panic attacks

My husband was admitted to hospital on Easter Sunday night he couldn't breathe, hen was in hospital for 3 days, but now has panic attacks were he cant get a breath if we are going any where he gets these attacks, but within around 30 mins he feels ok obviously his breathing isn't good but he can cope he has to have another x-ray in 10 weeks time to see if it was a chest infection but there could be some scaring on the lungs but in the mean time he has problems walking he can maybe walk 20 yards before having to stop, our doctor has said it takes time, has anyone else suffered these panic attacks?

23 Replies


Yes I have when I had Pneumonia its the scariest thing in the world. Maybe he could learn some breathing technics when he's sitting down, it will help him to learn to control them.

Kim xx

I woke one morning last March struggling for breath . I ended up in hospital with a chest infection and suffered panic attacks. The physio at the hospital taught me how to relax an control my breathing. Since then I seem to be in control, though sometimes I get stressed and have to control my breathing. Has your husband seen a consultant or respiratory nurse, GPs don't have the experience of COPD that specialists have. I'm in Chester and the respiratory nurses, and the physio at the hospital have really helped. The other thing to look into is getting on a pulmonary rehabilitation course. This teaches you about COPD as well as getting you to exercise regularly and advice on a healthy diet.

Thank you for replying, he has been referred to pulmonary rehabilitation but of course there is a waiting list, but I will speak to doctor re respiratory nurse, thanks for the info. 

Do push to get him on the rehab course it really made a huge difference for me. Exercising was good but it was the knowledge imparted that helped most, understanding things stopped most of my panic attacks.

Thank you so much for replying I have phoned the rehab course and they said they would get back to me.  Thank you

When I first joined site I received so much support that it only seems right to pass on anything I think might help. Keep in touch and voice worries and questions, someone will nearly always be able to help.

Thank you so much, when I joined this I was desperate to see my husband panic started to make me panic but after all the relies and good wishes I am so glad I did join, I am trying to get my husband to join in he will do as soon as I show him how to use the computer, once again thank you so much, Take care Ann xx

Would probably help him to join in the fun and daftness on here from time to time as well as serious stuff. You are doing an amazing job caring so give yourself a hug.

Thank you so much. X

Good Morning,  I care for my husband who has severe COPD and now uses ambulatory oxygen.   He panics so much especially when he has been recovering from chest infections etc.  He find it very difficult to take control of his breathing.  One thing that did help was using a spacer (I found a very cheap one on ebay that I have in my handbag all the time) to use with his blue reliever inhaler and I have found that really helps to concentrate his mind on breathing slowly.  The other thing that helped him enormously was ambulatory oxygen which he found out he needed when he went for a pulmonary rehab assessment.  In the six minute walking test his SATS were dropping to below 88 and he was prescribed oxygen which for him really helps with breathlessness and the anxiety just because he knows he has it.  

It might be an idea to ring the BLF helpline (click on the red balloon) and ask what else the doctor can offer?  Perhaps he also needs a change of inhalers?  ANd they have some very useful literature.

I do feel for you - it is so frightening watching someone panic.  It is slow recovering from chest infections etc. and it is damn difficult.  Sending you lots of love TAD xx

Thank you for your reply I think my husband feels he should be over the worse but when we get replies like this it really is a help to both of us, yes I really think his inhalers need to be changed how do I get in touch with BLF? I have never heard of this, once again thank you  and take carexxxx

Hello - I copied the following details for you:-

03000 030 555

Speak to one of our team over the phone.

We aim to answer within 6 rings, and calls will cost the same as a local call.

Good luck xxx

Thank you so much for your help, it is good to know we are not the only ones, it is also making my husband feel better knowing someone else has had these panic attacks.   Take Care Annxx

Its a pleasure take care xx

Am really surprised that he wasn't given a spacer to use with blue inhaler, the first respiratory nurse I saw gave me one and showed me how to use it and then my GP gave me another for when I washed out the first one. It made a huge difference to the way I dealt with breathlessness. Having said I was surprised, a few people have shown surprise at seeing the now 3 spacers I have, as they had trouble getting one. Sorry if that doesn't make a lot of sense I lost the plot along the way.

I loose the plot regularly haha !!  I think this is why this forum is so useful - we were just given a diagnosis and left to it.  With the help of others on here I was able to ask the right questions and ask for a spacer.  Take care cc

You take care too, I know how hard it is to be a carer, my husband had vascular dementia and I cared for him at home for 6 years with no help as my 'Social worker' was totally useless and a liar to boot!

Hi Snodgrass

Excusemy lack of knowledge, but what is a spacer that I see you have referred too.

Regards Brian

Basically a plastic tube, the blue inhaler is pushed into a rubber ring at one end, the other end is an inhaler type mouthpiece. By squirting the inhaler into the tube it is possible to breath in the medication more easily and efficiently. Best I can do by way of description, some one else may do better!

For he if I am having a panic attack breath out and I holed a small travel fan in front of my mouth this seems to help, but I have found that breathing out always helps me.

Thank you it helps knowing someone else have these attacks.  take care Annx

Hi Chester I was in hospital for 5 days last October. After I came home and eventually felt a bit better I started having panic attacks. The were terrible. I used to stand at my door trying to go outside but being in such a state - unable to breath, shaking it was horrible. One day I had a doctors appointment I eventually managed to get out to the car but when I arrived at the surgery I stood outside behind a bush for 10 minutes trying to get into the waiting room. Does this sound like your husband? xx

Certainly does but after a while he settles down, thank you for your reply  take care Annxx

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