What does breathing into a paper bag do for you?

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Kiddiekakes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 4/12/2011 6:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi There,
 
Sometimes when I get an anxiety attack I can't breathe.My Mom suggested I breathe into a paper bag for a bit.I used to see her doing this when I was a small girl...always wondered what it does...
 
 
Any thoughts!
 
 
Thanks wink

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 33663
   Posted 4/12/2011 7:09 AM (GMT -6)   
It stops you from getting too much oxygen and hyperventilating. I hope that this helps.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Kiddiekakes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 4/12/2011 7:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Is that a good thing when you feel like you can't breathe?I've never tried it...

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 33663
   Posted 4/12/2011 7:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes it helps. It keeps you from losing your breath. Have you seen a doctor about your anxiety issues? Do you have anxiety attacks yourself? I would talk to a doctor because there are medications and other things you can do too.

Take care,

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 12991
   Posted 4/12/2011 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi K.K. and welcome! Yes, when we panic, we tend to over-breathe, taking in too much O2. When the body is over-oxygenated, the carbon dioxide levels, even our blood PH changes, leading to further symptoms and creating more anxiety.

When our blood becomes too alkaline (in response to too much O2 and not enough Co2) we can experience...dizzyness, more shortness of breath, tingling around mouth and extremities, vision disturbances...to name a few symptoms.

Breathing into a paper bag 'recycles' the carbon dioxide that we have expelled and limits the amount of fresh oxygen that we can take in. Deep breathing exercises can be practiced and learned to the same effect. The obvious advantage being not having to hunt down a bag, and not being observed as having an attack!

Check out our second post at the top of the forum in Anxiety Resources. There are links to many good exercises and ideas on how to get started treating this:) As G.B. also wisely advised you, go to your doctor and consult regarding a therapy referral. (or possibly medication)

Please post anytime with us. I'm sure you will find this is a great place for information, caring and support:)

Take care,
Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT
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