Is anyone else feeling like this - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Is anyone else feeling like this


I woke my partner in the early hours of this morning as I couldn't breathe. I literally ran down the stairs shouting for help and ran to the front door (only had my t-shirt and underwear on) only lasted a couple of minutes but at that point I really thought I was going to poor partner had to be up for work a couple of hours later so he didn't get any sleep... I've been off work 3 weeks with anxiety but can not get a face to face appointment I'm am at my wits end.

10 Replies

HI Llegkt1,

A fair few of us have been in that same position. Waking up like it is, in my opinion the worse time for it. I have been there myself, more than once. Be assured that it is to do with flight or fight mechanism, as a worse case scenario all that will happen is that you will pass out, at which point, flight or flight ceases and your breathing will return to normal and consciousness return. Not much help at the time but should calm your nerves and worries right now, over dying.

When this happens, you need to relax and just concentrate on breathing out, the in breath will always take care of itself.

I always imagine that I am lying on a pebble beach, the wave crashes in on the shore for the in breath and as the water recedes with that hissing sort of sound as the water filters through the pebbles that is the out breath through pursed lips. Repeat until the panic diminishes and your breathing returns to your normal rate.

Llegkt1 in reply to 2greys

Thank you so much for your reply...I do that often with my fan on and imagine I'm at the beach...I only have a 4.5 tog quilt on the bed and all the windows open...fortunately I've just bought them fluffy duvet covers for my 2 teenage boys as they hate the cold...hope you are well x

hypercat54 in reply to Llegkt1

I have asthma as well as copd and wake up at night with an attack occasionally. It is terrifying coz I literally can't breathe at all for around 20 seconds. What I have learnt is that I can sometimes through my nose.

The best thing is to stay as calm as possible (not easy!) and sit still. Keep your ventolin inhaler by your bedside and keep using it up to 10 times if necessary. Concentrate on your breathing to establish a steady pattern, in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Dust mites are a common trigger so make sure you wash your bedding and bed clothes on a minimum of 60 degrees to kill them. Change or wash your pillows frequently as dust mites love them. I hope this helps a bit.

One wonders how you managed to run down the stairs shouting for help if you could not breathe. But so glad the attack only lasted a couple of minutes, although that sure does seem like a very long time if you can't breathe.

Hope you get the anxiety under control, this no doubt will help you tremendously.

You may wish to read this post:

There is Anxiety Support forum here:

MIND may also be a useful resource for you.

Llegkt1 in reply to Bkin

I have had panic attacks since I was 17 and I have always went to a window, door or place of exit.

Thank you for the links. I have attended mind in the past and also relaxation groups.

Bkin in reply to Llegkt1

Having had anxiety from age of 17 years! That is a very long time. Hope you find a technique that helps you manage the anxiety attacks.

NHS helpline link below:

Hi Llegkt1, so sorry you are feeling so anxious this kind of experience is very very upsetting. Everyone at one time or another has had this kind of experience, half waking half dreaming and panicking, it is really nasty, but it does pass as you have said, so next time, (if there is a next time) you will not run around anxiously but stay in bed and breath calmly. Have you tried breathing slowly into a paper bag? this works when we hyperventilate. Take care, Maximonkey

Llegkt1 in reply to Maximonkey

Thank you so much. I have had that many I should know this already but I always think "this one is the one"...I think like quite a lot of people I'm just over anxious at the moment. ❤

Happened to me too

Took 40 mins concentrating to slow down brfore my normal returned . Normal is not good anyway but it was really frightening, l live alone which is not reassuring. Thought it might be panic attack but it was suggested it might be anxiety. So didnt think so . Transport is my problem at present but not aware of that then.Read what 2greys says.

Try not to worry.

Llegkt1 in reply to Jaybird19

Oh no I know they are just the worst.yes 2greys always gives fab advice.

Thank you for you reply x

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