British Lung Foundation
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Anxiety and/or panic attacks

Hi everyone! I am new to the group and am glad to be here. I was diagnosed with COPD almost 3-years ago. I'm glad there are others I can talk to about this. I'm on oxygen 24/7, but at rest can go without it for an hour or so sometimes. When I go out, I have small, portable oxygen tanks. I frequently have anxiety attacks when I getting ready to go somewhere, especially if it's somewhere new. I don't like going to unfamiliar places and it makes me feel safer to stay home, except for food shopping and visiting a friend on occasion. Anyone else have anxiety and/or panic attacks on occasion? Thanks for the input.

5 Replies

Hi birobin

I have had a few full blown panic attacks where l haven't been able to breath....They are terrifying, and you have my sympathy.

You have to get it into your brain, that it will pass, and you will get air in.

It's very hard to think like this when you are in the middle of one, but it's true.

Please don't get into the habit of staying in, not only will your Anxiety increase, you will become a prisoner in your own home.

Hiding away solves nothing...

Make sure you have someone with you when you go out for a while, as you build your self confidence back up.

I saw my GP when l felt like you, he was very supportive, he put me on a short course of meds to help me relax, and at the same time l had CBT counseling... Talking through things, and discussing coping strategies, and learning relaxation techniques, soon had me on the road to recovery.

I haven't had one for 5 years now, and if l do, l know how to cope.

Good luck my friend, make that appointment today, it will change your life.

Velvet xx


Hi Birobin

I am so sad your enjoyment of life is being llimited by anxiety attacks. Good advice from velvet.

I think anxiety and panic attacks can go hand in hand with chronic illness but I do believe we can do much to become in control of it rather than it being in control of us. CBT which velvet has mentioned is very helpful but there is a massive waiting list. I worked hard at one point to become free from aggoraphobia and I will not go back there. If you do ask your GP for referal for CBT, then in the meantime a reputable site which can offer you information and practical help is

Please don't allow your world to shrink. Try something each day which is difficult but achievable. If you don't manage it don't get down about it and think I didn't do it, think instead 'I did well, that's more than I did yesterday'. Try turn negative thoughts into positive ones.

You can do it, you will do it and you will find you are doing it.

Good luck - not that you need it because I know you will.

love cx


I think we all get these panic attacks but they vary from person to person in their severity, some are easily curtailed with purse lip breathing and others may need the help of medication..but they do pass. As for going out, always do it in your own time if you can, then you won't get wound up by being early of late etc............ good luck.:-)

1 like

Before I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis and ABPA I was having severe panic attacks. They were frightening. They were usually at night and would sometimes wake me up. Because the doctors incorrectly thought it was only anxiety, depression etc., my bronch and ABPA went undiagnosed for many years. I sympathize with you. I continue to fear panic attacks but I’m hoping that the inhalers, steroids etc. will prevent them. Try to stay calm and not worry. Take care.

1 like

My most vulnerable area is the shower and I had two panic attacks at Xmas after having spent a month in Hospital and 18 days in intensive care. I am presently seeing a therapist provided by my local surgery. Its about rebuilding confidence and having coping strategy in place. But you must keep trying because its gets worse if you back down or hide away. Best of luck.


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