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Anxiety Message Board

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Hi Hypo-

You know it sounds to me like you're experiencing some health anxiety which as I'm sure you can tell from the boards is a common struggle for those of us with anxiety and ocd. Health anxiety can manifest itself physically all the time and the symptoms can match those of more serious illnesses which just fuels the anxiety more which in turn creates more symptoms. I also used to have trouble breathing, chest discomfort, etc which sent me to the doctor numerous times. I actually wound up in the emergency room for chest pain and discomfort and guess what? They didn't find anything wrong with me because my physical symptoms were being caused by my anxiety. Anxiety can release stress hormones which can cause muscle pain which is one of the most common symptoms associated with anxiety. When these hormones are released due to stress and anxiety, they can also affect the diaphragm which is the "muscle" that is responsible for helping you breath. So it can "feel" like you're having trouble breathing, but in reality what you're really experiencing is tightness or spasms in the diaphragm which is a muscle. I was also told that the tightness in my chest was also due to muscle tightness and muscle spasms all caused by anxiety and stress.

Get yourself checked out medically and once you have a clean bill of health, start looking for a cognitive behavioral therapist in your area who specializes in anxiety disorders and ocd. You'll find that going to therapy can really help you learn strategies to help battle back against the anxiety.

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