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.
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.
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.
- Feeling at fault
- Life events
- Hating your mask
- 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
Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.