Are depression and COPD correlated?

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Humans often feel low, but if this feeling recurs or occurs frequently for a long time, it is termed as mental illness. Mental illness is a global concern in today’s fast-moving life. However, it has not been taken seriously in our country. No preventive measures or treatments are considered until the situation becomes grave.

It is human tendency for people suffering from chronic illnesses, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to feel stressed, anxious, or depressed. Symptoms such as breathlessness and loss of stamina are the repercussions of depression on our lungs. A depressed person becomes addicted to smoking and alcohol, which in turn has a devastating effect on the lungs. Co-occurrence of depression and COPD should not be taken lightly.

Causes of depression Depression is a complex illness caused by changes in brain chemistry. Unlike other diseases, it cannot be treated just by medicines. The

factors that can precipitate changes in brain chemistry are as follows:

 Emotional or physical abuse.

 Hormonal changes.

 COPD or any other serious illness because it requires heavy medications that reduce the energy level and increase the risk of social isolation.

 Personal conflicts with family/friends.

 Death or loss of a loved one.

 A family history of depression.

 Situations such as losing a job, getting divorced or separating from the family. The above mentioned factors make a person socially isolated or aloof. He experiences difficulty in concentrating and decision making. Delusions and hallucinations also occur in the case of severe depression. Thus, it becomes a vicious cycle.

Symptoms of depression associated with COPD

 Sadness and anxiety

 Fatigue and appetite changes

 Irritability and angry outbursts

 Loss of sleep

 Suicidal tendency

 Hopelessness, guilt, or helplessness

Depression can be cured…

Depression can be a challenge especially if a person is suffering from COPD. Screening is the first step to alleviate depression.

The recommendations for individuals suffering from depression are as follows:

 Consult a doctor.

 Join a support group that helps in connecting to others.

 Engage in extracurricular activities.

 Improve sleeping and eating habits.

 Discuss your problems with the closed ones.

To be honest, in today’s scenario, a person suffering from depression is often considered as weak. Fighting against depression and its symptoms indeed requires a lot of courage and strength. Depressed individuals need emotional support and care from their loved ones. Most importantly, such people should concentrate on things that make them happy. After all, mental health is as important as physical health.