Most People With Copd Enjoy Good Mental Health: Study

Most People With COPD Enjoy Good Mental Health: Study –

Most People With COPD Enjoy Good Mental Health: Study

TUESDAY, Dec. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Surprisingly, most people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are in excellent mental health, Canadian researchers report.

Two-thirds of COPD patients do not suffer from common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse, according to the new study. According to a new study, the key to well-being seems to be having the support of loved ones and not being isolated or alone.

COPD is a progressive and debilitating chronic lung disease that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The condition has previously been linked to mental health issues, the researchers noted.

“It’s not an easy disorder,” said lead researcher Esme Fuller-Thomson, director of the University of Toronto’s Institute for Life Course and Aging.

But to see that two-thirds of people with COPD — which can make it hard to breathe and interfere with their ability to work and participate in family activities — overcome these difficulties to the point of mentally thriving is encouraging, he said. she stated. .

For the study, Fuller-Thomson and her colleague Sally Abudiab, a graduate of the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, looked at the mental health of 703 patients with COPD. They found that 67% of participants were in excellent mental health.

According to Fuller-Thomson, this meant being happy and satisfied with one’s life most of the time, having social and psychological well-being, and not being depressed or anxious, suicidal or drug addicted.

Yet those who were socially isolated were vulnerable to poorer mental health, the researchers found.

“One of the main things was having a confidant, so social support is really, really key,” Fuller-Thomson said. “People who had at least one person to confide in about important events were seven times more likely to have flourishing mental health than those who were isolated with no one to confide in.”

People with poor mental health were those who had previous episodes of major depression, anxiety or negative childhood experiences. Adverse childhood experiences, such as physical and sexual abuse, reduced the odds of COPD patients being free of mental illness by 31%.

Childhood adversities can delay the development of positive coping skills and emotional resilience, and foster unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and substance abuse, the authors noted.

Fuller-Thomson said for COPD patients who aren’t mentally fit, there are plenty of things they can do to feel less isolated.

These include cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups, as well as family. Also, doctors should screen for depression and anxiety in their COPD patients, she said.

“Many healthcare professionals are very concerned about properly managing the physical demands of a serious chronic illness such as COPD, but we don’t always screen for depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, mental health consequences “, noted Fuller-Thomson.

“I’m very happy that two-thirds are doing very well,” she said. “But there is a minority of COPD patients who would clearly benefit from more targeted education and treatment.”

The report was recently published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Not being socially isolated and lonely is key to maintaining a healthy mental life, said Dr. Amit Mahajan, volunteer medical spokesperson for the American Lung Association.

“As long as patients aren’t stuck in isolation and stuck in these unfortunate physical restraints and have things that make them forget about their illness, plus extra support, people feel better and do more,” a- he declared.

For those in isolation, there are online resources and pulmonary rehabilitation where patients can be with others with the same condition, Mahajan added.

Millions of Americans have COPD and suffer from it regularly, Mahajan said.

“At the end of the day, it’s a very difficult disease,” he said. “It’s very easy to fall into the trap of feeling down, feeling down, but there are ways to get out of it by socializing, exercising and asking your doctor what you can do. to improve your condition, both mentally and physically.”

More information

To learn more about COPD, check out the American Lung Association.

SOURCES: Esme Fuller-Thomson, Ph.D., professor and director, Institute for Life Course and Aging, University of Toronto; Amit Mahajan, MD, volunteer medical spokesperson, American Lung Association; International Journal of Environmental Research and Public HealthDecember 6, 2022

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