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Been cleaning dusty house since days. Do I have a chance of getting acute silicosis?

Jun 2013
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Answered by
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2219 Questions
hello Dr.

I had this very bad incident happen to me a few months ago, in which I feel like my entire life has been ruined. I have been talking to pulmonologists on this website as well as in person. I feel as if my health and my future is so uncertain. I do not know what to do, as I feel as if I am suffering everyday and my only relief is to go online and research the disease I fear I may have.

What happened is we had porcelain tile floors put in our home. The person cut them in the house and a lot of dust. We were foolish and stayed in the house and tried to clean it up ourselves. I breathed in a lot of it over a week, as not realizing how much and how XXXXXXX it was.

Now I fear I have acute silicosis and will die a horrible death soon. My dog was in the house for a long time with me and he looks like he is in pain and suffering also. I do feel better then when I first became ill, but I was so ill that I feel as if I had only the option to get better from that.

The Pulmonologists I speak with all say that I will heal up with time, and I do not have acute silicosis. The one on here does say that I have acute silicosis symptoms, but not the actual disease.

I can not stop obsessing about my sickness and what will happen to me. Do I have acute silicosis. I feel as if the Drs. do not want to be honest with me about the possibility of it.

I feel so much shame and anger and blaming myself for what happened in the house. I feel as if no one understands what happened and how everything went wrong against me.
Posted Tue, 4 Jun 2013 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Sushil Kumar Sompur 4 hours later
Hi there ~

I understand your concern. The feeling of the future being uncertain and losing control can be very unnerving for some people and unfortunately it has been so for you. I am glad you are also talking to pulmonologists on this website and in person. This probably helped get your anxiety levels down quite a bit. Having symptoms of acute silicosis is different from having the disease itself. The symptom cluster can be a diagnostic point of many other diseases, silicosis being one of them. Unfortunately, your anxiety is causing you to focus on the negative aspect of the problems you are having to face and feel like you have the disease itself. I also think that the pulmonologists are also right when they are mentioning to you that you will heal up with time, even if you have acute silicosis. Please trust them on the same. I am sorry about what happened with your dog but a dog's physiology is different from a human's and it is unfounded to think about the same consequence happening with you as well. The overwhelming feeling of feeling frustrated, helpless and hopeless along with lack of interest known as anhedonia and feeling bad or depressed with difficulties in appetite and sleep is a symptom cluster of depression. You also have nihilism which actually clinches the diagnosis. I feel like you may benefit from antidepressants and anti anxiety medications. You will benefit from consulting a psychiatrist to help relieve you of all these symptoms. I also believe that keeping a daily routine, avoiding the precipitating agent and also doing regular exercise like yoga and pranayama are going to be extremely helpful. Sometimes psychoeducation about the condition is also helpful. The institute of health's national library of medicine has the following to say about silicosis, and I do not see anything that is lethal about the illness:

I hope and wish you the very best. I hope this helped relieve your anxiety.

Take care and have a lovely day!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Been cleaning dusty house since days. Do I have a chance of getting acute silicosis? 28 minutes later
Hi Dr.

Thank you for the advice. I did have an interest in the idea of nihilism before. I thought it was a little funny because of in a movie, and thought if it periodically. Now I see how I am holding it ever closer with what happened to me.

The website that you gave me actually does not talk about acute silicosis prognosis. It is considered very lethal. And not a pretty way to die either.

I feel as if I have always been a good person. All I wanted in life was a dog and to hike with him daily. I did drink beer before and tried to enjoy simple things in life.

I honestly feel as if evil came into my home and stole it all from me in the most horrible way imaginable. Everything leading up to and during was such a near miss. It all barely happened because of some tragically unknown reason.
I could not have done to my worst enemy what the person did to me. I dont know if i can ever be normal and pick up the pieces again. I cry everyday, several times a day. My body feels so damaged in so many ways, and my mind as well.

Answered by Dr. Sushil Kumar Sompur 6 minutes later
Hi there ~

Sometimes it is not uncommon to have those feeling of helplessness and hopelessness when you are at loss of a loved one. It seems that the dog was very close to you and all you wanted your whole life. It is difficult to go through this situation without support. I hope you have enough support outside of this website. Psychosocial support is very important when having these symptoms of nihilism. I recommend that you reach out to your friends and family and also if none are available, a helpline that would be of use would be 1-800-273-TALK I hope you access these resources as soon as possible. If you feel like that you are at the end of your ropes it might be well worth the effort to take yourself to an emergency room for the above symptoms. I hope this helps.

Take care and have a lovely day!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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