Empty and Numb

does anyone else just feel totally numb, I have had my dx now for 18 months, severe COPD, and I just do not care about anything anymore, don't get me wrong, I am still functioning, taking care of myself, but as for looking forward to anything or getting excited about anything, I just have no feelings whatsoever. My husband asked me if I wanted to buy myself a new car, well that's exciting isn't it, especially as he is so careful with money, but I just cannot drag an ounce of enthusiasm out of myself. I guess this is some form of depression, or is it just my body closing down an emotion that takes too much energy to exert?

16 Replies

  • It sounds like an early form of depression, Kad. You sould seek help and advice, which will enable you to help yourself. Maybe count up the +++ in your life and also the ---. Deal with the latter if you can, but certainly talk it out with a professional.

    You need to sort out psychical symptoms as well. It could be a number of things causing but anaemia comes to mind.

    I would be interested to hear because I think with the right treatment/advice, youccould get your old self back. Good luck xxx

  • Don't let the COPD rule you. You should rule it. I got diagnosed 3 years ago with very severe emphysema. I try to do everything as normal but obviously a bit slower or planned. I have seen people a lot worse off than me and when I see or hear of them I am, in a way, grateful for not being so ill. I look forward to everyday but then I always have.

    Phone BLF and have a chat to someone. Good luck.

  • Hi Kad,

    If I were you I would take myself off to the doctors as it sounds as if you may have what is called, a reactive depression. This is a common reaction to bad news or event in someone's life. You may need a mild anti-depressant or talking things over may be enough to lift your spirits. I have had my diagnosis for mild copd for around 4 or 5 months, and yes I have had my moments at the bottom of a black hole. There are things that I use to enjoy so much that I really have to summon up everything I have to continue at times. I am on my own, and you sound as if you have a very understanding and supportive husband. A new car? If you don't want it, then just send it to me. LOL If you have not already done so, then ask your doctor or contact your local physiotherapy department to ask about pulmonary rehabilitation courses. I understand they are very helpful, and you will meet others in a similar situation to yourself. You get individually assessed, then a personalised exercise programme is tailored for you. You will not be given more to do, than you are able. There will probably be a pysio and a respiratory nurse running the programme. You get loads of advice, tips and fun.

    Your reaction is normal to the diagnosis. Everyone handles things differently, but I would advise that you get medical attention soon. Otherwise, you will just sink lower into the black pit. There are loads of people on this site in your position, who live a full and active life, with working and hobbies etc. Once you can get help with the depression, everything will look very different. The way you are feeling now, and because it has gone on so long suggests that you need medical help with this. Please get help today or tomorrow, and your husband can go with you if that is what you want. There are people who have lived 15 - 20 years with your diagnosis. It is a matter of doing what the medical people say, exercise to what stage you can, eat a good healthy diet and stop smoking if you are a smoker. Take all your medication as prescribed and finally, get a new car!! You are not well Kad, so please get some more help from the medical people and see about a PR course. Best of luck to you, and please let me know how things go. You are never alone as you can come on here anytime, and of course you can phone the BLF helpline which opens at 10 a.m. where you can speak to a respiratory nurse. The number is 03000030555. They will call you back and you can talk to them as long as you want, and they will give you good advice.. Take care, hugs xx

  • Hi Kad21,

    I have felt numb and distant. It's been put down to depression which sadly can go hand in hand with COPD as can anxiety. As suggested talk to your doctor or other professional, they can suggest techniques to help as well as medication if its bad enough. This site is always here to listen and support you too.

  • Good Morning Kad, You sound as if you are coping with depression. The shock of the diagnosis is difficult to cope with. My husband has had severe COPD for a lot of years and has just recently admitted to feeling very down and not having any energy - we eventually went to the Doctors and he has been prescribed an anti-depressant which hopefully will help. Please don't leave it go to your gp and ask for help.

    Having said that last September I felt exactly as you describe and was getting really worried (don't have COPD!) - eventually I went to the Doctors and asked for a blood test to check for vitamin D levels. I was really surprised when it came back as deficient. Started taking the tablets and within two weeks felt so much better, my energy levels returned etc. I give my husband vitamin D3 as there has been some research that COPD patients have low vitamin D levels - not surprising if they are less active. Just a thought it might be worth asking for a blood test?

    Take care and please let us know how you get on. With much love TAD xx

  • Hi Kad, what a dear husband you have!

    As Pergola says, it could be anaemia and so easily fixed.

    I'm sure you're depressed so please speak to your GP and tell them how you feel - before it gets worse and you don't have the wherewithal to get yourself there.

    Most people with plain old winter blues will be feeling uplifted with the arrival of summer. That's not working for you and you're obviously unable at the moment to help yourself. So many of us have been there.

    PLEASE ring up now and make an appointment with the doctor at the practice you can best talk to.

    Wishing you all the very best to somehow get that serotonin and the endorphins going. You and your husband deserve some joy so begin your new life right now, pick up the phone. You've made a start by telling us how you feel. Peeg xxxxxx

    Edit: yes, like Tad says too, you could be deficient in something.

    It could be as simple as that xx

  • Ditto to all of the above...it is sooooooo hard coping with the "downers" but you definitely need to speak to your doctor to find out the reason....take care...sending a smile to you :)

  • Thank you all for your replies, I will think about talking to my GP. But I really don't want to go on more pills especially anti depressants.

  • Hi Kad21, I have suffered with depression virtually all my life I too was opposed to taking anti depressants but ten years ago I relented they keep me on an even keel without them I wouldn't get out of bed in the mornings and I believe they have helped me with my diagnosis of copd.Talk to your gp you may not need antidepressants but could talk to a therapist who can help you come to terms with your diagnosis.I know when your down everything can feel futile but please believe me it doesn't have to be that way.good luck and god bless x

  • Hi again Kad,

    I hope you have gained something from all the replies you have received. Nobody wants to be taking pills, especially as most of us are on a lot of medication already. If the doctor decides that antidepressants are the best way forward for you, then that is surely better than what you are going through now. Kad, we have all been where you are, and some of us will return there from time to time no doubt. As we have said, anxiety & depression often go hand in hand with copd. Going to your GP is a good start, and take it from there. You do need medical help with this, as there is nothing that we can do, as we are not medical people. There may be some other reason for your depression as well as reacting to the diagnosis you have. It is not a death sentence, and with the right help you can slow the progression of this condition down. I have explained all that in a previous post to you, so I won't repeat myself, except to say please Kad for your own sake, and your husbands get help as soon as possible. The longer you put it off, the longer it will take for you to recover. If you need an antidepressant then you will not be on them for ever. I know when you are so down, that it is hard to see light at the end of the tunnel, but keep plugging away, take the advice you asked for and go on and make the most of every single day. You owe it to yourself and your husband. Let me know, how things go. All the best and good luck. lots of hugs xxx

  • Depression is fairly normal in the initial stages. I was diagnosed with Severe COPD 12 years ago, it is not a death sentence.

    You will need to accept COPD, take care of it and work on getting the most of out life.

    But also be aware that the medications you take for COPD have a side affect that they can affect and deplete your body of key minerals and vitamins. Especially important are Vitamin B's which help with nerves and depression.

    take care of yourself

  • Hi

    I was suffering in a similar way, I design web sites as a at home pastime, I used to really enjoy the work and when you are not too mobile it was a great way to pass the day. Then like you I just lost interest in everything and felt so down and uninterested in doing anything, by coincidence my Consultant had arranged for me to have an iv antibiotic for a resistant bug. At the end of the ten days I felt so different, like a weight had been removed, I could think straight and concentrate. It also seemed to remove a lot of the panic I had been suffering. Sometimes it's not the depression that's the problem but some underlying cause. These bugs that set up home in our bodies have a lot to answer for.

  • I was told that 15 yrs ago. Get a little worse each yr. get down in the dumps at least once or twice a week. You just have to keep on moving. It's a slow moving problem, but you just need to keep trying. I had to give up my car 2 yrs ago and the worse thing was my cat, Zoie. She went to my daughter (in Florida) she lives the good life, pool and all. But we all just keep moving forward. Maybe you can talk to someone. have a good day.

  • Hiya swearheart ..like everyone said most people on hear get drpression at some stage or othher . Reapiratory disease is a big thing to deal with . Depression is allso an illness ...not a weakness and if the doc thinks medication may help you ..so be it . I allways think if medication helps you take it better to do that than feel worse for not taking it ..Who knows you may be surprised how much better you feel . Good luck. Sue. Xx

  • Hi, the thing with depression is, if you've got it badly enough, it won't go away by itself. I had a relative and 2 friends who scoffed at me for having to take depression medication. They all said they had depression and that they'd got themselves better.

    Fast forward to now and 2 of the 3 have had to go on antidepressants. One needed only a short course and the one who cured herself with exercise, has been on them for a year now. Neither of them has any serious diseases. They are fit and well.

    If you need them, take them. The Dr will give you a questionaire to fill in that will tell you if you have it or not. Don't try to tough it out. Catch it as early as you can. xx

  • I know how you feel,it's a bit like being hope less, but hey you have a good husband ,wow a new car for your independence which is wonderful to get you going on a different way of thinking,we can survive happily and independently,as long as we eat ,sleep n exercise .it is quiet natural to feel like this until you take hold of it,as there are worse illnesses than this,take care,let me know what car you get,it'll be great fun.

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