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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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