For the last 4 weeks, I have been plagued by constant shortness of breath (or what I think is shortness of breath??). At first I started out monitoring every beat of my heart because of palpitations. Now I rarely feel the palpitations anymore, but I can NEVER breathe properly is seems. I feel every breath I take. I analyze, is it too fast, is my stomach sticking out too much when it happens? I feel like I have to force every breath I take. Like if I stop, I won't breathe, but know that my body takes over every night when I sleep.
I can't really say what makes it worse or better. Exercise does not really make a difference. I feel uncomfortable, but not any worse than when I'm not exercising. I also have some chest pain and a bloated stomach, so I am freaked that I am not breathing right and taking in too much air. I'm so worried about this. Everyone keeps telling me it's a product of my anxiety, but how can they be so confident? Even when I am relaxing watching TV or taking a shower or bath, I still feel like I can't breathe. I started taking anxiety medications, including clonazepam which is pretty sedating, and I still feel like I can't breathe despite them.
I have read all sorts of scary things. I'm worried about intersticial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis. I don't know how fast these things come on? I had a normal chest x-ray a few weeks ago, but what if it is missing something serious? I have visions of needing to be on oxygen for the rest of my life or dying young.
This seems like all classic Health Anxiety behaviour, but it feels so real. I am SURE something is legit wrong this time.