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Thread: Breathing issues- does anyone else have this?

  1. #1

    Breathing issues- does anyone else have this?

    Hi
    I am new here. I would really appreciate anyone's opinion of this. In the past I have had times when I was anxious but not enough to need medical help. However for the last 4-5 months I have had breathing issues. They are mild-I'm not gasping for breath but they are there every day and they really worry me. I have seen my GP and I went to A&E. I have had a chest xray, ecg and blood tests. The doctors have said they can see no issue but they haven't said what is causing it. Because I feel very anxious about it I started CBT. Now I don't feel as anxious about it but it is still there. The therapist says the breathing sensation is anxiety. In the past my usual symptoms of anxiety would have been butterflies in my tummy or a racing heart and it would happen every now and then but I have a difficulty accepting that this breathing sensation is anxiety because it is there all the time and has been for 4-5 months now. It is really getting in the way of my recovery. I would love to hear from someone who has felt like this as consistently as I have for months on end. Even better if that person has recovered and the symptoms have gone away.
    This is how I feel:
    as if my windpipe is just a little narrower than it was
    tight chest
    tight back
    when I breathe in I feel like I 70% fill my lungs rather than 100%
    sometimes my throat and chest feel a little burny

    Is this anxiety?
    Thanks for reading this

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Re: Breathing issues- does anyone else have this?

    Extremely common with anxiety.

    Your tight chest and back is muscle tension, which is also the cause of the perceived breathing difficulty. Your diaphragm is a muscle, and is tense because you are.

    Also sounds like you might have some reflux, which also causes a perceived lack of breath.

  3. #3

    Re: Breathing issues- does anyone else have this?

    Thanks for answering! I feel if I can accept this is 100% anxiety, then I will be able to get better but somewhere in the back of my head always says 'is this really anxiety?'
    Can I just ask is it normal to feel like this for a large part of the day for months on end and not be particularly anxious about anything. I feel like the breathing issue started before the anxiety. I hope I am making sense.

  4. #4
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    Re: Breathing issues- does anyone else have this?

    l totally agree with ankietyjoe definitely anxiety related l have this, probably most of us have had it too

    And to answer your question yes it can stay with you for along time and while you pay attention to it your letting it win

    believe your doctor's its anxiety and the power of ones mind can make you think you have something bad and then its mimics it

    get your cbt and it should really help you good luck

    best wishes xx

  5. #5
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    Aug 2011
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    Re: Breathing issues- does anyone else have this?

    Quote Originally Posted by camsie View Post
    Thanks for answering! I feel if I can accept this is 100% anxiety, then I will be able to get better but somewhere in the back of my head always says 'is this really anxiety?'
    Can I just ask is it normal to feel like this for a large part of the day for months on end and not be particularly anxious about anything. I feel like the breathing issue started before the anxiety. I hope I am making sense.
    I moved last year, to cut a long story short the move was extraordinarily stressful. I 'beat' anxiety a long time ago and don't really suffer with anxiety per se any more. I can control panic, and know what to do.

    However.

    The move destroyed me for a couple of months, and my breathing became horrendous. I wasn't anxious, I was just physically and mentally exhausted. I spent most of my day feeling like I was gasping for breath, and it was 24/7 for about 6-7 weeks until I ended up carting myself off to A&E, where of course they found nothing.

    You say you've experienced anxiety before, so I would suggest taking a little mental audit of your life to see if there's anything going on that's causing underlying stress, there usually is. It's often things that we've become used to, but that are still having the effect of causing a lot of physical tension. And of course, pay attention to any kind of reflux or GERD that you're experiencing.

    You don't have to be in blind panic mode to have the feeling of breathlessness, especially that feeling of not being able to take a full breath. That's exceptionally common.

  6. #6

    Re: Breathing issues- does anyone else have this?

    Quote Originally Posted by MRS STRESS ED View Post
    l totally agree with ankietyjoe definitely anxiety related l have this, probably most of us have had it too

    And to answer your question yes it can stay with you for along time and while you pay attention to it your letting it win

    believe your doctor's its anxiety and the power of ones mind can make you think you have something bad and then its mimics it

    get your cbt and it should really help you good luck

    best wishes xx
    Thanks so much for getting back to me. It really helps to know that this is typical of anxiety and you have experienced it in this way. I can understand how adrenaline can cause this in a panic situation I just had a hard time understanding how it can be there all the time especially when I don't feel particularly anxious. I know it makes sense. I know I should trust the doctor, There is just a stubborn/resistant part of my brain questioning it. But it REALLY helps to know that other people with anxiety get this in a similar way. I just need to focus on this. I feel better for both your posts. Thank you!

  7. #7

    Re: Breathing issues- does anyone else have this?

    Quote Originally Posted by ankietyjoe View Post
    I moved last year, to cut a long story short the move was extraordinarily stressful. I 'beat' anxiety a long time ago and don't really suffer with anxiety per se any more. I can control panic, and know what to do.

    However.

    The move destroyed me for a couple of months, and my breathing became horrendous. I wasn't anxious, I was just physically and mentally exhausted. I spent most of my day feeling like I was gasping for breath, and it was 24/7 for about 6-7 weeks until I ended up carting myself off to A&E, where of course they found nothing.

    You say you've experienced anxiety before, so I would suggest taking a little mental audit of your life to see if there's anything going on that's causing underlying stress, there usually is. It's often things that we've become used to, but that are still having the effect of causing a lot of physical tension. And of course, pay attention to any kind of reflux or GERD that you're experiencing.

    You don't have to be in blind panic mode to have the feeling of breathlessness, especially that feeling of not being able to take a full breath. That's exceptionally common.
    I moved last year! It was so stressful. I also live my life at a very fast pace. I am just extremely busy. This coincided with 'lockdown'. So I wasn't very busy at all and then all this started. I know it all makes sense. All signs point to stress. It just feels so real. And I have always hated illness/ physical weakness. It frightens me. Thank you for taking the time to reassure me. It is very kind. I do feel it helps. I just need to focus on this.
    Thanks again

  8. #8
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    Re: Breathing issues- does anyone else have this?

    Quote Originally Posted by camsie View Post
    It just feels so real.

    That's because it IS real.

    If stress can kill you, it can make you feel like crap, right?

    There's really no glory in living life at a fast pace. It's not natural, as you're finding out now.

    Stop and smell the roses for a bit

  9. #9
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    Jun 2014
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    Re: Breathing issues- does anyone else have this?

    Quote Originally Posted by camsie View Post
    I moved last year! It was so stressful. I also live my life at a very fast pace. I am just extremely busy. This coincided with 'lockdown'. So I wasn't very busy at all and then all this started. I know it all makes sense. All signs point to stress. It just feels so real. And I have always hated illness/ physical weakness. It frightens me. Thank you for taking the time to reassure me. It is very kind. I do feel it helps. I just need to focus on this.
    Thanks again
    It's often when you have time to literally "take a breath" after a period of prolonged and accumulated stress that the physical symptoms hit you..Horrible and uncomfortable but definitely stress-related. Joe has given you some excellent advice and I do hope hings settle for you soon, camsie.

  10. #10

    Re: Breathing issues- does anyone else have this?

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    It's often when you have time to literally "take a breath" after a period of prolonged and accumulated stress that the physical symptoms hit you..Horrible and uncomfortable but definitely stress-related. Joe has given you some excellent advice and I do hope hings settle for you soon, camsie.
    This is so true. It is almost like you are using all this adrenaline day to day and then when things get less busy the adrenaline is still there but it is not being used up so you start to feel the anxiety and the effects of the adrenaline cause these physical sensations. Thanks for the advice by the way!

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