Even though Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) diagnosis seems to be on the rise, you may feel very alone because you might be the only one you know who has COPD. People who are diagnosed with a chronic disease are susceptible to feelings of loneliness and depression, since they now have a condition that they didn't have before, and the unfortunate things that come along with it, such as medical expenses and health worries.
You need someone to lean on and confide in who understands what you're going through. Your friends and family might do the best they can, but it's still very helpful to be able to talk to someone who knows first hand what it's like to have COPD. This is also helpful, because if you have friends who have COPD, they will likely have helpful information they can share with you. You might be able to find a better doctor or get a reference to a great respiratory therapist, or learn of some foods and vitamins that are best for people COPD.
First, you can try going to online to one of the biggest social networks on earth: Facebook. Facebook hosts “groups” from all walks of life, so of course there would be a public page for those with this chronic disease. There is one called COPD Friends for Friends (https://www.facebook.com/pages/COPD-Friends-for-Friends/110451268982117?fref=ts ), as well as a page for the COPD Foundation. All you need to do to search for a group on Facebook, is type it in the search bar at the very top of the website. If you don't have a Facebook account, you will have to create one before you can join the group and talk to people in the comments.
Another great way to find people and information is on another huge social website – Twitter. Again, all you need to do is type “COPD” or anything else in the search bar at the top and hit “Enter” on your keyboard. This will bring up a list of “Tweets” (140-character updates from Twitter users) so long, that you may never get to read them all. That's okay, just look around and read what others have wrote, and if you have something to say to them, hover over the tweet and click on the link that says “Reply”. You will also need an account to interact with people on this site.
You can also search for COPD patient forums on the internet with a search engine, like Google, Yahoo and Bing. One COPD forum can be found on ProactiveCOPD.com.
Having online friends can be tough, however, because they will most likely live far away from you. You can try looking for other people who have COPD in your area by going to a local meeting site, such as MeetUp.com.
You will need to make an account, just as with the other sites, and enter in your location (not your address, just your city), so you can search for any COPD group meet ups in your area. If there aren't any COPD meet ups in your area, there might be one in the future, in which case you can sign up to receive an email to let you know when there is one. You can also take the initiative to start one in your own area. You will then be able to meet people in your general area who you can talk to in person.
Information on this page is for reference and educational purposes only. For more information about COPD, talk to your doctor or primary care provider.