November 21, 2011


COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Difficulty breathing and other effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can lead to depression and stress. The Lungs for Life: COPD Support Group at Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) will host a meeting titled “Coping with COPD” on Wednesday, December 7, in the medical center’s Private Dining Room One at 2 p.m. The group, which meets monthly at MRMC, encourages the public to attend this free program.

Starlyn Bailey, RN, and clinical liaison with the medical center’s behavioral health program, will discuss the effects of depression and anxiety on those who suffer from COPD. “When a person has a chronic health condition, the effects can be emotional as well as physical. Depression, anxiety and stress are not uncommon feelings for those affected by COPD,” said Bailey. “It is important to recognize the symptoms and seek help in coping with these emotions.” 

At the upcoming meeting, Bailey will discuss the link between COPD and depression and anxiety. Bailey will provide information on coping with depression and will share methods to decrease anxiety and stress levels.

The term COPD refers to a group of lung diseases that block airflow and make it increasingly difficult to breathe. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two main conditions associated with COPD, which is a leading cause of death. Symptoms of COPD do not usually appear until significant lung damage has already occurred. Because the damage is not reversible, treatment plans typically focus on controlling symptoms and minimizing further damage.

The goal of Lungs for Life is to provide education and awareness about COPD in order to promote the self-care and management of the condition. The public is invited to attend the upcoming meeting. For more information, call 931.380.4094.