No matter how old you are, hearing that you have a chronic condition such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) can be difficult for many people to handle. Some people diagnosed with COPD may choose to ignore it and not want to see a doctor—but it’s important to help them get on the right track and receive appropriate treatment1.
Here are a few tips that can help you better help your loved one cope with denial:
- Realize that your loved one might not even be aware they are in denial and this will likely make it more difficult to help them through the situation.
- Your loved one may feel that their symptoms are not too severe when they are first diagnosed, so they may have the mindset that this “isn’t so bad.”
- Many people diagnosed with COPD had not heard of the disease prior to being diagnosed, so it’s possible that your loved one is attributing some symptoms, such as shortness of breath, to other factors.
- Let your loved one know you’re willing to talk and listen when they are ready for a conversation.
- Voice your concerns and let your loved one know you want to be there for them.
- Encourage them to journal about their feelings and daily activities.
- Tell your loved one to think about the consequences if they do nothing about their condition.
- Help them look for a support group so they can meet others going through the same condition who possibly feel the same way.
- Healthline. Accessed 12/17/14.