Temple Health strives to help COPD patients break the cycle of anxiety often experienced.

Breathing Easy: How Anxiety Impacts Chronic Illnesses like COPD and How to Address it Effectively

Chronic illnesses, such as COPD, can cause a great deal of anxiety for those affected. This is especially true for individuals with COPD, which affects 16 million Americans and causes breathing to become increasingly difficult as lung blockages worsen over time. When breathing becomes shallow, the brain may perceive a stressful situation even if it doesn’t exist.

Dr. Victor Kim, a pulmonologist at Temple Health, explains that this can create a vicious cycle of breathlessness and anxiety, making symptoms worse. He emphasizes the importance of acknowledging this anxiety and speaking with healthcare professionals about it. “COPD patients should not ignore their emotions,” he says. “There are ways to address them.”

Indeed, studies have shown that individuals with COPD have over 1.5 times the rate of anxiety and depression as those without the condition. This can significantly impact their treatment and outcomes. However, emotions are rarely discussed between patients and doctors, and the physical connection between emotional and physical health is often overlooked.

Despite this, Dr. Kim emphasizes that treating the heart can improve mental health just as treating mental health can improve physical health in congestive heart failure patients. He suggests coping strategies, education, and different maneuvers to improve breathing during episodes of shortness of breath. Additionally, joining a support group can provide COPD patients with a sense of community and a platform for learning and sharing strategies for managing their disease.

Overall, it’s important for COPD patients to recognize that their anxiety is not a figment of their imagination and to seek support from healthcare professionals to address it effectively.

In conclusion, Anxiety is common among people dealing with chronic illnesses like COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Individuals with COPD have over 1.5 times the rate of anxiety and depression than those without this condition which impacts their treatment outcomes significantly.

Dr Victor Kim emphasizes the importance of acknowledging one’s anxiety while seeking guidance from healthcare professionals on how to address it effectively through different coping strategies such as education on breathing techniques or joining support groups.

Treating both physical health (such as heart) along with mental health (anxiety) in congestive heart failure has shown positive results in improving overall well-being.

It’s essential for COPD patients not only acknowledge but also take proactive steps towards managing their emotional well-being alongside physical symptoms to achieve better outcomes in treatment process altogether

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