Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The shortness of breath associated with emphysema can severely limit your ability to participate in daily activities. Many people become withdrawn and depressed. To help you cope with the changes emphysema has made in your life, you might want to:

  • Express your feelings. Your emphysema may limit some of your activities and affect your family's plans and routines in ways you can't always anticipate. If you and your family can talk openly about each other's needs, you'll be better able to meet the challenges of living with this disease. Be alert to changes in your mood and your relations with others, and don't be afraid to seek counseling.
  • Consider a support group. You may also want to consider joining a support group for people with emphysema. Although support groups aren't for everyone, they can be a good source of information about new treatments and coping strategies. And it can be encouraging to spend time with other people in circumstances similar to yours. If you're interested in a support group, talk to your doctor. Or contact your local chapter of the American Lung Association.
Apr. 05, 2014