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does anyone out there with anxiety/panic attacks have bouts of shortness of breath? i have this on a daily basis....it's very embarrasing...my mom always notices when i'm taking deep breaths and calls me on it (are you still having trouble breathing?), so much that i don't even want to go out to lunch/dinner or be around her that much anymore, or anyone else for that matter....it happens even when i'm calm as can be, after a yoga class, during yoga class, when i'm by myself grocery shopping, if i'm out on a girl's night out, etc...I HATE IT... doctors have said it's anxiety related. i had an ekg done about 4 years ago (i think that's what it was, where they kind of do an ultrasound type thing of your heart)...and it was fine. although i hear now never to fully trust those tests (i hear the nucleaur heart test is the one to get).

i just always feel like something is severely wrong with my heart. i can never seem to get enough oxygen. to the point where i even feel really tired/fatigued a lot of times because of it. it gets worse when i'm eating. always has. i've just had it with this. right now i keep taking deep breaths and it takes about 5 of them until i feel i can get enough oxygen. i work out 5x a week and i feel like an idiot on the treadmill or in a class because i'm always taking these deep breaths...i was on zoloft for about 3 years, and it did help it subside, if i can remember correctly. i weaned myself off because i thougth i didn't need it anymore, but now i know i desperately do need it.

when i feel a panic attack coming on (and they always come on when i'm out and it takes longer than usual to catch a good breath, that's what always brings on a panic attack, not being able to catch my breath), i'll take a half a xanax and i'm immediately able to breathe again (can't take xanax every day though, even half of one makes me soooooooo tired i can barely function).

i'm also clausterphobic and can't do elevators, for fear i'll run out of air and won't be able to breathe. anyone else feel like this?
Hi, this same problem hit me in January of this year, it went on for a month before I started having panic attacks. I was short of breath every day, all day, would wake up every morning and think 'will I be able to breathe today?' and find the answer was no. It went on for almost 6 months but now I've fixed it. It's been a week and I still can't quite believe it.

First of all, please make sure it's not something else. I was tested for thyroid problems, diabetes, asthma and lung function, etc, until I was sure this was 'just' anxiety. If you know it's anxiety, then you CAN stop it.

I was seeing a therapist for panic attacks, and reading lots of books, and all the cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) I was learning about was saying that to get rid of panic you had to stop being afraid of it. Realize that having a panic attack is NOT the end of the world. (Yes, I am getting back to the breathing, hang on). If you have a panic attack, you won't die, you won't have a heart attack, you won't lose your mind . It's just a really crappy way to spend your day. (I understand it takes a while to accept this, but think about it, it's true).

Once you accept that panic and anxiety are not your enemy, you can get to the point where you can feel anxiety coming on, and tell it to go ahead, do it's best, you can take it. I got on a train the other day and felt the panic rising and I said to it 'go ahead, I want to be on the floor in a heap, I want to be gasping for air, do your best, try to make me lose my mind completely' and the panic faded away. Totally gone. I'd called it's bluff and it just went away. It can't blackmail me anymore.

Once you stop feeling threatened by panic, it loses it's power over you. So all this while, I still had shortness of breath all day every day. And about a week ago, it occured to me that it's the same problem. Deep down I was afraid I would live like that forever. And it occured to me 'so what?'. I was still living, still going to the gym, still looking after my kids. Still doing all the things I was before, I was just never feeling like I'd had a full breath of air. So I told myself that if that was the way I was going to live, so be it. I'm 32 and if that's all that happens, I'm lucky. Some people get far worse, I can cope with this. I told it to do it's worst, I can take it. And unbelievably, it went away. The next 2 or 3 days, I become very aware that I could breathe. If I got tired, or stressed out, it came back a bit, but I took it as a sign that I needed to relax and think about what was upsetting me. After about 4 days, it's gone.

If this helps anyone, I'll be so happy. I know what it's like to live with this problem and it's such a nightmare. At first very scary, and then still really annoying and scary at times. Even if this doesn't work for you at first, keep trying. You may need to say some things lots of times before you believe it, but ultimately it will go if you can stop trying to stop it.

Let me know how you get on!

Sam





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