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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I fight depression with COPD?

    I have had COPD for 8 years and am tired of not being able to breathe. I don't understand how exercise is recommended when I am gasping for air even when laying down to sleep. It has made me very depressed because I feel like I have no hope. What can help me?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2

    Thanks

    Damien Haines

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Damien Haines is a registered Clinical Psychologist who brings a warm and empathetic approach to therapy. He emphasises engagement in the world and encourages clients ... View Profile

    Hi. I know almost nothing about this disorder and so have done a quick Google search for resources. The best/easiest to understand I found is this pdf document.

    From this booklet it would seem that exercise is indicated for people with COPD. I would suggest perhaps going to a pain clinic or see a psychologist who has good experience with health psychology. I would recommend from this booklet engaging in pacing strategies to slowly (at your own pace) building up your fitness and lung capacity. Evidence clearly demonstrates that people with chronic conditions such as COPD who engage in exercise/pacing strategies start to focus more on what they can do rather than what they cannot - it is this change in persepctive that lifts ones mood.

    I wish you luck

  • 1

    Thanks

    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease ... View Profile

    Hi

    Like Damien I had to do a Google to find out about about COPD.

    You might find the information here helpful; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/copd/DS00916/ .

    (The Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit group of US health professionals.)


  • 1

    Thanks

    oneteaspoon

    Healthshare Member

    My mum suffers from COPS, pulmonary fibrosis to be exact. She is 59 & I 25, we are still learning about it all but sometimes she gets herself into a spat where she just hates life, wants to stop taking her medications. It's hard, I can't bare to think of the pain she is in by where a walk to the letterbox causes a pull and breathlessness. 

    My advise is to join a support group where you can talk to others who are in the same boat… All the best 

  • Arthur Lee

    Physiotherapist

    Arthur Lee - Cardiorespiratory PhysiotherapistAPAM, Member of CRPA National Group2014 Committee Member of CRPA National GroupRecipient of Nicole Turney Memorial Grant 2014Member of Lung Foundation ... View Profile

    It would benefit you to have a chat with your doctor about pulmonary rehabilitation.  When exercise is prescribed for COPD it is not running on a treadmill or doing massive weights.  Its got more to do with working with what you have, and improving from there.  The people who run pulmonary rehabilitation also teach you ways to breath that decrease the work of breathing, and also advise on ways to clear the mucus that is fighting for precious space in your lungs.  There are many people in the same boat in these classes and people with walkers and oxygen also join to gain.  So talk to your local doctor about this or you can ring up the local hosptial.

  • 1

    Agree

    Elizabeth Scott

    Psychologist

    I am a registered psychologist with a Masters in Health Psychology, and I am also a registered Division 1 nurse with postgraduate qualifications in critical ... View Profile

    I am a registered psychologist and a critcally care trained registered nurse.  It is very frightening when you are experiencing breathing difficulties impacting upon your quality of life.  I agree with the other practitioners regarding pacing yourself, similarly when one has chronic pain.  I also agree that it is important to see your GP for a referral for pulmonary rehabilitation, which would involve a multidisciplinary approach, for eg. respiratory physiotherapist, and a psychologist to assist with your depression, in addition to your respiratory physician.  If you aren't already on an antidepressant, you may benefit discussing this option with your doctor.

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