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Old 09-13-2009, 09:43 AM   #1
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Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

ok so I've been having panic attacks for the past year now... I'm a 21 year old healthy male who has a breathing checking pulse obsession. It all started about a year ago when I was laying there, it felt as if my breathing just came to a halt and I was having to control it (constsntly think about my inhale/exhale) to make sure I was getting perfect breaths... I constantly get it daily and mostly in the car, I went to the doctor and they checked me out for everything and said it was just all in my head. Sometimes I get freaked out <BECAUSE> I go from hyperventalating to shallow breathing to numbness to pounding heart beat and get deeply terrified that my heart is going to get confused and go out. I also get a strong feeling of numbness when I overbreathe and get into a cycle that I can't get out of, I start to overbreathe and then get crazy racy thoughts and feelings of de realization. I do not want to get on medication <BECAUSE> I feel as though I can beat it... I've slowed down on my partying and don't work right now. Does anyone else having an anxiety disorder or panic related stories.... Please help me out

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-13-2009 at 10:38 AM. Reason: As per the posting rules, always use whole, real words in your posts. Ms_Mod

 
Old 09-13-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
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Re: Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

Please understand that you most likely can not heal thyself of mental problems.
Get some help...I take Ativan(Lorazapam) for my anxiety,Paxil(CR a must)for my
depression,Atenolol for my heart,and Meclizine for my dizziness. Please lower your standards,and believe these people didn.t go to school for years,just to talk among themselves. Good luck....Bill

 
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:58 AM   #3
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Re: Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

I was put on Atarax for sometime but that only made it a little worse. I have gotten a lot better doing without these medications as the doctor told me that they see people like this all the time and therapists can help alot, I'm believed I can beat it without medications because Its only when I'm hardcore thinking about my every breath that I get panic attacks and 95% of the time I get them due to a night of heavy drinking, I just don't know what to do? Should I just stop drinking all in all if that seems to be doing it? It's not a mental thing because I've been fine up until I was drinking and I think that causes my attacks, I've slowed way down on the partying but am not sleeping right. I'm getting 8 hours but it's from going to bed at 4 or 5 in the morning. Could that be making me feel and think this way over analyzing it thinking there's something wrong when it's just me thinking negative thoughts?

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-16-2009 at 02:07 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 09-15-2009, 05:24 PM   #4
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Re: Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

Well, the good news is that you cannot mentally forget to breath. Your brain stem takes care of your breathing, that is why you can still breath when you are asleep.

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-16-2009 at 02:06 PM. Reason: Removed part of post that no longer applies. Ms_Mod

 
Old 09-16-2009, 02:36 PM   #5
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Re: Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

ExtremelyWired is right. Unless you have some CNS disorder, your brain will always make you breathe, which is why you can't die by trying to hold your breath. You'll pass out and start breathing again.

For me, when I'm in an obsessive/anxious cycle, I always think about my breathing, and think about it, and obsess over it, and then I end up hyperventilating. What has worked for me is to breath ALL the way out (not forcefully) and try to breath from the diaphragm but at the end of my breath as opposed to the top of my breath, which is more in the upper chest.

Sometimes I'll even exhale all the way gently, hold it (not forcefully) and relax my abdominal and back muscles. I found I often "hold" my muscles unconsciously.

Hope that helps some!

 
Old 09-16-2009, 03:10 PM   #6
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Re: Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

Thanks... my other thing is that when I get into it, I feel that my body is just so tired from breathing.... this has to be in my head though right?

 
Old 09-16-2009, 03:18 PM   #7
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Re: Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

Yes, I get the same thing. You're probably tired from expending so much energy into something that normally happens automatically. That, and you are probably breathing deep or more forcefully than necessary.

If your O2/CO2 exchange is off in your body, try breathing into a paper bag about 20 times (deeply) and see if that helps. Also breathing out TWICE as slow as breathing in helps to relax the body.

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-16-2009 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 09-16-2009, 03:28 PM   #8
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Re: Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

so it can't give you a heart attack or anything when your heart beats fast and your breathing feels shallow? from repeated time of doing this? or is the worst thing thats going to happen would be you pass out?

 
Old 09-16-2009, 03:59 PM   #9
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Re: Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

I'm not a doctor so we can't give diagnoses on a board like this, but if your heart if healthy, you're not going to get a heart attack by breathing.

A panic attack? Sure sounds like it.

Lightheaded? Probably.

Pass out? Unlikely, but possible.

Shallow breathing is not healthy, but not really dangerous. Look up diaphragmatic breathing. Remember, you don't have to breathe deep, just try to slow your breathing and breathe from your belly not your chest.

 
Old 09-16-2009, 04:59 PM   #10
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Re: Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

OK Thanks... I went to the doctor a few months ago and did an EKG and everything and said everything was perfect, so I guess i just gotta knock these thoughts outta my head

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-17-2009 at 06:42 AM.

 
Old 09-16-2009, 06:21 PM   #11
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Re: Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

Caden, before you get it in your head that this is all in your head just wait a second and let me ask you this. In all the medical tests you've had done did you ever get a sleep study done where you wear a pulse ox on your finger all night? If you haven't, get it. If your oxygen saturation levels go down then it's not in your head. Check out my post on the lung board and read the hell I've been going through since Feb.

Get the test done. It's not a big deal. And interestingly enough, alcohol does effect oxygen saturation.

 
Old 09-20-2009, 11:01 PM   #12
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Re: Can You Mentally Forget to breathe?

You will always breathe because your body does it automatically. If you hyperventilate then you get lots of oxygen and that is why you may feel light headed or the illusion of not getting oxygen. You actually get plenty. Can you tell I went through this? I felt it at 25 and am 35 now and I can tell you it goes away once you realize your body loves you and does a great job of getting oxygen you need. If you are in good health which of course you are - try walking or running a few times a week. Once you get through that, just think that normal behavior is no problem compared to running - so your breathing is totally normal. I went so far as going to the hospital once thinking I was having a heart attack. Guess what, after a chest x-ray and blood work it was found I just had heartburn and needed over the counter prilosec. Trust yourself. You can climb Everest if you want to. You body will do the breathing. Don't get in your own way. A whole life of fun ahead!

S

 
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