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Author Topic: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?  (Read 1308 times)

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Offline newguy2013

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Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« on: February 18, 2013, 05:53:44 PM »
Shortened:
-   Slightly overweight, late twenties, male
-   Experiencing shortness of breath due to anxiety
-   Wondering your opinions on shortness of breath (i.e. how it felt, if this could be what I am feeling, etc…)

Expanded:
I have a history of worrying, and more specifically worrying about health. I’ve worried about everything from cancer to ALS. I’ve always been the type to need support from others telling me “its nothing to worry about” or “it will be okay” This week it seems to be shortness of breath. I’ve lost about 15 lbs since New Year’s on diet alone. I wanted to start exercising a bit more.

Now I’ve been shoveling snow and walking with no problem but I tried jogging about a week ago. Whatever happened I couldn’t get my breathing down right and had to cut back a little. That is when it started. I was then so concentrated on how I breath, I couldn’t get the thought out of my head. My next mistake was to look up shortness of breath online. Wow…. the scary diseases out there!

My main question is what exactly is short of breath. What does it feel like?  Do SOB with anxiety come and go or is it always there? At first I found my SOB when I was only thinking about it but over the past couple of days it seems to be more prominent.  I’ve read that if it was really shortness of breath I would have gone to the ER by now, but I have also read other opinions as well. I would also like to add that many times I find myself tense from worrying (shoulders, chest, neck) and I have to tell myself to relax.

The weird thing is that when I am shoveling, walking or climbing stars I really don’t feel it at all. It’s as if when my mind is off of it, I do not feel it. When I am sleeping I am fine. I never “gasp” for air but it just seems like I need to take a bigger breath when relaxing. I’ve even counted my breaths per minute and I am always in the 15-18 bpm range. I notice I am testing myself more often and wonder if that is making it worse? Obviously if this continues by next weekend I will have to go to the doctor. However, I have been to the doctor over silly worrying things before and I am just exhausted with it all.

The main thing I want to know is for people that experience shortness of breath, how did you feel? Does it ever go away? Has anything helped?

Thanks for reading,
The New Guy 2013
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Offline ckm_18

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 09:09:10 PM »
Hi Newguy  :action-smiley-065:

I am going through something very similar.  I have been for the past week or so feeling like I am short of breath but like you its seems worse when I am focusing on it.  I played a round of golf on Sunday and didnt notice it once.  I think when are so focused on our breathing we are actually overbreathing and taking in to much air.  I am also very concerned about this but I think it is just our HA. 
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Offline newguy2013

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 09:16:46 AM »
Thanks for your reply. It is weird though. I mean, I kind of feel like it's all in my head but there is nothing I can do to get relief.
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Offline heartsong

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 12:41:41 PM »
Short of breath for me is when I'm doing something that I'd normally being doing only it's suddenly much harder. For example climbing up two flights of stairs has me panting and my chest heaving. I also tend to feel pain under my sternum.
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Offline beth0277

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 01:02:02 PM »
I feel like I can give some decent insight on this because I have had anxiety shortness of breath, and I have had real, heart related shortness of breath. Anxiety shortness of breath, to me, is an inability to get a "full" breath. Like you can breath, but you can't "finish" your breath. It is like you are constantly yawning waiting for a breath to "catch".

Now, I also had heart failure postpartum and experienced shortness of breath due to that. It was more noticeable and when I would lie down I could feel almost a gurgling sensation in my chest. And breathing was harder while lying down than standing up. That is how I knew it was more serious and needed evaluation.
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Offline crazy_skunk

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 05:01:39 AM »
I am going through something similar as well.

It's great to read some reliving replies. Quick question. If I am short of breath would I be able to breathe in and hold my breath?

I am just wondering if I could use that as a quick "short of breath" episode killer. For example, when I feel like I am truly out of breath, take a huge breath in and hold it for 10 seconds? It's weird but it may work for me.... :spineyes:
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Offline ahrimoniac

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 05:56:40 AM »
Hey there. Scary times and I went through similar but I broke my cycle by telling myself that the fact I was able to analyse my breathing and sot there and panic meant I was actually Ok and not going to die. I.e. If my brain was working on freaking out, it clearly wasn't gasping for oxygen. Hope that makes sens you are not alone tho.
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http://shakerattleanddroll.wordpress.com/ - my own personal blog about my journey with health anxiety. I'll laugh, I'll cry. Might even be a few cheap jibes. It's not all po-faced and woe is me, and I try to write positively about what is helping me. I would welcome any feedback!

Offline 3r1cR0c9

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 12:02:48 AM »
i'm new to this but i definitely feel the same. sometimes i get confused if it's really anxiety or if it's anything serious. most of the times i get so scared about it that it keeps me from doing the normal things that i do.  :traurig001: like every time i hit the treadmill i am already anxious trying to check on my breathing. i even went through a phase wherein i would check my breathing, like count my breaths per minute. i told my cardio that maybe i should get an oximeter but he said i shouldn't because it will make me more obsessed about it & once i see my pulse go up i will panic more.

i've had 2 ECGs, an echocardiogram, a stress test & a 24-hr holter monitoring, a PFT spirometry test, a chest x-ray, even an endoscopy done and all the cardiologist, pulmonary & gastro specialists that i went to said it's anxiety but if it's just anxiety isn't it supposed to disappear after all the reassurance? i just went to my cardio last wednesday for another check-up and he sang to me "restless heart" explained to me so many medical things so i don't worry but then i am now thinking yes maybe it's not my heart maybe it's my lungs? :fragend005:
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Offline Zef

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 07:22:21 AM »
I have a season ticket to see my team Newcastle United FC play, and im in the top stand of a 55 thousand seater stadium, I used to have to take brakes on the stairs for breath, back then I was 80 kg 6 ft, so not overweight, quite fit, and there was like 250-300 pound guys flying past me. normal with anxiety though, just felt so tired like id done a marathon, couldn't catch my breath..
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Offline naynaydevil2

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 09:39:15 AM »
I've been getting this daily for about a week. I just can't "get that deep breath" or always feel like my breathing is shallow. I have to yawn and take deep breaths alot. My brother gets it ALL DAY EVERYDAY... so I feel for him. It's absolutely anxiety induced.

Sometimes I have a hard time telling the difference between my asthma and anxiety. But today it is starting to get better. Some breathing exercizes don't really work for me and end up making me focus more on the actual breathing sometimes. good luck and you are not alone!
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Offline park682

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2014, 06:38:17 PM »
Man, this is what I'm going through! I have extreme PE fears and I've had on and off shortness of breath for a few weeks. My do toe have me an inhaler but I don't know if it's working...I normally run but now I have a hard time walking sometimes. I don't get it...my doctor said its anxiety but I get so scared. I always wondered if I was actually feeling SOB or not...
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Offline 3r1cR0c9

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2014, 12:13:19 AM »
@park682 -- i can relate with PE fears :yes: my pulmo/cardio doctor won't work me up for CT scan because he said i belong to the low risk i.e. i don't smoke, i'm still 32 and with NO family history of a heart attack but i have shortness of breath ALL DAY EVERYDAY(or i don't know all i know it that it's there esp when i notice it)
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Offline park682

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2014, 09:54:08 AM »
How long have you had this shortness of breath? I think it's the length of the symptoms that scared the most...
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Offline 3r1cR0c9

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2014, 10:24:04 AM »
@park682 -- started November last year. I was brought to the ER for SOB and palpitations. All tests were clear. I don't know if it went away or i just didn't notice it but i was having MS fears end of November until December and my SOB was not very evident during that time. I think it came back last February so I had a chest xray, PFT(spirometry), holter & stress test. nothing was found. it came full blast again this March when i was having ALS fears but my neuro assured me that my SOB is not related to any neuro muscular disease. i also got a nerve and muscle test. all the doctors i've been to say it's anxiety and the doctor who did my EMG-NCV test told me that my muscles are so stiff & that i may want to look up hyperventilation syndrome. i know it sounds like real HA but the thing is I WANT IT TO GO AWAY but it doesn't and sometimes i feel it's getting worse. i get really scared. I want to go and see my pulmo doctor again but i've been going back and forth to my doctors(neuro, cardio & pulmo), have seen at least 25 doctors in the span of 5 months and all they say is that it's anxiety and told me to exercise. :traurig001: i do have mild gastritis, 1.5 haital hernia, dextroscoliosis S form 29deg upper/11deg lower, straightening of the cervical lordosis due to muscle spasms and sinusitis that i believe aggravates my SOB. i am not in denial that this is merely HA but it i believe it has become more frequent and i can't help but worry.
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Offline park682

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Re: Shortness of breath...how does it feel?
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2014, 07:47:01 PM »
I hate it too...I am so scared to do almost anything. I want to workout like I use to but I'm scared of the SOB. My doctors said it's anxiety, but it doesn't happen when I'm having a panic attack but just when I'm doing normally things. I don't have it all the time every now and then. I'm just so nervous it's a PE or lung cancer
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