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Can't be helped?

I know my issue might sound silly to you but I am having great difficulty to do it.

I am asthmatic and I will have symptoms almost everyday. I am able to use my Inhaler at home inside my own room without difficulty. But once, I need to step out of the house to run some errands or to go to work, I am afraid of having symptoms. Because I am afraid to use my Inhaler in front of people. I feel very very weird and embarrassed to pluck out my Inhaler from my bag and to put into my mouth right in front of people. Even during those times when I will need to show the pharmacist and my doctor how I use my inhaler, so that they can check my Inhaler technique, I am UNABLE to do it as well. I just cannot use it in front of people and of course, hiding inside the toilet or bathroom is totally NO WAY, since there is a higher chance of getting Covid-19 inside a toilet.

I am trying to wait until there is no one around before I use my Inhaler and I will always end up at the doctor's office needing more Inhalers and medications because of my stupidity and embarrassment. How do I get around the embarrassment?

Please give me some constructive suggestions and not scolding me silly, idiot or some rude name callings. Thank you.


woman overboard
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
*hug That doesn't sound silly.

Do you have any idea what about it embarrasses you so much? Is it just that it would draw attention to you?

Do you live with anyone? Or see friends at all currently? Maybe you could try in front of someone you trust to get used to the idea.
Yes, it will draw lots of attention on me and I will have lots of anxiety when I am embarrassed. I lived in an Asian country when the people here will stare and look if they see something out of the ordinary happening in public spaces.

I am trying hard to practice using my Inhaler in front of my friends, in front of everyone in Zoom meetings and even my room mate. But I just got too anxious and give up at the end.


woman overboard
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
Ah, the cultural thing is tricky. I would say that here in the US people would notice and maybe glance but I would think anything more than that would be pretty unusual. But I don't know what it's like there, whether the stares are real.

A therapist I used to have was big on 'challenging questions'. Like in this situation she would probably ask, what's the worst thing that could happen? And what would I do or how would I handle it if it did. I'm not sure if that line is questioning is helpful or not for you. I don't want to send you down an anxiety spiral if it's not helpful.

Realistically if people are staring at you for using an inhaler, it is way more about them than about you. It's something medically necessary but also, it's quick and not like intrusive in any way. It's not like you're changing a colostomy bag or something. I'm annoyed at them on your behalf.

It's good you're trying around your roommate. I guess maybe it's hard to do it in any kind of planned way since sometimes you just *need* to use it, but for fears there is like, a gradual progression that people do, to ramp up. Like maybe you'd try for a while only when your roommate is home but not in the room, and work up to harder things.

I will try out the challenging questions and perhaps with something else first to prevent myself from getting into a full blown anxiety and asthma attack, but this is going to be a very long and tough journey.

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