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Mental Health with COPD

  • By Stephanie Huston Keymaster

    May is Mental Health Month! So this month we at COPD.net are discussing the connection between COPD and mental health. The physical symptoms of COPD are all too familiar, but the mental impact can be just as difficult to manage.

    It’s important to know that you are not alone! It is perfectly natural to feel moments of depression, anxiety, distress or frustration. Talking about it really helps!

    What’s your experience managing mental health symptoms with COPD? What coping strategies have you found?

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  • By Theodore

    I have depression, Anxiety I am on medication and have copd . I am struggling accepting​ my disease. Any ideas to help.
    Are there counselors who deal with these issues?

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  • By Jenn Patel

    Hi Theodore – thank you so much for your comment. You’re definitely not alone in having depression and anxiety with COPD (as you can see from this article: https://copd.net/living/depression/). I’m so glad you reached out and are asking for more ways to get support, like with counselors! There are certainly counselors who deal with these issues. I encourage you to find one local in your area that you can see regularly if you so choose! Many people find them by calling their health insurance company (if covered), or via Google, or through asking their current doctors/specialist for names. Additionally, here are some resources from our site that may be helpful in dealing with depression and anxiety: https://copd.net/living-with-copd/pulmonary-rehab/coping/, https://copd.net/living/winter-mental-effects/, https://copd.net/guest-expert/expert-answers-mental-impact/, and https://copd.net/living/anxiety-physical-effects/.

    I hope this is helpful! We wish you good luck in finding a counselor, and please do keep us posted on how you’re doing! We’ll be thinking of you!

    Best,
    Jenn (COPD.net Team)

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  • By grandmak02

    Hi, I have stage 3 COPD with asthma and emphysema. I’ve always had issues with depression, but it’s definitely worse now. Oh well. I don’t take medication for it (sounds weird, but I’m afraid to take pills). My mom passed away in 2009 from COPD. Just having a pity party for myself today. I just need to “buck up”. I hope everyone has a good day.

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    • By Jenn Patel

      Hi grandmak02 –

      I’m so sorry your depression has gotten worse lately. Please don’t be hard on yourself – sometimes you need to express how you’re doing, you don’t always *have to* “buck up” – you are welcome to share your feelings here any time. I’m also so sorry for the loss of your mother.

      I thought these articles on depression and mental health might be helpful to read, if only to know that you’re not alone in dealing with these challenges: https://copd.net/living/depression/, https://copd.net/spotlight/spotlight-mental-health/, and https://copd.net/living-with-copd/pulmonary-rehab/coping/. Also, are you under the care of a doctor/specialist/counselor? Many people in our community find it helpful to use these resources for their benefit. Either way, please do keep us posted on how you’re doing! We encourage you to come by any time you’d like info, support, or a listening ear! <3

      Warmly,
      Jenn (COPD.net Team)

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  • By Berta

    I also have Stage 3 COPD. I have noticed that so many people are in strong need of emotional support for this disease. Myself included. Unfortunately I do not have a family that even care’s I have this, nor do they ever ask me how I am doing, so I go through all of these emotions alone. I am isolated and feel cut off from the world, but I do my best to stay upbeat. I also have other health issues that prevent me from being active and this makes me angry and sad. I am only 55 but feel like I am 70. Life at the moment is not enjoyable. But I will pray for it to get better.

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  • By Jenn Patel

    Thanks so much for sharing, Berta! You’ve come to the right place. I’m so sorry your family is not more involved with what you’re going through. Please know there are people here who really understand that and are dealing with such similar things. Please know you can come by any time you’d like support, information, or a listening ear! Additionally, I thought you might find this article useful: https://copd.net/living/expert-answers-building-a-strong-support-system/. I truly hope this helps. Hope to see you around the community!

    Best,
    Jenn (COPD.net Team)

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  • By Sam1

    Seems what works for me is knowing that I’ll die soon and these symptoms will end. I’ve pretty much ended all my involvement and any active interest in the world around me. I will try to find ways to keep comfortable and not in too much agony. I don’t really seem to care much about anything at this point. I’m glad to be leaving this earth since it’s been completely destroyed and civilization cannot be saved from itself. Life now is a curse and I’m done with it. I’ve generally been distressed most of my life so I’m not sad about leaving. I only hope and pray that some vengeful God doesn’t punish me for my wanting to check out and turn my back on this.

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  • By Sam1

    I’m breathing a lot less now than i ever did. I see my death is very near and i don’t care. This whole life was pointless and meaningless. Death is better than suffering. I despise everything about this world and this life. I have lost all faith in this universe. I have lost faith in people. I’m tired and ready to go. I would tell my friends and family how sick i am and how close i am but they’re few in numbers and their grief is something i don’t want to witness and deal with while i’m alive. I would however like them to know what is killing me so when i’m gone there will be no mystery. How do i explain to them why i’m dying when i can’t tell them i’m dying?

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  • By sarah.wallin

    Hi Sam1,

    I am so sorry you’re feeling this way about your life and that your death feels very near. Having difficulty breathing, and breathing a lot less can feel depressing and draining. Your suffering can certainly make you see the world differently, and it can be tough to think about how to explain any of this to your friends and family. You are not alone in these feelings.

    I really appreciate your sharing here with us, and commend you on reaching out for support and advice online. I encourage you to reach out for support from in-person options, including counselors, medical professionals and support groups to get the help you deserve. Better Breathers Club for COPD is an excellent resource and has a Lung HelpLine that you can call at 1-800-LUNGUSA (http://www.lung.org/support-and-community/lung-helpline-and-tobacco-quitline/) in addition to in-person support groups. If you ever need it, please do not hesitate to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255 or online with live chat at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

    We are so glad you reached out here, and welcome you to do so at any time. You’re not alone in this.

    Best,
    Sarah (COPD.net Team Member)

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  • By Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT Moderator

    Hi Sam:
    Like Sarah – I am concerned about your present situation and the beleaguered emotions you’ve expressed. Sarah has provided you with excellent suggestions and guidance. Have you had a chance to look over her response? Please let us hear from you. Please know that we are all here to lend support in any way that we can.
    Warmly,
    Leon (site moderator)

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