Mon. Feb 26th, 2024
Temple Health strives to help COPD patients break the cycle of anxiety often experienced.

Chronic illnesses such as COPD can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, especially for those who experience shortness of breath. The condition affects 16 million Americans, causing lung blockages that make breathing increasingly difficult over time. When individuals with COPD experience shallow breathing, their brains may perceive this as a stressful situation, even when it is not the case. This can create a vicious cycle of breathlessness and anxiety that exacerbate symptoms.

Individuals with COPD are at a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression compared to those without the condition. This can have a significant impact on their treatment outcomes and overall quality of life. Despite this, emotional health is often overlooked by doctors and patients in favor of physical health. However, research on congestive heart failure has shown that treating both physical and emotional health can lead to improved outcomes for patients.

Dr. Victor Kim, a pulmonologist at Temple Health, emphasizes the importance of COPD patients acknowledging their anxiety and speaking with their doctors about it. He suggests coping strategies such as deep breathing exercises or relaxation techniques to manage symptoms during episodes of shortness of breath. Additionally, he encourages patients to join support groups where they can connect with others who share similar experiences and learn new strategies for managing their disease.

It is crucial for COPD patients to recognize that their anxiety is not just in their heads but is an integral part of managing chronic illnesses. Seeking support from healthcare professionals can help address this issue effectively and improve overall health outcomes.

By Editor

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