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Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

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Q. I’m 13 years old. Almost 14. And I have the symptoms of sleep apnea… When i’m sleeping my breathing will slow down, and eventually stop completely. When I finally realize that i’m not breathing I’ll open my eyes, and be totally awake, but I still can’t breathe. And when I try to move none of my muscles will respond. It’s like i’m paralyzed (I eventually am able to move and the second I do, I can breathe again)But when I try to go back to sleep, I can feel my breathing slow. I end up just staying up all night in fear of dying in my sleep (This doesn’t happen every night, just about once every 2-3 weeks.)… I told my doctor and he wasn’t sure what it was, and just gave me sleep medication which is now making me sleep less. Is it possible that this is Sleep Apnea? or is it something else?

Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

Answered by on -

A.

I don’t know if you have sleep apnea. Only your doctor could answer this question. The fact that your doctor, however, did not send you for sleep assessment testing indicates that you may need to see another doctor. At the very least, it means that you need to reiterate your concerns to him.

What you should do is talk to your parents about this issue. Tell them that the medication that your doctor prescribed is not working and that you still are having difficulty breathing at night. Ask your parents to either talk to the doctor on your behalf or to take you to a different doctor. Tell your parents that they should ask the doctor about receiving a sleep study. A sleep study is a series of tests that assess what happens to your body when you’re sleeping. These types of studies can let a doctor know if you have sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder. This is what you need to do. Don’t stop complaining to your parents until this problem is resolved.

Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Do I Have Sleep Apnea?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/07/21/do-i-have-sleep-apnea/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.