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

Chronic illnesses can take a toll on an individual’s mental health, and this is especially true for those with COPD. This condition, which affects 16 million Americans, makes breathing increasingly difficult as lung blockages worsen over time. When this happens, the brain may perceive a stressful situation even if one does not exist, leading to a vicious cycle of breathlessness and anxiety.

Individuals with COPD have a higher rate of anxiety and depression compared to those without the condition, and this can significantly impact their treatment outcomes. Despite this, emotions are often overlooked in the relationship between patients and doctors. However, studies have shown that treating both the heart and mental health can improve overall health outcomes in congestive heart failure 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 different coping strategies, education on breathing techniques, and joining support groups to help manage symptoms during episodes of shortness of breath. By recognizing that their anxiety is not just in their head and seeking support from healthcare professionals, COPD patients can better manage their disease and improve their overall quality of life.

It is crucial for COPD patients to understand that their anxiety is not an isolated issue but rather a symptom of their chronic illness. By seeking guidance from healthcare professionals and connecting with others who share similar experiences through support groups, COPD patients can take steps towards managing their disease effectively.

By Editor

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