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Difference Between COPD and Anxiety

Difference Between COPD and Anxiety

Living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can cause feelings of worry, panic, and even anxiety. While it’s common for people with COPD to experience some degree of psychological distress, the tension may be coming from something else entirely. It’s important to differentiate between the symptoms of COPD and those associated with an anxious state in order to properly take care of yourself both emotionally and physically. In this blog post, we will explore how these conditions differ and offer tips on how you or a loved one management life impacting both anxiety as well as COPD.

What is COPD?

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a serious and potentially deadly condition that affects the lungs of sufferers. COPD is caused by long-term exposure to irritants such as smoke from cigarettes and environmental pollutants.

  • COPD can lead to difficulty breathing and an accelerated descent of lung function over time, which can be dangerous for affected individuals. COPD doesn’t have a cure, but certain treatments can help patients manage it in order to live normal lives.
  • Management includes medications, lifestyle modifications, stopping smoking, and preventative measures like avoiding polluted environments.
  • COPD should not be taken lightly; knowing the warning signs and risks associated with this condition is important for maintaining an optimal quality of life.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety can be a disabling and pervasive mental health issue, making it difficult for an affected person to participate in everyday activities and even form healthy relationships.

  • Anxiety may manifest itself physically as well as emotionally, with symptoms such as a racing heartbeat, sweating, or difficulty sleeping at night.
  • Anxiety is driven by fear of the unknown or fear that resides from past experiences and is often triggered by life events such as major changes, social pressure, and even nothing at all.
  • Anxiety typically causes feelings of intense worry or fear around certain situations or scenarios which can quickly spiral out of control without proper treatment. Anxiety is complex but there are many ways now to treat it successfully so individuals can start to live their lives again.

Difference Between COPD and Anxiety

COPD and anxiety are two drastically different conditions that are sometimes confused for one another.

  • COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a condition of the respiratory system that makes it difficult to breathe due to blockages or irritation. Anxiety is a mental health condition characterized by feelings of worry, fear, and unease.
  • COPD typically involves physical symptoms, such as wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing, while the most common signs of anxiety are emotional symptoms such as restlessness, panic attacks, and an inability to concentrate.
  • COPD must be evaluated and monitored through breathing tests conducted by healthcare professionals while the diagnosis of anxiety is made based on discussions with a mental health counselor.

COPD can be treated through lifestyle changes and/or medication while anxiety can be managed through therapy techniques like cognitive-behavioral or talk therapies.


It can be difficult to tell the difference between COPD and anxiety, but there are a few key differences. For one, COPD is a physical condition that cannot be cured, while anxiety is a mental condition that can be treated with therapy and medication. Additionally, the symptoms of COPD typically get worse over time, while the symptoms of anxiety may come and go. If you’re not sure which disorder you have, it’s important to see a doctor so they can give you an accurate diagnosis.

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