Before I was diagnosed, I had them in my early youth up to my late 20's - I had them almost every night - these Night Terrors really caused my so much pain. Thankfully, I found some medications that actually work to reduce them and eventually eliminate them.
Yes, not being able to breath, trying to catching your breath, and vivid dreaming or nightmares that are so real, you start to wonder if they really did happen... are all common in Nocturnal Panic Attacks.
It is quite common for people with Anxiety and Panic attacks to have them while they are sleeping (as may studies are now confirming this connection).
I really feel for you, I know the TERROR that you feel, Hopefully yours was just only a rare one.
If you continue to have them - and I hope you Don't - but if you do, please write me back if they continue, maybe I might be able to offer some insights from own experiences.
If they become chronic, and you are having them in high frequency, there are many medical options that can halt or minimize these night terrors.
Hope you feel better... You are not alone!