Chronic illnesses, such as COPD, can cause significant anxiety for individuals dealing with the condition. This is especially true for those with COPD, which affects 16 million Americans and causes breathing to become increasingly difficult as blockages in the lungs worsen over time. When breathing becomes shallow, the brain can perceive a stressful situation even if it doesn’t exist.
Individuals with COPD have over 1.5 times higher rates of anxiety and depression than those without the condition, which can have a significant impact on their treatment and outcomes. Despite this, emotions are rarely discussed between patients and doctors, and the physical connection between emotional and physical health is often overlooked. However, studies of congestive heart failure have shown that treating the heart can improve mental health, and vice versa.
Dr. Victor Kim, a pulmonologist at Temple Health, emphasizes the importance of COPD patients acknowledging their anxiety and talking to their doctors about it. He suggests various coping strategies