Log in
British Lung Foundation
39,553 members46,358 posts


Hi Everyone. I have been reading posts on here for a few weeks but today I am looking for help for myself. In addition to the copd I gave social anxiety disorder and claustrophobia. All of which were diagnosed some 30yrs ago. Having tried almost every meds to help with the anxiety, none of them have helped. Have also had 6yrs of twice weekly councelling with a psychologist who helped me understand what was happening but in the end we mutally agreed that I had reached a plateu and nothing further would reach any achievement. The copd I had self managed for those 30yrs. Last year I lost my husband of 50yrs after a short traumatic illness, I was his sole carer. In Dec last year I had a sudden flare up (1st one). I was presribed ventolin and clenil modulite. There has been no improvement in my breathing in the six months I have been using them. I don't know whether to run to my gp for help or if I should accept (for the time being) that grieving and anxiety are interfering with the meds and stopping them from working properly. Any thoughts from the very friendly people on here would be very welcome. Thanx in advance.

11 Replies

unlikely to be the anxiety, albeit it may add to it. Clenil Mod is a cortcosteroid inhaler - and ventolin is a broncodilator to open up your airways immediately - rescue when you get wheezy, tight. This is bog standard asthma treatment - not copd regime.

You need to tell your Dr it isn't helping your breathing.

How were you diagnosed COPD? Have you had a spirometery lung function test?

Are you a smoker or ex?

If it is asthma and it has been untreated in a long time, it can take a while to improve.


Hi. Copd was initially diagnosed 30yrs ago. Never been diagnosed with asthma. Following gp visit in Dec when I was suddenly so short of breathI could barely walk across the room I had a spirometry test which confirmed the copd and I was then prescribed the vent and clen. I can't remember the numbers now but my sats was 92%. I had managed the copd myself with all the appropriate excercises, both physical and breathing. Last year all that went out of the window, I didn't have the time or energy to look after myself which I know happens with many carers. HoweverI was told that it was the sudden combination of not taking care of myself and the grieving process, which I am still still very much struggling with, that had probably caused the sudden change.


Good Morning - I am so sorry for your loss. My husband has severe COPD and uses inhalers etc. Although I can understand how the grieving and anxiety would worsen your symptoms - anxiety can make my husband very breathless but there are medications available to help you. There are many different inhalers - perhaps you need a different type.

For example - My husband uses Spiriva - once a day to open his airways; Symbicort - a combined steroid inhaler two puffs twice a day and ventolin as a reliever. It might be an idea to ring the helpline and ask their advise - You can call the helpline on 03000 030 555 Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

You can ask for a referral to a consultant from your doctor. Please dont accept your symptoms please go back to your doctor.

Good luck, kind regards TAD xxx


Thank you so much for advice.i know that I have been getting stressed and anxious at the possibility of the copd deteriorating rapidly. It's really helpful to know that anxiety and stress can affect the breathing even with the inhalers. I did suspect that was the case but didn't want to go running to the go unnecessarily. I'm afraid I don't have the patience to be a patient😄so I try to do as much for myself as I can. I will now follow your advice and see my go. My very best wishes to your hubby and to you. xx

1 like

Hi baz36 and welcome. I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my partner in a 6 week period of them not finding what was wrong with him. He passed away before they could begin the Chemo. I definately went down hill physically and mentally because of it.

I've suffered depression and social anxiety for over 30 years too and the stress of suddenly having to go places on my own and deal with everything alone, gave me a mental breakdown.

I was already on 40 mg of Citolopram and it just stopped working. My doctor kept trying different types of anti-depressants until we found one that put me back on track. Although this took months and was hell, we got there in the end and I feel much better.

So, yes, I do think it affects your COPD. I also think the previous posters are right, you also need better madication. xx


Thank you casper99. Our rational brain knows that we are not the only ones dealing with issues but our emotional brain tells us that no-one else could possibly understand what we're going thru. It is very reassuring to see in black and white that, yes! others do understand. Unfortunately, there are no more anti depressants or anxiety meds for me to try. Even after these few hours of being on this forum it's knowing for certain that what I've been going thru is quite normal and that maybe I'm my own worst enemy in expecting too much of myself. xx


What depression pills are you on now i stopped the citalapram as my moods became very flat am now on serterline which seem better .


Hello. I don't take any at all cos everything has been tried over the years but nothing works for me. I've even had beta blockers to slow my heartbeat down but they didn't work either. I went thru a period of Propranalol to calm the panic attacks..to no avail. Apparently I have exhausted the list of meds available.


Sure sounds like it but its not a nice thing to experience glad your doing okay chat soon.


Thank you for your reply. Yes it is emphysema.x


Thank you so much for that info. I had vaguely heard something about Vitamin A but wasn't sure how reliable it was. Given your experience with it, it's certainly something I am prepared to try, especially as prescription meds have no effect. Xx


You may also like...