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I was just diagnosed with severe COPD less than seven days ago, and for the most part, I seem to be dealing with this new element of my life fairly well, due in large part to the information and support that I've found here on this board. That being said, and despite the fact that I'm feeling very healthy and largely symptom-free, once or twice a day I'm suddenly overcome with a feeling of absolute panic. I become extremely light-headed and feel like I'm teetering on the edge of a bottomless canyon. The sensation comes out of nowhere, lasts for only a few seconds (which of course seem endless), and then just as quickly as it appears it vanishes.
It seems that for every word of encouragement saying that I can get the upper hand over lung disease and lead a long and fulfilling life, there is someone else reminding me that emphysema is a progressive and unstoppable disease that is going to kill me.
My question to those of you have been dealing with lung disease for a while is this: do these flashes of panic decrease over time, do you learn how to just ignore them, or do they actually increase as time passes?
(And now someone PLEASE tell me that I'm not the only one who feels this way, especially so soon after diagnosis...!)
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It is not our intention to serve as a substitute for medical advice and any content posted should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While we encourage individuals to share their personal experiences with COPD, please consult a physician before making changes to your own COPD management plan.