I don't have a question, but I am going to write about something that hopefully will help people who had the same problem as I did.
The topic is, "shallow breathing, need to yawn, panic attack"
I was suffering from this out of nowhere. My doctor prescribed me adderall and it kept me up late at night, but did wonders for me at work throughout the day. I thought I needed this, and to tell you the truth, even if it helps me focus at work, I would rather not take it, because of the problems it caused me.
Many of you are probably thinking, I can't breathe, I cant get that "deep breath" that I keep trying to get. I was struggling with this for 4 days straight, and I have never had any anxiety trouble in the past, so I thought it was from smoking, that there was something wrong with my lungs, I went to about 5 doctors and had a trip to the hospital, and they all found nothing wrong with my blood, lungs, or breathing. After about the 5th visit, I was done, I accepted the fact that I had anxiety, and dealt with it.
I did some reading, and this is where I come in, to try and help you. My problem was that I was "breathing too much" yes, you can breathe too much. Its bad for you, it causes an imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body. People who hyperventilate take about 14+ breaths in a minute and normal breathers, maybe 6-8 breaths. So first off, stop trying to breathe so much, because the more you try and take these deep breaths, the harder it is on your body. You cause tensions in your neck, back, and lung muscles. Did you notice how tense your back and neck are when you are hyperventilating? Thats because you are "trying too hard" relax a little, and within time, you will be back to normal.
From a personal experience, I thought that I would never feel better. I went to 5 doctors, the hospital, starting taking advair, quit smoking cigarettes, quit smoking marijuana, got a massage to relieve that tension, and hell, I even started running ALL the time, so I can catch those deep breaths. But it was all in my head, the sooner I realized that, the better I felt.
One of the major things you should start doing "right this very second" is start breathing through your nose. This was my first mistake. I was trying to get these deep breaths through my mouth, and I just couldn't catch it. And these deep breaths are almost exactly associated with my yawns that I kept trying to achieve to get that deep breath. (Heres a little fact about yawns, theres many reasons people yawn, but the medical reason is, its our bodys function to trying to get more oxygen, because we don't have enough oxygen) By breathing through your nose, you get more oxygen, and through your mouth, less. So if you are constantly breathing through your mouth, you are only hurting yourself, believe me, it will come, just relax and take breaths through your nose. And make sure that you start practicing your belly expanding and not your chest expanding more than your belly. People who are desperately trying to get those deep breaths through their mouth usually expand their chests more than their belly, this is bad practice.
FYI, my oxygen level was at 94%, or 96%, I can't remember, but my doctor said she would like to see that at 100%. This was because I was either smoking, or constantly trying to breathe in through my mouth.
If you are still having trouble breathing, and would like to achieve those deep breaths right now, at this very second. Try these exercises. First off, like I said before, try taking less breaths per minute, you will be able to achieve that deep breath you are going for, because you are trying less, thus "getting your lungs pumped up" for that one big, deep breath. Try breathing all the way out, and holding your breath until you can't anymore, then of course, obviously you will take in one nice deep breath. See? The less breaths you take, you will give yourself more room for that one big deep breath. Do the same exercise, but hold your breath after you "inhale" until you can't anymore, then blow all the air out as fast as you can, and as much as you can, reading your lungs for another deep breath.
I can write on and on about this, because it has been all I have been thinking about these past 4 days, but if you have any questions at all, regarding me and my experiences, feel free to email me if you'd like, that is colinrei AT gmail DOTTTT com
Spelt out like that for spam purposes.
Thanks for your input and sharing your experiences, I'm glad you found some help out there.
Just a few things...everyone responds a little differently when it comes to breathing symptoms and ways to cope. For some (I'm in this boat)...the MORE I try to concentrate on my breathing (deep breathing exercises, trying to slow it down, etc), the more anxious I become and the worse the symptoms are. Some people find that trying to control their breathing helps them. Breathing is actually an automatic function, and as long as there is no underlying respiratory illness, our bodies don't need our intervention, even if it feels that way.
Yawning is a VERY interesting thing. I've read a lot about it, and the truth is, there are many THEORIES as to why we (and other animals) do this, but nothing has really ever been proven. For some interesting reading, google "contagious yawning". It's VERY neat and quite baffling why one person yawning will set a whole roomful of people off yawning also. This phenomenon has been documented and studied for centuries. Yawning as it relates to your symptoms? It is believed that it is more of a psychological response to the FEELING of not getting enough air and other scientists believe it is triggered by your body NEEDING more O2. One thing I know, is it works!
You're right about hyperventilating, which happens a lot during a panic attack. Again, our bodies are very self maintaining. If there is no medical condition present, the body will restore normal breathing. That's not to say that learning ways to slow breathing down when hyperventilating wouldn't be helpful, but again...our bodies DO eventually normalize, and much of breathing "symptoms" are our interpretation. Same with the phenomena of "not being able to get a deep breath in". We've ALL experienced this at some point in our lives, and while uncomfortable, it is harmless. Those of us with anxiety will allow that sensation to throw us into a panic attack, or develop a chronic worry about our breathing. On the contrary, those without anxiety will usually see it as a minor annoyance and before long, realize that it has resolved, without intervention.
When people with anxiety present with a new breathing symptom, I think a few things are important...one, of course, rule out any medical condition. Secondly, try NOT to focus on the sensation as much as possible, as that usually exacerbates our worry about it. That goes for any anxiety symptom really. People with anxiety and panic need to frequently remind themselves that our bodies are amazing machines, and are capable of amazing things. The human body has the ability to restore itself to normal, when discussing "fight or flight" and panic/anxiety symptoms. Problem is, we need to find a way to convince our MINDS of that, which is a bit trickier.
I'm very glad that you sought help for your anxiety and are muddling through ways to cope. Everyone is different, and it is always helpful to share our stories...b/c you can bet there are people out there that will find relief in your words, and maybe even the techniques you have described.
Thanks again and keep us posted. And, thank you for making me yawn. ;0)
This is interesting, because I have the same problem if I take Adderall over a 3-5 day period and then give myself a break. I have a sensation of not getting enough oxygen, which then leads to anxiety, which in turn exacerbates the symptoms. I do not get quality sleep on Adderall, and run 16 miles a week, so I think its a combination of dopamine depletion and exhaustion. The funny thing is, I understand that my symptoms are not serious, which keeps my state of mind manageable for the most part, but eventually I wear down and allow myself to get a little freaked out. I usually tell myself: "You're young, you dont smoke, you just ran 4 miles yesterday, and you don't have chest pains--nothing is wrong with you."
After a the first bad day, I tend to feel mostly normal after a good night's sleep. It's always the same trigger though--3-5 days of consecutive Adderall, followed by the shallow breathing sensation and anxiety. So, I really only take my Adderall a couple of times a week at most and never on consecutive days.
Awesome article! I was experiencing the same situation for a few months now and I do notice that it's more apparent when I'm taking Adderall. I researched online for months looking for an answer. I was struggling doing Jiu Jitsu, because it would put me in a state of more anxiety. It didn't help that I had a lot of tension and knots in my upper back, shoulder, neck region (Which I always blamed on working a 8-5 desk job, and I'm now finding out it might be due to a tightness in my hips). I started getting massages and this helped with the breathing a little bit and Thai massages actually worked the best because they have you focus on your breathing while they stretch you out. Between that and the articles that I read about the breathing and how people today breath way more than we should, I realized that I was focusing on breathing and taking that "deep breath" and forcing my chest out to strain for that satisfying breath. Once I started thinking about my breathing, it became easier to achieve that deep breath or not even desire the deep breath most of the time. I definitely agree with the other person's post about taking Adderall on consecutive days. I try to only take it twice a week at the most. But I do think this is just due to the added anxiety that you get from Adderall and the lack of sleep from taking Adderall (I was already a night owl, Adderall just made it worse). But between some green herbal treats ;) and some melatonin at night, I definitely sleep a lot better. Also, if I'm still having a lot of trouble sleeping, I'll take ZMA (zinc, magnesium, 5HTP, and folic acid) for a really restful night sleep. I hope this helps others, because I know how freaked out I was when it started happening to me.
+Good Posture (helps with breathing)
+Breath through your nose
+Breath less (hold your breath even if you are struggling to get a deep breath and you're panicking)
+Belly breathing (stop breathing from your chest. Youtube it if you need help)
+Make sure to get enough sleep
+Pay attention to what else might be contributing to it (ie. Adderall or other medications)
Im not sure who is feeding you your information, but it is TOTALLY and completely WRONG. A normal person's breath rater should NEVER fall under 10 breaths/minute. A normal respiratory rate for a healthy adult is always between 16-20 breaths/minute, and at the hospital we become extremely concerned if they fall under 12, and if they fall under 10, we are calling respiratory support ASAP. Also another correction you can research if you dont believe me, is 94%oxygen is totally sufficient for any adult body. We are only concerned and put a patient on oxygen if there levels fall below 90%. AND if the patient has COPD, we keep them below 90% because they need a little more carbon dioxide to encourage them to breath on there own. But for an adult, anything over 93% is very healthy. i range from 96% normal and when i drink caffeine or take my adderall i go up to 97-98% which is perfectly normal. Maybe you should elaborate if you had something physiologically wrong with you that would have a doctor encourage you to be at 100%oxygen. It is rare we ever see that. Your breathing as a result from the adderall is most likely related to your body thinking it needs it to bronchioldialte and therefor your body works in a different way. Having a much lower dose is usually sufficient to get rid of the "come down" of hard breathing. Good luck.
Thank you so much for letting me know. That makes a little more sense being 4 years old, although I can't imagine resp rates and o2 sat levels to be concerned about would change in 4 years. I was only wondering what was going on phisiologically with her to make her doctor give her those numbers, like a certain disease. It would be interesting to learn more behind the scene to enhance our knowledge in the medical world of variations on vitals and rationale. Ill pay more attention to the post time from now on. Thanks again forletting me know
Awesome help! Throwing another remedy out there, to relieve the muscle tension use a lacrosse ball against a wall. It's called myofascial release. It helps blood flow and I do it as soon as difficulty breathing sets in. Great post for a tricky problem.
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