Patient Blogs | Sleep Disorders
My CPAP Machine and My Mental Health
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Using a CPAP machine and masking each night can be difficult for some people. I suffered a great deal in the beginning with my mental health and constant worries about my machine.

I didn’t want to use my new equipment and struggled each night to use it. Here are some factors that can impact your mental health when using a CPAP machine and how I dealt with them.

Feeling at Fault

The first thing to realize is that how you’re feeling is not your fault. A change in your day-to-day activities, especially sleeping, is traumatic. When you first put your mask on, you’re probably not going to fall in love with it all at once. It’s going to take time to develop a habit.

I spent a lot of time getting used to my mask. Today, I still struggle with it at times. I try my best to wear it each night as I know it’s my best tool for combating my sleep apnea. The best thing you can do is to make it a habit to wear your mask as much as you can.

Life Events

In some cases, life events may derail your progress with CPAP. For example, we have all struggled with the impact of COVID-19 in the past couple of years. This might have affected your ability to use your mask all of the time due to extra anxiety.

I know my anxiety around COVID-19 recently made for some tough nights with my mask. I accept that this is out of my control and try to use my mask as much as I can.

My mind may be on different things, such as the pandemic, but my machine can help me feel better. Life events happen, so don’t worry if you feel like taking a break from your CPAP.

Hating Your Mask

When I first received my CPAP machine, I found myself hating my mask. I didn’t want to put my mask on at all and found myself getting angry about the entire situation. I felt frustrated that I had to sleep each night with my mask.

It’s fine to hate your mask. This is a normal part of getting used to a CPAP machine. I’m still not fond of wearing my CPAP mask, but I’ve allowed myself time to get used to it. I put my mask on at night because I know it helps me sleep. It can be uncomfortable at times, but I wear it anyways.


Travel can be stressful when you need to use a CPAP. You’ll have an extra bag to carry around with you, and you need access to distilled water at your travel destination. This can be a source of added stress when travel is stressful enough.

Thankfully, they now have smaller travel CPAP machines that are easier to take with you. This can be a good option as it will reduce the stress of having to deal with your full machine. I plan to buy a travel machine, as the full machine is a bit cumbersome.

Machine Malfunctions

The CPAP machine is a great piece of equipment, but it can break down. Water can get inside, the hoses can leak, and the mask can get worn or not fit right. We’ve all had bad incidents that raise our frustration and anger levels.

My recent mishap was a leaking water tank. I ended up with water all over the nightstand. Despite this mess, I tried to stay calm and ordered a new water tank. I got it within 2 days, so it wasn’t a big crisis. I could have freaked out, but I kept a level head.

Key Points

  • Feeling at fault
  • Life events
  • Hating your mask
  • Travel
  • Machine malfunctions

Your mental health is important, so don’t let your machine and mask get in the way. If you struggle with your CPAP, make sure you speak with your doctor, as they may offer you treatment options for anxiety or other issues.

Today, I use my CPAP as much as I can, but I accept that I may have some bad days. Do your best, as it takes time to get used to using a CPAP.



Photo Credit: nicolesy / 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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