Understanding COPD

How to Tell Others About Your COPD Diagnosis

Nov 5, 2019
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The information on this page is not meant to replace a medical evaluation or information from your doctor. Always consult your doctor for medical advice and guidance. 

Telling friends and family that you have been diagnosed with COPD is not easy. Not only do you have to handle all of the new emotions that you’re feeling, but you also have to cope with the reactions of others. The process of telling others about your COPD diagnosis is not only hard on everyone involved, but it can also cause you a lot of stress. 

Even though there is no easy way to talk about a new diagnosis, there are a few ways to alleviate some of the stress and hardship of telling the people you love

Here are some things that can help ease you through the process as you tell others about your COPD diagnosis:


  • Give yourself time. You don’t have to tell everyone right away. Who and when you decide to tell is totally up to you. Take some time to process the diagnosis and come to terms with it for yourself. 


  • Decide who to tell. Talking about something as life-changing as COPD is hard, and having to tell everyone you talk to isn’t ideal. Come up with a list of important people who you wish to tell privately about your diagnosis so that you don’t have to repeat the process several times over.


  • Prepare for the talk. Before you tell your loved ones, take some time to prepare what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Remember that people will respond differently, depending on their personality. Prepare yourself (as much as you can) for the fact that some people might not respond in the way that you had planned or hoped that they would. 


  • Say the words out loud to yourself first. How do you even begin to explain a diagnosis that affects every inch of what you do? Saying the words “I have COPD” aloud can release emotions you didn’t even know were manifesting inside of you. Practice saying it in the mirror a few times so that you have time to process it for yourself.

When it comes down to it, always remember that you are not alone. Telling your loved ones is hard, but in the end, it can open up a doorway for support and love that you’ll need during this time. 

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