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[Treatment] How to deal with Anxiety related to Ahrrythmia/Palps and CONTINUE THERAPY
#1
How to deal with Anxiety related to Ahrrythmia/Palps and CONTINUE THERAPY
Hi,

I am having a difficult time dealing with anxiety relating to a "flutter" that I am having investigated for the twentieth time in 25 years. I don't get it during the day (so how can it be an arrhythmia?) only when starting to fall asleep and, for the past month the anxiety has been so extreme that I have been unable (except for a few times when i did NOT use the machine) to sleep more than 3 hours a day on the CPAP. Last night, for the first time i slept about 7 hours -- because i was sleeping on Seroquel (Quotiapine).

There are two parts to this: the "flutter" that starts when i drop off to sleep; and a palpable arrhythmia that appears to start when I am sleeping, and which I can feel in my left chest when i wake up. I don't get either of them when I am awake and walking around, etc.

I am filled with anxiety because I do not know whether I should be using the Respironics CPAP machine and CPAP mode; or the AutoSet in APAP mode. I was using pressures of 12.5 for most of 12 years on the Respironics, until I bought the new APAP machine in 2020, which I was using on AutoSet.

The "flutter" (not the "arrhythmia") was always mostly there; but it started getting "noisier" and stronger after I did some heavy work on a floor and the varnishing (without using enough masking and/or ventilation, probably) last September/October.


I am currently finding it difficult to put the mask on and continue therapy, because I wake up with the "flutter" (never diagnosed until now) and to stop focusing on it. Meaning: it's really difficult to get to sleep on either machine. I am wondering how much of my "flutter" and PACS/PVCs (or whatever they are) is actually driven by anxiety.

During the day, even on little sleep, I am totally functional and can drive around town or long distance (70 miles) usually without microsleeps (not always -- only if I have at least 4 hours sleep). But the "flutter" is making me insanely anxious.

Has anyone here had the same experience? How do you deal with the anxiety?

I finally managed to contact my sleep therapist who said I should STOP using the CPAP for a couple of days until my anxiety is cured. My family doctor sent me to the psychiatrist who didn't know what to do with me. He asked me what I wanted and I said "can you help me deal with the anxiety/lack of sleep" so he prescribed Seroquel/Quotiapine.

I am not short of breath, have no chest pain and i pray that nothing of any severity shows up on my recent Holters, Echo, or Treadmill.

Once again, i ask, does anyone here have a similar experience and, can you tell me how you deal with the anxiety and a potential arrhythmia? I constantly have intrusive thoughts about death and heart attack/failure, wheelchairs, oxygen bottles, and so many "prognoses" from evil spirits taunting me, that it's very difficult to ignore. In fact, i have been pacing the floor at 3 - 6 am for most of the past month.

NOTE: all of this (except the PVCs/PACs) has happened to me before (even between 2006-2008 in the UK, where I had no CPAP or medication) at least four times and can be correlated with chronic stress, exposure to mold or environmental toxins (I am severely allergic) or, in the recent case, the construction work (huge amounts of floor dust; and Polyurethane without much masking/ventilation).




Machines
AirSense Autoset 10 For Her (3 years+)
Respironics System One (12 years)
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#2
RE: How to deal with Anxiety related to Ahrrythmia/Palps and CONTINUE THERAPY
3 definite positives.  You have found 2 things that have helped (Vancenase - from your post in your previous thread) (and Seroquel).  You completed a recent Holter monitor, echo, and stress test that may shed some light on the situation.  Well done.
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#3
RE: How to deal with Anxiety related to Ahrrythmia/Palps and CONTINUE THERAPY
I experienced this occasionally when I had a stressful job, was very overweight, and before I started using CPAP.  It went away when I got a less stressful job and lost 40 pounds.  

I think CPAP would have helped me then, because part of my problem was difficulty in sleeping.  But when I started using CPAP, I also anxious at first about it, so I understand why your anxiety is currently focused on CPAP.

This article has some great tips on getting used to CPAP; this should be a "gift" link that you can access without a subscription:

https://wapo.st/3WYOKEE

Note that the author specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  If you can find a therapist who practices CBT for reducing anxiety, try it.  CBT is backed by more data than other approaches.  I used CBT to lose weight and keep it off, and you know how hard that is for most people.

I hope you keep looking for ways to use CPAP.  Improved sleep will ultimately help reduce anxiety.
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