Very Extraordinary Breathing Problem

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/3/2005 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay, the problem that I am having is very strange and, I daresay, quite unique. I’m worried that I am the only one with any issue even remotely comparable to this and, thus, cannot get any help for it.

A while ago I was having trouble sleeping at night due to stress of university exams and the like. However, while obsessing over this I came to focus on the act of breathing, and that is where the troubles began. Without anything else to divert my attention I became fixated on breathing, and had to voluntarily make myself take breaths and not simply let my body’s auto-regulatory functions do it. I couldn’t sleep that night.

The problem has worsened. I seem to need to consciously take every breath during the day. It’s not that I don’t believe my body can do it automatically, I know that if I can stop focusing on it then my body will naturally take over. The problem is I can’t, and when I am focusing on the act of breathing I must take every breath otherwise I will hold it.

I am finding it increasingly difficult to do everyday tasks. I’m also frequently feeling short of breath. I’m worried that doing this thing for so long may cause or have caused serious damage so that I might never be able go back to having my body naturally breathe again. I experienced this problem some time ago and it passed, now I am depressed that a problem which I thought I had overcome has returned.

Please Help.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 7/3/2005 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Trust me, you are not alone. Learning how to let my body breathe on it's own again has been the most challenging thing since my first panic attack (which started w/ the feeling that I couldn't breathe!). My problem was that I thought I needed to breathe more often, so I'd try and take a deep breath and felt like my lungs weren't getting enough air. Really, I was overbreathing (hyperventilating); which caused my heart to beat faster, etc...causing panic. Often at night before falling asleep I would fixate on my breathing, like you, and felt that if I didn't concentrate I wouldn't breathe! So don't feel silly, because I've felt the same thing. This sounds even sillier, but to stop that I concentrate on spelling words (not out loud). So it diverts my attention from breathing....or exhausts my brain from thinking..hehe. Now everyone here thinks I'm really crazy!

A quick fix for feeling short of breath is breathing into a paper bag for a little bit, which blances the oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. But, it's important to learn to breathe full and deep from your abdomen, not shallow chest breathing. Look up some abdominal breathing exercises, or buy a book on it. One critical thing is to only breathe through your nose, never through your mouth.

Here's one exercise I do a few times when I feel anxious:

Breathe in slowly and deeply from your abdomen (w/ your nose! not mouth) to a count of 5.
Hold your breath to a count of 5.
Exhale through your nose slowly to a count of 5.
Repeat until relaxed.

Hope this helped a little, and trust me you'll get through this! I've come a long way in a short amount of time.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 1/8/2007 2:05 AM (GMT -6)   
 I do this all the time, I find myself saying breath in breath out it drives me crazy, today was a really bad day for panic and breathing I notice every breath I was like 2 seconds from going to the ER when I made myself calm down but still tonight many hours later I still have the breathing problem and notice every breath gezzzzz this panic and anxiety will never end
 Hugs Anna
Help Me Lord To Be All I Can Be And To Take One Day At A Time

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/8/2007 5:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the new members
This is a great place for support and finding you are not alone in what you deal with .....
I am glad so much input on this and great input I might add
Again welcome and hope to see you's become active members and post often
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 2500
   Posted 1/8/2007 6:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome newbies...Just wanted to say we are glad to have you and hope you stick around...There is great support to be had here.
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