Mental Health

Over half of the people with COPD are coping with depression there are many reasons that a chronic illness can change our lives. With breathlessness lack of sleep no energy the feeling of loss that comes with no longer been able to do the things you did can bring clinical depression. Untreated this can reduce health further sinking into depression not following treatment not exercising looking for a crutch that will lift the mood using alcohol even cigarettes all deepening the depression ruining health.

Looking out for the signs that it has gone past having a bad day that happens for everyone spiralling down into something more feeling irritable and angry sadness for a long time broken sleep lethargy with no interest in the things that once brought happiness the humour has gone from the jokes feeling worthless and sensitive to criticism a feeling of guilt that family are losing the support that came from the healthy you.

Accepting there is a need for help breaks the spirals downward path that is only negative with mental health a subject that often gets brushed under the carpet in the same way we could tell breathing was getting worse ignoring this meant we did not notice the spiral working. Get help its commonly needed there is no shame or weakness using a positive input that removes the isolation of depression.

36 Replies

  • Thank you for this post rocket3 it sums up the spiral of long term chronic illness and the effects on peoples emotional health.As you say most people don't talk about mental health, possibly because of the stigma it carries and the way mental health is viewed anyone whose been that way knows what the bottom of the spiral feels like. As you say we need to be aware of when it's gone past just a bad day.COPD is another loss just like family growing up and deaths isn't it?

  • For 18 years I've looked after someone who suffers from schizophrenia. But I feel like someone who's been completely forgotten. Doesn't anybody care?

  • Hi runningbear, this post is a year old but I just received an alert on my computer, not sure if it is a new reply from you or old one re popped up. So I will answer in case, I would suggest you ask for an assessment of carers needs as sometimes they are more pressing than patient need especially in mental health situations. Try ringing your local mind office they may be able to help. It is not easy when you are a carer, my father had this illness years ago and their was no help only mind, now it is looked at more receptively, but still has a stigma and what comes across as a none caring approach to carers who have the patient 24/7 often. You must ask for help not let them simply think it can be coped with. It is a most draining task out even for a few hours a day, but if we don't care who will as you say ? Thinking of you

  • Depression and anxiety have stigma from a culture thats all stiff upper lip be brave fighting lung disease !

    Citalopram changed my world positive took about a month couldnt understand why wait once it was done

  • That's right rocket3 i'v always been a sporting man and it makes me angry when I can't do the simple I used to do easily.

  • When depressed I feel I am only watching what goes by nothing would change so why try there is a distance between me and the action thats moved on leaving an empty shell who has no way back to reality. This comes when the stress gets more than I can take a defence that gives me time away from the black dog that Hemingway had following him.The years of experience bring a familiar feel as time passes uncounted day time night time all the same distant unreal unimportant the roller-coaster rolls on the drops happen with less anxiety a re run of an old movie.

  • I take theroxotine antidepressant's before bedtime an they do help me, and am able to sleep better as well!

  • Helping each other helps ourselves.

  • "Happiness is slippery. It doesn’t like to stick around. We know we’ve had it before, but it’s gone away, and we know there are certain things we have to do to find it again. Certain ducks have to be in a row. After all, if you didn’t have to do anything to be happy, you wouldn’t do anything at all. It can’t be too hard to find. Other people seem to be finding it all right.

    Yet for all our efforts, we never seem to get this happiness problem nailed down, and there’s a very good reason for that. . . .

  • So very true. Liked the reference to 'ducks in a row' Diana - Happy New Year to you stilltruckin. x

  • It doesn't help when you're sat in the doctor's waiting room having a major coughing fit, and someone gets up and says very loudly "you're not supposed to come her if you have flu!". My reply was "I don't have flu". "Well whatever you have, we don't want it." So I said equally loudly (coughing had stopped by now) "You can't catch what I have, it's a lung disease!!!" God I was so angry. It happened about 3 years ago now, and I still get depressed by it.

    Keep calm Kath, keep calm!!!

  • We are not asking for good things only stopping the bad things making us worse now I have to keep calm before I change the world with education on living with a lung condition.

    We can keep calm together poemsgalore angry is tiring and depressing.


  • But it can be very hard sometimes to stop the anger Alison. I used to be a calm person. Never losing my temper etc. But after all my problems with health (RA, Bronchiectasis & pseudomonas, then cancer) I find it is better to let the anger out by expressing it, than keeping it in. Kath

  • agree poemsgalore keeping anger in causes its own problems letting off a little steam reduces the tension the way a storm clears the air in summertime

  • People have no bloody idea do they??

  • Takes courage talking about this I think the community shows support when members are comfortable talking here about how it is when the same conversation with friends family and doctors will be avoided at all costs.


  • Anxiety from the medication steroids salbutamol are one cause panic no breath thats another.Unable to reach the future that had been mapped out an old prom dress full of such dreams hanging empty unwanted the dreams gone.

    Taking time mourning the loss talking this answers my fears same for you who knows until given a whirl

  • I can relate to every post on this subject even more now I'm level 4 COPD

  • Great post rocket3

    I think most of us have felt like that at some time.

  • Watch for the signs its more than a bad day good advice there are communitys on Health Unlocked that help with mental health find one that can support the same as here.

  • Hi there rocket 3, like the

    Thank for putting your message on.....I can relate to all of it. I am 66 but in my mind in my 30's, have always been into heavy rock, (still am) and of course I cannot dance like I did and breath at the same time. It took a good while to accept my old life had gone....but I have managed it, with the help of the physio lady in rehab exercises, I used to go there and get tearful, I don't anymore. I am at peace within myself, and feel happy inside. Maybe that sounds daft with my progressing fibrosis, and osteoporosis, but I am thankful for what I have, and not what I don't have. I have made my mind up I am going to rock gigs as much as I can next year. I went to a couple this year and they were brilliant, and there is never any trouble, we all go to listen to the music. I am going to start 2014 in a positive frame of mind, and take each day as it comes.....

  • My reply became deleted I 'll have to try again, been reading all the reply posts on mental health, many ring a bell, that as happened to me. Like the coughing saga creating anger, feeling guilty about not coping, carrying the stigma of mental health round, we know we are not alone and I know anger doesn't solve it either you just end up being more alienated and isolated. We need to change peoples perception of mental health issues especially depression caused by physical chronic illness prognosis. I know to spite the best intentions these illnesses are viewed differently to others, why because people don't understand. Mental health can be controlled just like any other chronic illness and some cases of depression do get better,depends on the cause. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt is the modern expression better go now before I bore you all.

  • y daughters say that i have all the symptoms of depression, i think they are right, had a chat the doc this morning, he said waiting time forr appointments was about 3 months,but there is a ladies group close by. I guess that having copd is bad enough but 5 weeks ago i was sat at my kitchen table reading my paper when i dozed of and found myself heading for the floor. I lay there foor a couple of minutes trying to assess what hurt, my legs felt ok and i managed toget back on my chair . I then headed for the phone and diald111 they got me an ambuance . It turns out i have two broken ribs and a broken collar bone. I had two weeks in hospital, my breathing took a turn for the worse , it hurt my ribs with breathing, That was nearly 5 weeks ago, i am just beginning to breathe a lot easier, hopefully this will continue, i will keep youposted on my progress. Tatteka

  • Rough tine tatteka some caring members here sure they will do all they can please keep talking

  • Very painful Tatteka, it takes approximately 6 weeks for the bones to heal so that pain should subside soon. I'm hoping your docs organised a bone density test for you?

    When others tell you of changes they've noticed it might be time to do something. My daughter told me I was really stressy these days and it's true, tittle things and I seem to over react but I didn't realise it shows.

    Take care and get that bone density check. X peeg

  • Great post Rocket.

    At times it's a Catch 22, your energy drops, you're no longer the same person to others that you used to be. Friends, family, acquaintances don't enjoy being around you so much so social life drops off. You don't have the energy to keep it going or make new friends.

    It's very hard and takes a special individual to adapt & accept and special others who understand and accept the change in us.

    The usual losses and life changes are hard enough to bear as you're heading toward 60, like work, exercise, fun, sex, relationships, running around & living life to the full (in my case in the fast lane) ........ then bits start to drop off and you feel crap, probably look crap.

    It's loss upon loss, no wonder we slip in to depression. Personally speaking, I'm trying hard not to but it's tough to face up to the fact that I've become boring and nothing in particular defines me any more bar the bloody problems and poverty.

    Thank goodness for this forum where at least folks understand xxxxx

  • Oh peeg summed up nicely. Sometimes I feel as if all my bits have dropped off. Other times I feel like I can overcome. Oh being 40, 50, 60 was OK but 70 so so depressing.

  • I had planned to motorcycle across America aka Easy Rider when I retire - 60 is the knew 50 they say (therefore 70 is the new 60)!

    I'm a bit low, not feeling well, usually I'm a bit more enthusiastic.

    Plus the last of my family went yesterday so that doesnt help.

    I'd have a drink to cheer in the new year but on antibiotics so cant risk it. xxx

  • Wow I had ideas of doing parachuting but alas too late. That is what I hate about this illness, lack of energy and losing my get up and go. Sometimes it is certainly lost.

    Get well soon and Happy New Year.

  • Aw bless you, thanks Stitch. One thing about this site, you can't wallow & feel sorry for yourself for too long :)

  • Have you read it? Does it help?

    It was in in the house for many years belonging to my husband. He also had had all the Carlos Castenada books which gave me the heeBjeebies at the time.

    I've been thinking of Buddhism recently and wondering so perhaps it's time for me to read Zen & the Art of ....... up the road near the Common is the most beautiful Buddhist Temple xx

  • If you are drawn to that peeg maybe answer the calling !

    You can travel to some great places when meditating, biking across America could be just one of many adventures :)

  • Don't encourage me, I'm always off somewhere else in my head!

  • When the body is damaged we take care of the damage relaxing meditation takes care of the damage the mind suffers. Eco friendly travelling peeg no pollution a calm relaxing journey I have swam with whales the singing was on a disk the rest was in my mind.


  • thank you so much for your reply many things you have said you could know me very well thank you


  • I fully agree, particularly with the last sentence. Getting help is one of the most transformative and best investment you can give yourself. Having been through it myself. I would highly recommend it. It changed my life. Another innovative resource that is due to help millions of people is a new health platform called 'Twealr' ( Together We Heal). not only is it a peer to peer support network like health unlocked but it will let you ask coaches, psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and question you want for free. It even goes further to allowing you t book online consultations with them. IIt's due to launch in Jan 2015 - but I have signed up for early access. I also just wanted to mention a book that helped me incredibly in my own journey by Brandon Stanberg: The Happiness Mindset - truly uplifting, empowering and inspiring for anyone feeling low, stressed out, anxious, sad, scared or just needs some direction.

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