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Old 12-24-2007, 12:53 PM   #1
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Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

I'm new here, so I'm sorry I wasn't sure where to post this.

For about 3 weeks I had had trouble swallowing. It would go down fine, but I was afraid to swallow because I was afraid I might choke.
That recently went away, and for the past 3-4 days I've had trouble breathing. I'm 18 and I have ADD/ADHD. I take Ritalin and Risperadol *Probably spelled wrong* I have taken them for 3-4 years, so I know they're fine. When I say trouble breathing I don't mean a hyperventilation breathing problem, I mean like.. ok.. I can exhale fine, right? But when I go to inahle it feels like I'm not getting enough air. There is NO pain, or anything like that. I often feel weak, or lack energy to get up and do things, but when I'm sitting down doing nothing, I feel not as bad. And I mean, right now it FEELS fine to me. Like yesterday I was panicing, i was scared and thought I was going to die. Which made it worse! I sometimes feel the need to take a deep breath and inhale. and then sigh it out. It feels relieving sometimes, other times it doesn't have any feel to it. Which made me think it was my lungs or something.

Like I said it just feels weird >.< Like..around where my esophagus ends, and sometimes it feels strange around my left chest area, like around my heart. No pain, it just feels like there's air by my heart, but that might be my lung. heh..

So last night I woke up at..actually, nevermind, I couldn't get to sleep all night. When I layed down I felt like I lacked breath even worse! I think this is where I paniced and thought it was anxiety. I kept thinking that i was going to die, that it's almost Christmas and this happens to me. I've been very stressed out all my life, and I've really been no more stressed out now than before, so I don't know about that there. Anyway, so I paniced so badly, I got up at 4am, woke my mom up who got my father to take me to the ER. My blood pressure was normal. The doctor checked around my upper body, telling me to take deep breaths. He told me everything is fine there. Nothing wrong with my lungs, no wheezing, I haven't coughed or felt any pain. Then he checked my throat and he told me that my throat was red. He said he didn't think it was pnemunonia (Sorry I can't spell :X) and he said it's probably not strep throat, but he took a throat swab and said they'd call if it was. (They haven't called so I'm assuming it wasn't strep)

So I really don't know what to do. It's not my lungs, but I have this weird feeling around where my esophagus ends, and right below it too. Today hasn't been entirely bad. I mean, like I said it's so weird not knowing! I don't think it was anxiety because I didn't think anxiety lasted all day, and also I'm not feeling like that right yet, only last night I really did. Like I said, as I'm typing this now I feel like I'm breathing normally, but there's that weird, very faint feeling around the left side of my chest area, sometimes it feels low sometimes it feels high. The doctor said to just let nature take its course and it will disappear in 8-10 days. But I think he just meant the throat problem, so I don't know what to do about this breathing problem. I've read so many posts that all have the same symptoms as me, and I see that people live with what i have for YEARS before it goes away. It's so scary to feel like this, feeling a bit weak and out of breath when you try to do things.. Anyone have any ideas?

 
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Old 12-24-2007, 01:10 PM   #2
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Re: Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

Hi..could it possiby be reflux? That can cause feelings like you can't breathe.

My voice disappeared for a while....I thought it was laryngitis (which I've had in the past and required meds)..the the ENT said the redness was in a different pattern signifying reflux.

I used Zantac twice daily for a while...my voice is back. I tend to use it when I need rather than daily now.

The anticipation of having a heart attack would definitely trigger anxiety. It's a difficult cycle to stop.

quincy
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Old 12-24-2007, 01:23 PM   #3
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Re: Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

I sorry for your recent sensation. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss your medications. As we age or the longer we take a drug things change and your body may be telling you something isn't right with the medicines. Look up the side effects for long term usage. Also it is too bad the doctor didn't do an x-ray because it would of put my mind at ease that there wasn't something going on there. I know a guy that gets walking pneumonia all the time and the doctors just don't catch it even if they listen. and an x-ray would show up anything else going on in the throat area if it was like a growth or something. So but for now the doctor my be right that it will run it's course. Sorry it is a difficult one isn't it.

 
Old 12-24-2007, 03:06 PM   #4
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Re: Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

What's your diet like? Have you drank any liquor lately?

 
Old 12-25-2007, 04:20 PM   #5
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Re: Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

Thank you for your replies. I went to the doctor again yesterday, they again checked my blood pressure, and all of that. They said my oxygen level is fine, that my blood pressure is normal, but they said that my heart beat is slightly rapid. He asked a lot about my medication and I believe the Risperadol can cause long term heart problems. Although I'm only on 1mg of Risperadol, so I really don't see that being a problem since I've only taken 1mg of it for 4-5 years. I'm due to see my doctor for those Jan 8th, but I'm going to give him a call tomorrow and see if I can get in sooner, so hopefully he can tell me something. They also did an EKG, and he said everything as far as my heart goes looks fine. He said it sounded like I had an inner chest infection/throat infection. So tomorrow I'll be going down to the ER again, and I'm going to tell them to give me an X-ray of my chest, to see if there's an infection or anything like that. It does feel like it's in my chest though. I think the doctor got the wrong idea when I said I had trouble breathing, because I think he meant the type of overbreathing you have when you have a panic attack. I told him that for me it's just I feel short of breath, so I'll have to point that out again. The only reason it bothers me is because I can forget about it, have it off my mind but I can still feel myself breathing slowly. And this happens all day and night, which is very stressful. I don't think it's anxiety or stress, since my life isn't any different then before. Hopefully the x-ray shows something, because right now it does feel like it's in the center of my chest. But I don't know because usually if it's an infection you will cough or wheez, but I have no pain, no symptoms other than the fact I can't breath right. It's very strange but hopefully i can find out soon. I also feel a bit sick to my stomach every so often as well, especially when I eat food. Hopefully this can be fixed soon.

Last edited by adamj55; 12-25-2007 at 04:23 PM.

 
Old 12-25-2007, 04:32 PM   #6
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Re: Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

Hey there-
Well you are on ritalin (a stimulant) and risperdal (an anti-psychotic). Ritalin can definitely make your heart race, make you feel jittery and panicky which can increase panic hence your breathing problem. And being nervous exacerbates the whole breathing thing and other panic symptoms. It does seem like a strange combination of medications. Why would your doctor prescribe both these meds? They would seem to cause polar effects when used.
Bella

PS: What you described definitely sounds like my panic attacks!!!! I hate that I am GOING TO DIE feeling!

Last edited by tattoogirl; 12-25-2007 at 04:37 PM. Reason: PS added

 
Old 12-25-2007, 05:31 PM   #7
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Re: Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

Same about those two medicines. You should go ask your doctor about it or look through the internet about the disadvantages on taking those two medicines. And yes... panic attacks are horrible. I get it sometimes and I get problem breathing then it gets worse when I think I'm going to die!

 
Old 12-25-2007, 08:21 PM   #8
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Re: Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

Well no, I don't do drugs and I don't drink or anything like that. I have ADHD and I'm a bit bipolar. I don't really need the Ritalin actually, but apparently I need the Risperdal. Although my pediatrician is off until Jan 3rd, so I can't talk to him about it until then when he gets back. I only had what seemed like a panic attack once, the first time I felt like I couldn't breath. Now it feels like I can breath, but it feels like I'm not getting enough air all day. Hopefully tomorrow they will take an x-ray and see if anything is wrong inside my chest or anything to that effect. I'll get another ekg done to be safe there. It really does feel like i'm having trouble breathing from the upper part of my chest. I know it's not nothing, so if they say it's not I'll have to wait until the 3rd to get a hold of my pediatrician and talk to him about it. If they don't send me for blood work then he probably will, and might know something the doctors don't. Because when I go for my checkup with him he always asks me if I have any pains or breathing problems, so I think he might know something. Anyway, like I said hopefully tomorrow I can get this all fixed up. All I know is this is a REALLY annoying thing to go through 24/7.

 
Old 12-25-2007, 09:39 PM   #9
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Re: Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

Don't forget to ask the doctor about reflux. the meds you're on can also cause it...and the nausea after eating is a classic symptom.

Not saying it's the ONLY reason, but the symptoms you're describing could very well be it. Add anxiety..it's much worse.

Don't cross it off your list...make sure you get checked out for it as well, because you shouldn't suffer longer than you have to.

quincy
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:37 AM   #10
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Re: Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

I went to the ER today, they checked me all over for the third time..
Blood pressure was normal, oxygen level was normal. They did a breathing test where I had to take a deep breath and breath into a small portable thing that checked to see if my respiratory was fine. Said that was perfect. They did a blood test, that was fine. My heart is fine except it has a bit of a rapid beat. They said it's probably not anxiety. So I they nor I have any idea of what it is, and it doesn't appear to be going away, but not getting worse. My doctor isn't in until Jan 3rd, but my appointment is Jan 7th. So hopefully I can get a hold of him after the new year and tell him. Because like some of you said the Ritalin can cause heart problems, but he said after being on them both for 6-7 years he sees no reason why they would cause any problems now. Although Ritalin can cause rapid heart beat, and in which case can make a person more likely to have anxiety. Anxiety runs in my family, my mother has it and her mother has it. Although that's not what it is, I only had one panic attack and that was when this first happened. Of course long term effects do happen so he said to talk to him when I can. So hopefully my pediatrician can tell me a few things and hopefully since I don't really even need these pills anymore that I can come off of them. It's not so bad during the day, but right when I go to go to sleep it's like it's hard to breath, and makes me panic and stuff and it's really hard to go through every day, but I mean I know i'm healthy and I'm fine, so really there's nothing for me to worry about. I just tell myself that there's far more worse things out there than what I have, and that this will go away in time. So yeah, all I can do is hope my pediatrician knows some things, other than that I guess I'll just have to wait it out.

 
Old 12-28-2007, 01:01 AM   #11
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Re: Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

I can't really offer any advice (unfortunately), but just take relief in knowing you aren't the only one who is suffering from breathing problems.

I'm 20 and, while not on any medications, I am also experiencing shortness of breath with no other symptoms. I've done a methacholine challenge (asthma test) and I was well within the normal breathing range, and mine also tends to worsen at night. It used to be much worse, and I had chest pain and my heart beat hard against my chest, but over the last couple of months it has become simply the shortness of breath that is mild, yet constant.

I've had my pulse checked and my doctor expressed no concern over it (I am overweight, so my heart may go a little faster than normal), and my blood pressure, while not a perfect 110/70 or whatever is normal, is not so high that it presents a problem. I have no allergies and have had a CAT scan to rule out blood clots in my lungs.

I can't imagine that your medications would be causing you problems when you've been on them for so long. Then again, I don't know why my breathing problems began out of absolutely nowhere. It might be anxiety, but I don't know if those who suffer from it find themselves in a constant state of breathlessness. Does your family have a history of lung problems (cancer, bronchitis, asthma, COPD, etc.)?

In any case, I hope you get the answers you seek. I know it's definitely no fun when you can't breathe.

 
Old 12-28-2007, 08:22 AM   #12
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Re: Trouble Breathing, anxiety?

My panicky feelings are greater when trying to sleep. It's quiet and your mind can run away with itself! At times I could feel my heart pounding against the bed. I am on Lamictal which has helped. I also take 10 mg's of valium at night for fibromyalgia but it helps to calm me too. I would suggest going to a psychiatrist (if you haven't already) and maybe you can switch from a pediatrician to an adult doctor (not sure of your age).
Bella

 
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