Patient Voices #BreathlessNotVoiceless

David Stott

“I let myself be overcome with a black shadow”

David Stott from Preston in Lancashire battled deep depression when he was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, severely affecting his quality of life.  

“I had never heard of pulmonary hypertension when I was diagnosed and there was little information in the hospital I was in, so I did what any 21st century boy would do and I asked Dr Google. And that’s when it all went black.

Feeling breathless on exertion was the only symptom I had prior to being diagnosed. But after being diagnosed, I fell into a depression and was having chest pains and palpitations which screwed my nights up. I’d just sit every night watching films over and over.

After I was diagnosed, I was too scared to move. For months, I counted and limited every step and breath as if it was my last and let myself be overcome by a black shadow. I’d dream that I was having cardiac episodes or dying and they were so vivid that I would scream in my sleep. I really feel bad for how little I spoke to my wife and kids, although I do know that I was battling depression.

I have since sought counselling and emotional support due to the condition. I took very little time off after diagnosis, and then bottled everything up and compensated with activity and work to keep my mind busy. But after a while, I identified that I needed help, as I was becoming anxious and very stressed. Again, this was pushing me away from my family and friends.”