COPD Panic Attacks: Getting harder to leave the house
It's getting harder by the day for me to leave the house. I've had Emphysema for over 20 years and live alone now. I have medication for anxiety and panic but so often I find an excuse or way to not leave the house. I don't like to drive but when I get going I'm okay if it's familiar to me. I worry about getting the flu because I feel it would be the en of me. I get exhausted fighting with myself just to meet my family for lunch. I do not want to go out after dark. Help
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Carol. I am so sorry as I hear a lot of fear in what you are saying. I understand as I have felt it and it creeps back in easily. I have copd and everything wrong with my back. Had back operation a little over three months ago which was successful but I am learning how to walk again. It’s not easy with copd as I get out of breath easily. I have looked for excuses not to walk but if I don’t try I won’t be able to do it. One day at a time. Life lived in fear is no life. You say once you get started you are good. Push yourself. Live and trust the Lord to keep you safe. Do something to help someone even if it’s just a happy good morning. You are loved. You are special because there is only one like you. Life is a gift and there is a reason for yours. God bless you.
I so relate to you .. COPD and panic/anxiety goes hand and hand, we are the lucky ones to be here writing about it, God Bless.. Jeanette in Fl.
@carolannz , @girlbybay– Good morning and welcome to Mayo Connect. I'm with you in your fear! I have COPD, emphysema and PTSD as a result of four lung cancers. But COPD is very scary when you inhale, expecting a normal breath, and you wind up in a struggle. I remember waking up after lung surgery and thinking, as I took my first breath, is this it? This is all I get?
As part of emphysema it is important to move, get fresh air and do as much as possible because if you don't you can wind up with pneumonia. But I get the fear of going outside and socializing because that's exactly where my PTSD has taken me. It's taken some very hard work not to feel this way. I really had to push myself. May I ask you about your panic attacks? Are you getting them because you really find it hard to breath or for other reasons? Are you seeing a pulmonologist? Are you using any inhalers?
May I ask both of you has the anxiety caused you shortness of breath or is is due to something else?
Hello- If you could would you please put the name of the person before your response? I know that this discussion involves only a few people but it can get very confusing! Thank you ahead of time!
I have been taken off lisinopril,and for some reason, a lot of my panic attacks have lessened. Maybe a blood workup with some adjustments might help
Hello Jeanette from Fl. here, Its complicated I believe sometimes I get very short of breath due to anxiety and other times I believe shortness of breath and wheezing every breath causing anxiety.I find exercise, walks specifically for me make me feel great! I always carrya rescue inhaler, use Symbicort daily 2 x a day and Spiriva daily 1x. I try to eat fresh organic blueberries daily, some tomato, I drink tons of water, try to think positive, and watch my weight and sleep rules!!!! I need enough sleep, I have an air purifier in one room for me. I have "tons " of house plants in my home for my "psyche" and to clean the air . I have 3 Himalayan salt lamps in my home. I also crave the salt air, overdue to go to beach. Yes sometimes I wake up every night at 4am, and suffer panic attacks. I am making sure to sit on my porch and breathe in fresh air daily and watch , and enjoy the birds etc… I also just love my dog, My "ToryGirl" gives me much joy. I do have a pulmonologist I see again in June. I see my family doctor for lung infections etc…. I hope this shed some light on how I feel, is it similar to you? Jeanette In Fl
I don't like to drive in the evening either, but do sometimes If needed, see your family, it will help you! Jeanette in Fl
@merry I think the shortness of breath and anxiety feed off each other until I feel unable to do anything. I do see a pulmonologist. I use a nebulizer twice a day, Spiriva . My oxygen is at 4 now. I have been reading about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I am seeing that what goes on in my head when I feel anxious is part of the problem. I might have to push myself to go and not let the fear get me.
@carolannz– Good morning! Kudos for you Carol. You have done a tough job of figuring out how cyclic we can make things. I'm not saying that's it's intentional, because if it were then I think that we'd be able to stop it. I believe that you have the strength and now the desire to take action that will benefit you. Have a friend take you, it will be less frightening. Anything new that we seek out for ourselves can be scary. We ask, will it hurt? How much pain will there be, how long will it take, will it work? And I'm not talking about just our physical beings. I remember once, no so long ago, that I was sick and tired of my PTSD and needed to gain control of my life. I thought that therapy was the first step. I thought, oh no, more therapy? I have to start all over, open myself up and take that big leap, but will it finally work? I think that when we come to a point, like @benny987, we start to move in a positive direction. Well I leapt and it worked. It took a while, a few years, but it worked!
Please let me know how you find CBT and your experience with it. I'm sure that everyone on here will benefit!
I also have COPD and occasionally, panic attacks. First, I accept that this is just the way it is. Then I am as kind to myself as I am able to be. I push myself to do things, as I know that if I do not I will retreat into a corner and stay there. I push past the fear. It's not easy, but can be done. I look for humor wherever I can. I know from past experience that I can get past the fear. And again and again I do. I value good friends, laughter, family and all that is good in my life. I am grateful for everything I can be. I listen to my doctor. And I take my meds every day no matter how I feel. I've accepted that I will take meds for the rest of my life. Not saying you will, but if you need to, know that that is okay. Best of luck. You CAN do it! I'll be thinking of you!