Scared to death with copd: Hello, I have... - COPD Friends

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Scared to death with copd

Pennykay profile image

Hello, I have recently been diagnosed with copd advanced stage 3. I have had this for a few years just not confirmed till a few months ago. I've tried to stop smoking.i made it for 8 days then relapsed. I've begin having panick attacks and high anxiety attacks and severe very crippling severe depression and being scared 24 hours a day. It has consumed my life. Then I began smoking again. I'm so afraid I will not be able to breath and no one will be able to help me. I've tried many different depression medications but they make me feel worse. Does anyone have any good advice on a depression medication that will give me back my life and any advice on how to move forward when you feel like your living in a nightmare that won't go away

18 Replies

I’m taking Remeron , started to help with anxiety

Hi, I'm sorry I didn't answer sooner. I've been going through a rough time. I like you went into deep depression when diagnosed stage 4. Then my 32yr old daughter was in an accident and she passed. My mom too all in 6months. I smoked like a chimney. I tried but couldn't quit. Then, on February 9th I was taken by ambulance to hospital I couldn't breathe at all. My lungs hardened and when I woke 5 days later I was intubated and damn lucky to be alive. Spent 2wks altogether there and haven't smoked since after 45yrs. I'm on Elavil and Xanax and it truly works for anxiety and Prozac helps me too. You can do this, I know you can. Plz don't end up like me. Eat crunchy carrots and veggies it helps the craving and the craving will only last a few minutes. Try to let it pass. Patches help too for smoking along with wellbutrin. Talk with your Dr they will help you. I wish you well and I hope you make it through. Let me know how you are if you donf mind.💜🙏

Ray001 profile image
Ray001 in reply to Jensmom

Try nic lozenges from Walmart. Worked great for me after 52 yrs smoking. Good Luck! Ray

Probably the only way to move forward is to quit smoking. The depression and anxiety from knowing you have COPD, but also may have a lot to do with finally confirming that smoking actually caused it, and you wont stop doing it. The self-loathing that comes from continuing to smoke with COPD is depressing...a vicious cycle. There are many quit aids and a quit support forum on here ,, that can be a big help, but there is no magic bullet or drug. The choice to be healthy goes along way toward being happy.

Hi Pennykay; Don't let the stage scare you, it's different for everyone of us, they are just a number,it's up to you how well you do. You need to be drinking lot of water, getting as much exercise as you can and if you haven't already have your doctor sign you up for pulmonary rehab. There are some doctors who won't even deal in stages, I'm lucky enough to have one of those doctors, he treats the problem that I'm having at the time. Make sure you are given your COPD Action Plan every time you see pulmonary. Now for the depression, I was where you are and I found that drugs were not the answer, I started doing talk therapy with my counselor many years ago and it has been more effective then any deprression drug. And there are no side effects like there are with drugs. You have to think positive and You must NEVER GIVE UP! You can stop smoking and you can take control of your copd. I will keep you in prayer.

I have never been on anything for depression or anxiety, so unfortunately I cannot offer any advice on that. As for smoking, don't let a relapse stop you from trying. I quit years ago using the nicotine patch for nicotine replacement, licorice strips for that need to "puff" on something, and once I got past that i used butterscotch candy for those occasional cravings. Jensmom is right, the cravings only last a few minutes.

You can do this! Like the old saying goes, "If at first you don't succeed, try try again".

I wish you luck, please keep in touch. Let me know how you are doing.

I can not take pills either they make it worse. All God give us just one day at a time, and like the Bible says that it all we have, so I hope you can pray and ask the Heavenly Father for help. It is a battle every day for sure.

I kind of cheated when it comes to quitting smoking. I don't know if it is my COPD or from having blood clots in my lungs. But if I even take two hits off of a cigarette these days, I will get sick enough to have to lay down on the couch for a few hours. I tested this again 2 years ago and got really sick. I had to lay down all day and have not picked up another cigarette since. The sad fact of the matter is that we will either quit smoking on our own, or we will be forced to quit when they make us sick. I had a friend of my moms who continued to smoke up until the end. He would sneak cigarettes in the bathroom even with his oxygen tank on. I know how hard it is to quit smoking. I was an on and off again smoker for years. I just remember feeling like vomiting and getting sick from the last cigarette I smoked and that is enough to quell any urges I continue to have.

Your diagnosis is not a death sentence. Like others have stated, the numbers don't mean squat. There are people with 20 percent lung function who are doing well and even thriving. It just depends on how well the good parts of your lungs can compensate for the bad parts. Quitting smoking will do wonders for improving all of your symptoms. In most cases, quitting smoking will slow the progression of the disease down to that of a person who is a non-smoker. All people lose lung function as they age. It's just a normal part of the aging process. Once you quit smoking, that lung aging process returns to that of a non-smoker. Have you tried to patch, or vaping. There are alternatives to quit smoking. I know someone who is on the pill to quit and after 2 hits from a cig, they are sick as heck and can't handle anymore cigs for the rest of the day. Information and confirmation of your disease is a good thing It gives you time to change your life style and fight this. I used to get yearly lung infections before quitting smoking. I used to cough up green stuff for weeks. Now I have not coughed up one green thing since 2012 when I stopped smoking after blood clots in lungs. That goes to show that improvement is to be seen once you stop smoking and your lungs get a good rest. You're lung function might even go back into category 2 or higher merely from quitting cigarettes. Hang in there. Hugs.

As far as the meds for depression, please use them carefully, because they can become addicting and are hard to get off of. Even Paxil causes physical dependence and some people have a heck of a time getting off of them. I too am depressed because of the lung issues and I also have an enlarged heart, chronic pain, and the never-ending thought of clots coming back to do me in. I just deal with it by trying not to worry about things I cannot control. We can't control what happens to our bodies. All we can do is slow it down by taking meds and making some lifestyle changes. Sometimes the party is just over. Smoking is over for us now. I am also a Type 2 diabetic and I continue to eat the foods that are killing me. I just take insulin and then eat pizza, hamburgers, and all kinds of stuff I should not be eating. I'm trying to keep the party alive for as long as I can because food is all I have left. But one day, it will be hard to manage my disease and I will be forced onto a low carb diet. Then my food party will be over and that's it. Back to salads and steaks. At least you don't have to give up foods. There is that. I would rather have just the lung issues and still be able to eat food whenever I want too. I have to wait until I can dedicate time to take insulin and monitor myself for four hours after for low and highs before I eat anything that has a carb in it. Quitting smoking is something that you can do! You just need to keep on trying and do not beat yourself up if it takes you some time. It is hard to break old habits.

Please ask to be put on the pulmonary rehab programme there you will meet lots of peeps in the same boat and get help and reassurance. Stopping smoking is hard we all know but try your best to halt things. My lung function was at one stage around 45% but with the right inhalers and just getting out and about I’ve got it up to 71% at the moment. Just try to concentrate on yourself for a while, keep moving and get help. The rehab people could point you in the right direction re the depression and keep an eye on you. Hope this helps .

Chriskho profile image
Chriskho in reply to Chriskho

+ don’t pay much attention to Google. Take advice from here from people who actually live with COPD.

my husband takes colazapam.not sure how to spell helps some.also his therapy dr. told him to get canabis oil.we havent tryed that yet.old fashion way really helps but doesnt help copd if u k what i mean.

I sympathise and feel very sorry for you. I have advanced End Stage 4 COPD. I was a heavy smoker until January 2017 and now use a Vaporizer wich contains nicotine solution. I have found this has got me through and made life much better. Good luck, I hope this has helped.😊

Jensmom profile image
Jensmom in reply to VicMK

Hi, I read your reply and was wondering what nicotine vaporizer you use if you don't mind. I've recently quit and I'm having a very hard time. I'm also stage 4. I'd appreciate any advice

VicMK profile image
VicMK in reply to Jensmom

Hi Jensmom, I use an 88vape vaporizer, a more expensive alternative is one by socialites. They are both the same size and parts are interchangeable. The big difference comes with the price; 88vape £12, socialites around £50+. For economy I use 88vape spares, barrels inclusive of coil £1, refills (plain or flavoured) 10ml/11mg nicotine £1. The cost weekly is £4-5 = 2 barrels, and 2-3 refills.

I honestly don't miss cigarettes much, even when with smokers. I used to smoke heavily and equally use my vaporizer heavily. I hope that you are suffering too much at the moment, I have good and not so good days and at present I am wheezing like an old kettle lol. I hope this has been of help to you, take care, Vic 😊.

Jensmom profile image
Jensmom in reply to VicMK

Thank you so much for answering, I really appreciate it. I'm gonna get them. I'm feeling like you are right now, started wheezing and coughing today, all its done is rain and be humid here in Maryland. Take good care of yourself, we deserve it! Thank you again.

susanpom profile image
susanpom in reply to Jensmom

I quit smoking in 2013 with first diagnosis of COPD. Used a ecig (vapor) and still use it today. Have many varieties of them and even make my own liquid for them. I buy nicotine solution by the liter so I will never be without. It worked for me and my lungs are clear

Bless you, good luck and I hope you get on ok😊

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