Patients diagnosed with severe lung disease puts them in additional distress. In most cases, these patients endure (in addition to physical symptoms) huge psychological burden. Between 40 and 70 percent of those enduring chronic obstructive pulmonary disease also go through anxiety and symptoms of depression, especially among women.

Studies show that depressive moods can lead to patients no longer taking their medication regularly. In people with lung diseases, psychological stress can have an unfavorable long-term effect on the course of the disease, on the length of hospital stays or on the continued use of tobacco or on mortality.

Asthma and COPD: Nebulizer Medication and Psychosocial Support

People with asthma and COPD also receive psychosocial support as part of so-called disease management programs from health insurance companies. This includes the use of nebulizer machine and inhalers as part of their medication and management program.

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) collected as part of the World Health Survey show that chronically ill people are at an increased risk of developing depression. Depending on the previous illness (angina pectoris, arthritis, asthma or diabetes were examined ), nine to 23 percent of these people fought against depression. The frequency of mental illness was thus far higher than that of healthy people. Among the depressed episodes, 3.3 percent were people with asthma.

Accompanying psychotherapy can help

The prospect of having to live with a chronic disease that is often increasing in severity requires great mental strength. However, this is often missing at the time the disease is diagnosed.

If a lung disease becomes more severe, the physical performance of the patient usually also decreases. For many, this means an additional psychological burden.

Breathlessness experienced as threatening – for example in the case of repeated asthma attacks – can also lead to anxiety, panic disorders and depression. Because of the fear of shortness of breath, some people avoid stress that is actually reasonable, which can also have a severe impact on social life or everyday family life.

Thank you psychotherapy

An accompanying psychotherapy can show ways and help to cope better with everyday life with the illness. If it is suspected that there is a mental disorder in addition to the lung disease, those affected should definitely contact a doctor specializing in psychiatry and psychotherapy or psychosomatic and psychotherapy.

A threatened professional downgrade due to the illness can also be psychologically stressful. What work can still be carried on appropriately, what alternatives are there? A detailed psychosocial anamnesis by a specialized doctor, for example from occupational medicine, can provide information about the professional performance opportunities.

Exchange with other affected persons

In addition to medical care, it can also help to exchange experiences and strategies for coping with the disease with other people with respiratory diseases and their relatives.

Numerous contact points offer additional psychosocial support in coping with emotional distress over the long term. These include psychosocial positions in clinics or associations as well as self-help organizations through which you can get in touch with like-minded people to share personal experiences.

More options

Pneumological rehabilitation can also have a positive effect on psychological stress. Studies show that pulmonary rehabilitation can relieve anxiety symptoms in people with COPD.

In the context of patient training, people with lung diseases can also learn different breathing techniques and the correct behavior in an emergency in order to better deal with the fear of shortness of breath.