Do you ever feel that there is a stigma... - Living with Asthma

Living with Asthma
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Do you ever feel that there is a stigma associated with asthma?


How do you feel asthma impacts your working life?

Reply and respond to others in the comments below! :)

15 Replies

Sometimes. When I tell people I have asthma they kind of brush it off as no big deal.

CalvinHUHealthUnlocked in reply to Asthmagirl100

What do you wish more people would know about your experience with Asthma?

That asthma can happen in a second. I could go from breathing normally to not breathing well very fast. It’s chronic.

I’m currently a stay at home mom, but when I worked at a 3M factory I had to wear a mask. All the dust and stuff from the sandpaper really made my asthma bad.

My employer and co workers have seen my Asthma at work while I'm using my nebulizer usually when I have a lung infection, and they are very sympathetic and understanding.

Most people don’t understand the physical and emotional limitations of severe asthma. When events must be declined or canceled at the last minute due to an unexpected flare, it is often considered an excuse.

PutnamAsthma Captain in reply to kdr112

So true, people do not get that.

MahodAsthma Captain in reply to kdr112

Exactly! That is the hardest part, last minute cancellations that we have not control over.

PutnamAsthma Captain

Asthma has impacted my work and social life. To some extent, I was able to hide it at work, law enforcement for 35 years. Tough as a child. Always the last guy picked for sports. I think I have not let people get too close to me and never could handle team sports . I need a lot of time by myself to get ready for the day . I deal with mild depression often, but not medicated. I am an amateur musician and that has helped. Music seems to be the best “ drug” for me. I don’t think that asthmatics are stigmatized today. Society has evolved in a good way regarding diseases. I was brought up with the attitude that a lot of people are carrying burdens heavier than what I am carrying around.

I joined the police force in 2009 and the struggle I had to get in. Being an asthmatic has never stopped me doing anything I want. So when I got this problem I had a hard fight to get in. But then they can not discriminate you because of this. I found I was fitter than most the younger ones! So people do feel there is a stigma to being asthmatic but we can do most things.

There is definitely a stigma, especially when you don’t wheeze. Don’t get me wrong, you can see the Ilness’s effects on me but still. My employer has commented “you are out a lot” when really it averages one day a month. People also think an inhaler puff fixes it. I have severe asthma and it runs my life 80% of the time.

MahodAsthma Captain

I am retired. Though retirement age (66) I had not planned to retire for several years, loved my work. My increasing asthma and lung issues due repeated infections, hospitilizations with pneumonias, forced the decission.

Stigma! Having advocated, through my job, to end the stigma that surrounds mental illness and addictions, I was familiar with the ignorance that is the foundation of stigma.

I wasn't prepared to find it with Asthma!! As I put on my "positive face" and push on, I would hear: "Just drink some water to stop that cough!" "You look fine, why do you need to rest?" "Take deeper breaths!; tough it out!" are a few I have heard, by truly well meaning people.

There is no "face" to asthma, no obvious deformity or need for aids. Add unpredictability and I can see why it is so difficult for others to be more compassionate.

So, as I have learned, be my own advocate. Take care of my needs so I can get on with life. I don't wear it on my sleeve, nor do I ask for special treatment. I think this is true of asthma sufferers. We push on.

I don't feel like asthma is a stigma, it is just more like people don't understand it. Even if you explain it to them, they think you should just be "normal" like you were before. I mean, we take medication right? They think that is all it is. I have had some negative remarks made to me about how I never want to do anything and that I need to try a little bit harder to "get out there" more. The misconception of not looking sick and how you actually feel is what throws people off I think.

I am retired so don’t have to deal with workplace any longer. I wasn’t diagnosed until after my work life ended.

My issue is that MOST people I've known throughout the years use this phrase quite regularly: "oh you will outgrow it in your later years" OR "it must be something other than asthma because you should have outgrown it by now". I guess ignorance really is BLISS to those NOT in the know of our disease!

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