Swallowing problems: Hi just wondering if... - Anxiety Support

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Swallowing problems


Hi just wondering if anyone else had experienced this 5 wks ago I sat down to eat my tea and it just would not go down it made me panic that was the start of it then over a few days came the lump sensation in my throat and the tightness in my neck and I'm Jaw ache . I stopped eating all together only liquid food anything I could get through a sive !! So living of soup and yougart now . The back of my mouth feels dry all the time and my breath is minging the whole taste of my mouth has changed and the pain in my right side of my shoulder blade and neck is their all the time now !! I've had a camera in my stomach that came back as normal and one up my nose they said it was LPR been an reflux meds for 3 wks has made no difference at all I think it maybe due to stress but I don't know . I've lost so much weight I'm so fed up !!

14 Replies

Hi angela84 I have had this swallowing problem in the past let me assure you it is caused by anxiety.it made me panic to the first few times it happened.but I don't get it anymore .let me explain ....when we are anxious everything becomes tense including neck shoulder muscles and yes throat muscles to.normally our bodies breath and swallow for us ! But when we are tense and anxious we over think and when we swallow its automatic ? Yes ? But I was thinking about swallowing and consantrating to much on it ......hense I was trying to control my swallowing and I was struggling to swallow I then realised I was swallowing to much and that caused the were feeling in my throat the tighning ! So I tried not to swallow and ofcourse my body took over and did it for me ,if that make sense to you .

Thankyou for replying I do have a stressful life but have never been anxious really I don't think . I know what ur saying it makes sense because I think about it all the time now how I swallow and when will I be around other adults so I can eat because I won't eat on my own anymore !!

It has a medical name to its called globus hystericus which means hysterical lump it will vanish with relaxation and acceptance.I found if I put TV on and sat down and ate my meal and watched TV it took my mind of the swallowing .

I to had the lump in throat and dry mouth and couldn't eat I even had problems trying to swallow liquids to.are bodies naturally control our breathing and swallowing etc for us when we are asleep for instance.but when we are awake and tense we overbreath and we over swallow ! Hence the tightness in throat and difficulty swallowing.try to hold your breath for as long as you can ! What happens after a minute or two ? You have to breath out correct ? Your body takes over for you ! So try this TRY not to swallow just let your natural swallowing reflex do the work as I think you are thinking to much about swallowing as I did.and you are over swallowing so try not to swallow and hey presto your body will take over and do it for you.it took me a few weeks to relax but it has gone now and I'm back to eating .just remember its cause you are sensitive/anxious it will defenitly go.

Thankyou so much for replying i will try what u said and not over think things

Anytime I know how horrible this swallowing was when I had it .I'm glad I could help and reassure you .hope you are soon feeling better.

Thankyou will keep u updated . I miss eating solid food so much !!!

Look up the medical name for it look above

in reply to jessiejakes

Barret's oesophagus is the name they gave me when like yourself I had great difficulty in swallowing food. I had an endoscopy during which time you are sedated heavily with various benzodiazepines. That means that you are not completely unconscious during the whole procedure, knowing what the doctor and his staff are talking about. After the procedure you are spared the pain of just undergoing that procedure, you will have one hell of a time attempting to tell friends and family exactly what had gone on.

in reply to jrcnpg

I've had a endoscopy and it was all normal !!!!

in reply to Angela84

Well well done to you! The waiting for the procedure is what causes anxiety about it but it is a great feeling when it's over, isn't it? You've done well there.


I so know what you are talking about here Jessisjakes and Angela. It is most definitely down to anxiety. I got so bad that I would not eat out in restaurants or if I had to i would sit in a corner and try and order something that would slip down easy. It is awful as it rules your life. However, the good news is when you get the anxiety down this does go as jessie says. I would also find that if I thought about the action of swallowing then I couldn't swallow but if i forgot about it then the sub-conscious act of swallowing took over. Good luck and know that once the anxiety is under control you will get rid of this. Keep us posted.

Thank you for your reply about the swallowing and totally agree its anxiety .

Hi Angela84,

I have been suffering this feeling for the last year and a half totally thinking that my throat is going to close up on me. As if my body was shutting... I know everybody says that we should not be focusing on the throat feeling or being hyper aware of our swallowing, which is a very good piece of advice, but what happens if somebody tells you not to think of a pink elephant? Bingo! You cannot stop thinking about little bouncy pink elephants the whole day long : ) In my case, CBT has helped a little and hypnotherapy has helped a lot. From major panic attacks four months ago I have now learned not to overreact to the physical feelings. They simply can't hurt you. Our body is too perfect a machine to let us down like that!

I still struggle sometimes and some days are worse than others ( I had a bad relapse of choking feeling last Saturday that took me back to A&E unfortunately) Overcoming anxiety has so far been the most daunting task I have ever had to face but with patience, help and determination, most days I can say I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hope this is helpful to you all. We are not alone and we can beat this!

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