Moving Past Guilt Associated With COPD
Do you carry guilt due to your COPD diagnosis? Unfortunately many patients do for various reasons, and this guilt can be very destructive. But when we think about it, does guilt serve any real purpose?
Why Do Patients Carry Guilt?
There are various reasons why someone would carry around guilt as a result of their COPD diagnosis. Some common reasons for COPD guilt include feeling dependent on other people and becoming unable to do certain things. But perhaps the most common cause for guilt and regret is poor lifestyle choices of the past — namely, smoking.
Many people with chronic illness have unfortunately ended up with their disease through poor lifestyle choices. Heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease are the largest causes of death in the world today. While some patients contract these diseases through genetic or environmental factors, the majority of people will be diagnosed with one or more of these diseases due to poor lifestyle choices.
Does that mean that someone with a poor diet deserves heart disease or stroke? No! So isn't it fair to say that someone who has smoked doesn't deserve respiratory disease? Both can be traced back to lifestyle choices.
Some people would argue that we know smoking isn't good for us. I would argue that it's well known eating excessive amounts of unhealthy food isn't good for you, too. The diseases may be different, but the cause in most occasions will be the same — poor decisions.
I would dare to say there isn't a person on this planet who hasn't made poor decisions in life. I am an ex-smoker who was overweight and consumed too much alcohol. I don't feel guilty about my choices as they all played a part of who I am today. That said, do I wish I didn't make those choices? Without a doubt!
Is Someone Making You Feel This Way?
Sometimes the people closest to you can make you feel guilty by constantly reminding you what caused your condition. I've heard of people telling patients that "COPD that is a smoker’s disease — you deserve it!" With attitudes like that no wonder some patients feel guilty.
If someone in your life is making you feel guilty maybe it's time to sit down and talk to them, find out why they feel it necessary to make you feel this way. Sometimes people just need to be educated. Often bias is caused by a lack of knowledge.
I like to spend my time with positive people, as they are not only be a good influence, but they are also less likely to judge you.