Over a year ago (maybe more like 2 now) I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and given a CPAP and sent on my way. I hate this thing, and I really wish I didn’t. I’ve tried several different masks and settings, but the most common problem I seem to have is that I feel anxious when I’m wearing it and it feels like I can’t get all the oxygen I need to breathe, which just makes me more anxious and the cycle repeats.

I don’t consider myself to be claustrophobic, but the way I feel when wearing a sleep mask very much seems to be what I would think a claustrophobic person in an enclosed space feels like. I know I’m getting enough oxygen, but it constantly feels like I’m going to suffocate, and because of that, I’ve never been able to make it a full night. I think my record is something like 5 hours. Most of the time after a couple of nights of failed attempts I just give up and come back to it months later.

I want that refreshed feeling that people describe when they wake up! I don’t want to die in my sleep or have a heart attack or stroke because I’m not treating my sleep apnea. But even the idea of trying this thing again makes me want to cry, and I don’t know what to do.

I think I need a full face mask (that’s what my last couple have been) because I do tend to breathe through my mouth. I also often have bad allergies and deal with sinus congestion at night (certainly doesn’t help with feeling like I can’t breathe). I also have a beard that I think makes it harder for me to get a seal when I do wear a full face mask.

I’m willing to give this another go, but I really have no idea what to try next. The thought of even plugging it back in again fills me with rage and fear. I know everyone who is used to their CPAP absolutely loves it, but I’m not there. Not even a little bit close. I want that to be, but every time I try to use it I just end up resenting it and getting mad at myself for feeling that way. I don’t know what to do, but I know I need to keep trying.

submitted by /u/rdbc83
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