Two versions of the same man looking at himself, one frowning and surrounded by dark clouds, and one smiling softly, surrounded by lighter clouds.

Handling My Emotions After a Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Last updated: March 2023

Whenever you’re diagnosed with a health condition, whether it’s sleep apnea, cancer, diabetes, or any other health problems, you’re going to go through some severe emotions. Here’s how I handled my emotions after my sleep apnea diagnosis.

Battling with my sleep

Five years ago, I used to wake up and feel very tired. I would often have bad headaches, and I would fall asleep writing articles before lunch. I knew something was off, but I dismissed it as being in my late 40s, and the age factor.

I spent many nights on the couch as my heavy snoring kept my wife up at night. I would fight to stay awake after dinner. In fact, staying awake and feeling refreshed was a constant battle.

Handling my emotions after diagnosis

A trip to the doctor told me what I already knew and that I had a medical issue. A sleep test at home confirmed I had moderate sleep apnea, and I was devastated.

When I went to see a sleep provider, I shuddered at all the masks and contraptions she showed me. I had to wear this? No way.

I took my new continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine home and felt so defeated. I truly felt like my life was over. Handling my emotions after the diagnosis was difficult for me.

Using my CPAP for the first time

I tried on my mask before bed and instantly threw it on the floor. It felt so hot and the plastic smell wasn’t that pleasant.

I struggled big-time that first night and for the next week. I wanted to quit. How could I do it?

Struggling with self defeat

I struggled with my mask and kept telling myself I couldn’t do this. I didn’t want to wear the thing, it didn’t feel right.

I got pretty depressed about it and began to feel defeated. I reached for a few more beers than I normally would. My life was over.

Joining a community helped my emotions

Later, I joined a sleep apnea community and as a writer, I started writing about my condition. This helped me a great deal with my emotions. There were other people out there that suffered as I did.

I read some remarkable stories about others that have sleep apnea. I read about the struggles with masks and the emotions. It was inspiring. I felt a new sense of purpose and I started wearing my mask more often.

I wore my mask because I knew in the back of my mind it would make me feel better, and it did.

Using my mask more helped my mood

As I used my mask more, my mood changed, and I looked forward to the days ahead. I could write without feeling tired. My headaches went away. I could watch a movie with my wife and not fall asleep.

I started using my mask more often and made sure I didn’t miss a day. I read more about sleep apnea and continued writing articles about my experiences. I made wearing my mask a habit and haven’t looked back since.

Cursing my mask, but CPAP works!

I still don’t like my mask and all the hoses. It’s not the most comfortable thing, and I curse it some days. Despite all of this, I feel so much better. I gave CPAP therapy a chance to work, and it’s worked for me.

Dealing with emotions after diagnosis

It was community and writing about my experiences that helped me deal with my emotions. Now, I write a lot about sleep apnea so I can connect with others that have this condition.

You’ll make it through the bad days as I did. Give it a chance. It will change your life.

Tell us how you handled your emotions after a sleep apnea diagnosis. Please share a comment.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

What themes would you like to see your fellow community members write about?