COPD and Depression: The Unspoken Reality
Anxiety and Stress are often overlooked during the treatment of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The reality is that COPD and Depression actually go together. We would like to let you know that the Cognitive health is as important as physical health. In respect to this, we are shedding some light on some topics which are usually avoided or brushed aside: COPD and Depression.
Q: How Do I Know If I am Depressed?
A: Depression often gets into one’s life without you even realizing it- until the day you realize you have not been yourself lately. Understanding the symptoms of depression can be a bit confusing as there are different levels of depression, ranging from mild to severe. If you think you might be suffering from depression, here are some symptoms to look out for:
- Feeling irritable or angry with others
- Being overly sensitive to criticism
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Feeling hopeless or even suicidal
- Experiencing trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Having a lack of interest in people or activities you once enjoyed
- Feeling lethargic or lacking motivation
- Experiencing an increased or decreased appetite
- Feeling sad for weeks at a time or crying a lot
- Inability to enjoy yourself or find humor in things
If you feel any of these, you should know that you are not alone. Research shows that COPD patients are 85% of COPD patients are more likely to experience this than those without.
Q: What do If I’m Depressed?
A: You should get help. If you feel you might be depressed, you should look for the help of a professional immediately. The first step you should take is consulting your doctor to explain how you are feeling.
You can also consult a mental health professional or try out an antidepressant medication as prescribed by your doctor will help to relief some of your feelings of depression. Ensure you take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
Q: How Do I Tell My Friends and Family?
A: Telling someone about your condition takes some courage. Not everyone diagnosed with COPD is a smoker, however, the feeling of guilt or shame is common among those who smokes or have smoked at some point in their lives. Those feelings if carried for too long can result in stress and anxiety. So, finding someone you can trust to talk to about your condition can help alleviate the load that you’ve been carrying.
Q: How do I get Better with COPD Depression?
A: It’s a gradual process. Be patient with yourself as COPD and Depression takes some time to develop, and likewise, it’s going to take time to reduce the associated feelings of COPD, depression, and anxiety. The major step towards getting better is to seek a professional help. In addition to this, you can make some little lifestyle changes to feel better. The following should be of help in similar conditions:
- Exercise regularly, it keeps your body active and healthy.
- Eat mood-boosting food like fruits and vegetables.
- Connect with the world around you and make friends, this helps to create a happy life.
COPD and depression can be frustrating to deal with. However, with the right help from a professional and adequate medication, you should be experiencing some significant change in the quality of life.