Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thursday, October 09, 2008 myownprison, Community Member, asks

Q: Trouble taking in a deep full satifying breath

I have trouble getting a full deep satisfying breath all the time.In between those breaths i feel like i am suffocating and hungry for air.I have had alot of tests done and all came back normal.I am bipolar and have Chiari 1 Malformation.All my doctors thinks it's anxiety but i don't believe that.I'm scared and it's taking control of my life.Does anyone know anything about this?

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Answers (1)
Adam, Community Member
11/ 6/08 10:52pm

I have recently developed a similar problem (since getting married and starting medical school).  I know what you are going through.  These situations are really scary.  I experienced dizzy spells and at one point something that to me felt like a seizure.  This seizure like experience started with the trouble taking in a deep full satisfying breath and then persisted to a tingling sensation in my face that let to every muscle in my body contracting at the same time (this was every painful and scary).   I later learned that this experience was caused by a ca++ imbalance that was due to hyperventilation (possibly caused by anxiety).  I have also had a lot of test that have all come back normal and had a hard time accepting that this might only be anxiety, but I have worked on trying to manage my stress and have found relief.  During times of stress the symptoms return.  Try to relax and see if that helps the problem.  I would suggest starting this process by talking with a friend and building confidence concerning your health (meaning there is a good possibility you are totally healthy).  That seemed to work for me.


EroToo, Community Member
6/30/09 11:48am

I've had this problem for over 40 years....on and off....on again now...  I was always told it was sighing resperation, panic disorder.   I was under control for many years, but since Thursday, they are full blown again.  Can't take deep breaths, can't yawn and it lasts for ours even after taking a tranquilizer.  Called an ambulance on Friday and they found nothing wrong with me.   I am not in a constant state of panic.  My doctor just changed my meds.  Took me off of Prozaz and Klonopin and switched me to Zoloft and Valium.  Had an ekg a couple of months ago and it was within normal limits.  I just made an appointment to see a cardiologist just to make sure my heart is okay.  I am 58 years old.  HELP!

David, Community Member
9/19/11 5:20pm

I had the same trouble while on Zoloft. It might be a typical side effect of the medication. I stayed on it only a few weeks before switching to something else. That was almost twenty years ago, and I'm not certain what I switched to, but I think it was Paxil. Anyway, going off of Zoloft was a relief. I'm sort of addicted to breathing.

Coletteborghi, Community Member
9/11/13 9:56pm

Your question is a few years old so you might have already found the solution that works for you but because I lived with those symptoms for the first 20 something years of my life, I thought I’d pass my experience to whoever is in the same situation.

Only the very bad cases of anxiety have those symptoms you “imagine” (terrors, hyperventilation, shakes, palpitations…etc). Our form of anxiety is SO mild, cannot really be diagnosed.

So, lets call it “tension” or a little bit of “stress”. What happens is that completely unconsciously, all the muscles of your back and the ones that surround your lungs get tense and hard…they compress your lungs…and you feel you can not take a full breath! (have you noticed it does not happen with every single breath? Every now and then you can get one “almost good” breath in?).

So you need to LEARN to relax. It is not enough to think you can relax buy putting your feet up with a book!. Go and take some relaxation classes, or visualization, or meditation  etc. (I learnt with something called “Silva Method”). Once you learn how to relax just do 5 to 10 minutes of relaxation at the first sign of symptoms and slowly and consciously increase the amount of air you breathe. It just goes away!

Good luck  

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By myownprison, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/11/14, First Published: 10/09/08