Can anxiety cause the feeling of a lump in your throat?

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/19/2009 12:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had this terrible feeling of a lump in my throat for about 3 weeks. I don't notice it when I eat/drink but the rest of the time I can feel it. I've tried Tums, Protonix, Nexium for it thinking it was GERD but now I'm not so sure. It only seems to happen on certain days of the week and only while I'm at work. I've had panic attacks in the past following a terrible break up but I've been fortunate enough to not have any more since then...but I did have a terrible one yesterday which resulted in my doc doing an EKG. So, I guess I've really got two questions for all of you - hope you don't mind my asking...don't really feel comfortable asking my friends/family about this...

1) Could the feeling of a lump in my throat be a symptom of anxiety/stress? My doc says it's nothing serious because it resolves when I eat/drink and when I can not think about it (which is hard to do...I mean, it's your throat!) I do have an appt set up with ENT in July for this, just in case by then it doesn't resolve but it's really freaking me out. In the past, I never had this feeling with the panic attacks. And I'm not having any trouble breathing and food is not getting stuck at all either.

2.) Does anyone feel...weak...for having to be on a medication to control the attacks? I'm a nurse (moreso just looking for comfort on this one) and we have people in the clinic all the time that are on these meds, I realize people need them and if it helps them, then great! It's just...personally, I feel like I should be able to handle the stress. I've been through way more stressful situations over the past few years and hadn't had any attacks. I just feel like I shouldn't have to take a medication to control it, to help with the stress because I LOVE my job, everyone I work with is great there's just A LOT of changes coming up next month..

I'd really appreciate any feedback. Like I said, the feeling my throat is a scary feeling, like your throat's going to close up.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 6/19/2009 1:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, most definitely anxiety can give you the feeling of a lump in the throat. It's not easy to get used to, but when you do, it will go away. Glad you have an appt. with a doctor  to have it checked out. It's good to reassure yourself that everything is okay.
Before I went on medication I thought I would be weak and a loser for relying on medicine. But not anymore. I need medication just like a diabetic needs theirs. Not wanting to go on meds and seeing yourself as weak for doing so, is very common among those with anxiety/panic disorder.
Everyone is different. Some people do fine without the medication. For me, it was a matter of the quality of my days. I got tired of dealing with the anxiety everyday. Do what you think you need to do and don't feel badly about yourself! It's not your fault.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
60 mg. Prozac, Ativan as needed.
"Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets." Paul Tournier

gentleman k
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/19/2009 4:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree, anxiety definitely can give you the feeling of having a lump in the throat. The fact that food does not get stuck in your throat is a pretty good indication that it is nothing serious to worry about. Good luck with your dr. appt. It will put you to ease about your concerns.

gentleman k

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 6/19/2009 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   


Think about the phrase "she was so nervous she had a lump in her throat". its true that when we get anxious/nervous etc that many of us get that hard to swallow lump feeling. its a totally common part of anxiety for many people. I hope this helps-

Maz XX

                        Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic- Depression
'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Sinusitis, TMJ disorder, Asthma, Endometriosis, PCOS, Chronic E.N.T and Upper respiratory tract infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD,  IBS, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 318
   Posted 6/19/2009 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had this feeling before. Actually it was one of my first symptoms when I first started having anxiety and panic attacks. That terrible feeling is the reason why I called the ambulance back then because I thought my throat was closing up and the medic had to tell me that if I couldn't breathe I wouldn't be able to talk to her as easily as I was. Needless to say I felt kinda stupid to panic the way I did. I finally realized ( after days of worriying) that if I calm domn and relax it goes away. You are definetly alone in this so just rax and it will go away.

As far as the meds go I am so scared and nervous to take meds because of the possible side effects. I took Paxil and that gave me RLS. Although there are worse side effects not being able to rest cause my legs constantly want to move is enough I haven't taken anything else except a trial of Zoloft (2 weeks) and I don't recall any side effecte. That was about 8 years ago so maybe I should try zoloft again.
This too shall pass...

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/19/2009 6:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys! I really appreciate your thoughts on this!! I just wish the feeling of the lump would go, just started taking Cymbalta yesterday so I'm waiting for that to kick in altho at this point I'd try anything to get it to resolve. I feel fine other than that and shaky hands. I'd been on Cymbalta in the past for panic attacks and it worked well, thankfully I was able to get off of it after awhile and am hoping I'll be able to do so again....after the stress decreases.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/19/2009 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P Forum.  Great advice and I liked Maz's comment about the "so nervous she had a lump in her throat".
Yes that is one of the sx of anxiety however it may be something else to so it your feel you need to do get your physician's opinion.
Glad to have you with us.
Gentle Hugs


Moderator: Osteoarthritis & GERD/Heartburn
Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
*~* *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/23/2009 7:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I work at a doctors office and I've discussed this with my physician who doesn't feel seeing ENT is necessary. At first he thought it was GERD but since it resolved on the weekends and most nights, that's what led him to believe it was stress. I believe so as well but, like a lot of people, I want that magic pill to fix it right now! I'm sure you all can understand how incredibly irritating such a feeling is. I do have an appointment with ENT in July, just in case it doesn't go away but I'm not so fond of the idea of being scoped...
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