How to Deal with Insensitive Comments about COPD

Don't Let Ignorance Phase You

woman touching throat
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If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it's likely you've experienced some stigma and blame surrounding your diagnosis because of the disease's link to smoking. But the truth is, no one deserves COPD and smoking is not the only cause of the disease. Instead of letting insensitive comments get to you, here's what you can do instead.

Embrace Your Support System

Supportive people are the those who nurture and love you, instead of judging or trying to tear you down when you're feeling vulnerable.

If you don't have a solid support system at home, joining a COPD support group, either in your community or online, can help you feel understood.

Drop Your Defenses

Whenever someone hurts our feelings, the natural response is for us to gather up our finest artillery and fight back. But getting defensive is a waste of precious energy that can be used more productively on something else. You'll be amazed at how you'll feel if you are able to learn to let go of your defenses and just walk away.

Meditate to Let It Go

Have you ever walked away from someone who has made a rude comment only to hold onto it for the rest of the day? In fact, you may even take that comment to bed with you and not be able to sleep. Practicing meditation can bring you back to a peaceful state of mind, the state of mind you need to be in to cope with your disease. If you've never tried it, check out How to Practice Basic Meditation for Stress Management.

Show Some Self Love

When you have a positive self-image, no one can bring you down. Take time out each day for activities that make you feel good about yourself, whether it's buying yourself flowers or just reading a good book. You may find that when others see that you are not letting your COPD diagnosis get you down, they may be less likely to make rude comments.

Become a COPD Advocate

While it's not necessarily an excuse for rude comments, most people's insensitivity stems from a lack of understanding. If you feel physically up to it, helping to raise awareness about the disease can help bridge the gap between ignorance and knowledge.Try directing them to helpful and accurate information online that can help them better understand what you're going through.

Here are a few resources to share:

How Do You Get COPD?

Can You Get COPD If You've Never Smoked Before?

COPD Myths Debunked

5 Things People Should Know About Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

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