Sleep Apnea Depression.
If you're asking which one it is, sleep apnea or depression, you're in good company: unfortunately, primary care physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists and patients often confuse sleep apnea and depression. Understandably so. Loss of energy, loss of interest in once enjoyable things, difficulty concentrating and fatigue are common symptoms of depression. But they are also common symptoms of sleep apnea, and new research is continually emerging to show the connection between the two. An article published in the September 2005 issue of the journal Chest concluded that many patients with depression symptoms improved markedly when treated with CPAP. The study showed that of those being treated with CPAP, 40 of the 41 participants taking antidepressants and those not taking them showed decreases in their depression scores.
But if you're relying solely on the opinion of your psychiatrist to treat your depression, a referral to a sleep physician is not likely. Why? Pharmaceutical companies spend tens of millions of dollars in advertising each year to convince psychiatrists and the general public that antidepressants are the way to treat depression. What about when antidepressants don't work? MORE antidepressants! The pharmaceuticals have created a new category of antidepressants which they call "Add-On" antidepressants. By its own admission, one pharmaceutical company that puts out the "Add-On" medication Abilify (aripiprazole) acknowledges that "studies show that approximately two-thirds of those diagnosed with depression did not achieve adequate symptom relief after taking an antidepressant alone."
The bottom line is that if you suffer from depression, and have one or more of the signs of sleep apnea, such as snoring, you'd do yourself a favor by getting evaluated by a sleep physician and not just a psychiatrist. I can tell you from personal experience that this is a good idea. I did it and it changed my life.