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Asthma UK community forum
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Confused and worried

Hi everyone, I'm quite new to asthma, but I'm a bit confused. Ive been having really bad attacks recently, and I'm going back to my asthma nurse on Monday for a review of my medication. My symptoms seem to be caused by stress - yesterday on the bus on the way to school I had probably my worst attack ever - my breathlessness peaked and I'd never felt so bad - I used my ventolin loads but it never seems to work, never has. I'm also in a seretide disc inhaler (preventative) which has not only done no good, it seems if anything to have made things worse. After the acute breathlessness, I still felt tight and quite wheezy - I went straight to the school nurse and symptoms didn't get worse but didn't seem to go off either. After about half an hour she took me to A&E, by which time I was feeling a lot better (typical). The doctor measured my blood pressure which was fine, temp was fine, blood oxygen level was fine, and he used the stethoscope which found no obvious signs if wheezing. Thing is, I'm wondering if I really have asthma, since I have a problem with anxiety too. When I get really bad attacks, I get dizzy and feel as if I'm going to collapse. If I don't respond to treatment properly, could it be panic attacks? Ive just had another long moderate attack, wheezing and breathless, but my dad said he couldn't hear wheezing which reassured me and the symptoms have now subsided somewhat. Sorry for the long post.

2 Replies

Ben - I'm so sorry you're having a bad time.

It would be wrong of us to try and give you any sort of diagnosis as we can't see you and we are not your medical practitioners.

I see you have a review with the nurse booked. Maybe if you wrote down your questions/anxieties and worries and asked her during the consultation?

If you are ever worried that you are short of breath then seek medical help - whether it is an asthma attack or not doesn't matter if you can't breathe properly :)

Try not to get too hooked up on whether it is or isn't asthma just now - discuss it with your asthma nurse.

Also - if you are suffering badly with anxiety - are you getting any support with this? Your GP can refer you for counselling if they feel it would help you - and school may be able to offer something for you too.

Try to have a relaxing weekend......distracting yourself from thinking about asthma may help if anxiety is a problem for you.

Good luck on Monday



Hi Ben. I agree witih everything that FeeJay has said. You seem to be really struggling with both the asthma and the anxiety and you need to get help in dealing with both. Talk to your GP and maybe search for the Depression Alliance on the web. It is a charity that can supply you with a reading list and possibly point you towards a self help group in your area where you can meet other people who are dealing with anxiety and find out how they cope.

In the meantime, I can only suggest that when you're having trouble breathing you take your asthma meds and then work on breaking the cycle of anxiety. Everyone will have a different way of doing this and it might take some time for you to find what works for you, but it usually involves concentrating on something other than your breathing - counting backwards in 9s from 600 perhaps (probably won't work if you're good at maths).

Don't be afraid to ask for help - sometimes having a hand to hold can work wonders!



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