The holiday season can be a joyous time for many! From cherishing moments with friends and family to the heartfelt exchange of gifts, there is much to be excited about! There are times though where depression might play a role in how you feel during the holidays. This is especially true for people who have been diagnosed with a lung disease. From symptoms of breathlessness to the depletion of energy, having a lung disease can lead to feelings of loss and negativity, which can be increased over the course of the holiday.
Unfortunately, depression can actually exacerbate your physical symptoms. For example, feeling down can cause you to have trouble following your treatment plan. You may find that it’s easy to forget your medications or not to exercise. You may even turn to alcohol, cigarettes or other unhealthy habits to cope, which can wreak further havoc on your body.
Signs of Depression to Lookout For
Lung disease and depression are not things to take likely. All of us have had a bad day every now and then, but when you are suffering from depression, you may experience a variety of symptoms, in addition to the effects of your lung disease. That’s why it is important to learn how to recognize the signs of depression and seek help if you need it. According to an article in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, here are some of the symptoms of depression to look out for:
- Fatigue and appetite changes
- Sleeping problems
- Thoughts about death or suicide
- Hopelessness, guilt or helplessness
How to Manage Lung Disease and Depression
Depression can add to your already fragile emotional state when you live with a lung disease. People who are depressed often feel disconnected from their family and friends, and tend to feel hopeless about ever feeling good again. This can make it more difficult to take care of yourself and follow the treatment recommendations from your doctor.
If you have any of the symptoms of depression, it’s important to talk to your physician. They may want to prescribe medication to help alleviate your depression. It’s important to find the right medication because many antidepressants can interfere with medications you may already be taking for your lung disease.
Also, try to stay active and exercise! Joining a support group can also be beneficial to helping you connect with others. And if all else fails, do what makes you happy! Depression can be a challenge for anyone, especially if you are suffering from an ongoing lung disease. If you are feeling depressed, talk to your doctor immediately and get the help you need today!