Communicating With Others About Your COPD
To avoid others worrying about you or not quite understanding why a difficult task is challenging, it’s best to be proactive and clearly tell them about your chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
If you’re meeting someone for the first time, you might want to mention that you can have a coughing fit at any time but it will subside. You can also communicate about how you feel about others smoking around you and it might be a good time to educate those individuals about how smoking causes COPD.
Once you are diagnosed with COPD, you should have a discussion with your employer about how you feel your work might be affected by COPD.
Many COPD sufferers are embarrassed about their condition because of the stigma surrounding it. Because smoking is a cause of the disease many feel ashamed and like they brought the disease on themselves.
However, openness and advocacy can only lead to more understanding for the condition and defeating the stigma. Don’t be afraid to talk about your condition — you may be surprised how people respond to you communicating openly with them!