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TOPIC: Not being able to get a deep enough breath?

June 6, 2012 1:59 PM
Hey guys, lately I've been struggling to get a deep enough breath, the only way to satisfy this is to yawn. I've had this on random occasions for years but lately I'm getting it all the time. It started 3 weeks ago and it's got to the point where it's coming over me in waves everyday. I went to the doctor last week and got diagnosed with anxiety and mild depression and he said that when I start therapy it will go away. This hasn't really convinced me and even though I'm feeling better in myself mood-wise the breathing issues are just getting worse and starting to make me panic. I was just wondering if anyone else has ever experienced this and found a solution? I thought it maybe asthma but the doctor ruled this out and my blood pressure was fine too. I get it while exercising but mostly when I'm not exercising.
June 6, 2012 2:06 PM
I agree with the panic diagnoses, even though it sounds weird. I used to have the same thing and it was panic/anxiety related. The thing is it was a vicious cycle, the panic/anxiety always made me focus on my breathing, and the feeling that I wasn't getting enough air made me panic more.

There are some really low grade anxiety meds that can help take the edge off, and learning breathing exercises can help too (so you have something to force your concentration onto when it is happening.) Its really a matter of being aware that you are having an attack, reminding yourself that it won't last long, and keeping calm, keeping you heart rate calm and keeping your breathing calm, eventually you will learn techniques that will work for you.

Good luck, it is possible to get past this!
Edited by Meg_78 On June 6, 2012 2:09 PM
June 6, 2012 5:41 PM
i know exactly how you feel! ive actually had this for a while. and i also went to the pulmonologist to make sure it was not asthma and it wasnt. later on i went to an allergist and i found out it was because i was allergic to dust. i do this thing called sinus rinse---you can look it up on google- it basically washes out your sinuses, and it really helps me to breathe so much better. perhaps see an allergist? and def try the sinus rinse (i think it's neti pot sinus rinse, sepcifically). you dont need a prescription or anything for it.
also try breathing through your nose- i know you want to take a deep breathe through your mouth, but try making a habit of breathing through your nose so that you feel your lunges and diaphragm expanding.
let me know what happens! i know it's really the scariest feeling ever, but hopefully this will help you somewhat.
June 6, 2012 5:47 PM
I have had the same exact thing happen to me. It goes on for days on end and can be very frustrating. It is related to anxiety, and caffeine. I don't drink anything with caffeine (gave up soda 6 years ago and was never a coffee drinker) but occasionally would have a 5 hour energy or a Celsius drink or something similar and found that the same thing happened whenever I did. It would literally last for 3 days until the caffeine/stimulants were out of my system. I know now to check labels and make sure not to ingest anything with caffeine/taurine/guarana, etc....
June 6, 2012 5:47 PM
I had this too, also for some reason I couldn't make myself swallow. I could with a tiny sip of water but not just on demand. Scared the crap outta me. It's not as bad now. I called dr office and was told, well if it happens again, call us back. Ihave an appointment on Saturday.
June 7, 2012 12:08 AM
Thanks for your replies guys.
I just booked a doctors appointment for monday so I will be mentioning all the above, my dad had heart troubles so I'm going to mention that to them too. Hopefully they will give me some medication to help, it's really starting to affect my lifestyle now.
June 12, 2012 4:13 PM
did you end up going to the doctor? what happened? hope youre doing ok!
June 14, 2012 10:07 AM
Yup. Happens all the dang time when my allergies kick up. Doesn't have a thing to do with stress for me (I am not contradicting your doc, just telling you why it happens to me). Makes running a b*tch because I'm already out of breath before I even start. It occurs for me in spring more often than any other time of the year.

Also, and this again is just me, when my abs are swollen from working them too hard I'll do this for a couple of days. I must be prone to it or something because I don't know anyone else who does this from working out their abs.

I don't think mine's related to anxiety because it doesn't seem to happen when I'm super stressed. That's when I get gut wrenching pain.

In any case, hope you feel better soon.
June 16, 2012 9:34 AM
UPDATE: I went to a doctor monday and saw a different one but got the same diagnosis. This one prescribed me citalopram which is an antidepressant which treats anxiety too. I have had a massive improvement with my breathing and it hardly happens now which is awesome! I've had a lot of side effects but they are lessening over time which is great. I'm starting CBT in a couple of weeks so that should help too, at the moment I've been doing it online at a site called MoodGym and I love it!
Thanks for your responses guys :D
June 16, 2012 9:38 AM
I have this, but only at certain times of year (when my allergies are the worst!). I don't care if ten thousand doctors diagnose it as mental, in my case I know darn well it isn't because I can be perfectly calm and content, lying in bed, and if the house is stuffy and hot and full of pollen, I can't breathe!

If I were you, I'd ask to see an allergy or asthma specialist, should you be fortunate enough to have money and/or health insurance.
September 8, 2014 10:06 AM
I have had this problem for the past 16 years at least. When I was sixteen I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.
I have been on citopralam ever since as well as klonopin when needed. This has been over ten years and recently my breathing troubles have come back. When I was a kid my parent thought it was just a nervous habit. It is usually a result of anxiety but lately, it has been happening and causing anxiety. I feel like I can not get a deep enough breath and I keep inhaling larger and larger gulps of air until it feels right. I look like a crazy person doing this. I want to see my doctor about it but i dont know if he will just call it a nervous habit that needs to stop or actually diagnose me with a breathing problem. Even with insurance its an extra 40 bucks just to talk to him. I'm relieved to hear that I'm not the only one. I hope we all get the answers/advice we need.
October 6, 2014 11:04 AM
So glad to see that something is helping! I've been having a lot of breathing issues because of anxiety, as well as problems swallowing and with circulation. That's one of the worst things about GAD--you're so focused on your body and every little thing that happens makes you think you're really sick. And then of course, the anxiety gets even worse. I've turned into such a hypochondriac, have to keep reminding myself that my GAD IS an illness and that is what's causing my symptoms--it's not that I'm "crazy."

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