Overcome anxiety associated with CPAP treatment

Let’s face it, CPAP treatment is difficult. There is nothing natural about sleeping with a cumbersome mask/hose and inhaling/exhaling against air pressure during the night. For most of us, the whole idea of CPAP treatment can seem overwhelming, and we tend to get discouraged and give up on treatment.

I know you as truck drivers especially face many challenges when it comes to using and adhering to CPAP treatment while on the road. You deal with tight sleeping quarters, power supply issues and unfavorable weather conditions – all of which can make the whole CPAP experience difficult.
Therefore, it’s not uncommon for you to feel anxious when starting CPAP treatment.

But anxiety to CPAP must be addressed quickly in order to ensure you adhere to future treatment and success (particularly in the first 2 weeks of treatment).

How can you better manage your initial anxiety to CPAP treatment?
• Request to have a dedicated clinician assigned to your case
• Develop an open-and-close relationship with your clinician (this can be done over the phone)
• Initialize up to 2-4 outreach calls per week from your clinician
• Ensure you have received adequate information and education not only about your CPAP unit and treatment, but also your diagnosis
• Be patient!

Anxious drivers can take a longer time becoming acquainted with CPAP treatment and might experience more problems likeclaustrophobia, and mask and pressure sensitivities.

How can you overcome your anxiety?
• Be patient with yourself and your treatment expectations
• Breakdown treatment expectations into smaller achievable goals
• With the guidance of your clinician, work on a few desensitization techniques
• Are you claustrophobic?
• Consider a lightweight or hybrid mask
• With the supervision of a clinician,adjust CPAP to lower pressures

Everybody is different in their adjustment to CPAP treatment sothere is no cookie cutter mold approach. What works for you may be an absolute failure to someone else. It’s important to remain open and patient to treatment and in time you are more likely to conquer your anxiety associated to CPAP treatment.

What are some of your success stories overcoming your anxiety to CPAP treatment? What techniques have worked or not worked for you?