Ever have a day you wanted to start all over again? You've just encountered a really difficult person or your car had a flat - and you
were already running late for an appointment. Sometimes we all experience stressful situations. But what is stress, really?

Stress is simply the body's reaction to a challenge or threat. Stress results from a situation that can be either positive or negative.
Winning a million dollars can be just as stressful as getting a divorce.


When you feel stress, your body goes into a state of alarm. It is flooded with chemicals called hormones that cause your heart to start
beating faster, your breathing to become shallow and rapid, your muscles to get tense and your perspiration to increase. And although you can't
feel it, your blood sugar level rises, and your digestive system slows down. Your body challenges you to either confront the situation. or
retreat from it.

Any event or situation can lead to stress. We call the situation that leads to stress a "stressor", because it causes a stress response


Once you know your stress symptoms, try this. Stop for a minute. Breathe and relax. Then do something positive. Here are a few things
you can do when you feel stressed.

1.  You can go for symptom relief. This includes things such as getting a   massage for tight muscles or trying a relaxation technique.
2.  You can accept the stressor and prepare yourself by building up your resistance. You can tolerate stress better when you eat right, get
......regular exercise and take care of yourself. Also, you can change how you perceive the situation. Have you ever set a goal that is too high?
......By changing that goal so it is more realistic, the stressor won't bother you as much anymore.
3.   You can alter the stressor by physically altering the source of stress so it's no longer there. For example, let's say you have to plan a major event
......You can alter the stressor by planning well in advance or asking for help rather than trying to do it all by yourself.
4.   You can avoid the stressor by removing yourself from the situation.  Sometimes it's better to walk away or delegate. Recognize your

limitations and avoid the situation.


1.Always expecting that things will go wrong, rather than expecting that things will go right.
2.Always thinking that you have to do things, rather than thinking that you have a choice.


1. Inadequate time to complete a job to one's satisfaction.
2. Lack of a clear job description or chain of command.
3. Absence of recognition or reward for good performance.
4. In ability or lack of opportunity to voice complaints.
5. Many responsibilities, but little authority or decision-making capability.
6. Inability to work with superiors, co-workers, or subordinates because of basic differences in personality, values, and/or goals.
7. Lack of control or pride over the finished product.
8. Job insecurity due to pressures from within the organization, or the possibility of merger.
9. Prejudice and bigotry due to age, gender, or religion.
10. Unpleasant environmental conditions such as air pollution, crowding,  noise, exposure to chemicals, commuting difficulties,
or inadequate/non-working equipment.
11. Not being able to use personal talents or abilities effectively or to their full potential.
12. Problems at home, family worries, financial problems, alcohol/drug/gambling problems, etc.
13. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.


1.  Live in the present. Take a lesson from kids. They take each day as it comes. They do one thing at a time. Their mind and body occupy the
same space at the same time. Most of the time adult's bodies are in the present space, but their minds are wandering in the past or in
the future. This split between body and mind can be stressful.
2.  Remind yourself that other people and things can never make you angry.   Only your mind can do that.
3.  When something comes up, you can either choose to react in a stressful way--o r you can choose to react in a calm way.
4.  Dont't blame things for your stress. Blame your thinking.

Anger and irritability are common feelings experienced by copd ALL.You may have many angry feelings and a lower tolerance for annoyances
and changes in day-to-day events. You may express anger toward your spouse, your family, your doctor, the hospital, your friends, and even
yourself! Sometimes your anger may be expressed directly at the actual source, while at other times it is expressed indirectly. For example,
you might be very angry with your doctor, but may express your feelings not to the doctor, but to your spouse or another family member. Some of
you may have difficulty expressing angry feelings and respond "passively". For example, instead of expressing your feelings outwardly,
you might slam doors, throw things, become irritable, or set up situations in which you make others suffer.

I can't begin to count the times I've heard spouses or others say, "I can't do anything with him/her. He/she is just an old grouch". Here are
some ways that patients with lung problems sometimes express anger:
    1. They refuse to comply with treatment orders. They won't do what the doctor or therapist tells them to do.
    2. They refuse to participate in family events, sometimes using shortness of breath as an excuse, when in reality, they are angry at
something or someone.
    3. They show irritability to mild disruption in routine such as any change in schedule, having to wait to see the doctor, the weather
turning bad (or good), and even trivial things that never seemed to bother them in the past.
    4.  They blame others for thier discomfort or negative situation.

Does any of the above sound familiar? What can you or family members do?

    1. Write down your feelings of anger on a piece of paper. Many times this will help you to just get them out, and you'll feel better. You
need to get these type feelings expressed verbally.
    2. Use relaxation techniques. They will help but only when you put them to work for you by trying them.
    3. Find someone you can "vent" your anger to. Someone who listens well, but does not react or take up your anger personally. This person
could be a close friend, a minister, priest or rabbi, or maybe even a psychologist or psychiatrist. (I can hear some of you now. "What is he?
Nuts! I'm not crazy and I'm not going to any shrink!") You're right! You're not crazy! But, you may need someone to listen to you and these
people are expert, trained, listeners.

Spouse and family members can help by not reacting to angry outbursts personally. Listen and try to understand. Your behavior may truly be the
reason for this anger. That doesn't mean however, that you will be able to change anything. Be sure to share your feelings with the patient as
well. This back and forth exchange helps everyone.

One more point---If all these expressions of feelings always end up in full blown arguments, shouting matches or physical fights, then outside
help is in order as communication has broken down completely and needs repair. Don't be afraid to discuss these items with your doctor. You may
find him/her very helpful.

Most people, at one time or another in thier lifetime, experience some degree of depression. The intensity and frequency of depressive episodes
varies greatly from person to person. Depression has been called "the common cold" of mental health. It can range from saddened feelings for a
few days or weeks, to immobilization, suicidal thoughts, and even outright attempts at suicide.

The chronic lung patient is at risk for some degree of depression as a result of significant stresses brought on by thier illness.  These
stresses include hospitalization, inability to work, financial hardship, changes in lifestyle and even by the medicines taken for treatment.

Symptoms of depression include loss of interest in activities, unusual sleeping and eating habits (either too little or too much), difficulty
concentrating, tearfulness, poor self concept, and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Also there may be thoughts of suicide.
Mood swings are also symptoms of depression. One comment about sleeping and eating patterns; Patients with breathing problems have
more difficulty eating and sleeping, so it doesn't necessarily mean they are depressed.

Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and can result from a large number of illnesses. It is safe to say that whenever we are
sick, our brain, (which by the way is part of our body) may experience chemical changes which can bring on depressive symptoms.

Here are some examples of depression in patients:
        1. The patient may refuse to attend social functions such as a family get together.
        2. The patient may make statements like; "Life is over and will never be the same again", or, "you would be better off if I were dead".
        3. Patients may abuse alcohol.
   4. The patient may stay in bed and sleep most of the time. They may not want to shave or bathe themselves. They may be tearful a lot of
the time. Sometimes some of these items are related to difficulty in breathing occurring during these activities; but many times
they relate to depression.
        5. The patient may be suicidal and express more alarming evidence of depression by talking about suicidal thoughts or plans.

How can you help yourself, and how can family members help?
1. Family members must learn to empathize with the patient.BEING A "GOOD LISTENER" IS HELPFUL. You cannot say "Come on now,
cheer up and don't be depressed". The depressed person certainly would not choose to feel depressed. So it stands to reason that they cannot
turn it on and off. You must try to understand how they feel and empathize with those feelings.
        2. Discourage the use of alcohol. It is a depressant and will only help to lead to further depression.
        3. You, Mr. or Ms. Patient, need to be as active as is medically advisable. EXERCISE, WITHIN LIMITS, IS CRUCIAL. It helps you physically
and research has proved it helps you mentally in relieving depression. DO NOT stay in bed and avoid family and friends. GET UP, and of
possible, GET OUT! IT WILL HELP.
        4. You should seek counseling especially if you are having suicidal thoughts.

Family members need to be alert to suicidal threats and take them seriously. People who express such thoughts are asking for help, and you
should get them to the doctor right away. A good psychiatrist who is also a psychopharmacologist can be extremely helpful in dealing with
severe depression by using medications to treat the depression without interfering with your COPD treatment. Don't expect your lung doctor
or primary care physician to know what is best in this regard. They get very little training in this area.

Lastly, remember too, that depressive episodes usually pass. Talking about what concerns you helps and expressing your feelings is
beneficial. I would remind you that just because you're depressed doesn't mean your "crazy". In fact, it is a truly sane person who
recognizes that they are depressed and seeks help.
William Jaeckle

Donna's Case History of Panic Attacks

I would like to explain why I had all those panic attacks for so many years. Remember now ..I did not have a computer
in those days nor did I live near family support.

I was in the hospital for that test where they put a hose down into your lungs and then put  that chalky stuff in there.
I knew what it was about as I had had this test before without a problem.  The sprayed my throat and started threading 
it down..  I would tell him it was not going past my mouth.  Opened it and ..yep there it was.  He sprayed again and the
same thing happened...  then he told a helper to go get a different type of hose.  He sprayed again and tried and tried.
By now I felt nothing so he would have to tell me to open my mouth and it was full of the hose.  I remember my eyes dripped..didn't know why...I was given a Kleenex.  Maybe they thought I was crying but I wasn't.  I had just had a
full pulmonary workup so I was already quite exhausted and all this trying was not helping any.  Each time he would
spray again.. he was getting very nervous..determined not to fail.

Finally I told him.. 3  more chances ..if you cannot do it I want back to my room.  I had begged my doctor at that
time to let me rest from all the tests before I had to have this one but he refused me.

   Again and kept on..spray,try,no work, spray, try.. Soon I saw ME above and in the corner looking down
at ME sitting on the edge of my bed feeling thankful that someone had a nice cup of coffee there on my hospital bed
table.  Suddenly I was now able to see from my own body. The door was open and I saw a gurney with lots of men
pushing it fast.  It had a red blanket on it?  I felt so bad for that poor person...then...suddenly...  I knew it was me I
was seeing on that gurney being rushed down the halls ...Then everything looked black and a voice said,
"Move something.  Move anything.  You have only 4 chances left."  I would try but would then feel lost as I knew I
didn't move anything.  Black... then again a voice said "Hurry you must move something.  Try your legs, your arms.. 
But I just couldn't.  I would try so hard but.. Then I was awake.  I was not sure where I was and I saw double. 
A nurse came over and her voice sounded funny.  There was a huge clock above me..I couldn't read it.  She said..
you can move your arms dear.  I did.  Then my legs.  "I was alive".  I shaking I knew I had called out JESUS JESUS
when things would be black... I begged him to help me when I  was trying to move stuff for that voice?????

   I begged the nurse to call my husband.  I was terrified.  She said...maybe later.  I begged... no, now.  She walked
away.  I watched and looked around me.  I was on a bed in a small room.  "Where am I?" I ask.. "You are in 
intensive care. "  I sobbed, "I had an out of body experience ..I died didn't I".   she didn't answer.  I started
begging again ..please call Jack..please.  Why didn't you call him.. She seemed real angry at me and said,
    I laid there terrified. " What went wrong?  Why was I seeing double?"  I was afraid to ask questions anymore. 
They must have put me under again. When I woke up the next time I was in a different place.  they were washing
my face? I had oxygen on and there were machines all over the place?  I quietly ask if they called my husband..
 She said.  Soon. "Could you call my doctor please?"   She said he will be back. " Why are you washing my face?
" I asked.  "You had a bad reaction to the test.  We are cleaning you up so you can see your husband. ???

     Then  I woke up again and there was a man sitting by my bed.  He was dressed like a doctor but it was not mine? 
He said, "Hi, how do you feel now?"  I asked who he was.  He said, "I'm the one that did the test".  I said, "Well
maybe you should be more careful next time".  I saw his face fall as he said, "I was careful".

     I was back to sleep again.  This time when I woke up I seemed to be in a regular room.  heart and lung machines
were monitoring and this time there was a colored man sitting next to me.  He asked how I was and said it was a
good thing he had been in the next room and had an oxygen tank for me. "Why? Please, What happened?"
    He called in the other man.  The one I had told to be careful. Finally they told me what had happened.
   "Just as I had started the chalk (whatever that stuff is called) you grabbed my hand and yelled "STOP!" 
So I pulled it out fast.  Then you went out like a light ...stopped breathing but we had oxygen fast.  You then 
went into a grand mal seizure.  "WHAT?" I yelled.  I have never, ever had any kind of seizure in my LIFE!!
    I told him I saw double when I woke up in intensive care.. I told him about my out of body thing.. I said it 
sounds more like you over dosed my on that spray you kept spraying me with.   He said he didn't spray too 
much and I said.. well its over now..but I still was trembling and suddenly so cold my teeth chattered.
   When my doctor came in with my chart..I grabbed it from him. It read... After a few attempt to put the 
(I call it a hose)  Mrs. B became quite nervous.  She then went into a grand mal seizure...blah blah.....
  I told my doctor... "They are covering there A___ ...that is not what happened!

I also reminded him that I was in no shape to even be getting the test since I was so worn out from the others 
and that He would not let me rest first...Oh. almost forgot.  I woke up in more times when I could hear myself
crying and jabbering out loud... yeah... I still believe that I was overdosed!  My face was so swollen I could
hardly recognize myself.  My husband was not called until much later.  When he and my heart doctor arrived they
quickly got warmed blankets as I was going into shock.  By now I had figured out that when I died is when I
saw myself ...but the voices and "Move something".. were real but I was so overdosed I could not
feel if I was moving something for them or not.  Thus it would appear I was having a seizure...No amount of telling
this to any doctor then or now or ever has gotten any of them to admit I'm right.  When I was dismissed from
the hospital I was told to tell any doctor I ever see that I cannot use anything ending in CAINE because of this
terrible reaction from it!!

We all know that EVERYTHING almost everything has Caine in it.  Even some eye drops.. Especially things
needed in an emergency... but now I cannot beallowed to have it.. Needless to say I changed doctors.  If I was 
sue happy I could have maybewon but... I was troubled with panic attacks for 3 years after that and probably would
still have them if I had not learned about that little rubber band.  This pretty much off topic though the test was a lung
thing but this was at least 15 years ago
    That is why I started having panic attacks.. I was so afraid of going to sleep and thus if I started to doze off.. ..the
attack would hit hard...every night..  Thanks sweet family for listening.  I've never told this to anyone except my
husband and my family.  If a rubber band can cure me of my panic attacks it will work for anyone.  No matter where
or why you are having them.  And prayers of course ..and love.

Donna <>

1.   It does not matter if you feel frightened, bewildered, unreal or unsteady.  These feelings are nothing more than an exaggeration of ......the normal bodily reactions to stress.
2.   Just because you have these sensations does not mean you are very sick. These feelings are just unpleasant and frightening not ......dangerous. Nothing worse will happen to you.
3.   Let your feelings come. They have been in charge of you, you have been pumping them up and making them acute. Stop pumping. ......Do not turn away.from panic. When you feel the panic mount, take a deep breath and, as you breath out, let go. Keep trying. Stay ......there almost as if you were floating in space.  Do not fight the feeling of panic. Accept it. You can do it.
4.   Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible without escaping. If you are in a street, lean against a post or store wall. If you are the cosmetics dept. store find a quieter counter or corner. If you are in a boutique, tell the salesperson you do not feel well and ......want to sit for a while. DO NOT jump into your car and go home in fear.
5.   Stop adding to your panic with frightening thoughts about what is happening and where it might lead. Do not indulge in self pity and ......think,"Why can't I be like all the other normal people? Why do I have to go through all this?" Just accept what is happening to you. ......If you do this, what you fear most will not happen.
6....Think about what is really happening to your body at this moment. DO not think,"Something terrible is going to happen. I must get ......out." Repeat to
......yourself " I will not fall, faint, die or loose control."
7.>Now wait and give the fear time to pass. Do not run away. Others have found the strength. YOU WILL TOO. Notice that you stop ......adding the  ......frightening thoughts to your panic, the fear starts to fade away by itself.
8.. This is your opportunity to practice. Think of it that way. Even if you feel isolated in space, one of these days you will not feel that ......way.  Sometime soon, you will be able to go through the panic and say " I DID IT", Once you say this, you will have gone a long ......way towards conquering fear. Think about the progress you will have made. YOU ARE IN THE SITUATION!!!
9.   Try to distract yourself from what is going on inside you. Look at your surroundings. See the other people on the street , in the bus ......wherever you are. They are with you not against you.
10.  When the panic subsides, let your body go loose, take a deep breath, and go on with your day. Remember, each time you cope >.....with panic, you .reduce your fears.


This comes from Cecil Montgomerywho lives in Ark. and has a disease called COPD.
I wrote this as a filler for the local paper, but I thought I pass it along as something that might
be of interest to everybody.

The major problem with any disease is not the effects of the disease, but the fear and uncertainty. Especially, if it is a disease like emphysema or COPD.  If you are afflicted with heart disease you
worry about chest pains, if you have stomach problems you worry about stomach pains. With our
illness we are naturally afraid of everything. Our illness can manifest itself in any form or fashion
and sometimes we never even realize it ourselves because it can play games with your mind. On
an average we take more medications and treatments with emphysema and COPD than any other
form of illness, the exception possibly being cancer.

My point is that the best medication for this illness is easily obtained. It doesn't take a prescription,
nor a trip to the pharmacy. It is the education and understanding of the illness, the willingness to
work hard and control it and eliminate the fear of it.  It is an incurable disease but when that fact
is accepted and you instill the determination in your mind to overcome the fear and fight it on a
full-time basis with every fiber of your being, it is no worse than any other. More death comes
from lack of understanding than the disease its self.  Lastly, the most important factor that I have
not touched on is the support system that we get from each other.   When you have to break a
new trail it can be scary, and can mentally debilitate you because of the unknown. However, if
you have someone that has walked that trail before and is willing to educate and lead you down
that trail, it is just a road like any other. As the saying goes "the only thing we have to fear, is fear
itself."   I hope that maybe it will help someone since I have just learned this lesson myself, and
I have had this illness for 15 yrs. Take care, Cecil/ARK


Research has shown for years that women experience depression
more often than men, but a new study suggests that social conditions
and personality characteristics play a vital role in the long-standing
gender differences in depressive symptoms. 








last edited on 6-10-2006