British Lung Foundation
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i was told i had copd 4 weeks ago,im so tired all the time and im so weepy is this normal? im so tight in my breathing and panic alot now

i have been back to the doctors to tell him how im finding it hard to breathe and was told to keep using medication an wait for my appt at clinic, i cant take much more of this i have stopped smoking 5 weeks ago, i just get out of breath so quick and im scared

10 Replies

It's normal to feel scared when you are first diagnosed as you don't know what is ahead or how you will cope. This will be making you feel anxious and that in turn makes your breathing worse. Try to stay calm, you have done the best thing you can by stopping smoking. I have had COPD for 15 years and I am still here. Good luck at the clinic and if they offer you a place on a pulmonary rehabilitation course then my advice is say yes as they teach you very good coping techniques on these courses as well as teaching you to manage your condition.

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Dawn50, you have been given good advice from grannybell. One of the the things making you panic is the giving up the cigarettes, daft as it sounds. You would normally have one if you felt threatened - I used to and it helped calm me down even if it didn't do my lungs any good. Now you have given it up - very well done by the way - your brain is shouting at you to do something.

If your clinic appt is in a little while keep a mini diary or note book of any symptoms and if you can take someone with you, an extra pair of ears is handy. In the mean time, the help line at BLF is a great booster and for giving professional advice - by people who know what they are talking about.

Good luck and let us know how you get on



Hi Dawn,Not a good start to the New Year for you! Sorry to hear you are not feeling so good.Yes do take your meds,as they will help.I suspect your tight breathing is due to your panic.Maybe you are still coming to terms with being diagnosed.Do practice pursed lips breathing, as it does help.That is breathing in through your nose,and breathing out with pursed lips(like you are whistling)to the count of 4.Do try and get into a breathe easy rehab,that is so helpful,and meeting other people with the same problems is a comfort.I was diagnosed almost 18 years ago, and it has only come a bigger problem over the last couple of years.Another thing I forgot to say, is make sure your shoulders are dropped down,as when we panic, we hunch them up,I sit in front of the dressing table mirror,and make sure I can see myself that I am doing it properly(not to admire myself,lol!!)

This is a great site, with lovely people, that will give you the encouragment you need.

Things will get better,but we do have to help ouselves!

Big hug to you,Wendells xxx


Two good things. Giving up smoking and pulmonary rehabilitation.

If you get out of breath, sit down and try to relax.Your subconscious reaction will want you to breath very quick but if you can control your breathing and inhale slowly and deeply, you'll find you get your breath back quite quick


Dawn, I and nearly everyone else I would think feels like this after first being diagnosed it is a scary thing. If your appointment is a long way off see if you can get an earlier one also ask if your surgery has its own respiratory nurse and if they do make an appointment she/he will be able to talk you through your medications. As Wendells says relaxation is important if you can do it and congratulations on the stopping smoking




What good advice from all these lovely people, I endorse it all! Huge admiration for anyone giving up smoking (I am lucky enough never to have smoked - apart from the occasional woodbine behind the bike shed at school half a century ago) it always appears to be horribly difficult. And YES to the PR course, nag to get on one.

And yes to the breathing advice. My lungs are ruined because as a child I used to panic and suck in air without letting it all go, so when you take a deep breath in, try hard to get it all out again, that is scary if you're breathless, but necessary. Good luck.

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Dawn, I cant say anymore than what you hve been told, I was diagnosed in June 2012 that I had COPD, and to be honest since August I have been on 10 lots of steroids and Antibiotics, I was at your stage now, but I went to see my GP and basically broke down whilst I was telling him how I felt, he has been fantastic, I am now at the stage where they now dont know if I have COPD or Asthma, I am now going through 6 weeks of tests etc, dont be frightened, you will get through it, look afer yourself and keep us updated.

Take Care

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Hi Dawn50

I am sorry to read things are not good for you at the moment.

It is perfectly understandable to feel weepy and overwhelmed, being diagnosed with any long term condition can be very difficult to come to terms with.

Smoking is usually something we use as a coping mechanism when things are difficult, so to remain off cigarettes is a great achievment - so without sounding patronising - well done!

when a person is trying to stop it may not be unusual to have a relapse, so if this happens try not to give yourself too much of a hard time.

We do know the best thing to help manage COPD is not smoking, the benefits of this cannot be underestimated (although if you haven't felt much of an improvement it can be hard to see this).

We have lots of different ways we can support you - if you would like to call us on 03000 030 555 we can arrange for you to speak to one of our experienced respiratory nurses or Helen our dedicated counsellor, or if you just want to chat.

Best wishes



oh love wish I could hug you , I was diagnosed in july, it was the great folk in here who helped most , I wasn,t frightened ,I was TERRIFIED reading grannybells mail 2mins ago truly helped[ thank you grannybell] I have a husband with anger issues , so believe me , I KNOW.... when he kicks off I get tense , chest tightens and I get coughing plus phlegm which I can,t move , libbys advice on mucodeine helped there, what I,m saying is fear and tension deffo makes copd worse I,m trying to learn to relax and think , oh fling him, I,m important, we are all here for you love judexxx


Hi Dawn, I was diagnosed with ' a touch of emphysema ' 5 months ago. I stopped smoking straight away and found I got short of breath not long after quitting, I told my dr that I felt worse not smoking, and he got me to take 2 inhalers daily, this helped so much and before long I was feeling great, I did slip up with the no smoking and have again quit for the 2nd time. The anxiety was caused by giving up the cigs, but I am ok now. I am scared of what copd will do to me eventually, but until then I am living my life like a normal person and I try not to dwell on it too much. I am 60 years young and I am not going down easily. Good luck with your breathing love, and please try not too panic, slow breathing all the time ok.


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