Asthma UK community forum


Hi, I'm quite new to asthma and I had a quite bad attack yesterday. I ended up calling my dad at work ti calm me down but my lungs felt really tired and I was breathless and wheezy for about half an hour. I used my ventolin about 6 times but it didn't really help much - I just had to calm myself down. I'm just really worried about having another horrible attack at school where I can't breathe and I get wheezing fits too. I hate asthma I'm in amitriptyline for anxiety too, I take these at night to helpmreducemstress which is my main asthma trigger. Does anyone else get worse with anxiety, and does their blue inhaler help immediately, or is it just me?

7 Replies

hi ben

sorry to hear your goin through bad time...

anxiety is obviously gonna be part of our asthma as we worry when we cant breathe.

and of course the more you use ur meds, the more anxious you get if it doesnt work straight away- instantly. i know myself it easier said than done, but what i try to remember and what i find works for me in a severe attack, with me breathing, is breathing in through nose, out through mouth.

also, the old talking to someone helps too, and all of us here all go through the same as you, and ur welcome to PM me too :)

there is a clear difference between a panic/anxiety attack and an asthma attack triggered by whatever, worsened by anxiety. your recovery can be made quicker when u less anxious.

hope i am making sense :S

mich x


Hi Ben, Yes, being anxious can make asthma worse because you tense up your muscles. I see from your profile you are 17 so presumably it is a stressfull time at school with exams etc. That could be making you feel worse. I know school affects my 13 yr old son and he gets stressed out with lots of homework and exams/tests.

You dont mention being on a preventer - if you arent, it might be worth going to GP and asking about having one. Good luck and I hope things improve for you.


Meant to also say, make sure you have an inhaler with you at all times at school. And let your teachers know you have asthma (even if just form tutor and ask him to pass it on to other teachers). You can get a little card from Asthma UK saying you are an asthmatic, which u keep in your wallet/pocket. I got 2, one for me and one for my son.


Hi Ben. You're perfectly entitled to feel anxious when you can't breathe properly - I know i do. Snoweygirl is right about the breathing and I also find that it helps if you keep your brain occupied as well - read, talk to someone or turn the radio or TV on and really concentrate on what is being said so that you stop constantly monitoring how anxious you're feeling. Someone I met suggested to me that I should make a conscious effort to be aware when I'm feeling good and, when I am, touch the tip of my middle finger with the tip of my thumb and take a deep breath, all the time concentrating on feeling good. The theory is that when anxiety sets in you take a deep breath, touch the tip of your middle finger with the tip of your thumb and try to find the good feeling that you had before. I've started working on it, but the jury is still out. Still, it's early days and a bit of perseverence is probably needed. I'd be interested to hear how you get on if you try it.

Hope this helps a bit.



Hi Ben

If you find yourself getting a bit anxious about your breathing, using your peak flow meter might reassure you by showing you it's ok. I do this sometimes if I feel I'm getting in a panic. You can get pocket-sized ones now, either from gp or pharmacist



Yes I agree with polly about the peak flow - I have felt that the inhaler wasn't helping as much as it should have been, but my peak flow was considerably higher after taking it and that helped me calm down and the symptoms gradually disappeared.


Ben you are so young to be using meds to help you cope with anxiety, have you been offered any other support rather than meds to manage your anxiety? Getting stressed with Asthma just aggravates the situation and I believe you would benefit if you were taught relaxation techniques to manage in anxious situations.


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