How to live a happy life with COPD

In the United States, COPD is the third leading cause of mortality. This surprises many people, and worries those who are diagnosed with it. There are no cures of COPD. Once diagnosed, the illness is a lifelong occurrence. The men and women who live with this disease suffer from side effects like frequent coughing, tightness in their chests, trouble breathing, and wheezing. In addition, they often find themselves suffering from respiratory infections that require medication to resolve.

Speaking of Side Effects

Physical side effects aren’t the only problems that stem from COPD. People who live with this chronic and debilitating disease struggle to cope with the quality of life they have been robbed of via the illness. They may not be able to keep up with their son’s ball game. During their daughter’s ballet recital, they’re the one coughing so frequently and with such exasperation that they have to leave the auditorium.

Some people can’t even keep up with the stamina that sex requires. This can seriously impact their interpersonal relationships and hinders many marriages. Frequent infections might keep sufferers out of work. This could lead to a strained relationship with employers and may even make it difficult to maintain a job at all.

A lot of people with COPD have trouble with finding the silver lining in this illness. They feel tired and fatigued often. They might not be up to engaging with family at get-togethers. Once upon a time, they had energy and were productive parents, professionals and members of society. Then COPD takes over, and they struggle to grasp how they will maintain the same life they’ve been living while battling a chronic disease. The truth is, they won’t be able to. Still, this isn’t a death sentence. They don’t have to lay die and accept defeat.

Finding Happiness

The primary cause of COPD is due to exposure to toxins. In most cases, this exposure occurs through smoking. COPD sufferers who are still smoking need to stop. Their health will never improve if they continue to light up, and as a result they will never overcome the limitations their diagnosis imposes. Figuring out other substances and environments that may trigger coughing spells or infections can be helpful, too. So, can getting adequate sleep and maintaining a healthy diet.

Beyond the typical lifestyle factors that nearly any illness would require, it’s best to maintain good posture and sit and stand well when COPD Is of concern. Yoga and Pilates can help improve posture extensively. So can regular trips to the chiropractor to maintain proper alignment. Spiritually, sufferers may seek a deeper reason for their illness. Reaching out to others who struggle with COPD to help them find ways to better their life may in turn help you better yours. Almost half of all people with COPD have comorbid episode of clinical depression. Seeking therapy and medication for these episodes of unhappiness is nothing to be ashamed of. For many people who have COPD, the disease is a result of neglecting their health for many years. It’s never too late to start taking care of you.

Cite this page: Danielle Bosley, "How to live a happy life with COPD," in PsychologyDictionary.org, January 30, 2017, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/how-to-live-a-happy-life-with-copd/ (accessed May 24, 2019).
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