Did you mean to say that it must be an ANXIETY problem, and NOT a PHYSICAL problem, as when you do take the Ativan, [a sedative]... your physical symptoms then go away?? If your symptoms go away after you take Ativan, then I think that pretty much says that you do indeed have anxiety.
I have the same problems as you do, Soodles. I get a tight feeling in my chest, and most especially my diaphragm gets tight, [anyone else here with that?]... and I get VERY short of breath. This morning it was really bad, and I felt like I couldn't get any air in, hardly any! My diaphragm was sore feeling and tight, and I honestly felt like I was going to quit breathing, altogether.
Finally, I got up and took a Xanex...and within 30 min. I felt it subsiding, in 45minutes it was ALL gone! I hate to take this stuff but what else the heck am I supposed to do?? (I can not take any SSRI's or Tri-cyclic drugs)
This problem I've had for almost 3 years...I think I tend to focus on my lungs/chest, and every little breath I take, because both my mother and my brother passed away of a lung disease...and I'm so afraid.....thus I'm too [totally] focused on my every breath and every sensation that arises in my chest, diaphragm, etc.
I have noticed, [often] that most of the time, when I leave the house, [I don't work, due to some other health issues], and go out shopping, hang out with my friends....I can feel good all day...and sometimes it will start up again, AFTER I return home. But I can't be out running around all the time either!
This is so awful....and my shrink sucks so bad... I think I'm going to get on the waiting list here for a new one. I think he seems to think I like to take these pills just to feel high, or something. (WRONG!) If only he knew how much I HATE to take them. (they have affected my memory and I let things go because I'm too relaxed and sleepy all the time, so I don't get a lot done,..things I so need to take care of)
Soodles....I hope you feel better soon...I do want to take this 10 week course that my health plan [Kaiser] offers...it's a "Mindfullness Meditation" course. ..and I've heard it is excellent.
edited to add: I forgot to tell you...I too get the tight throat symptom...and that one really scares me. It feels worse at times than others...as if my whole throat is closing up on me. My GP told me that, that is a common anxiety symptom.