Constant need to swallow?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/18/2009 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   
   Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum but am not new to anxiety/panic/depression and OCD. Have had it off and on since I was 10 and I am 28 now. I was just curious if any of you have experienced the constant need to swallow with your anxiety? It has been going on for almost 3 weeks now and it is so annoying. And it makes me even more anxious and depressed. I feel as though I just can't shake it. Keep thinking about it. Have any of you had this issue? I am on 20mg lexapro, Xanax as needed, and in therapy. But i just can't shake this atupid swallowing thing. Hopefully someone here can relate.
Edit: I changed the color of your font as it was hard to read :)

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 4/19/2009 8:11:09 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 4/18/2009 8:51 PM (GMT -7)   
hi danigirl,

i am very new to anxiety as mine only started over a month ago...but i can relate to what you're describing on a smaller scale. Before i ever had any issues with panic attacks or anxiety i used to notice that if you focus on anything that your body would naturally just know to do - like breathing, blinking, and swallowing it suddenly starts to feel foreign. the reason for this is because you have these 2 nervous systems - one is your parasympathetic nervous system and one if your sympathetic system...your parasympathetic system controls the automatic things (like breathing blinking and swallowing) when you're constantly thinking about something that would usually come naturally you get stuck in your sympathetic nervous system which is the one that produces the "fight or flight" panicked feeling and you are much, much, much more aware of the fact that you need to swallow, breathe, blink etc.......

the thing is is that everyone swallows a lot during the day it's just that if you aren't thinking about it you aren't aware of it. anxiety throws you into your sympathetic nervous system where you are much more aware of every little thing going on in your body and around you.

it's easier said than done- but don't think about it. when you feel like you need to swallow, just swallow and think to yourself that it's a natural reflex that is supposed to happen, it's not something you need to be scared of.
sometimes that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand
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when you feel like you're done, and the darkness has won, babe you're not lost ...when you're worlds crashing down and you cannot bare the cross, baby you're not lost.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/19/2009 8:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi danigirl,
Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P Forum. I am so glad you found us.
I was wondering how long you have been on your medication and if perhaps the medication is causing some of the constant feeling of needing to swallow.  I know one of the meds I was on made me yawn continously.  You may want to run this strange sx past you physician.
Again, Welcome to the Family.

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/19/2009 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Hear, hear, alwayslove!

Danigirl, I get stuck fixating on certain bodily aspects. For me, it's burping, because that relieves my globus sensation momentarily. So when my throat feels uncomfortable, I try to burp (silently!) to ease the tension. Perhaps swallowing has that same effect for you?



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DX: Anxiety, Depression, LPR (acid reflux)

Meds: Paxil, Nexium, Zantac

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/19/2009 11:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies everyone. I really appreciate it. As for the swallowing, yea I think it kinda does relieve tension. At the same time it makes me more anxious and depressed too.  I am going to talk to my doc about maybe changing my meds cause the lexapro doesnt seem to be helping much. I still get waves of anxiety/panic and depression throughout the day. I have been on the lexapro for almost a month. I assume it should be working better by now. I noticed that this swallowing fixation started right after I got on the meds. So I don't know. Maybe the med makes me think a little too much. Anyway.....thanks everyone. Take care!!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 5/12/2009 8:46 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had issues with this problem on and off since I was 13. I thought I was the only one! It has kept me up at night and just annoyed me whenever I get it! Like if I could just forget about it, it would go away. It can last for days. I really thought I was the only one that had that problem. Hum.... I dont feel so stupid now. Thanks!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 5/12/2009 9:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I think that I have been suffering from anxiety for a lot longer than I thought, after my major anxiety attack 1 month ago.

I noticed some time ago that occasionally I would get a very dry mouth, this is one of the symptoms of anxiety. I didn't think much of it at the time, other than it being uncomfortable and annoying. I swallowed a lot and became very aware of it. I then later found out that it was a symptom of anxiety, after seeing a psychologist. This made me even more anxious and aware of it, which caused me to be aware of swallowing more often, and become fixated and annoyed in the whole thing.

alwayslove made some very good points about the nervous system. We do swallow quite a lot throughout the day, without even thinking about it. When we do fixate on something, we become so much more aware of it, and having anxiety causes you to think about your senses and feelings a lot more than usual too.

I wish you well.

New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/3/2011 6:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey danigirl
I am still in my youth and have recently developed this feeling. It keeps me up at night and after a while, all the saliva in my stomach makes me queasy. How do you deel with it? Its torture skull   I cannot go back to sleep for a while once it starts and some times it continues into the day.
But I found a way to stop it. Durring the day, it's not such a big problem. Just don't sit there and do nothing. Focus your attention on something else. But a night, when you feel you need to stay up and read or something, dont. Just go back to bed and day-dream. But get into it. really get into your dream and you will go to sleep and the feeling will go away. Jolt out of the dream and it will come back. Fast.
hope i was some help

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/4/2011 6:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning,  great post and very informative.  May I suggest you start a thread of your own and tell as a bit about yourself ?  We would like the members to have the chance to greet you.
The thread you posted to is almost 2 years old and the last time this member posted was 4/19/2009  so I am not sure if she will read the message but I am know it will help other members.

Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"If you can't change the world, change your world"
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