Can Sleep Apnea Cause Depression?
A lot of people experience sleep apnea without even realizing that they have it.
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder which is characterized by repeated stops in breathing while asleep. This pause in breathing is caused by several factors which include, but are not limited to blocked airways or in more serious cases, brain disorders. Other symptoms here include daytime sleepiness, restless sleep, and loud snoring.
There is actually a strong relationship between sleep apnea and depression. This is because depression causes sleep apnea, likewise, sleep apnea can also cause depression. It is basically an intertwined and complex relationship. The connection is extremely true because most times, a lot of depressed patients suffer from sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea and depression cause other problems, or could even make previous problems worse. They are both characterized by bad sleep patterns that distort the whole body system as it interferes badly with the physical, mental, emotional well being. When a person suffers from sleep apnea, he or she stops breathing repeatedly while still asleep. After the airways open, the brain gradually receives the breathing signals. This causes the person to snort, gasp, and even take a deep breath. In extreme cases, it can lead to choking.
This sleep disorder if left untreated leads to quite serious health issues, especially illnesses that affect the mental health, like depression. This claim proved and backed up by tons of scientific research. A particular study showed that people with sleep apnea exhibit severe depressive symptoms. These symptoms were said to increase at a fast rate with the severity of sleep apnea.
The more frequently people exhibit the symptoms of sleep apnea, the more likely they are to have the symptoms of depression. The link is evident through the decreased oxygen level in the brain, and of course, the lack of sleep or sleep interruption. This is why most sleep apnea patients are automatically treated for depression and this makes them less dependent on antidepressants. As a matter of fact, most sleep specialists always advise patients suffering from sleep apnea to check if they suffer from depression.
Sleep apnea is a serious mental condition, so it has to be treated as quickly as possible so it won’t generate into a more serious ailment. Because of this, it is advisable that all patients suffering from sleep apnea should check with their doctor immediately. Remember, prevention is better than cure.