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  • Why can't I take a deep breath?



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    Old 02-17-2006, 07:38 AM   #1
    brysonav
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    Why can't I take a deep breath?

    Hey all - Anyone feel as though they can't take a full, deep, satisfying breath? I recently had chest xray, blood work done and asthma has been ruled out. I have to do a weird yawn type thing to "catch" this breath and sometimes when I try I am unable to get the breath and I start to what if about stopping breathing and passing out. Extremely frustrating. I can exercise without problem and sleep isnt an issue but immediately on awakening I start to worry about not being able to take a deep breath. No cough or classic shortness of breath signs but chest feels heavy. Had stress test done for heart and, of course, it was fine. Anyone have any suggestions on how to stop this or going through the same problem? I am at my wits end with this. Sometimes when I am talking with someone, I'll be trying to get this satisfying sensation by yawing and it's embarrassing. Thanks for any advice you can give.
    Bryson

     
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    Old 02-17-2006, 08:36 AM   #2
    lena_33
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    Re: Why can't I take a deep breath?

    I've had this symptom for a year for anxiety. I went to the hospital several times because I thought I would just run out of air one day and die. After going and the doctors telling me there was nothing wrong, I went home feeling relatively better. When I think about my shortness of breath it makes it considerably worse. At school I had to stop playing clarinet and saxophone because I didn't have the air. This year, although I still have shortness of breath, if I ignore it and tell myself that "there is no way to pass out from shortness of breath and my body will make it more obvious if I'm going to pass out or die" I feel better. This year I started playing instruments again and it's gotten SOOO much better. Build your lung capacity and exercise will help you to forget. If you start thinking about it again, get an elastic band around your wrist and flick it on yourself so the temporary pain will distract you from your worries. Do deep breathing.

    Chances are, your mind is giving you shortness of breath like mine is

     
    Old 02-17-2006, 08:41 AM   #3
    Jonev11
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    Re: Why can't I take a deep breath?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brysonav
    Hey all - Anyone feel as though they can't take a full, deep, satisfying breath? I recently had chest xray, blood work done and asthma has been ruled out. I have to do a weird yawn type thing to "catch" this breath and sometimes when I try I am unable to get the breath and I start to what if about stopping breathing and passing out. Extremely frustrating. I can exercise without problem and sleep isnt an issue but immediately on awakening I start to worry about not being able to take a deep breath. No cough or classic shortness of breath signs but chest feels heavy. Had stress test done for heart and, of course, it was fine. Anyone have any suggestions on how to stop this or going through the same problem? I am at my wits end with this. Sometimes when I am talking with someone, I'll be trying to get this satisfying sensation by yawing and it's embarrassing. Thanks for any advice you can give.
    Bryson
    Absolutely. I have had the same thing for over a year now and have had all of the tests you did as well as an imaging of the heart with iodine injection. All my tests came back normal, so I too like you felt like I was lost for an answer. Believe it or not the answer is you and I are suffering from anxiety. The unpleasant reality is that you are causing this sensation but you don't even know or understand how. I mean if you listen to yourself and understand what you are saying "I can exercise without problem and sleep isnt an issue but immediately on awakening I start to worry about not being able to take a deep breath", what you are realing saying is "my body can take care of itself just fine, but the moment I try to monitor my body and control the bodily function through my thoughts I get this problem". I have been yawning for almost 8 months now. I can say that for the most part as time has passed by the sensation has lessened and lessened gradually and I find myself having to gasp and yawn more infrequently, but I still have it. I have noticed that if I focus on slowing my breathing by exhaling through my lips sort of like a whistle or blowing that the sensation goes away slowly. The problem with this is your still monitoring it and it's not much more realistic than yawning all the time, but it helps. I think the problem is we take too many quick short breaths and fill the lungs without properly emptying them. It is a learned habit that you must break yourself from doing some how.

    So there are a lot of people who experience the same thing and you will find many of them here. Good Luck

     
    Old 02-17-2006, 09:12 AM   #4
    brysonav
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    Re: Why can't I take a deep breath?

    Thanks for the replies and encouragement. I think I'll try and resist the urge to yawn or deep breathe and see what happens. The strange thing is that I dont really have panic attacks but this breathing concern is always present. I have been doing it for a while so I guess I "learned" it and now my body thinks it's normal.

    Jonev - your comment that our bodies can take care of itself is right on, now that I think about it. If it was some physical issue it stands to reason it would bother me when I sleep and exercise.

    Thanks alot. There is comfort in numbers, though I don't wish this on anyone.

     
    Old 02-17-2006, 09:43 AM   #5
    Jonev11
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    Re: Why can't I take a deep breath?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brysonav
    Thanks for the replies and encouragement. I think I'll try and resist the urge to yawn or deep breathe and see what happens. The strange thing is that I dont really have panic attacks but this breathing concern is always present. I have been doing it for a while so I guess I "learned" it and now my body thinks it's normal.

    Jonev - your comment that our bodies can take care of itself is right on, now that I think about it. If it was some physical issue it stands to reason it would bother me when I sleep and exercise.

    Thanks alot. There is comfort in numbers, though I don't wish this on anyone.

    Yeah I am the same. I can count the number of times I have had what I would call a panic attack (probably 8 or so), but I can't count the number of times I have had shortness of breath (I am sure some days it would be in the hudreds or thousands, so probably hundreds of thousands of times). The problem happens when I buy in to the thought that I need to know that this wont get worse or kill me. So needing to know something that nobody can know (whether we'll be alright or if this is the end) just causes worry, which worsens the problem which causes more worry which worsens the problem which causes more worry... etc until you have a full blown panic attack. So we live with mild/ moderate symptoms every day sometimes all day long.

    By the way I have been having bad symptoms today and last night. It feels like someone is standing on my chest, or that I am trying to suck air through a straw, or that I have been blowing up balloons all day and I don't have anymore air left. A general tightness in my sternum as well. Just to let you know that it's not just you.

     
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    Old 02-18-2006, 10:14 AM   #6
    sayNOtoanxiety
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    Re: Why can't I take a deep breath?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brysonav
    Hey all - Anyone feel as though they can't take a full, deep, satisfying breath? I recently had chest xray, blood work done and asthma has been ruled out. I have to do a weird yawn type thing to "catch" this breath and sometimes when I try I am unable to get the breath and I start to what if about stopping breathing and passing out. Extremely frustrating. I can exercise without problem and sleep isnt an issue but immediately on awakening I start to worry about not being able to take a deep breath. No cough or classic shortness of breath signs but chest feels heavy. Had stress test done for heart and, of course, it was fine. Anyone have any suggestions on how to stop this or going through the same problem? I am at my wits end with this. Sometimes when I am talking with someone, I'll be trying to get this satisfying sensation by yawing and it's embarrassing. Thanks for any advice you can give.
    Bryson
    I've had this EXACT same symptom before. I first developed it about 6 years ago. I don't have it all the time, just off and on. My chest gets to feeling heavy too, but I also get an achiness at the very top part of my abdomen. It's VERY annoying and also VERY embarrasing sometimes when people are wondering why you keep yawning! It also feels frustrating when you feel the need to yawn and get the deep breath but can't. I understand!

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 08:38 PM   #7
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    Re: Why can't I take a deep breath?

    (I'm new to this board )

    I have this problem all the time!!! I do the yawn thing all the time too and sometimes I get really bad anxiety if I can't "catch" my breath.

     
    Old 03-03-2006, 06:17 AM   #8
    kw123
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    Re: Why can't I take a deep breath?

    I Get This Alot. This Was My First Symptom That Lasted A Few Days And The Worry Made Me Begin Severe Panic Attacks. Never Ending Battle.

     
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