis program, OSCAR, you would be able to see what is taking place that may be causing this concern.

In order to help, a more detailed listing of which series of your Resmed (S8, S9, AS10, AS11) will really help. Also, within each series are various models (CPAP, Elite, Autoset, etc.) This needs to be known as well. Not all models support detailed sleep information.
- Red
Crimson Nape
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com
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Useful Links -or- When All Else Fails:
The Guide to Understanding OSCAR
OSCAR Chart Organization
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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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#3
RE: OSA and Anxiety
As mentioned OSCAR will help check if there are any remaining untreated breathing issues that could be triggering anxiety.

I suffer from depression and anxiety and when they act up they both cause late morning/waking up sleep/anxiety issues. It is a phenomenon that is pretty well known hence why your doctor is writing this off on anxiety. The problem with many doctors is that they don't realize the difference between situational and clinical anxiety/depression or treat them effectively. Situational is when you are having depression or anxiety because of life stresses. Clinical is due to underlying genetic predispositions or health effects.

I just recently confirmed that part of my issue is clinical depression/anxiety. Since high school/university I have almost always had some level of anxiety/depression and it fluctuates based on situational circumstances, one of the key differences is that even when things are good I still have anxiety/depression present though. The last few months have been tough for a number of personal reasons and my depression was getting to be a problem that needed addressing. I started taking an antidepressant and amazingly noticed same day effects. The interesting part was that some of the first effects I noticed were physiologic effects of my neck muscles relaxing (tense muscles is something already had an issue with even before neck injury but has been worse since the injury) then an improvement in mood. I was on this same antidepressant a couple years ago and was feeling a bit better back then but I had wrote that off as being improvement from other dietary changes because they had a more obvious effect. Now I know that this medication was part of the positive effects back then and I plan on continuing this medication.

The reality is that modern medicine doesn't yet know how to diagnose or treat clinical anxiety/depression and instead they rely on guess and check methods with antidepressants etc. They also don't recognize how much of an effect some health issues like "IBS" can have on anxiety/depression. In my case removing dairy from my diet had by far the largest effect on reducing my anxiety and I am certain it did so by relieving abdominal pain, bloating, nasal congestion and reflux that was associated with a dairy intolerance. I have since removed gluten and reduced alcohol, coffee and sugar intakes and noticed improvements with all of these changes as well but still have something that causes digestive flares at times and when that happens fatigue and mood are affected every single time.

In short from my experience diet changes especially if you suffer from signs of food intolerance (IBS, bloating, reflux, nasal congestion etc) or finding the right medication/dose if you think your anxiety may be clinical in nature are two things that can provide significant improvement to this issue. Apnea/breathing if not sufficiently treated could potentially be a factor.
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