Still very anxious but now taking xanax

Hey sorry guys, don't mean to bother you with all this but I just want to write down how I feel since I don't have the chance to talk to someone about all this, just getting my feelings out will make me feel a bit better I hope.

After learning about my mild emphysema 3 days ago, Iam not doing well psychologically. I didn't take Xanax for years but I find myself taking 3 or 4 a day just to numb the bad feelings and even then I still feel anxious. I keep thinking about the worst constantly. Prior to diagnosis I was off work for 4 years due to huge depression and anxiety, I see a psychotherapist every week for the last 3 years. Then this emphysema thing happens.

I smoked a couple of cigs today and yesterday instead of the pack I usually smoke so I have a lot of guilt about those cigarettes I smoke even if I keep telling myself that after 25 years of smoking maybe I need a little time to adjust and stop completely ?

Having no job and basically no friends I do find it hard to deal with all this. I didn't have good relations with my family but I had the urge to reconnect with them in the last 2 days, without telling them about the emphysema as to not worry them.

I wasn't always that lonely person, I had friends, a job, a social life until I was laid off work 4 years ago. I went into a spiral of staying home constantly, worrying about my social anxiety and smoked a lot to fill the lonely days.

It was so good to be around some of my family today as our relations weren' the best since I got depressed but god, at the same time I just wanted to cry and tell them how stressed and scared Iam but I don't want to worry them, they're already worried about my depression and social anxiety and that's enough suffering for them.

Usually I have panick attacks when I go out but since the diagnosis I can't bear staying home with these dark thoughts, it's unbearable so I went out yesterday and today, had a long walk, I was a bit breathless and my leg hurt but at least I didn't stay home.

Although Iam not too happy about taking 3 xanax per day I guess they do help in reducing the smoking since I feel calmer, without the xanax I was so panicky and restless I would have smoked much more.

After 2 years of psychotherapy I was kind of ready to go back into the world and was actually looking forward to work and have a social life again but that diagnosis a few days ago just threw all those plans away, I can barely function right now as sick with worry and don't feel motivated at all to find a job even though I know that would be better for me to keep busy but with my social anxiety and the health worries I just cant do anything right now.

Again sorry to be all gloomy, I just had to write down my feelings here.

Still, I hope you all had a better day and wish you all a good evening and peace of mind.


61 Replies

  • Hi KD12 I don't think getting your feelings out will bother anyone on here. I just hope it does you some good. Being told you have Emphysema on top of your other problems can't be easy. Try not to worry about it. There are many people on here who have had Emphysema for years and still have a good quality of life. One of the best things you can do to help yourself is to give up smoking but from what you have said I don't think you will be in the right frame of mind for doing that yet.

    Having nobody to talk to isn't good but you say that you have been with your family today so maybe you can rebuild your relationship with them. If you tell them of your problems and how you are feeling they may be more understanding than you think.

    Sorry I can't be of any more help.

    Regards. John

  • Hi John,

    Thanks for the reply, it did made me feel better to write the above last night, it's a bit like I've actually talked to someone. Despite it being hard to stop I still plan to fully stop asap. I had 3-4 cigarettes daily instead of the usual 20-25 I used to smoke so Iam hoping to quit very soon. Hopefully the tobacco doctor I'll see on june 23rd will help me to quit even I haven't stopped completely by then.

    It was wonderful to reconnect with my family in the last 2 days, I felt lonely for years. My parents are in their 70's, I wonder if it's not better to don't say anything about it to them and spare them any worries, on top of their own health conditions.

    You've been a great help John with your reply, thanks again and have a good sunday.

  • Hi KD12 i am pleased I was able to help make you feel better. You have been given some good advice from other members who have answered your post and you sound a lot more positive than you did yesterday.

    Remember you have another family on here to share your problems with.

    Best Wishes. John

  • KD12 - a H U G E well done from smoking usually 25 ciggies you've cut yourself down to just 3/4 a day. A TREMENDOUS move in the right direction. Look at the number of replies you've had from the forum. People on HU are so great - they never judge you and can often give such sensible advice. Lots have similar health problems to yourself so I hope you have a good read etc. Welcome to the site by the way !!!

  • Thanks for the welcome Squirrel, people have been wonderful in here.

  • KD--of course you are reeling with this new Dx--but you don't have to revisit roads you have been down in the past and become crippled by it--Its not the end of the world You had a smoke or two--It isn't like you are going to start smoking like a locomotive--It sounds to me you react as anyone would to fear and disappointment--and then beat yourself up for it--Listen Bad things can and do happen to good people--You did nothing to cause any of this--Don't go to the worse case scenario--There is always a lesson in everything that happens in our lives and everything is not a punishment--I think we blame ourselves because it is easier to blame ourselves than to realize pain and loss can just be random--apparently they can... I understand about the job--I quit working years ago because of health reasons--and it was my whole life--I worked with troubled kids and still miss them-plus my co-workers were my social life--It isn't easy being home alone all the time--I just try to find the upsides to it and you know there are some--but it can be lonely and you can get very entangled in your own thoughts and fears--Just don't let this swallow you up--Its ok to take the Xanax--If you need it--you need it----Sometimes thinking positive is just not thinking--just having faith things are as they are sposed to be and not asking why? why? Take a day at a time--and try not to ruminate--Here to talk anytime--xx MmeT

  • Madametobacco, you're a ray of light, I love what you wrote above and it touches me so much. Thank you.

  • KD--am thinking of you and do hope you are feeling a little more positive about things --Its going to be ok....MmeT

  • (((HUGS)))

  • Hi KD, your bound to feel anxious, most of us go into a bit of shock when first diagnosed. I know I did but, I promise you, things will get better, they have for me and I have suffered chronic depression and anxiety for over 30 years.

    Don't beat yourself up over the stopping smoking, you've cut down really well and it's only been a few days since your diagnosis.

    Trying to stop dead is going to add to your anxiety. You need help off your Dr to get your feelings under control first.

    In the meantime, smoke as few as you can manage without stressing yourself out. You have to be in the right frame of mind to stop smoking.

    One thing I will say, once you do stop, it will make you far less anxious because you know your doing the best thing possible to keep yourself well.

    I use an ecig but, there are loads of different aids for you to try out, until you find the one that works for you.

    There isn't a deadline for stopping smoking so don't be putting too much pressure on yourself. You know you need to stop, just work towards doing it at a pace that causes you as little stress as possible. Your practice nurse will help you. xx

  • Thanks Casper, you're right, I need to do it at my own pace and not feel any pressure to stop right away, even though of course this would be the best. The pressure just leads to more anxiety which then lead to more smoking as this was our crutch at times of stress for so many years.

    Thanks again for your kind words Casper, take care.

  • Would joining something like a breathe easy group help? There might be one in your area or perhaps asking the doctor about pulmonary rehab. I've not been but from what the others say they spend some time explaining everything and helping with some exercises which would help you get back on your feet again. Not only that but you'd meet others in your area with similar issues.

    I was only diagnosed a few moths ago and I know how I felt at the time so what you are feeling is pretty "normal" following diagnosis. Hang out here for a while and you'll see that you'll be able to live a good life and as you are mild perhaps you'll be able to work even if it's not full time.

    I don't have emphysema but have moderate copd and still work full time and live a reasonable life, just taking things a little slower. Maybe the depression is the bigger issue here, have you spoken to your doctor about how the diagnosis is affecting you?

    Well, welcome to the site and I know you'll get the friendship and support you'll need at the moment, we all like a bit of fun too and like to share our photos and family news so pull up a chair and make yourself at home xx

  • Hi diesel, thanks for getting back. Iam in France, I need to do more research as to what's available in my region but I had a quick look at google and they doesn't seem to be much regarding copd in my region but I will ask my doctor if he knows of any group that exists where I live, thanks for the tip.

    I see a psychotherapist every week for me depression, I will talk to him about the emphysema next week.

    Have a good sunday Diesel, take care.

  • As well as the Breathe Easy groups, BLF also list singing for health groups. They can be good for meeting with others, and improving your lung function and your mood naturally. Don't worry that you think you can't sing. Several in my group thought that and sing well now. To see if one is in your area, visit .

  • Hi KD12, give yourself time. You've had a big shock but it's good that you've seen your family. Small steps and take care. You're not alone. x

  • Thank you Watfordgirl ;)

  • KD12 it's ok stop apologising,you're here to talk and if that means talk about you're fears then so be it,you're honest and I like that.I too have emphysema and have few friends since I no longer work.I drive,but I'm finding it getting harder and harder because I'm losing my Confidance anit by bit.I can't afford not to drive since it's my only independence,I have a son and daughter in the armed forces so I don't see them as often as I'd like to.We're all scared,but it helps me knowing I'm not alone,good luck to those with a more positive attitude I wish I could be the same,but it helps me hearing from people like you too,I don't feel so guilty knowing there are others who get down.Take care

  • Thanks Eve

  • Hello KD 🌷

    Depression and Anxiety are horrible, but you can get better 😂

    But staying at home on your own, is not good for you.

    The longest journey starts with the first small steps.

    Set yourself a few goals to achieve, give yourself a huge pat on the back if you do them...and don't beat yourself up if you don't !

    Just think to yourself, what, doesn't matter,... l will try again tomorrow😂.

    You went for a walk...great 😂 a big Pat on the back ! 😁 Well done

    Your legs probably ached because you don't go out much.😂

    Call your favourite family members, and ask them round for a cuppa, and chat, you don't have to tell them about your emphysema just yet, but explain how you are feeling, and how lonely you are, perhaps they may take you shopping...that's the next step from going for a walk 😂

    Little regular goals, and you will get there in the end.... don't overwhelm yourself trying to achieve everything at once.

    Don't feel guilty about the with those when you are feeling stronger, now is not the time.

    Do your best to cut down...E cigs are used by some members or vaping....some members find them helpful.

    About you diagnosis....see your GP and get all the medication he advises for Emphysema and use them !!

    Don't go on Google, it will frighten you,....You have found the best Forum in the world for lung conditions...the members on here are living with lung conditions, and can give you invaluable advice, support, and friendship.

    I wish you well KD 🌷, you are not alone have us lot !😂😂

    Velvet xx 😂

  • Thanks you so much Velvet,some great advice there.

  • The dx is a shock KD so stop beating yourself up about your reaction. You're doing well as you're trying to help yourself. Take it one step at a time & celebrate your successes. Hope you feel better soon. All best wishes.

  • Ty

  • Hi KD don't worry about writing your feelings here that's what it's all about. We are here to listen and support you and where possible give you the benefit of our experiences. Anxiety and panic are terrible things. I have been having panic attacks since being in hospital last October. I hate the feeling of total lack of control. Please keep writing if you find it helps you. Do you have a local Breath Easy Group they usually meet once a month and could be a could source of help and support. Take care Barbs x

  • Thanks Barbs, Iam in France and to be honest there doesn't seem to be much with regards to groups or help line or up to date forums, the english web has so much more info and advice on the subject, thats why I hang out here :)

    Yes, the panick attacks are just not helpful at all with our conditions; I find meditation and mindfulness has helped me a lot in the past. Because of the high anxiety I have at the moment I use mindfullness to get some relief: basically focusing your attention on what you're doing in the moment, paying attention to the sounds, sights and sensations you hear, see and feel in the present moment. It helps simply because it takes your mind off the constant rummaging and worrying. It sounds silly but it works, it can feel awkward at first as we're not used to do it but you quickly get used to it and start feeling the benefits; greater peace of mind, calmer, more focused on what's important. It's basically not getting overwhelmed by all the raging thoughts in our heads by paying attention to what you're doing right now.

    You might be familiar with mindfulness Barbs, this was just to give a few tips to people who dont know about it.

  • Hi KD I use both Mindfullness and meditation and do find them very helpful. I didn't realise you are in France maybe you could start your own Breath Easy Group over there. Let us know if you would like to so we can tell you all about it. Take care Barbs x

  • That would be great to start such a group here, It crossed my mind earlier, maybe when I'll feel a bit better it's something I could focus on.

    I only started meditation and mindfulness a year ago but I can clearly see the benefits, glad you're doing too, maybe we'll have a chance to share our experiences in some thread or other some day.

    Thanks Barbs, hope you having a nice day so far.

  • Lots of info, videos and useful links here.

  • Thanks Toci, having a look right now :)

  • Oh boy...not easy but not impoissible.I suffered from depression 30 years ago and my doctor not want me to go on Champix to help me stop smoking.Was the worst posssipple advice ever had.I had no bad side effects and had totally quit smoking in 3 months with no side effects whatsoever.I have nothing to do with the company apa

  • Thanks Piping; it's informative to read what other members thought of Champix, Iam a bit more inclined to try it out if I cant stop on my own, will talk to the specialist about it on the 23rd.

    Thx again and take care

  • Hi KD. as you can see, there are loads of friends on here to help you through what is an anxious time for all of us, small steps are best, the good thing is that all of us have had similar feelings. As for the smoking, you have reduced the number you smoke to a very low number, that's great. Champix can be a great help in stopping smoking,but, you have only just been diagnosed, and it is a tremendous shock to the system, don't be too hard on yourself, as I said small steps. Take care and remember that everyone on here is your friend xxx.

  • Very kind lorma, I really apreciate your thoughts on this. Take care

  • KD....had tried everything even before being diagnosed with COPD....patches,inhalersand 4 seeions at $500 e3ach with a hypnotist....not worked.Tried everyth8ng,but nightmares and constipation much better than conti8nuing to go on that downhill run by smoking.Was only thing that helped me stop smoking.Am 58 with now 28%Fev...was told that if actually hadn't stoipped would not be sending this to you now.

    please keep in touch....if

  • thx for sharing your experience piping, it motivates me even more to quit, with or without champix.

  • Try champs tables for doctors they work in two weeks you will be picking a day to quit it work for me if you stick to the instructions my day was 12 January 8 years ago and I've never smoke since hope they work for you love jo

  • Sorry this table spell check this wrong champx

  • Thanks Jo !

  • That's ok I will help if I can if you need to talk or need support for stopping smoking please massage me it's better if you have someone you can talk to in the same boat as yourself love jo

  • took me two months to just stop but I HAD BEEN A ANAX user and even as a recreational drug user in my youth and trying everything it was champix that stopped,but kept on them for a month and thank god stopped.Could not believe for me how easy the last week was to stop.

  • They are go put they can be bad for some people it put me off sugar I had two I coffee and now none I don't like sugary foods or drinks put that's not a bad thing

  • KD....from my own experience would be more concerned about taking xanix than champix.I had no side effects from champix at all and neither have my friends over the years that have used...apart from one who got constipation.Would be more concerned in having full phychiatric assement by your own GP to make sure everything ok.Lets face it.....most of us with COPD suffer anxiety so best to get checked out properly and get a second opinion

  • not a big fan of xanix....they ended up making me more anxious,so you take another, therefore wanting to make you smoke more.Found them quite a ....guess sort of sneaky drug.Make you feel better but you increase doses and makes you fool yourself.

    Edited by mrsmummy

  • I know what you mean Piping; Even though I'am not against medication to treat mental illness I was always wary when using Xanax in the past and only ever used it in extreme anxiety times. Me taking them now is a last resort to calm my nevers down but Iam planning to phase it out asap, maybe once I got over the Dx shock I'll be able to stop them.

    And you're right, it is a sneaky drug in a way, as it's highly addictive and you need more and more doses to feel better as you go along.

  • Hi my daughter has gone through same with depression work etc she stopped going out .She lives alone and shut everyone out . She smokes too think the last thing you need is putting pressure on yourself to give up smoking With help you will do it but take your time .Your family will want to know i tell my daughter i worry more when i can not contact her and talk things through with her.

    hope you will be feeling better soon


  • Thanks Jeanie, I hope your daughter can beat the depression, it's not fun. I completely understand the shutting out, i've done the same, mostly because of shame and not wanting to bother family and friends than anything else but she probably appreciate you taking care of her, I know I secretely did when my mum did take care of me, even though it was hard for me to show her how much I appreciated it.

  • yes mate...pretty good at mo...just wish was warmer

  • You neeed a really good chat with your doctor.I feel soo much better now.You need to discuss the Champix issue carefully with him too,Keep in touch..that's what we all here can always try Champix and if experiencing any issue discuss with him.We all no not smoking is only answer if you still want to be here in 2 years.

    Edited by mrsmummy

  • Piping I agree with everything you have said except the matter of the 2 years. There are a few smokers on here who are lasting much longer than that so that is a bit of a scare story. If the diagnosis was severe I might agree with you but with mild although smoking will accelerate the disease it probably won't very much as least for quite a few years so it will be a lot longer than 2 years. x

  • couldn't agree more..none of us no.What makes you realise is how much we fool ourselves. We can all pretenend to ourselves but we know the truth. I guess genetically some people lucky.....but for the ones hiding

    Edited by mrsmumy

  • Piping I am querying the 2 year death limit you state if the poster doesn't stop smoking. It would be very unusual to go from mild copd to dead in 2 years unless you stopped smoking. No one can put a time limit on it like that as a few people people might be but the vast majority although they would make the illness more severe would last a lot longer than 2 years. x

  • Any dr or reputable health information website would confirm you are correct, Bev

  • Thank you Hanne. Bev x

  • My been given the warnings.Guess in five years you will remember the kind thoughts,advice and wishes sent to you from this site about the smoking.The Xanax issue is another issue and problem for you but have tried to give you the best advice I could.Take care.

    Edited by mrsmummy

  • Hi I get how you feel as I suffer with long term depression as well so getting a diagnosis of copd on top is awful. However like me you are only mild and there is a lot you can do to keep it this way. My lung function has stayed the same since diagnosis 7 years ago so please don't worry so much about it. I am 62 and my doctor told me something else would get me first ie old age.

    At the mild level you can still do whatever you want though you might need to do it a bit slower that's all. I still go out and about all the time and last year started work as a volunteer in a charity shop. Life doesn't end with mild lung disease you know so you will learn to cope with it. It's the depression side which is much more difficult isn't it, but it's not an excuse to give up. Get all the help and treatment you need and carry on as normal. x

  • very comforting coughalot, I appreciate all the support. You have no idea how this is helping me cope at the moment. Hope you can beat depression too and wish you all the best.

  • Ha ha KD I know what's going through your mind because it goes through mine as well. We depressive/copders must stick together you know :)

    I don't know if you are aware but there is a very good depression site on HU and they have helped me, it could be worth you joining?

    There are also a couple of anxiety sites as well x

  • I'll always be ready to talk to you if you need to, about depression or anything else that matters to you. :)

  • Bless you and the reverse is true as well :) xx

  • Start doing positive things. Why don't you get outside do some exercise which is great for depression and COPD?

    Edited by mrsmummy

  • Hi KD...without going into anything in great depth as I can see you had a good response to your's takes time to adjust and come to trems with this kind of diagnosis. ...but your are on the right joined this group of people who more the understand what your going through with just been diagnosed. ..

    Your doing good by cutting down on smoking by so much even if you are getting the help by taking xanax...I don't know what that is but I gusse it must be for your depression. ...

    I smoked for over 50 years and had my last fag the day I really found out I had copd...and asthma.

    I not telling this so as to show how strong I was ...but to show you how frightened I was of what smoking had done to me....

    There are meny ways of making people see of them is to resion with them And the other is to say stop feeling sorry for yourself. did a very young doctor say to me on my last trip to England. didn't work as I still felt sorry for myself ☺and now even more since I found I had copd.

    The real turth is 30 thousand + people die from lung conditions every year..and that's just in the UK....and most of them are ex or still smoking....there was no need for me to say that.....

    It's about a year now since I stoped and it's only now am feeling the benefit of stopping......well worth it...xx

  • TY sailer

You may also like...