Patient Blogs | Sleep Disorders
How I Deal with Sleep Apnea Anxiety
photo of man lying in bed

It’s only natural to have some anxiety when you’re first diagnosed with sleep apnea. This guide will help you manage your anxiety so it’s not detrimental to your health and well-being. There’s no need to suffer from anxiety because you have this condition. Here’s how I cope.

Some Anxiety Is Normal

The first thing to recognize is that some anxiety is normal, and it’s to be expected. I had anxiety myself when I was first diagnosed with sleep apnea, and before I took my sleep study, I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure how severe it was, and I felt uneasy about the entire thing. This is natural. You should expect to have some emotions if you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea. The next step is to deal with it in a positive way, which I’ll address here.

Avoid Crutches

Try to avoid crutches such as smoking, drugs, or alcohol if you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea. It’s not a good idea to self-medicate. It’s not going to help you live with the condition if you’re trying to cope with anxiety with substance abuse. It may seem tempting, but avoid any sort of crutch, especially drugs or alcohol, once you get your diagnosis, because it won’t help you.

Education

You’ll reduce your anxiety a great deal if you get educated about sleep apnea. Learn about the major causes, treatment options, and how to live with your condition. Your health care provider may only tell you the basics, so don’t be afraid to investigate things on your own. Speak to your provider if you have questions. They are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to speak up and get answers to your questions.

Relaxation

Try to relax as much as possible. This can include short walks, reading, listening to music, hot baths, and so on. You don’t want to focus solely on your sleep apnea. It’s important to take care of yourself. I like playing guitar to relax if I’m feeling a bit of anxiety about my sleep apnea, or I listen to some music. I find that both things calm me down.

Community

Join a sleep apnea community such as a forum. Talking with others who experience the same thing you do goes a long way to reduce anxiety and make you feel better about your situation. A community is a place you can go to when you have a bad day or want to vent about issues you’re dealing with.

I find that community support is one of the best things that helps me when I’m having problems with my sleep apnea. It’s great to talk with others and to share your experiences. You’ll learn a lot and get the support that you need the most.

See Your Doctor

If you can’t seem to cope with your anxiety, see your doctor. There are treatment options available. Your doctor can also provide tips to manage your anxiety in the best way possible. Never take medications or supplements before you speak to your provider to ensure that what you’re taking is right for your own situation.

Key Points

  • Some anxiety is normal.
  • Avoid crutches.
  • Educate yourself.
  • Relax if you feel anxious.
  • Seek out community.
  • See your doctor.

You don’t have to suffer from anxiety if you have sleep apnea. Just remember that mild anxiety is to be expected for most people. Follow the tips outlined, and be sure to speak to your health care professional for any treatment options for any anxiety that is abnormal.

 

 

Photo Credit: Jens Rother / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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Brian Lamacraft

Brian Lamacraft

Diagnosed since 2017

Brian Lamacraft has lived with sleep apnea for over 4 years. He is a full-time writer and guitar player. He spends his spare time writing music, going to the Royal Canadian Legion, and having fun camping trips with close friends. He lives in Powell River, Canada, with his lovely wife. Reach him at his website Lamacraft Writing Services or LinkedIn.

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