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Anxiety with emphysema

I'm having major anxiety and panic. I'm on sertraline but this doesn't really help. Is anyone taking gabapentin or vallium?

  1. Hi . Unfortunately, you are not alone in experiencing anxiety with your COPD. Here is a wonderful article from one of our health leaders with some tips for managing it. While both gabapentin and vallium will calm you down, they are not really great long-term options for COPD anxiety. Both can make you super drowsy and less able to function. Have you seen a psychiatrist for your anxiety? There are lots of different options out there that might be more effective for you than sertraline. I hope you get input from others in the community. Thinking of you. - Lori (Team Member)

    1. I found Lorazepam good for anxiety. It didn't impact my breathing but that was years ago before I hit rock bottom. Prescribed by my PCP. But he doesn't believe in anxiety meds so stopped prescribing it. My Pulmonologist knows more about COPD that's why we go to them. I don't think psychologist have any idea about our disease and because they know the mind i don't need another doctor bill. Everyone with bad COPD has wicked anxiety. I gets worse with time. We all learn to deal with it in our own way. I been doing gummies lately but I think they make me too mellow and lazy . Still experiencing with them. My good friend opened a Dispensary and is working with his budtender to find me the right strain for anxiety. Me on ventilator to breathe.

    2. Hi . I hope you find a strain that works well for you. How awesome that your friend and his budtender are working on that for you. Let us know how it goes. Warmly, Lori (Team Member)

  2. Oh the woes of chronic illness. I suffer from Gold stage 4 COPD and have anxiety and panic attacks and disorders. For the most part my anxiety is under-control using antidepressants like you, but over the years (since 1996) The medications had to be strengthened and / or changed for our body gets use to them, is how it was explained to me. Yes, I do have an "emergency" plan if an attack gets out of control, with lorazepam, similar medication to those you mentioned. I have been to see a psychiatrist and then counselors, they gave me some really good coping ideas / skill to try, some work and some don't that depends on the individual of course. Still check in with them every few months or as needed. The medications that you mention and the one I take are considered "controlled substances" they should be monitored regularly with use, for they are addictive. Thus if given some from one of your doctors, don't be surprised on how little you are given or how often they might want you to visit with them. As Lori stated above, there is side effects that you might have to deal with, but that is like many medication either way. The one I take I do very well on, but in the ER Room I have been given vallium 3 different times now, my side effect to that is, that I am highly functional (even fools my family) but I do NOT recall a single thing at all. SHORT TERM memory LOSS... yip I have agreed to a few things that I might not have done if I was "totally with it" so to speak. Just my thoughts and experience, counseling was very helpful and still is as needed at times just to keep me on track.

    I so wish you luck and wellness, anxieties can be rough on us....

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, . I hope finds your insights helpful. Best wishes. - Lori (Team Member)

  3. I take gabapentin for a pinched nerve in my back. I recently noticed having a lot of thoughts about death and dying, and feeling really anxious. My doctor prescribed a really small dose of an antidepressant and it has really worked.

    1. Hi. Dont get me wrong - definitely exercise as much as you can... I completely agree... but when you are having a really bad breathless time, I think it is important to rest well and not over-exert yourself.

    2. I totally agree with you too! It is so important that we listen to our bodies and honor ourselves by recognizing when we need to rest. My best to you, Becky (moderator)

  4. Hi. I really do sympathise. I take 2.5mg diazepam a.m and again at bedtime and feel a lot of benefit but we aren't all the same. I think as little physical exertion as possible and pacing yourself in everything you do is a must. Breathing exercises (hard to start when you are gasping in panic) do help. I also have one of those neck fans which can blow enough forced air up your nose to help you calm down and start to get control of your breathing, if you aren't already on a prescribed method.

    1. what are those neck fans you are talking about?

    2. Hi there. Just search 'neck fan' on Amazon - they are as cheap or as expensive as you want!

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