Depression can affect therapy for COPD lung disease
Around five million people in Germany suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD for short. The disease, also known as "smoking cough", is caused in most cases by intensive tobacco use. Many sufferers also become increasingly depressed. This complicates the therapy.
COPD cannot be cured
According to the German Respiratory League, up to five million people in Germany suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, also known as smoker's cough). The disease cannot be cured, but rapid progression can often be prevented. To do this, however, COPD must first be diagnosed. According to experts, however, patients often do not know about their severe lung disease for a long time.
Especially smokers get sick
Although smokers mostly fall ill, many non-smokers are also affected. It is also known that, for example, people who are regularly exposed to air pollutants in the workplace belong to the risk groups. In rare cases, COPD can also be genetic. Once the diagnosis of COPD has been made, various therapeutic measures are available that can be used to improve the function of the lungs again. Drug treatment with inhalable medicinal products is often carried out.
Smoking cough is often accompanied by depression
However, COPD is often accompanied by depression and other psychological problems. According to the internet portal "Pulmonologists on the Internet": "Depression, anxiety and especially panic disorders are common in COPD patients and are of importance for the further course of the disease, as they involve frequent hospital admissions, longer hospital stays, more frequent visits to the doctor and one deteriorated quality of life. "
The reliable intake of medication is jeopardized
Depression also affects the treatment of severe lung disease. Dr. Andreas Hellmann, Chairman of the Board of the Federal Association of Pneumologists (BdP) said in a message from the dpa news agency: "Depression is a risk factor that jeopardizes the reliable use of anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator COPD drugs."
Braking the course of the disease
According to the experts, however, it is important to treat COPD consistently as a progressive disease in order to slow down the course of the disease. According to Dr. Hellmann, rehabilitation programs, lung sports, self-help groups and discussions with experts make sense to prevent depression in COPD patients. "Those affected should actively seek support and should not be afraid to speak to their doctor openly if they notice that depressed thoughts, worries and fears are taking over," said the BdP chairman. (ad)