Treating more than the
disease and its symptoms is very important. You also need:
Education. Educating yourself and your
family about COPD and your treatment program helps you and your family cope
with your lung disease.
Counseling and support. Shortness of
breath may reduce your activity level and make you feel socially isolated
because you cannot enjoy activities with your family and friends. You should be
able to lead a full life and be
sexually active. Counseling and support groups can
help you learn to live with COPD.
A support network of family, friends,
and health professionals. Learning that you have a disease that may shorten
your life can trigger
depression or grieving. Anxiety can make your symptoms
worse and can trigger flare-ups or make them last longer. Support from family
and friends can reduce anxiety and stress and make it easier to live with
Your treatment plan. Following a
treatment plan will make you feel better and less likely to become depressed. A
self-reward system—such as a night out to eat after staying on your medicine
and exercise schedule for a week—can help keep you motivated.
One Woman's Story:
"Not being the person I used to be—it makes me really
sad sometimes. There are lots of days I don't want to even get up, but then I
think about taking my walk or seeing my friends, and I want get out there. COPD
may slow me down, but it isn't going to stop me."—Sarah
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 24, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this