Anxiety and Depression Support
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I posted here recently regarding anxiety about upper body pain and shortness of breath, but tonight I also coughed up pink, frothy sputum for the second time in three weeks. In neither instance did I have a bloody nose, bleeding gums, or throat irritation. It is clearly coming from my chest.

I know anxiety can be responsible for certain symptoms, but I am having a hard time believing that it can cause this. Besides, this symptom is not even occurring during a panic attack. I have had problems with dyspnea and sinus tachycardia since being hospitalized with pneumonia last January. My problems with chest pain and pink sputum precede the pneumonia.

I don't know what to do here. My sputum is no longer pink, but my chest feels tight, and I have a productive cough. I know conventional wisdom says it's all anxiety, but what if it isn't?

I realize no one here can give medical advice, but I'm scared and don't know what to do. Should I go to the ER? I don't know what's real when it comes to my body anymore.

Please help.

8 Replies


SEEMS to point to PULMINARY EDEMA,a build up of fluid around the lung, PERHAPS its coming off your chest,clearing up the excess. part of getting better..??


Edema is what I thought, too, 2stroke. That's why I was/am so freaked out and anxious. I went to the doctor today, but no answers as of yet, unfortunately. I'm not looking forward to white-knuckling it through the night.


go to the doctor...a very bad respiratory infection is going around. If your immune system is already compromised, you are at high risk. I wouldn't second guess yourself, go and get a work-up.


Thanks for the heads up, fauxartist. I think I am at greater risk for respiratory infection since having pneumonia. I saw my pulmonologist today, and he ordered a chest x-ray, though I wasn't able to schedule the test for today, so I still have no answers. He thinks it may be something minor, like a burst capillary, but at least he had the decency not to dismiss my concerns. In fact, he wanted to order a chest CT, but I explained to him that I have had six CTs in the space of little more than a year, and was told by another doctor not to have another if it can be avoided.


Hope you are feeling better these days....


Thank you, Denise, for checking in on me.

My pulmonologist told me if I didn't hear back from him, then there wasn't anything urgent to report. I didn't hear back from him, so I was more at ease...for a while. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was back in the emergency room with chest pains and other symptoms. They kept me overnight to monitor me and run some tests. They gave me a clean bill of health and sent me on my way. And yet...almost every single night remains the same: the same abject terror, the same questioning, the same trying to talk myself out of going to the ER. Rinse and repeat.

I did have my first therapy session in many years recently, but I haven't learned anything new yet to help me through the awful nights. And the sessions will just be once a week, anyway. Six more days until my next session. Five more nights.

The nights are just the absolute worst, the pits. Everyone in the house is asleep. I think it would be easier if I knew someone were there with me, which is why I come here in the hopes of finding someone to talk to -- being alone just amplifies my anxiety.

It's almost funny -- just before I was discharged after my recent ER visit, the hospitalist came in and broke the news to me: my tests all came back normal; I was fine. The doctor looked at my face and said "That's good news." It was like I was actually disappointed there was nothing wrong. That's not true, of course. I was happy that I was physically okay for the moment. But it's the daily/nightly fear that this well-being will change -- and it can for any of us -- that keeps me in a kind of paralysis that won't abate and, at least at night, will not let me sleep.

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I dont sleep well either & can relate to how hard it is at night. I am new to this area so I dont have a single friend or associate. I can understand you feeling perplexed by the good news. Its hard to be relieved when youre telling me nothing is physically wrong but not providing me w any hints as to what the problem may be. I just want someone to help me find the answers so I can rest, relax, recharge!

Any recommendations for docs or mental health in the area?


Hi Denise,

My health anxiety has me pretty much housebound, so I've just started remote/online therapy. It's a good option wherever you're located because then you have the choice to work with any mental health practitioner licensed in-state, who offers the service (and is available).

Locally, I don't know any specific providers to recommend, though I do know there are support groups in the area that meet regularly. I have not attended any of them, however, so, I have no firsthand knowledge to recommend them, but they could be worth a shot.

(I was going to post the link to the support groups, but I realized the URL revealed the location of our part of the state, and I didn't know if you wanted that info out there, so I'd be happy to send it by private message if you like.)

I've been back in the area for almost a year now, but only recently begun to seek professional help. Two great resources I utilized to search statewide for a therapist were Psychology Today and Open Path; you may already be aware of them, but here are the links, anyway:

I hope you find the support you need as well; we're all in this together.


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