COPD: Managing Your Feelings

Author

Freedom Health- Venice

Posted on

Jul 25, 2023

Book/Edition

Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties

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If you’ve been worrying about a nagging cough or shortness of breath, finding out you have Chronic

Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) may at first come as a relief. But as the diagnosis sinks in, you may feel like you’ve had a one-two punch: a chronic illness and the anxiety and depression that often accompany it.

Practical education may be your immediate concern, overseen by
your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or Pulmonologist: symptoms to watch for,

medications which can help and lifestyle changes to prevent a worsening of the physical disease. But nearly as important is paying attention to your feelings. You might be ashamed or afraid to admit you need help. It takes courage to talk to another human being, even a healthcare provider, about stresses and worries related to COPD.

BUT THERE IS REAL HELP AVAILABLE TO YOU:

• Pulmonary Rehabilitation - it can help you breathe easier, which will relieve anxiety and improve your outlook. Ask your provider if you qualify.

• Family and friends - this is the time for heart-to-heart talks about feelings (yours and theirs) and challenges now and in the future. Spending quality time with those you love can transform your mood and broaden your perspective.

• Exercise – with the ok of your PCP or Pulmonologist, physical activity can help your lungs and your feelings. Even regular walks in a natural setting can make a difference.

• Go back to school - try in-person or online classes such as yoga and tai chi. Many of these practices can be done either seated or standing.

• COPD support groups - where people will understand firsthand
what you’re going through. Your providers can connect you with
local groups, or you can find support at: https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/copd/ living-with-copd/finding-support

• If you can’t shake your feelings of sadness or fear, go to a pro – call Carelon Behavioral Health (the number is on your Plan ID card) and arrange to talk to a counselor. You can see an in-network behavioral health provider without a referral from your PCP, though it’s always good to let your PCP know. Take a look at your Evidence of Coverage (EOC) for details under “Outpatient Mental Health Care,” or call Member Services (the number is on your ID card) and a representative can look up your EOC.

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Freedom Health- Venice

Medicare Insurance 12145 Mercado Drive, Venice, Florida, 34293

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