How can I stop thinking I'll hyperventilate?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 10/8/2009 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Seems to happen very easy with me. I know in times of panic, we hyperventilate. But sometimes, even if I'm ok otherwise, just thinking about it might make it happen. How do you stop the thoughts? Every time my mind is not on something else i'm doing, I think about it and how, even if it comes and I stop it, it could come back any time. I feel like I don't have control over it. So basically every time my mind is "blank", it goes straight to that. I can't just blank out my mind and relax.
What do you guys do?

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 10/8/2009 12:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I think what you need to do is try to get your anxiety under control. Are you in therapy and on any meds? I found therapy to be of the most help for me. She helped me to change my thought patterns. If you look in our A/P resources you will find a free online CBT program. This might be helpful for you to stop and change these worrying thoughts.

Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
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Green Grove
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 10/8/2009 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Great advice from Nanners on what the majority of us have done to start controlling our anxiety and panic. I just wanted to offer my support and wish you the best of luck!

Take care :)
Anxiety-Panic Disorders Forum Co-Moderator

"Life be not so short but that there is always time for courtesy."
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. . .Not a professional. . .
Please consult your doctor before making changes to meds or lifestyle.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 10/8/2009 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hyperventilating is one thing I've never had to deal with. Anticipatory anxiety is, though. Really this is going to sound trite but find a way to get your mind off of it. Some kind of activity that engages your mind. That's the best advice I've tried that I know to give you.

I've never tried CBT properly but I've heard nothing but good things about it, so definitely give that a shot too. Good luck.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/9/2009 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   

Obessive thinking is characteristic of anxiety disorder.  You learn to manage it by allowing the thoughts to be there.  Allowing them to float in and out as they please.  Your resistance to the thought is what keeps it so strong in your mind.  If you didn't mind that the thought was there it would not have any affect on you at all.  Watch your thoughts unemotionally.  They come back less and less with practice and with less intensity because you are no longer reacting to them.  Instead of wishing the thought away, bring your attention to your breath.  Just notice yourself breathing normally.  Then keep your attention on what you are doing in the present moment, whether it is doing dishes, reading a book, gardening, whatever.  When the intrusive thought comes in gently bring yourself back to your breath and then to what you are doing in the moment.  Even if you are tying your shoe.  Just be in the moment. Practice this.

Hyperventillation will not kill you.  At the very worst all you will do is pass out and come to within seconds breathing normally again.  It is nothing to fear.  Learn to change your attitude towards it.  "It's no big deal, so I will leave it at that."  "Let the thoughts come."  "So what."  "You are welcome here."  Are some phrases you can use.  Come up with some of your own that keep you calm and accepting.

"Life is not about comfort.  It is about living."  Dr. Howard Liebgold, Freedom from Fear

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 8/7/2012 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Been a while and thanks for the replies. And you're right. But in a certain frame of mind you just can't stop thinking about it. B/c technically, you could hyperventilate, faint, come to, and start it up again--seemingly w/out any control. It could keep going. That's quite scary. Concentrating on breath can bring it on. Once I notice it, I tend not to breathe normally.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/8/2012 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey there, it is Kitt and yes, it has been 3 years but glad to hear from you.  Thanks for posting and I hope you continue to be able to control your hyperventilation.
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship" ~ Louisa May Alcott

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/21/2012 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi phixgrrrl,
I joined the forum because I read your post about your heightened startle response from back in 2005.  I have had a heightend startle response for over 3 years now.  I also have vocal and motor tics that started at about the same time. I see my GP and a nerologist who's speciality is tourettes  thanks to the UK National Health Service, but so far no specific diagnosis.  I wondered if you got any further with your investigations in to you startle response,  if so any information would be most welcome.  i hope you soon feel better. :-)
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