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Author Topic: Pure-o obsession with breathing  (Read 1138 times)

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Offline Godfrey

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Pure-o obsession with breathing
« on: March 25, 2013, 12:45:46 AM »
Just now realized this is related to my old 'pure-o'. XP

For the past few days I can't stop obsessing over my breathing!  Usually starting around 7:00 in the evening but sometimes throughout the day as well, I'll invariably start to obsess over my breathing and fear of hyperventilating and passing out.  I'll try to lay back and take slow, infrequent breathes from my diaphram, but sometimes I'll freak out about THAT ("am i breathing out too much carbon dioxide anyway? Am I  not breathing enough?") I tend to try and compensate by trying to take long pauses between breathes. But inevitably I seem to hyperventilate at some point during the night, sometimes earlier, and it inevitably goes on for a while and I start to freak out and worry that I'll pass out.  I never have. I keep having bouts of suddenly catching myself inhaling too deeply and quickly or blowing out too hard.

I'm frankly frustrated. I thought I'd densesitized myself to this stuff two years ago. I know fainting won't hurt me. I know my breathing is better handled subconsciously.  Yet it's still suddenly bugging me Oo
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The world is only awful when you believe it to be.

When I stopped fearing panic attacks, I never had another.  When I stopped fearing shaking, I stopped.  When I stop fearing the IBS symptoms, I no longer had IBS symptoms.  When I stopped fearing changes to my heartbeat, my heartbeat became normal.

Offline Cheesus

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Re: Pure-o obsession with breathing
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 03:42:39 PM »
When I had really bad anxiety my dad told me the following story:

Quote
One night when I was under a lot of stress I woke up in the middle of the night and felt like I couldn't breath. I rang NHS Direct and a nurse spoke to me for a while and asked me some questions. After about 5 minutes on the phone she asked me 'as you still breathing?'

Clearly, after 5 minutes of talking, he was still breathing. The point of this story is to demonstrate that the anxious mind interprets signals from the body, especially something as essential as breathing, in an over-sensitive manner. You know that logically there is nothing wrong with your breath, however you mind is telling you that there is. I think to help you overcome this, as with all obsessional traits, you need to observe the breath and the ensuing panic without actively trying to do anything about it. That will essentially demonstrate to your brain that there is not a danger to be had in your breathing, and that it should take the little red 'danger' flag off the top of any changes in the breath.
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Offline Godfrey

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Re: Pure-o obsession with breathing
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 07:39:12 PM »
Thanks for the advice, I think it really helped!  I've been feeling much calmer today, for the most part; last night and this morning I found myself actively talking myself through my symptoms and accepting them, and it worked tonight and this morning.

So of course I ironically ended up worrying that I was getting TOO MUCH AIR as of a few minutes ago.  XD!  I've been breathing very easily today in comparison, but I'm getting air bubbles in my throat and mouth, mostly the latter.  Is this normal?  I admit I've been drinking a ton of water and not eating as much as I usually do, and I used to drink caffeine until my symptoms started.  Is this related?  Does it mean I'm still hyperventilating or is it all in my head and safely ignored?  XD!

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The world is only awful when you believe it to be.

When I stopped fearing panic attacks, I never had another.  When I stopped fearing shaking, I stopped.  When I stop fearing the IBS symptoms, I no longer had IBS symptoms.  When I stopped fearing changes to my heartbeat, my heartbeat became normal.

Offline philos2784

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Re: Pure-o obsession with breathing
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 11:57:33 AM »
Just now realized this is related to my old 'pure-o'. XP

For the past few days I can't stop obsessing over my breathing!  Usually starting around 7:00 in the evening but sometimes throughout the day as well, I'll invariably start to obsess over my breathing and fear of hyperventilating and passing out.  I'll try to lay back and take slow, infrequent breathes from my diaphram, but sometimes I'll freak out about THAT ("am i breathing out too much carbon dioxide anyway? Am I  not breathing enough?") I tend to try and compensate by trying to take long pauses between breathes. But inevitably I seem to hyperventilate at some point during the night, sometimes earlier, and it inevitably goes on for a while and I start to freak out and worry that I'll pass out.  I never have. I keep having bouts of suddenly catching myself inhaling too deeply and quickly or blowing out too hard.

I'm frankly frustrated. I thought I'd densesitized myself to this stuff two years ago. I know fainting won't hurt me. I know my breathing is better handled subconsciously.  Yet it's still suddenly bugging me Oo

I started obsessing over my breathing a couple months back. It was after a major Panic Attack and I began to notice my breathing and a thought came to mind "What if I can't stop thinking about my breathing?" and after that I couldn't stop thinking about it non-stop for days. I would try to distract myself which worked sometimes but mostly I couldn't ignore it. Finally, I had enough and took some of my Phenibut I had which allowed me to relax more. It was about a 4 gram dose. And I was able to get my mind off of my breathing for a while. I was able to separate myself from my thoughts and analyze them a bit better. I then started applying my own version C.B.T. therapy I conjured up years ago when I was suffering from Panic Attacks (which I now think was caused by hyperventilation syndrome, which is basically what this breathing obsession is too) and was able to get over them. What I did was isolate the thoughts that were creating the fear. Usually, these are false beliefs or negative thoughts. The main thoughts that I narrowed it down to were: 1) What if I never stop thinking about my breathing? and 2) What if I hurt my brain from hypoxia? The first one I knew was false because I had stopped thinking about it for periods and so I knew it was possible. And, the second one I did some research and found out that hyperventilation won't hurt you and even if it did kill a few brain cells it would be the equivalent to bang your head against the wall. So nothing to worry about. So my next step I replaced my false beliefs with: 1) I can stop thinking about my breathing, I've done it before and 2) Overbreathing will not hurt me and 3) Breathing is automatic and will take care of itself. And when I got myself to accept these new beliefs (which was easy because it's easier to belief a true fact then a false one) I was able to (after practice) ignore the thoughts more and more because the fear lessened. The fear is what creates the hyper-focus in the first place, so by getting to the root and changing the thoughts that are creating the fear you get rid of the focus and eventually you go hours without thinking about Breathing Obsession, even days, months, and years. It will come back from time to time but you just need to relax when it does and don't give in to fear because if you don't fear it, it won't have any power over you. You need to repeat the steps and have an "I don't care" attitude and wait until the symptoms subside. When you gain confidence over it it's easier not to give in to the fear the next time. I've literally gone close to a week without even thinking about my breathing, so IT IS POSSIBLE!
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