Asthma UK community forum
11,082 members17,402 posts

Newly diagnosed and anxious

I’m newly diagnosed with (mild?) asthma and I’ve become so anxious. I wasn’t really given much information on it so I started googling it and have become so overwhelmed with triggers, fatal attacks, statistics etc that I just spend my life going to work and going home. Out of this comfort zone I’m in constant fear that I’m going to have an asthma attack and that the blue rescue won’t work. I’ll be getting on a plane in a couple months and I’m terrified! The underground sends me into panic. I was hoping to get over it by now but it’s been months and I’m getting so down. My first comfort was the inhaler but I read that doesn’t always work. Then my doctor showed me my oxygen stats and then I read that doesn’t matter. Also peak flow monitor and then I read that also doesn’t really matter. Did anyone else experience this anxiety and how did you help it get better?!

10 Replies
oldestnewest

Yes it can be very scary when you are first diagnosised with asthma and your head is busy with millions of questions. Best advice is to ring asthma uk helpline and speak to the nurses weekdays 9am-5pm 0300 222 5800. They will help you work through your anxiety and help you come to terms with your asthma diagnosises.

4 likes
Reply

Your problem is not really the asthma, which about 5 million people in the UK have, and most manage it well; it is your anxiety - you look for the negatives and ignore the positives, which is what happens to all of us when we get anxious. If you take the preventer as prescribed, and only take the blue one when you really need it, you'll be fine. However, your anxiety could itself trigger an attack as you could talk yourself into one, so your priority is to get that under control. Many people have found CBT helpful - ask your GP.

3 likes
Reply

It sounds like you are having a tough time. I dont think we can help your anxiety with typed replies, as elanoali suggests talk to a professional as I think this will help a lot more.

I have had asthma my whole life and I am 50 now. My blue inhaler has always worked but sometime does not give the relief you need/want.

I have had 1 hospital visit (for asthma) as an adult when my blue inhaler became less and less effective, so I got a friend to drive me to hospital, there was no rush or panic it was fine.

I think you are worrying about something that is very unlikely to happen and possible never happen, if it does happen you dial 999 and an ambulance will come quickly as breathing problems are prioritised.

2 likes
Reply

I'm interested how you came to be diagnosed with mild asthma? I was about a year ago following 6 years of incessant winter colds and I have never had an asthma attack (I'm 67). I undertook a reversibility test and found I could gain about 17% improvement in lung function with Ventolin (blue inhaler). There is an enormous spectrum of asthma symptoms and I suspect we are at the lower end of those. Consequently, we may be unlikely to get the sort of symptoms associated with severe asthma and the sort of thing you read about on websites. I have also suffered from anxiety all my life and treat it with small doses of beta-blockers (not advised for asthma sufferers, but makes no difference in my case as both medication and asthma levels are so low) and CBT. As others have said, you need to be careful not to make your asthma worse by worrying about it unnecessarily; I get a tight chest when I worry, which can also be a symptom of asthma. I suspect, like us, there are plenty of mild asthma sufferers around, but you don't hear much about them as there's not much to say! Try to enjoy the flight and come home relaxed and rejuvenated.

Reply

Thommo,

I can relate to what you are saying i was diagnosed with Asthma in late November and it really freaked me out.

But with the support of Asthma UK nurses ( i called them almost every day) and the members of this forum who given help, support and advice my anxiety has settled down.

Tommo it is a big shock, but with the rights meds and help you will get better.

Regards

Digg

4 likes
Reply

I’m so very grateful for everyone’s replies. The asthma hasn’t really impacted my life but the fear of it definitely has. I think you only really hear/read negatives and I don’t know anyone with asthma to tell me otherwise. I’ve always been a bit of a worrier, and I think the lack of exercise (as it’s a trigger) doesn’t help either. I will definitely speak to the GP about the CBT. Worrying about worse case scenario all the time is draining.

Simple Simon - thank you so much, I think just reading your comment on the blue inhaler is just what I needed to read.

Superzob- initially I woke up a couple of early mornings in a week wheezing, didn’t bother me too much as I would get up and ready for work etc. Was also smoking quite heavy so put it down to that. Become suddenly restricted in my gym classes, Exercise seems to be a major trigger. Also started to constantly feel like I couldn’t take a deep breath. I had a spirometry but I don’t think the results showed anything. Got referred (I have BUPA) to a consultant by my GP who diagnosed me by my peak flow diary (lower in morning - 420ish than evening -550ish). Montekulast changed that pretty much overnight. Now on fostair 100/6 x2 puffs twice a day, montekulast and Lansoprazole for reflux. Also taking a vitamin D supplement as recommended by consultant.

Thank you again guys. I know I sound so complainy and slightly ridiculous.

3 likes
Reply

Could I ask - did anyone find they had to change their lifestyle to accommodate asthma being diagnosed or suddenly approach things with more caution. After what’s seems like practically overnight not being to attend fitness classes, I feel like this might happen with other things for example hairdressers.

Reply

The big thing is not to worry. Asthma is really common and can be easily managed with medication (inhalers).

It doesn't have to stop you leading an active life and will only do so if you let it.

Reply

Every now and again the newspapers say so many thousand people die from lung/asthma related problems. What they don't say how many people don't.

It is a worry, but it you should not let that fear ruin yr life or stop doing things.

Reply

Thank you both. I think it’s was a 3 deaths a day statistic on asthma’s website that really threw me, & also the triggers and how broad that is. I’ve got this perspective that asthmas a bit of a minefield, I’m going to stumble across a trigger and then stop breathing. If I was more familiar with my asthma I would probably feel more at ease, but the symptoms sound so broad I don’t know what I’m looking out for as such. I’m sure that will come with time. Especially with the tight chest, I’m not sure if that’s just feeling a bit anxious or not. Also get back ache between should blades, not sure if that’s a side effect of medication or a symptom. I’m sure one day I will look back at this and think why on earth was i so hysterical. Hopefully anyway.

Reply

You may also like...