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Offline new_mommy13

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Difficulty breathing
« on: June 21, 2014, 09:13:59 AM »
I have been having a lot of difficulty breathing and chest pain recently and although my health anxiety kicks in and I want to think that there is something wrong with my lungs, I know that it is my anxiety that is causing these symptoms.
It IS terrible though and a very tricky thing to correct once you become focused on your breathing. I found some very interesting information on one site about breathing and hyperventilation which I will post below for anyone interested. But, for those of you who experience this how do you regain control of your breath once you feel like your gasping for air???
I am currently on mat leave and went to a celebration at my school yesterday... well seeing fellow staff members, children and families caused me to have a full blown attack and I was having a terrible time breathing!!!!! It is embarrassing, but I went into the washroom for a short time to regain control. It is also awful trying to hide your feeling from others and trying to put on a "happy" face when inside your freaking out!

Here is the info....
http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/respiratory-problems
Respiration issues with anxiety tend to be related to the type of anxiety you experience. Many of them are also perceived, but not an actual problem meaning there isn't anything wrong with your lungs or heart, but there is a sensation that makes it seem like something is wrong. Make sure you've taken my anxiety test if you're new to the site.

Anxiety actually changes your breathing habits. It's not clear how or why exactly people learn to breathe differently when they suffer from anxiety, but there are several issues at play:
Anxiety is the activation of your fight or flight system, which pumps adrenaline into your blood stream. This can cause your breathing to speed up as a result, which in turn causes some of the issues that we'll discuss momentarily.
Anxiety can also cause you to think too much about your breathing, which makes you breathe inefficiently. This actually has many of the same effects as breathing quickly, but without necessarily speeding up each breath.

That latter point is where a lot of the confusion tends to arise. When you think about your breathing, your breathing no longer becomes an automatic process. You temporarily make it manual, which means that you're the one deciding how much to breathe and how fast.

People think they need much more air than they do, so they tend to take deeper breaths than their body needs. This has the same effect as breathing too quickly, both of which can cause an issue known as hyperventilation.

What is Hyperventilation?

Hyperventilation is the primary cause of most respiratory problems from anxiety. The word itself means "over-breathing." Schools teach that your body turns oxygen to carbon dioxide and then gets rid of it, but most schools do not teach that carbon dioxide is actually something your body needs. Many of the processes in your body rely on the right carbon dioxide balance in order to operate.

When you breathe too quickly, the problem isn't too much oxygen it's too little carbon dioxide. Your body essentially breathes out its carbon dioxide before it has a chance to make more, causing your blood cells to become over-oxygenated.

Hyperventilation is responsible for a number of different problems, most notably chest pains, lightheadedness, and rapid heartbeat. But it also causes several issues that relate to respiratory distress:
Trouble Breathing Sensation Even though hyperventilation is too much oxygen, the response by the body is to feel as though you're not getting enough oxygen. This paradoxical effect is often a problem, because the person that is hyperventilating responds by trying to take deeper breaths, which makes hyperventilation worse. This is one of the reasons that people develop panic attacks, because they continue to hyperventilate more and more and experience a gradual worsening of symptoms.
Inability to Expand Chest/Need to Yawn A similar problem that is directly related to the sensation of struggling to breathe is a feeling as though you really need to yawn, but finding that when you start you're unable to expand your chest for the full yawn. This makes it feel like something is wrong with your lungs, even though in reality you simply don't need the air.
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Offline wcassaday

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2014, 02:24:22 AM »
24/7 I am having the issues you described.  Nothing in particular brings it on, because I experience it from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep.  I've counted 47 yawns in one day before and it feels like I am never getting enough air.  I've had pulmonary function tests and will even be seeing a pulmonologist in a month, i will see a therapist tomorrow as well.  hopefully i can get some help because i am at the end of my rope and my life is in shambles because of this.  i dont even have friends because nobody wants to be around people that are mentally ill which makes stuff worse.  There is no cure for this, is there?
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Offline brittanyborg

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 04:42:49 PM »
I am also experiencing this breathing issues. I have constant shortness of breath and I find that breathing is always difficult, almost as if I'm not getting enough air. I definitely find that it's worse when I concentrate on it (but trying not to concentrate on it is extremely difficult). I actually woke up at 2AM last night gasping for air because I just couldn't breathe, it took me fifteen minutes to calm myself down while laying in bed shaking and then finally gave in and took an Ativan to help calm me down (even though it didn't do much) and help me fall asleep.
I woke up this morning again to find myself faced with the same problem....and this has been going on for months upon months.
I've convinced myself that something is terribly wrong with my lungs and that I have a blood clot. My doctor(s) have assured me that I don't and even ER doctors have told me I'm okay and that it's just anxiety however nobody will run a CT SCAN on my lungs/chest - I know this is the only true way to detect lung abnormalities and from what I've been going through I just don't understand why they won't give me a scan!

I'm also at my wits end and just no longer really know what to do.
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Offline Mairi

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 05:18:14 PM »
I am also experiencing this breathing issues. I have constant shortness of breath and I find that breathing is always difficult, almost as if I'm not getting enough air. I definitely find that it's worse when I concentrate on it (but trying not to concentrate on it is extremely difficult). I actually woke up at 2AM last night gasping for air because I just couldn't breathe, it took me fifteen minutes to calm myself down while laying in bed shaking and then finally gave in and took an Ativan to help calm me down (even though it didn't do much) and help me fall asleep.
I woke up this morning again to find myself faced with the same problem....and this has been going on for months upon months.
I've convinced myself that something is terribly wrong with my lungs and that I have a blood clot. My doctor(s) have assured me that I don't and even ER doctors have told me I'm okay and that it's just anxiety however nobody will run a CT SCAN on my lungs/chest - I know this is the only true way to detect lung abnormalities and from what I've been going through I just don't understand why they won't give me a scan!

I'm also at my wits end and just no longer really know what to do.
Oh, goodness, I know what you mean! I went through that a few months ago- "We haven't done any tests on you so we don't know for sure, but you're fine." Really? Even though I feel like I'm going to die? Aghhh... But it ended up that I was fine, and now I understand it was from anxiety, and I'm sure all of you will be fine as well. Hang in there. Thank you, new_mommy 13, for the helpful info.
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Offline wcassaday

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2014, 10:12:03 PM »
I am also experiencing this breathing issues. I have constant shortness of breath and I find that breathing is always difficult, almost as if I'm not getting enough air. I definitely find that it's worse when I concentrate on it (but trying not to concentrate on it is extremely difficult). I actually woke up at 2AM last night gasping for air because I just couldn't breathe, it took me fifteen minutes to calm myself down while laying in bed shaking and then finally gave in and took an Ativan to help calm me down (even though it didn't do much) and help me fall asleep.
I woke up this morning again to find myself faced with the same problem....and this has been going on for months upon months.
I've convinced myself that something is terribly wrong with my lungs and that I have a blood clot. My doctor(s) have assured me that I don't and even ER doctors have told me I'm okay and that it's just anxiety however nobody will run a CT SCAN on my lungs/chest - I know this is the only true way to detect lung abnormalities and from what I've been going through I just don't understand why they won't give me a scan!

I'm also at my wits end and just no longer really know what to do.
Oh, goodness, I know what you mean! I went through that a few months ago- "We haven't done any tests on you so we don't know for sure, but you're fine." Really? Even though I feel like I'm going to die? Aghhh... But it ended up that I was fine, and now I understand it was from anxiety, and I'm sure all of you will be fine as well. Hang in there. Thank you, new_mommy 13, for the helpful info.

Even though i've had asthma since I was a child and I am a former smoker from the age of 16 to 31 (im 32 now)?  My symptoms are consistent with someone who has COPD which gets worse over time.  I appreciate your positive vibes though. 
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Offline algeus

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2014, 09:25:43 AM »
I am also experiencing this breathing issues. I have constant shortness of breath and I find that breathing is always difficult, almost as if I'm not getting enough air. I definitely find that it's worse when I concentrate on it (but trying not to concentrate on it is extremely difficult). I actually woke up at 2AM last night gasping for air because I just couldn't breathe, it took me fifteen minutes to calm myself down while laying in bed shaking and then finally gave in and took an Ativan to help calm me down (even though it didn't do much) and help me fall asleep.
I woke up this morning again to find myself faced with the same problem....and this has been going on for months upon months.
I've convinced myself that something is terribly wrong with my lungs and that I have a blood clot. My doctor(s) have assured me that I don't and even ER doctors have told me I'm okay and that it's just anxiety however nobody will run a CT SCAN on my lungs/chest - I know this is the only true way to detect lung abnormalities and from what I've been going through I just don't understand why they won't give me a scan!

I'm also at my wits end and just no longer really know what to do.

Oh,that's exactly my story. The blood clot thoughts and the CT that I think I need to do, but wasn't done. Do you have any other symptoms than the SoB?
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Offline trejus25

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2014, 12:07:49 PM »
This is almost identical to me...but can someone please answer me this.....I now constantly obsess about my breathing I suffer from GAD for years but never about my breathing till now and since this started I now have lost my job and might even lose custody of my son but let me tell u how this started and u tell me if this is anxiety related.... I was at work just talking to a Co worker and all of a sudden I Just couldn't breath idk why so I walked off went outside calmed down and just went back to work and then after that for about a week or so I felt it was hard to even have a convo with anyone felt like I was suffercating when I was talking like I didn't have enough air to finish my sentence....and then after that it's now a 24/7 thing I do this all day long everyday even though I keep telling myself to stop it's just anxiety but nothing works and I focus on my berthing so much it's all I think about I can't even go get my son from my neighbors house when he is playing because I feel like if I go over there I'm not gonna be able to breath talking and faint like idk I'm scared to even talk cuz talking makes it worse like what is wrong with me idk but I have been told by doctors that there is nothing wrong with me it's my anxiety but it's just hard to believe when I can barley even talk to my son or people cuz I'm using my last breath to just get out a sentence... oh and it feels like my throat is tightening up and sometimes like there is something in the middle of it idk it just hard to explain
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Offline wcassaday

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2014, 12:06:45 AM »
As it turns out, my diagnosis is Pulmonary Hypertension..  im so sad..  all my plans in life are lost
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Offline algeus

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2014, 08:12:56 AM »
As it turns out, my diagnosis is Pulmonary Hypertension..  im so sad..  all my plans in life are lost

First of all,people are living with PH, and I know there are some meds to improve your situation...
How were you diagnosed for PH?
I'm pretty sure a LOT of people are getting the default "anxiety" diagnosis, while they have PH actually...

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Offline algeus

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2014, 05:03:42 AM »
Following the post above from wcassaday, I'm really in "I probably have PH" now:(...
I keep thinking that sometimes(most of the times?) PH and some other heart/lung related issues are being diagnosed as "anxiety", just because it's so convenient diagnosis for the doctors to give.
I wonder, are there really people that are suffering from breathing issues on 24/7 that did ALL the checks to rule out PH and other heart/lung issues? Or we all just waiting for some doctor to make the right diagnosis, when it's too late?
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Offline brittanyborg

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2014, 05:33:23 AM »
As it turns out, my diagnosis is Pulmonary Hypertension..  im so sad..  all my plans in life are lost

How did you come about the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension? I've also been following this post from the past and I'm interested in the route you took to come about your diagnosis. I'm so sorry that you're going through this I truly am.
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Offline algeus

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2014, 05:43:39 AM »
Still waiting for wcassaday to tell us his story...
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Offline Cas1976

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Re: Difficulty breathing
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2014, 07:44:31 PM »
Having same issues! I have had a CT Scan and came back normal. I see a pulmonologist in a few weeks :(. I also have Gerd and Asthma. Gerd could be part of the issue but asthma has been ruled out as not the problem.
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