Did you know that your feelings of anxiety and depression could be related to your severe asthma? Undoubtedly, being diagnosed with a chronic illness like asthma could affect almost every part of your life. From living in constant fear of your next asthma attack to having financial concerns, it’s likely that your asthma can affect your mental health.
It’s common to have increased anxiety and depression when you have a potentially life-threatening disease like severe asthma. With the link between lifelong diseases and mental health conditions, we suggest seeking advice and support if your severe asthma is affecting your mental health.
The Effects of Asthma on Mental Health
Living with asthma can be distressing. From 2017 to 2018, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported that Australians with asthma were more likely to experience high (11%) and very high (15%) levels of psychological distress compared with those without asthma. With high levels of distress, some asthmatics could still likely develop mental health problems.
Here are the effects of living with asthma on your mental health:
Asthma symptoms and attacks can be frightening and exhausting. It can affect your life at school or work because symptoms can worsen depending on the season, causing feelings of depression. However, some asthma patients may develop depression as a side effect of preventer and reliever medicine. Either way, you should tell your doctor your feelings to get the treatment you require.
Develop anxiety disorders
Feeling anxious now and then is normal. If you’re taking a test or even lying, you feel worried. For asthmatics, the thought of future asthma attacks can be overwhelming to the point of causing anxiety. Living with a lifelong disease like severe asthma increases the risk of lifetime anxiety disorders. Though, it could be avoided with a personalised asthma action plan.
Experience constant stress
Stress and asthma have a difficult relationship. Why? Asthma is a disease that causes stress, but stress can also cause an asthma attack. Maintaining a high-stress lifestyle could have repercussions on your asthma and your overall health. If your stress levels are left unchecked, it could exacerbate your asthma and make you more susceptible to mental illnesses.
How to Manage Asthma and Mental Health?
A person's asthma self-management habits may be disrupted by stress, anxiety, and depression, which raises the possibility of exacerbating the disease and developing mental illness. Fortunately, there are strategies to help manage both your asthma and mental health, such as:
Practise strict adherence to medications
If your asthma symptoms are bad, you may have poor asthma control, making you more at risk from all triggers and developing mental health problems. A tailored asthma action plan from your doctor can help you stay well, if strictly followed. Strong adherence to your medication will help you live a symptom-free life while also reducing the risk of developing mental health issues.
Get Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Some asthma medicines may affect your mood and you’re not alone in that experience. It’s common for asthma patients to go to specialists who can help them with their emotional well-being and common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. You can ask your doctor about counselling and CBT if you think that your severe asthma is affecting your mental health.
Consider relaxation and breathing techniques
There’s evidence that breathing exercises can benefit your asthma. Buteyko breathing and pursed-lip breathing are some of the best breathing techniques that effectively relieve asthma and stress - a common trigger for asthma and anxiety symptoms. Importantly, ensure that you consult with your doctor before jumping into breathing exercises.
Keep a fit and active routine
Starting slowly with physical activities such as walking, swimming, and volleyball may help manage your asthma, low moods and depression. There’s no one-size-fits-all in having an active routine for people with severe asthma. Thus, remember to speak with your doctor first before getting started.
Watch what you eat and drink
Some certain foods and drinks affect moods. For instance, foods high in sugar or highly processed foods can add to feelings of anxiety. Drinks with high levels of caffeine, like coffee, may also increase anxiousness and nervousness, which may trigger asthma symptoms. If you have a strict diet recommended by your doctor, make sure to follow it.
Get Asthma Care Supplies from Us!
Asthma is a disease that lasts a lifetime. While there’s no cure yet for asthma, having the proper treatment and asthma care devices can keep your disease and the emotions affecting your symptoms under control. Here at Home Healthcare Online, we provide e-chamber asthma spacers, masks, and nebulisers to help in your medical treatment.