Can Depression and Anxiety Trigger an Asthma Attack?

DepressionWhen you have asthma, almost anything can trigger an attack, including anxiety and depression. People who are depressed and have asthma sometimes need more medication to keep their asthma under control. Depression increases the stress hormones in the body, and increased stress can trigger an asthma attack. A study done in 1999, which was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stated that people who are depressed and anxious get asthma symptoms more than twice that of smokers who get asthma symptoms.

No one actually knows what causes asthma, nor does anyone know just why people who are depressed are more likely to develop asthma. It is believed that there is a connection between the imbalance of brain chemicals in depression and the onset of asthma symptoms. If seems if you are depressed and you have asthma, your depression can exacerbate the symptoms of asthma. It is as though the biochemistry of anxiety and depression are just the right mixture for asthma symptoms to thrive.

asthma symptoms worseIt is believed that depression has a negative impact on the immune system, which may contribute to a person developing asthma symptoms. Depressed people tend to be sick in other ways also. Depressed people often have respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses. Depressed people often suffer from feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, which can make it more difficult to take care of their needs. Many people who have asthma and suffer from depression don’t take care of themselves properly. They may not take medication; they may not eat right. People who are depressed are not always thinking about living a healthy lifestyle, which can make asthma symptoms worse.

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Studies have been done on depressed people, and there seems to be an increased incidence of unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, inactivity, overeating which makes an unhealthy combination for depressed people who may also have asthma. Of course, everyone who is depressed isn’t a smoker; however, many people who are depressed are also smokers.

Anxiety, depression, and panic disorders all seem to have a connection with asthma. Many people who have panic disorders will have an asthma attack during or after a panic attack. Asthma can be a life threatening condition, and it is natural that having asthma will bring on stress. It is also natural that someone who suffers from a panic disorder will be fairly regularly under a high amount of stress. People who live in stressful situations are more likely to suffer from asthma symptoms. There seems to be a cycle of depression, anxiety, stress and asthma symptoms. Children living in a stressful environment may also have more frequent asthma attacks than children not living in stressful situations.

stressful situationsPeople who are depressed and have anxiety disorders may have more asthma triggers than people who don’t have any depression or anxiety issues. There can be a cycle of depression, anxiety, and asthma symptoms caused by some of the medications used to treat asthma. For instance, if you take asthma medicines, it may have ingredients in it that will induce anxiety. The medication can be the culprit to keep the cycle going from anxiety, depression, to exacerbation of asthma symptoms.

There could be any number of causes for depressed people to also have asthma symptoms. Two of the most prevalent causes of asthma attacks in depressed and anxious people are not adhering to the plan of care, which leads to poor asthma control. The other most common cause of asthma symptoms in an anxious person is hyperventilation, which can cause bronchospasms, which bring on the asthma attack.

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