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malina

Breathing problems

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Hi everyone,

I have this recurring breathing problem and it’s really bothering me. I’ve been dealing with this for several years, basically I feel like I can’t take a deep enough breath or yawn properly. I’m prettt certain it’s anxiety but it happens during spring time so it always worries me that it could be allergies or something. I just wanted to ask if anyone has had breathing problems like this, it’s not a panic attack. I also feel muscle tension in my stomach but otherwise I’m fine, nothing bad is happening.

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Hi Malina, 

My wife and I have breathing allergies - me hay fever occurring between May & July, and she tree bark allergy later in the year. 

Neither of these creates symptoms such as you describe. 

You say it occurs in the Spring. Do you have especial stresses or a worsening of OCD or other anxiety issue around this time? 

Has some previous traumatic event occurred around this time, to which your mind may be subconsciously reacting? 

Edited by taurean

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1 hour ago, taurean said:

Hi Malina, 

My wife and I have breathing allergies - me hay fever occurring between May & July, and she tree bark allergy later in the year. 

Neither of these creates symptoms such as you describe. 

 

That is what I suspected, I described this to my GP when it first started several years ago but she pointed out that I didn't have any other symptoms of an allergy, so it was unlikely. I also took hayfever medication and it didn't help at all. My rule of thumb for these physical symptoms is starting to become: if it doesn't make sense medically and doesn't cause me any actual impairment, it's most likely anxiety.

1 hour ago, taurean said:

You say it occurs in the Spring. Do you have especial stresses or a worsening of OCD or other anxiety issue around this time? 

Has some previous traumatic event occurred around this time, to which your mind may be subconsciously reacting? 

 

This is a good question. These symptoms started around spring time a few years ago. It followed a really stressful time in my life, my father was misdiagnosed with cancer. It took months to found out he didn't have cancer and I was completely devestated. The problem started a while after all this happened, but it was this time of year so I could be making an association. 

To be honest, I've experienced this all year round, it's just that I'm much more aware of it in spring time. 

Edited by malina

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Well I think there is the answer. 

It's quite common to have a physical emotional reaction linked to the time a major emotional event took place. 

We can I believe learn to accept what happened for what it is and ease down that emotional reaction and association. 

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My Mum became very unwell with an aggressive form of cancer that ultimately killed her, as indeed it had also done her own mother. 

During the illness we all learned to come to terms with it and she was of a good age which made it seem less bad. 

When she passed away we didn't really feel strong emotion. We were all pleased she was free of all the suffering, and proud of all we had done to help her. 

And we were very busy sorting out her affairs. 

There has never been any bad association made with this time - OCD or otherwise - I think because there were helpful reasons why it was possible to accept it. 

Even months later I still felt no strong adverse emotion. 

So, if you can re-educate your mind into accepting what had to be, let go of the resentment owing to the misdiagnosis, learn to come to terms with it, your adverse emotional reaction could well ease down. 

We cannot change the past, but we can amend our physical and emotional behavioural response to it. 

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22 hours ago, malina said:

That is what I suspected, I described this to my GP when it first started several years ago but she pointed out that I didn't have any other symptoms of an allergy, so it was unlikely. I also took hayfever medication and it didn't help at all. My rule of thumb for these physical symptoms is starting to become: if it doesn't make sense medically and doesn't cause me any actual impairment, it's most likely anxiety.

It could be very mild asthma that is sometimes triggered by pollen during spring, but its probable your doctor considered that.  If it didn't come up, or if it continues to bother you you could ask your doctor about it again and see if you can get a peak flow meter from them, its a handheld device that you breathe in to and it gives a rough estimate of how much air you can pass at a given time.  Since its tough to time your breathing trouble exactly when you see the doctor this would help them rule it out.

Having said that I wouldn't be at all surprised if this is anxiety related.  I have, multiple times over the years, experienced periods where I more strongly noticed certain physical sensations and worried they might be signs of something, when really I was just being overly sensitive and paying more attention than normal to normal, mundane physical responses.  I think a lot of us OCD sufferers tend to become hyper-aware of things like that, especially if we have any kind of health related intrusive anxieties.  Your current conclusion, that its anxiety related is probably a pretty good one, and if it doesn't get noticeably worse you'll probably forget about it eventually.



 

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Thank you both for your input! I am just trying to stay calm and not pay too much attention to it for the time being.

I am clearly prone to having physical symptoms of anxiety and they completely throw me off. With intrusive thoughts, I recognise what they are and I can deal with them.

the physically issues genuinely feel real and it’s hard not to believe that there is something actually happening to my body.

I experienced this a few months ago with feelings of numbness in the right side of my body. For weeks I was convinced I was having some kind of neurological problem and it didn’t occur to me at first that it could be anxiety. Ultimately when I finally accepted that it was anxiety, it completely stopped. 

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I know what you mean about not being able to breath in properly.Have a look for a book by Claire Weekes called 'Self-help for your nerves' - it helped me a tonne when I was younger and had a lot of physical anxiety symptoms. I went from having panic attacks constantly and being a nervous wreck to having years of not really having any physical symptoms of anxiety. It's only recently with this particular set of worries that the nervousness and weird feeling have come back. Waking up in a morning feeling nervous etc. But I'm going back to that book. Deep breathing exercises really help. Breathe in as much as you can, hold it for a while and then let it out really slowly. I put my hand over my mouth so it doesn't let it come out quickly haha. All the time just relaxing all your muscles in your body. Do it over and over again and it really helps after a while.

Edited by Paul92

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20 minutes ago, Paul92 said:

I know what you mean about not being able to breath in properly.Have a look for a book by Claire Weekes called 'Self-help for your nerves' - it helped me a tonne when I was younger and had a lot of physical anxiety symptoms. I went from having panic attacks constantly and being a nervous wreck to having years of not really having any physical symptoms of anxiety. It's only recently with this particular set of worries that the nervousness and weird feeling have come back. Waking up in a morning feeling nervous etc. But I'm going back to that book. Deep breathing exercises really help. Breathe in as much as you can, hold it for a while and then let it out really slowly. I put my hand over my mouth so it doesn't let it come out quickly haha. All the time just relaxing all your muscles in your body. Do it over and over again and it really helps after a while.

Thanks, that's really helpful I'll give it a try! :)

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