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excessive swallowing/saliva...anxiety?

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Old 07-08-2007, 07:42 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ohio
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zach886 HB User
Red face excessive swallowing/saliva...anxiety?


well my problem is a kind of odd one, (to me atleast.) i have an excess of saliva in my mouth. no matter how much i swallow it keeps coming back...HOWEVER, if i am occupied i don't seem to notice it as much or do it as much, but it is a HUGE battle to keep myself from doing it at all. getting to sleep is difficult, and so is staying positive...

it all started after one huge fight with my lady friend. i woke up the next morning and had so much saliva in my mouth, and no matter how much i swallowed, it kept coming back. just like that, out of nowhere.

this led me to believe that maybe anxiety/stress is the cause of this. i have no other symptoms, except for the occasional taste/feel of mucus when i swallow, but other than that, this is it. i also have another nerve like habbit, sometimes i blink frequently.

i dont THINK it's anything more than just anxiety. but does this seem like a valid reason? anxiety for excess swallowing? because i really need to overcome this, since it started, every day has been ruined. ill start swallowing then get worked up into a cold sweat, and then i do it even worse. this is terrible.

can anyone help..?


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Old 07-09-2007, 05:41 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2007
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sabpb7454 HB User
Re: excessive swallowing/saliva...anxiety?

You should check out the OCD (obsessive compulsive) boards... a few people have the same problem as you...

Old 07-13-2007, 11:48 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Reading, PA, USA
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littlecoley88 HB User
Re: excessive swallowing/saliva...anxiety?

By the way you describe it, it sounds like I have almost the same exact problem as you do. Iíve never really talked about it with anyone but Iíd be more than happy to commiserate!

You asked if anxiety could cause this persistent swallowing, and even though I can only answer based on experience, that seems entirely reasonable. Also, you might just be thinking about it too much; you said that if your mind is preoccupied with other things you donít swallow as much. Also, this might be going out on a limb, but maybe this problem is being agitated by your memories of that fight. The last poster said it might be obsessive compulsive disorder, but it doesnít sound like that applies to you.

My experience with this started in grade schoolóone day I just became very aware of each and every time I swallowed until it turned into a real problem for me. In time, as I got more and more self-conscious, I realized that I was only swallowing more loudly and frequently. This problem has messed up so much of my life: I canít stand even short silences, I canít sit in auditoriums without having mini-panic attacks when I get paranoid about my swallowing (and if other people can hear it), it bothers me during class, I avoid rooming with other people so I donít have to worry about them noticing it, and social situations always remind me of it.

If youíre like me, I came to realize that I was doing this because of social anxiety and a general lack of confidence. Maybe thatís what is causing this problem for you, but then again maybe it isnít.

I havenít nearly cured mine yet, but if there is any advice I can give you for having gone through years of this, when you feel that cold sweat coming on just take a deep breath and tell yourself to RELAX. Sure it sucks, sure it's annoying, but you are in all honesty in control. Unless it is causing you physical pain, then it is not doing you any real harm, is it? Tell yourself that it is a problem that you can let go. You donít have to hold on to it.

If it really gets to be bothersome, see a doctor. I know what you mean, I feel like itís the weirdest and possibly dumbest problem anyone could have, and Iím very embarrassed about it, but a doctor is there to help you (and more importantly they know what they are doing). Mention that you think this is happening because of anxiety/stress. And Iím not sure how you feel about counseling, but if you truly feel this is a problem with anxiety then that seems like more of a problem of the mind that may need psychiatric help. Iím not trying to worry you, Iím just throwing you options that come to mind. If I had to choose, I would go to talk to someone--a therapist, if not a doctor, would know why this is happening and would be able to offer you quality advice that I doubt you'll be able to find on the internet. If yours just started then I really believe itís a problem that you can kill off while it hasnít had time to grow into something worse.

I hope this helps you, even if only a little bit. Hopefully it helps you to know youíre not the only one out there!

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Lisander (08-22-2012)
Old 08-01-2007, 06:40 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: private
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dannic1 HB User
Re: excessive swallowing/saliva...anxiety?

Well, welcome to my world everyone! Everything that got posted explained my symptoms to a T! I had the saliva/swallowing problem years ago in high school, right before a move from one state to another one. I, too, became aware of my swallowing like overnight! My symptoms also disappeared and I didn't have it for several years. It came back in 2006 after I had met someone on-line who I really, really liked. I started "remembering" the old problem and the need to be "perfect" in this new relationship. I have since then done a lot of research on-line and through books. I have been told by Dr. Stephen Brodsky in New York, that it is a common OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) symptom. I have also been told by an on-line therapist from London that she has treated it as an OCD symptom and as a phobia. My first therapist just called it anxiety, but Dr. Brodsky is calling it OCD. In Linda Maran's book Confronting the OCD Bully, under misc. traits in OCD people it lists "the fear of blinking, swallowing and breathing, either too much or too little". {REMOVED} He does phone consultations, but encourages you to see someone locally. Believe me, my faith in God is what has been sustaining me. : ) I will keep all of you in my prayers. It did go away for me back in high school on its own, but I would encourage seeking out help, maybe even medication. Chewing gum can alleviate the problem for me, as well as exercising a lot and RELAXING. I have found our problem posted a lot of times on the internet, so please don't feel alone. There is someone just the other day who posted on the OCD board about our problem...and yes, quiet rooms are not fun, unless I chew some gum. However, exposure and response therapy, which is what helps OCD, would suggest that you expose yourself to situations that make you feel anxious and then resist the compulsion. I don't know how much I have helped, but again, you are all in my prayers and you are not alone.

I do have acid reflux, so I think that also adds to any excessive saliva problem, although mine has gotten much better lately.


Last edited by ms_mod; 08-02-2007 at 06:50 AM. Reason: Don't discuss other message forums, chat rooms or websites. Ms_Mod

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Neso (12-19-2010)
Old 08-01-2007, 08:47 PM   #5
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PepperChick HB User
Re: excessive swallowing/saliva...anxiety?

I had the very same problem and for a few days last week it was really bad. My husband uses dip (tobacco they put in their lip and spit out) and one day when he left I made myself a spit cup and put paper towels in it and it just kept coming.. I pulled out my medical books and couldn't find anything on it and felt silly to ask anyone! Glad ya'll brought it up!!!

Old 11-03-2007, 06:55 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2006
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dannic1 HB User
Re: excessive swallowing/saliva...anxiety?

How's everyone doing? Just checking in. I'm in counseling right now to try and overcome this problem and my faith in God remains strong.


Old 11-28-2008, 11:56 PM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: canada
Posts: 1
jcanucks1 HB User
Smile Re: excessive swallowing/saliva...anxiety?

it looks and sounds like all of you guys have the same anxiety symptoms as i do. Here's how it all started: When i got strep throat(6 to 8 weeks ago) during school. note: that i am only 16(grade 11), when you have strep throat it hurts to swallow! so you are really surprised by how many times you swallow.. and ever since then i swallow all the time during class... it feels like there is something stuck in my throat, and the only way for it to go away is to keep on swallowing.. it really bugs me because i cant take my mind of it, and even if i do it doesen't take long until i start to think about it again. and i also think people in my class are ganging or linking to make fun of me or some ****..... As I got more and more self-conscious, I realized that I was only swallowing more loudly and frequently, and it caused others to hear, hahaha,and what do they really think? lol. it is just really weird because how easy it can start.. but i think marijuana has a little effect in it, i don't really get high anymore because it puts to much on my mind, but saliva anxiety still happens during a lesson or quiet period......

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