why do i always feel so embaressed/can stress cause asthma?

Apologies for having two topics in here and if this turns into a usual laurenjayne essay - i'll try to keep it short and to the point?

Firstly, does anyone feel stress can cause asthma or does anyone have it as one of there triggers? half the time that i have really stressful days or situations happen (which are a lot as have a highly stressful - yet enjoyable) job i take an asthma attack but other times i deal with the situations no problem and can have no symptoms or on a random day i can take an attack due to nothing. but i have noticed i do take them a lot when stressed and perhaps rushing around trying to make deadlines etc - the sily thing being my organisation obsessiveness means the deadlines i give myself are sometimes for a lot earlier than the actual deadline but i've always been a non last minute person - i need to things in advance etc so i reality i shouldn't be stressing out etc. ok rant one over.

Secondly, i know its silly but i feel so so embaressed as i caused such a drama at my work today. i took quite a bad attack suddenly when away from the office and so many people saw. i panicked one of my collegues who ran for help and got security and another collegue one which said he'd run to my office for my spacer etc (i know it was useful teling everyone where it was) they then decided it was an emergency so rather than phoning the duty first-aider they tannoyed ""First-aider required immediately ..."" which meant lots of people decided to be nosy and came for a look (i suppose its probably concern) and the managers came up. At this stage i was propping myself up against a desk (there were no chairs!!) with around 12 people asking me if i used my inhalor, if i'd like a drink, did i want anything, was someone getting my stuff and i have to say i know it was because everyone was concerned but i got so embaressed because of it. lucky the first-aider on duty knows what i'm like and took me to an empty office to use my stuff etc. Normally i don't make such a big drama. i do appreciate the fact that my collegues etc are so caring as i know plenty would not be and they realy do support me but why is it i manage to feel so embaressed because of it? it is so so silly.

Actually, quick question does anyone find it easy to have someone talk them through there breathing during an attack? i've found by asking someone to do that it helps me concentrate on my breathing than than over analysing everything which i'm good at

woah - its a long msg - SORRY!!


9 Replies

  • Hi Laurenjayne,

    Yes, stress can exaserbate asthma in some people.

    Regards the HUGE crowd of rubberneckers - the first aider should tell them where to go basically! One thing FAs learn is to keep people away from the incident. Having an audience is not a good thing when having an asthma attack.

    Just like on motorways, rubberneckers can make the situation worse.

    Lots of people asking you if you have used your inhaler can cause stress too.

    Perhaps have another chat with your firstaiders and colleagues about how YOU would like to manage your asthma at work.

    If someone tries to tell me how to breathe during an attack I can be a bit curt with them! LOL! If it helps you carry on as some people find it reasuring.


  • Hi Laurenjayne

    Hope you are feeling better now after your attack at work, I tend to find that the more people I have fussing over me the worse I get due to them asking so many questions and worring about what to do. and i do find having asthma embarassing at times, for example last friday night I had a mega attack while I was out with my partner last firday and it happend on a night bus and evryone was staring at me!

    When I have asthma attacks I find people talking to me and reassuring me helps, but to many people around makes me worse, maybe you should talk to one of your managers and tell them that when you have an asthma attack you prefer to have only one or two people around you, it's great that you have so many people that care about you but I can imagine that to many people can be a bit overwhelming!

    By the way just out of interest what does 'taking an attack mean?'



  • hey,

    thanks for your messages.

    I think today because i was the worst i had been and they tannoyed people were just being nosy but when the first-aider arrived he did quickly get me into a quiet office and even when one of the managers were checking on me he explained he was dealing with it and that other people make me worse etc, its just getting me away from everyone ASAP or asking them to leave but Andy (who is one of the main first-aiders on while i work) did asure me that he would not let people stand around and watch and others have done that to. its just the initial moment etc. The attention upsets me at times.

    I know how i want to breathe when i'm taking an asthma attack but i sometimes go into panic mode and then it helps for someone o encourage me but toher times i just ant left etc.

    not sure what you mean by what does taking an attack mean - taking an asthma attak etc. if i sound confused i apologise - ive been awake since 3.30!!


  • I also tend to panic when I have an asthma attack especially on friday night cause I had no idea where we were and I didn't have my spacer with me. Also it was really wired, cause when this paramedic arrived by car he told me my attack was being caused by pollen even though my partner was telling him we had just been in a smokey bar! for some reason he thought that if you are wheezing when breathing both in and out it is caused by pollen!!!l


  • thats bizzare - - i've never heard that one before.

    i panic loads iknow what i need to do and how to deal with them etc but it doesn't make it any easier and i freak as well and make myself worse - its like a vicious circle.

  • To an outsider, an asthma attack can look so dramatic, and I suppose it is, in a way. This is something I really, really hate. I hate having people look, and I hate having people worry.

    I wish I could be a little more appreciative of the help that is offered to me (even if it's the wrong kind of help). I'm sure getting over all of these silly things that I cannot change might actually help me deal with the actual attack in a better way.

    So Laurenjayne, I understand where you are coming from, and I think I feel the same way about my asthma causing a big cafuffle. And I do think that stress exacerbates asthma, that's why it's so important to get past these things that stress us out (then why oh why can't I do it?!)

    Anyway big hugs and best wishes

    XXXX Brynne

  • I find my asthma gets worse when I get stressed out for a while. I'm ok if it's a short time, like something at work, but if it's something else is stressing me out over days, weeks, etc.... then i do notice a difference.

    Also, despite having asthma since i was 3, i still get embarrassed about needing my inhaler. Even with family, i prefer to go into a different room or the bathroom.

    And in public, i try to nip off to the loo (which is a problem in it's self as i have a fear of toilets!) or changing room is another good place.

    I think it is cus it draws people's attention which we don't like, even from people who are just worried and care.


  • I know i actualy felt i had to say to the people that were around yesterday sorry if i was ignoring you but its just i need to do my thing etc so rather than getting told what to do leave me to it. Luckily i've spoken to most of the first aiders in turn about what i need to do and what i need them to do etc. Saying that they all act differently from each other but as long as they leave me in control its fine. i just wish i wouldn't panic during an attack.

    Do any of you get random thoughts. i panic when my asthma comes on so bring on asthma alongside it and all i can think about is how i hate hospitals, i don't want people to see me esp customers, i don't want to go to hospital as i don't want people to see me with paramedics etc etc (although i am the first to admit as soon as i do need more help.)

    What does everyone else do during attacks, I personally try to sit upwords or backwards on a chair if i need support, use my spacer loads and try and concentrate on thinking about breathing in and out properly which is hard with the coughing, wheezing and i hate to say it being sick. I go so shaky as well that i feel like i could collopse so i panic more and bring o a panic attack too - Arghh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I know how you feel about being embarassed. i had an attack in work last week. I have just recently moved departments in work so my new staff are not used to me yet!! ans I panicked them all i think so much so they didnt even really give me time and ran and got the respiratory nurse (I work in a hopital used to be resp ward but now in clincs) The most embarrasing thing is being wheeled throught he hopsital in your uniform to a/e. Hopefully soon my new colleagues will get to know me and not panic so much. Staff on respiratory used to be great and would let me dealt with me with out me getting stressed.

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