Depression is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.
Fifty patients aged (25-72) that had obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and were suspected of having depression completed a self-rating test that looked for signs of depression before getting treatment for their sleep apnea.
Twenty-five of those had scores greater than 50, which are consistent with people having depression.
These twenty-five participants also had more respiratory events/hr when compared with the group that scored less than 50 on the test.
They got treatment for their OSA and retook the test. Those that had scores greater than 50 now scored in the 10-11 ranges.
Conclusion of the study! Obstructive sleep apnea can produce symptoms of depression that appear to be related to the severity of the apnea. The treatment of OSA may result in alleviation of these symptoms in certain patients. (Milman, Richard P.; Fogel, Barry S.; Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, vol. 50(9), Sep 1989, 348-351 PsychInfo,)
A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was just published in the April 2012 issue of the journal Sleep.
A survey of 9,714 American adults found that “snoring, gasping or stopping breathing while asleep was associated with nearly all depression symptoms, including feeling hopeless and feeling like a failure.”
Anne Wheaton, PhD, the study’s leader stated, “the likelihood of depression increased with the reported frequency of snorting and/or instances when breathing stopped in the study.”
It’s important to know that not all depression is a result of untreated obstructive sleep apnea. The exact mechanism that causes depression in people with severe OSA that is relieved by treatment is not understood.
If you have untreated sleep apnea and suffer from depression, it would be a good idea to consult with your physician about getting your apnea under control.
If you have depression and suspect that you have sleep apnea, you might want to talk with your doctor about getting a sleep test.
For more information on the relationship between sleep apnea and depression just search online for: Sleep apnea and depression or go to www.webmd.com for more complete information on this study.