Shortness of breath

Does anyone experience severe shortness of breath with anxiety? This has been happening to me for about a year and a half. I feel like im suffocating and can't take a deep breath. It scared me at first - got a bunch of tests done on my heart, lungs (asthma), allergies, etc which all came back clean.

I did some research on google about shortness of breath with anxiety and seemed like some people experience it. I'm still unsure because I feel like I am short of breath when I'm NOT anxious, and sometimes not short of breath when I AM anxious.

My PCP gave me low dose xanax to try, and it seems to work a little bit, but I can't tell for sure.

Anyone else experience something similar to this? Anything you have done to help?

8 Replies

  • I have in the past- closed my eyes and slowed down.

  • I used to experience shortness of breath and I was prescribed Xanax. Xanax wasn't fitting for me because it worked too good. I felt zombie like. I definitely would say what your experiencing is anxiety-related.

  • Hi Struggling2223, I use to experience this when I first started getting anxiety and panic attacks. It wasn't actually happening during the attack but after or come on for no apparent cause. The reason being our over sensitized nervous system and tightened muscular tension. The feeling is disturbing because we think of it coming from our lungs which it is not. It comes from the chest wall muscles being so tight as well as the muscles in the diaphragm located at the upper part of our stomach. This makes us feel as if we cannot expand our lungs fully causing us to panic which tightens the muscles even more. The best thing you can do is to practice relaxation once a day, get use to that relaxed feeling for a few moments. If the SOB feeling takes over you, relaxxxx do not force yourself to breathe. Take short calm breaths until the muscles relax and you will feel it much easier to take a full breath. Takes a little practice but will give you relief. Eventually it will lessen as you no longer fear the sensation. My best x

  • I had many ER visits because shortness of breath and thinking I'm having a heart attack. I still have the feeling every day; my chest is sore and at times it's really strong and scary. It's hard to relax when anxiety hits but I'm starting to learn not to fight it. Also eating an apple or carrots helps me but not all the time.

    It's good that all your test came back negative. Hope you feel better.

  • I just started getting panic attacks. Sometimes I am able to get myself through them- other times I need help.

    Deep breathing, having one other person in the room or on the phone tends to help me.

    I'm sorry you're experiencing these as well


  • I find that putting my head between my legs helps me

  • Thanks everyone. Good to know I am not alone, but it's too bad we all have to experience this. I have tried to focus on breathing by taking both short and deep breaths. It helps for a few minutes, but the sensation just comes back later. Will try some of the other suggestions on here. Thanks again

  • I use a psychiatrist for Xanax advice and scripts. I have been using .5mg at night to sleep. Xanax has been an incredible help to me for over 10 years. I hope you get the right dose because I would like You to be relieved of shortness of breath.

    Bless you !

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