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Author Topic: Can anxiety really cause shortness of breath?  (Read 424 times)

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Offline melissas080

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Can anxiety really cause shortness of breath?
« on: April 07, 2014, 09:14:10 AM »
My father passed away about 5 months ago. Ever since then my anxiety and panic attacks have been really really bad. I feel like I can't breathe constantly, my stomach feels empty, hollow and my chest feels heavy. I haven't been able to eat much and have lost 7 pounds the last couple of weeks. I feel like eating even causes me to loose my breath. I bought a pulse ox and my O2 stays 98-100 even when I feel my worst. I went to the dr and he ran blood work and everything was normal and he gave me zoloft, which I have yet to take. I keep feeling like I am going to suffocate, or it feels like I ran a marathon and can't catch my breath. I keep telling myself if it were that severe I probably would have passed out by now. Having a hard time believing this symptom is due to anxiety.
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Offline Graceski8

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Re: Can anxiety really cause shortness of breath?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 10:28:40 AM »
Hi Melissa,

Sorry to hear about the passing of your father.

The feeling of not being able to breath /shortness of breath is very common with anxiety - I myself get it all the time. Sometimes we are hyperventilating which can cause someone to feel like they can't breathe. When you feel this way try breathing all the air in your lungs out and then start to breathe as normal and it should help. Or try taking 3 deep breaths (in for the count of 3, out for the count of 3) then breathing should return to normal.

Upset can cause breathing problems. When I lost someone I loved I would suddenly gasp for air and felt like I couldn't breathe out of nowhere. You just have to calm yourself down as much as you can and over time it gets easier.

Just remember you are breathing, of course you're breathing otherwise you wouldn't be able to do anything!

Feeling like you can't breathe is very common with anxiety you are not alone.

Take care
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Offline Rob783

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Re: Can anxiety really cause shortness of breath?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 12:13:14 PM »
Your DR gave you the all clear so its most likely anxiety. If you have a smartphone you can find several free breathing apps to help you control your breaths. I use one called breath2relax. 
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Offline melissas080

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Re: Can anxiety really cause shortness of breath?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 05:31:32 PM »
Thank you everyone. I just can't believe anxiety can cause me to feel like im suffocating or ran a marathon. I hate this feeling and I am at my wits end. They checked my thyroid and everything, I do wish they would have ran an ekg or something.
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Offline Jameswastaken

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Re: Can anxiety really cause shortness of breath?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 10:45:08 PM »
I have it happen as well; As soon as something pokes at my brain in a way to get me nervous, I begin having trouble breathing, heart rate becomes elevated, occasionally palpitates a bit and makes it worse lol. Anxiety truly is a powerful, and tricky thing.

Sorry about your father...and I hope with time, your wounds will heal.
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