It’s no secret that living with undiagnosed sleep apnea can be, well, depressing. But did you know that studies have shown a link between both obstructive sleep apnea and major depressive disorder?
For all you sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea, if you find yourself feeling down in the dumps and not yourself during the day, there is a good chance that you may have depression.
Believe it or not, depression and sleep apnea actually have a very close relationship. We all know by now that sleep apnea can make a person stop breathing for short periods of time in their sleep. This causes them to feel tired and exhausted the next morning, which can trigger some symptoms of depression.
A study done from 2005 to 2008 in the U.S. by Anne Wheaton, PhD, has indicated that the more a person stops breathing in their sleep, the more likely they are to show symptoms of major depressive disorder. And according to an article from the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, people who suffer from depression also tend to suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The estimated ratio is approximately 5 to 1 for those with depression who also have sleep apnea, as oppose to those who don’t.
While that last statistic may sound alarmingly high, it does not mean that you are doomed for life. Simply seeking medical treatment before it gets worse can help a lot. While research has not yet indicated that treating for depression will help you sleep better, a good start would be to treat the sleep apnea so that you sleep better at night and can have a happier and more productive day.
This is why it is important to seek medical treatment if you exhibit symptoms of depression or sleep apnea (or both). As overwhelming as it may be now, treating sleep apnea is something that could also save your life in the long run.