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Old 02-19-2005, 04:16 PM   #1
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Can anxiety/panic attacks cause breathing problems?

I have had an attack recently where I had had breathing problems for several hours, although it was mild but looked alarming to me. I have been once diagnosed with mild asthma because of some lung problems but been very well for months till this and went to the doctor and he said it ain't asthma cause my meds didn't respond and the symptoms were very unusual! Another doctor said the same thing and said it sounds like a panic attack. But since what happened I have to take deep breaths throughout the day when I feel very little short of breath. Nervousness, being outside and walking fast makes it worse. Could anxiety, panic disorder cause those problems I'm describing? I'm gonna see a psychologist soon because I have this problem that I always think other people look at me when I do things such as eating, fixing something etc. and whenever I think this way I may start to sweat a little on the forehead for a minute. I know this ain't happening but pisses me off but it doesn't prevent from doing anything.

Last edited by aftermath; 02-19-2005 at 04:19 PM.

 
Old 02-19-2005, 07:14 PM   #2
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Re: Can anxiety/panic attacks cause breathing problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aftermath
I have had an attack recently where I had had breathing problems for several hours, although it was mild but looked alarming to me. I have been once diagnosed with mild asthma because of some lung problems but been very well for months till this and went to the doctor and he said it ain't asthma cause my meds didn't respond and the symptoms were very unusual! Another doctor said the same thing and said it sounds like a panic attack. But since what happened I have to take deep breaths throughout the day when I feel very little short of breath. Nervousness, being outside and walking fast makes it worse. Could anxiety, panic disorder cause those problems I'm describing? I'm gonna see a psychologist soon because I have this problem that I always think other people look at me when I do things such as eating, fixing something etc. and whenever I think this way I may start to sweat a little on the forehead for a minute. I know this ain't happening but pisses me off but it doesn't prevent from doing anything.
It can be difficult to breathe during an attack. Esp. if it's a bad one. I had issues with it.

But as far as physical breathing problems that last even when you're not panicking, everything I've read/heard on anxiety/panic attacks is that they can not physically harm you at all.

 
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Old 02-19-2005, 07:46 PM   #3
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Re: Can anxiety/panic attacks cause breathing problems?

I know that...even a panic attack could never physically harm you unless you are driving or working under construction etc. But as for my deep breaths taking throughout the day....those are really stress related?

 
Old 02-22-2005, 06:14 AM   #4
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Re: Can anxiety/panic attacks cause breathing problems?

Yeah, I think so. I had an issue with this a while ago. I was having some stress at work, and started having breathing problems. I couldn't get a deep breath. There were some times where I almost had to pull off the road. The shortness of breath would come and go, but it could get really bad.

I had everything checked, from allergies to asthma, and finally the docs decided it was 'vocal cord dysfuntion', which is related to anxiety. It sort of made sense because I had anxiety in the past. I got put on Zoloft (had been off antidepressants for a while), and the shortness of breath went away. (Changed jobs too.)

It was weird because it didn't feel like anxiety, but apparently that's what it was.

Good luck...

 
Old 02-22-2005, 06:17 AM   #5
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Re: Can anxiety/panic attacks cause breathing problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aftermath
I'm gonna see a psychologist soon because I have this problem that I always think other people look at me when I do things such as eating, fixing something etc. and whenever I think this way I may start to sweat a little on the forehead for a minute. I know this ain't happening but pisses me off but it doesn't prevent from doing anything.
That sounds like social anxiety. I have that too. That was a part of my stress at work when I was having that problem with breathing. Interesting, I wonder if that's common with social anxiety?

 
Old 02-22-2005, 07:59 AM   #6
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Re: Can anxiety/panic attacks cause breathing problems?

I too think I have that but I'm not scared of people and go to clubs all the time and am not afraid to talk or meet people and I'm not afraid of any social things and like to speak out publicly etc., I'm only shy for a little while around an attractive girl, but I think that's normal since I'm only 18 yet. I do have only few friends but not because I'm afraid to make some it's because it's impossible to make them where I live. I live in a bad place in the first place and people just hang out with their race/nationality around here. I think you get the point, sux that people are so stupid!

Last edited by aftermath; 02-22-2005 at 08:05 AM.

 
Old 02-22-2005, 08:08 PM   #7
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Re: Can anxiety/panic attacks cause breathing problems?

I think so...my breathlessness seems to come and go and after having all the xrays and the cat scans and all the other good stuff and not finding anything it makes me think its all related.

 
Old 02-27-2005, 03:19 AM   #8
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Re: Can anxiety/panic attacks cause breathing problems?

Not sure if it's the same thing but a year or so ago during a particularly stressful period I had breathing problems. It was more related to the feeling of not being able to take a deep breath and like I couldn't get enough oxygen. Rather bizarrely I actually found a solution in another forum that worked 100% of the time and I was as surprised as anybody. If you get a feeling like I describe above it's worth trying this even though it sounds silly...where you big toe meets your foot at the joint, if you massage/push this area quite hard (this may hurt a little) for a minute or two while just breathing normally, then try and take a deep breath and hopefully it should have relaxed you. Some people have had success pushing their foot into the corner of a table or similar. This provided temporary relief for me every time.

As I said this sounds stupid and Iím not really a believer in reflexology, but this really did the trick and letís face it, anythingís worth a try!

Overall these things are just a perpetuating cycle where the worry of whatís happening to you, makes the thing youíre worrying about worse. Itís a tough cycle to break, but the first stage is finding understanding in people that feel the same things.

Good luck!

 
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