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Avatar universal

Constant Urge to Take Deep Breaths

Hi,

For the last week I've had a constant urge to take deep breaths, and fill my lungs so that they feel stretched. The breath gives minor satisfaction, but then the urge returns.
Sometimes, I feel like I need to yawn, but the yawns are not satisfying like they should be. I don't have any problems breathing, nor do I have any other symptoms, like coughing, raspiness or wheezing. Just this persistent urge to breathe deeply.

A lot of posts I've seen on related symptoms seem to think this is anxiety, but I really don't think that I have a lot of anxiety right now.

Any ideas?


This discussion is related to urgency to take deep breaths.
112 Responses
Avatar universal
It is anxiety. You CAN and WILL beat it. I get it out of the blue, no apparent trigger at the time, but it's your bodies way of telling you something isn't right. Practice correct breathing, live for the now and meditate. I PROMISE you that satisfying breath WILL come and you will be OKAY!,,
Avatar universal
It will go, I promise you that as sure as the sun will rise. For me I get it for about three weeks, for others a few days. Learn shallow breathing and meditation, stop negative thoughts, CBT could help. I've had it on and off over 10 years, I can go years without symptoms. Nobody dies from this, it's CHS, read up. When you are enlightened you can beat it. Don't fight it, accept it, go with it, watch it disappear, don't feed it with negative energy. Trust me, it helps xxxxx
Avatar universal
If you suffer from this feeling, first go to the doctors to rule out any medical condition - anemia can cause this feeling and the desire to chew ice.  Once any medical cause has been ruled out the way to overcome this is to stop thinking about it.  It's not medical,you aren't going to die. The brain is extremely powerful and anxiety and stress can put you in a spiral where you are hyper sensitive of anything your body is doing. Stop thinking about it and learn to redirect your thoughts. Breath slow and deep with the diaphragm. Resist the urge to yawn, but don't fight it if it becomes a struggle.  The feeling you have is the worst it will get, so no need to think about it.  Focus on other things, read a book, go outside and walk, call a friend, whatever.  Notice that the feeling goes away when you are busy or engaged in something else.  Keep practicing NOT thinking about the feeling and it WILL go away.
Avatar universal
I have also had this problem and one thing that has helped is iron supplements. My symptoms followed a very stressful and anxious period in my life but I got it checked out all the same. The only thing that came up was an iron deficiency and I can't deny, when I remember to take my supplements, the symptoms die down. Sometimes immediately.
Avatar universal
I think you are the first to mention acid reflux.  I have this and have had it for many many years or so.  I noticed that after I have bad bouts of acid reflux, then for a few weeks after the breathing problems really kicked in.  For some reason, the first couple of years, it kicked in just in the fall (September), and then again in January.  The Doctor then said no link between acid refux and breathing issues - and put me on asthma inhalers, a few years later I got tested and the specialists said I was so far away from registering asthma that he seldom sees such healthy lungs (I was very active then).    And the inhalers really didn't help at all.  Laying on the floor with my arms above my head was the only relief.

A few years later I was chatting with a new Doctor and she link the breathing issue, bubbling in my throat, and low blood pressure/light headedness to acid reflux.  She mentioned that the acid bubbling up in the throat 'tickles' a nerve close to the heart, causing lower blood pressure and lightheadedness.  She then mentioned that the acid can leak over into the lungs, causing breathing issues.  For many years I was put on acid-reflux medicine and the breathing issue disappeared completely.  Lately, the breathing issue has come back (last two years), and I feel the acid bubbling up into my throat as well.  I figured the medicine I take isn't as effective.  Some friends have said that they found that Nexium didn't work for them either.  I haven't switched yet, but when I routinely take gaviscone before bed, and I've raised the head of my bed, then the breathing gets much better.  I've also been trying to get weened off of coffee as it agravates the acid (so I'm told).  When I do drink strong coffee, by the evening, my breathing is much worst (based on a few evenings - not a long-term corrleation).  I typically drink a lot of strong coffee (most folks we know will not drink our coffee).  So I've cut back to two cups of 1/2and 1/2 decafe/regular.  I problably still make it too strong.  So at this stage, I'm managing the acid to see if it truly helps with the breathing issue.  I don't know if this will help others.

I have been paying attention to when it is worst and if it is related to stress - but there is no pattern.  In fact the breathing issue often start within 1/2 hour of waking up, making me think the over-night acid leek into the throat is a strong link.  It certainly has been quite bad during my summer holidays (I get 3 months off in summer - so certainly no stress, yet the breathing issue is still present).

Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Interesting on the iron - Eventhough I am male, I take a lot of iron since it helps me sleep (restless leg syndrom).  The breathing issue still stays with me.  I do take vitamines daily including B, and B12.  I'll take a look at this, but I'm not convinced it'll work for me.  Oh, I only eat meat and vegetables, so I do get lots of iron.

Hope it helps others.  
Avatar universal
I have been having this very same problem for several weeks now.  I an 70 years old. I quit smoking 16 years ago and had this problem for the first time then.  I had it for several months then it went away. Nothing the docs did helped, i.e. inhalers, anti anxiety meds. Nothing.  Then I lost about 60 lbs and began exercising regularly walking not running, lifting weights (universal not free weights) and sit ups. I felt great for the last couple of years. Recently I have started to put some weight back on so thought I would try running for part of the time. Got the problem back the next day!  I I noticed that I also had paid  I  my back around the lower scapula area, seems about the t4,level and up a little. So, knocked off exercise awhile but nothing helped. Tens unit gave some relief but not permanent. Just noticed this morning it's back.  I have nothing to worry about and I am not anxious that I know of. I'm retired and live a very nice life but here's what I have guessed.  While running I was taking some gigantic  breaths through my mouth, not breathing with my diaphragm. I think that stretched my scapula muscles and that injured them and started the problem.  I think anxiety has continued the problem.. I think there are a whole host of things that might be causing this and, while the symptoms are the same, each person  is different enough that the causes get muddled. I agree with everyone, it is scary, annoying, irritating and frustrating.  I am going to try massage therapy to see if that works. But, I am not optimistic.  While writing this, for example  my symptoms went away. I think there is enough similarity to everyone's problem the SOME medic could figure out the cure but I know pills or inhalers are not the answer for me. Good luck everyone.

Avatar universal
Having the exact same problem for 3 days now. I do exercise 5 times a day (lifting weights and cardio twice a week) but never had this issue. I also think it is anxiety related because I have an anxiety problem too like so many here. I quit smoking a year ago and even when I was smoking I never felt this. The one time I did feel this way I ended up having a stroke...soo...yea...that kinda scared me when I felt it come up again. That stroke was after 4 days of heavy drinking and drugs though and I'm over all that for over a year now. I've just taken a xanax so I will see how it works. If the constant urge to take deep breaths goes away I'll let you guys know.
Avatar universal
It's so weird that I have googled this issue so much in the last couple of days and it always takes me to discussion groups like this one but never any article or medical advice about it. I have had that exact struggle for the relief of a deep belly breath the last couple of days, trying to force myself to yawn because that's the only way I can get that relief of that deep breath. What's different with me which I haven't read is that the last couple of days it's been really bad and then today I got my period and it was completely gone and I can breath easy again, so my thought was it was somehow related to hormone levels but can't find anything on the internet about it.
Avatar universal
I have the same symptoms, it's been something I've experienced since I was a child (now 36). I do tend to notice it more at warmer times of the year.

It's difficult to describe the sensation that precedes taking the deep breath that relieves the discomfort, but it's something I feel absolutely compelled to do. I either have to simulate a yawn or sigh to make it go away, but it'll return within minutes. And the yawn/sigh has to be very, very deep. Often it won't "work" and I'll have to repeat the process 4 or 5 times.

In my mind, when I think about how I might explain the sensation to another person (since I've never come across anyone else with this), I picture it as though there is a large bubble inside of each lung which slowly inflate over time. And eventually they leave less and less room for oxygen, so to alleviate the effect, I have to take a super-deep breath and "pop" them to make room again. I know that sounds bizarre but it's the best way I can think of to describe the feeling.
Avatar universal
p.s., I don't smoke, or drink, and I exercise regularly (long walks, some weight lifting), but I do have rheumatoid arthritis.
Avatar universal
My urges of needing to take a deep breath and yawning to feel better began after waking up with a pinched nerve in my cervical spine.  This progressed to a feeling of chest pressure that radiated from the spine.  This caused anxiety attacks and that is when I started monitoring how I was breathing.  I am now on an anti-anxiety medication which helps to not freak out when I cannot get the deep breath or yawn I feel I need.  After some research I have found that I am chest breathing instead of diaphragm breathing.  I started an exercise today that involve lying on your back with knees and head elevated.  My place the left hand on the chest and right hand on the stomach.  Practice breathing with the stomach moving instead of the chest.  I have found within an hour that I only felt the need to take a deep breath once and when I took that breath it was not a full one and it came easily.  I hopes this helps because it is definitely helping me.  If you want to read up more on it look up correct breathing techniques.  There is a lot of information about it out there.
Avatar universal
Look at this link - this certainly explains my compulsion to breathe more deeply and it explains that in fact this over breathing can GIVE you anxiety symptoms!
http://www.doctormyhill.co.uk/wiki/Hyperventilation_-_makes_you_feel_as_if_you_can't_get_your_breath

I have tried diaphragmatic breathing and it definitely helps.
Jane
Avatar universal
Hi, wondered how you got on! This is me exactly! Thanks jean
Avatar universal
Hi, just read you post. Please look into Buteyko Breathing, it has cured me of this. -Will
Avatar universal
Hello,

I just wanted to let anyone here who is still struggling with this know that I have cured it -- I used a very simple technique called the Buteyko Method. It has absolutely vanished. Basically, the reason all of us cannot seem to get a deep breath, is because we are breathing TOO MUCH. I know, it feels like we aren't breathing enough, and we are dying for air. But its the opposite, I assure you. One thing you can do right now if you are reading this is lay down on your left side on your bed, and, ONLY breathing through your nose, try to breath as little as possible. You will feel a shortness of breath at first -- don't make yourself uncomfortable. But do try to breathe less for ten minutes. You should do this with the aim of breathing so lightly that your can't even hear yourself breathing. Let the belly rise naturally and calmly, but slow slow slow down your breathing and try to make it light as a feather. Make it so you are breathing so little and so lightly. See how you feel. Email me anytime if you would like my further suggestions about this. I know how much it *****, and how totally euphoric I feel now every day after learning this techniquw. Email anytime. ***@****  --Will
Avatar universal
This will work - definitely. Another thing to note is that when people feel as if they're not getting that 'satisfying lung full of air' feeling - they tend to try to make up for it by inhaling a lot of air after an unsuccessful yawn. William is definitely right and another thing to note is that for those of you in an office or on the job that cannot lay down, simply stop breathing through your mouth and inhale very slowly. After 5-10 minutes, your heart-rate will calm down (even while on stimulants like nicotine + caffeine). Another thing to note which is vitally important. Breathing through your chest is horribly inefficient. You notice how your chest puffs out when you take a deep breath? That's a problem. Breathe through your stomach so that the stomach rises instead of your chest. You'll notice immediately that this feels less restrictive. So, breathe through your nose and let your stomach rise - not your chest. Breathe slowly and calmly for some time. While you're doing this, try to focus on something other than your breathing and try to forget you're doing this exercise at all. It helps to distract yourself. The idea is to get breathing off your mind because it is something that should happen automatically without your supervision. I've been suffering this condition on and off for about 3 years now. I've found hot tea with natural mint soothes the issue immediately if you need a quick fix.
Avatar universal
I see we all have the same story, all I want to know is if there is hope and if it has gone away for anyone. I don't believe in anxiety. I think there is a cause for this. Does it go away? I read how people struggle with this for years and years? Is there any success stories?
1 Comments
I REMEMBER, WHEN I HAVE GIVEN MY OLEVEL EXAMS. I WAS FREE AND I DONT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO ME BUT I STARTED OVERTHINKING ABOUT MY BREATH PATTERN AND THAT MAKES ME FEEL TO TAKE DEEP BREATH JUST TO SATISFY MY URGE. I WAS CONSTANTLY THINKING ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME I COULD HARDLY FOCUS ON ANYTHING. I START HATING LIFE AND I FEEL LIKE ITS WORTH TO LIVE. I HAD FOUGHT FOR ONE YEAR BUT THEN SUDDENLY I FEEL LIKE IT WENT AWAY  AUTOMATICALLY. BUT THEN AGAIN WHENEVER THE THOUGHT TRIGGERS I BECAME ANXIOUS AND I TAKE TOO MUCH DEEP BREATHS AND THEN I FEEL LIKE MY CHEST GOT HEAVY. I CAME TO KNOW THAT RUNNING AWAY FROM THIS IS NOT A SOLUTION . I CAN NEVER EVER RUN AWAY FROM MYSELF AFTER ALL ITS MY THOUGHT. THEN WHAT SHOULD I DO? SHOULD I FOUGHT WITH THIS? NO FIRSTLY ACCEPT IT. THAT JUST YOU ARE HAVING IT AND THEN KEEP TELLING YOURSELF THAT ONE DAY IT WILL FADE AWAY. IT HAS TO BECAUSE NO THOUGHT REMAINS FOREVER. LIFE WILL BECAME BUSY AND IT WILL WENT AWAY.  STOP FOCUSING ON YOUR BREATH ITS NATURAL YOU CAN NEVER CONTROL IT. I REMEMBER I WAS SO AFRAID THAT I THOUGHT IF I TALK ABOUT IT. IT WILL START TO COME BACK AND GUESS WHAT IT REALLY DOES. BUT WHAT TOOK IT BACK . MY THOUGHT? WAIT NO. ITS YOUR FEAR. YOU HAVE TO BE BRAVE. DON`T TRIGGER YOUR BRAIN. YOU ARE NOT IN YOUR BRAINS CONTROL, ITS YOUR BRAIN THAT HAS TO BE IN YOUR CONTROL. I KNOW IT WONT FADE WAY IN A DAY. IT WILL TOOK SOME TIME BUT WHENEVER YOUR BRAIN TRIGGERS WITH THAT THOUGHT. DON`T RUN .EXPLAIN BRAIN. THAT ITS NOTHING.
Avatar universal
Hi all, I currently suffer from this problem too.  From what I can tell through random Internet articles, we are suffering from chronic hyperventilation.  We are taking in too much oxygen, and our oxygen-CO2 balance is off.  Practicing long, shallow breathing is pivotal to re-training your body how to breathe.  We yawn because it gives us mental relief from the feeling of a full breath, but in reality, it is only exacerbating our hyperventilation due to the influx of more oxygen.  

Try breathing with your mouth closed with good posture.  Inhale shallow breaths over ten seconds (filling your belly, not your lungs) and then exhale through your nose slowly (deflating your belly).  This will be uncomfortable at first because our oxygen-CO2 balance is off and we have trained our bodies to breathe incorrectly.  The key to this is shallow, small breaths; this is counter-intuitive because it seems like we need more air and a complete breath, but we really need less oxygen. Commit to this method for a day and see if your breathing improves.  The goal is to re-train your body to breathe like this unconsciously.  Another trigger to our hyperventilation is being so conscious of our breathing; practicing correct breathing will help make it automatic and will further decrease our symptoms.

I have been using this method over the past hour and feel great relief.  Every few minutes, I still feel the need to take a large inhalation of air with my mouth open, but I have stopped feeling the need to yawn.  I have suffered from this for a little over a year now and was previously very healthy and not anxiety-ridden.  However, when I began a full-time Master's program while working full-time, I began having these breathing problems and have had them ever since.  Doctors have prescribed Zoloft and Xanax which helped, but I don't like taking prescription medication.  I hope the relief persists and I hope it helps some of you out there.
Avatar universal
did you find out what was causing this as have similar symptoms as you and the throat clearing as well x
Avatar universal
Hi I have the same symptoms. Do you feel any better after seeing the Naturopatnic doctor?
Avatar universal
Hi I have the same symptoms. Do you feel any better after seeing the Naturopatnic doctor?
Avatar universal
This used to happen to me all the time when i was little. I used to always worry about serious conditions. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and going to the bathroom just trying to breathe. It would take me minutes before i could finally fill my lungs fully and relax but until then i would be terrified. i realzed that everything was normal when i forgot about it. it only got worse when i worried about it. turns out it was all related to anxiety and it stopped completely once i got my mind of off it. Dont let your anxiety ruin your life
Avatar universal
I'm so relieved to see that so many folks out there suffer from the same symptoms I do. For the past several weeks I've been having this demonic urge to breath deeply or yawn every so often. Most of the time they wouldn't work, and I'd feel like I need to keep yawning and breathing deeply to satisfy the craving for oxygen. I really started to get anxious about this, when I saw this thread, and decided to try to apply the breathing method that was repeatedly recommended - shallow, slow inhaling through the nose, exhaling through a pursed mouth. After several minutes of concentrating on this, the urge to take deep breaths has lessened tremendously. Yawing stopped completely. I still do have the urge to take a deep breath once in a while, but it is much less frequent, and it is always satisfactory.
Hope this helps .
Daniel
Avatar universal
I'm wondering why this is so prevalant lately (smog/pollution)??

I have the EXACT same symptoms also, for the last 6 weeks and appeared out of the blue. Some days worse, some better, but the feeling that I need to take a deep breath, sprinkled with yawning constantly, mostly in the attempt to get that "satisfaction" that feels good once achieved but then comes back in a few minutes and the cycle starts over. Some things I've found that it almost goes away immediately when I lie down and relax - it might still occur but I feel i dont need to take as deep a breath... But what the hell, why are so many people reporting this oddity? I spoke to four doctors, two thought i was crazy and couldn't even understand what i was saying by "I feel I need to breath DEEP" (one said, "that's good! That's healthy and what you want to do!" - sorry doc, but no.), and the other two said anxiety... which I suppose could be true but I am not really anxious about anything (I've seen this said many times in this thread).

Anyway what a weird freaking annoying thing.
1 Comments
I'm right there with ya! My symptoms started out of the blue two weeks ago. I woke up feeling I wasn't getting the satisfaction I wanted from breathing and thought something was terribly wrong. Two ER trips and a doctors visit later I find this thread and finally have some insight. I was told each time it was anxiety of which I never had EVER I had another doctor look at me like I was crazy and scope my throat. They didn't get what I was saying. I kept saying I'm not getting a deep breath and they say well it sounds like you are and I was would say no I don't "feel" that deep breath feeling which makes me try for 5-6 deep breaths in a row . No one had answers. Come to find out I was breathing too much ! Go friggen figure. I would experience mild anxiety thinking something was wrong only after I didn't get the feeling so now I'm coping and trying to train myself to stop thinking about it while practicing the breathing techniques mentioned. 1 hour in and I already feel better. My hope is eventually I'll forget all about it and move on breathing.
Avatar universal
I'm 63 years old and have this symptom on an ongoing basis......more often at night whe I'm home from work or just before going to sleep. I'm certain it's nerves...even though I don't feel anxious. The more I focus on it the more frequently I need to try to take the deep breaths. Funny....not an issue when I'm asleep. I remember telling this to the doctor when I was 8 or 9 years old and he said it sounded like nerves. What the hell was I supposed to do with thatresponse? Anyway...had this going on most all my life and when my mind is not on it, it's not an issue. Hasn't killed me yet. I'm convinced it's a mind over matter thing.....yet I still do it. Oh well.
Avatar universal
I have had this for some years now. It comes and goes and lasts from between 2weeks to a month plus. Through all this attack, no solution had ever been found as all medical test yield nothing. I only live through the trauma till the condition stops. One thing is certain, which is that this condition is beyond medicine. I dont want to bore you with long stories, but to tell you that I found a solution. I recently had another traumatic onset and it was so bad it was affecting my job output and relationships. Tried so many things without success until I hit it. I found a remedy that works perfectly without the need for any breathing therapy. Funny enough this is something that is so easily available,  yet we dont know its potency. It might even sound so stupid when mentioned, but I promise you will be marvelled at its effectiveness. Send a mail to me on ***@**** and I will give u this recipe. I promise I will not be a waste of time.
6 Comments
Can you please share I have the same problem
Could you please send me the recipe.  I also have this problem. ***@****
Can you please tell me also ***@****
Please i need to know the solution ***@****
So is there a legit solution? If so please let me know.
send me info....***@****
Avatar universal
Have a question for folks with this ailment, as I myself have been plagued by it (started out of the blue). Have any of you investigated how caffeine plays a role (or lack thereof)? Caffeine absolutely changes your breathing patterns, and might make some sense as to why your body is suddenly not used to as much oxygen when you stop drinking it. Might be oversimplified to think it can be something so simple, but has anyone seen any relation to this?
2 Comments
I get the exact symptom so many people are describing here --  I've always said, " I can't get air/oxygen". I try yawning, etc, but I only "get air" once in s while.  (the doctor didn't know what it was)

It became clear to me that it's Anxiety.

The first times I remembering getting it were before Christmas every year ( long story --  I ended up doing all the shopping for family members, because they weren't able to, I had so many obligations) --  that's what helped me to realize that --  for me --  the cause is Anxiety

I'm sure certain things like caffeine would make it worse, medication for Attention Deficit...  (So, anti-anxiety medication, like Ativan (Lorazapam) would be good to try...)

Even figuring out that Anxiety causes this "awful feeling" helped me.

       :  )
Yeah Ive been drinking a lot of Gatorade lately and when I stopped this problem began I think it might be related. Any idea how to stop it?
Avatar universal
I get the exact symptom so many people are describing here --  I've always said, " I can't get air/oxygen". I try yawning, etc, but I only "get air" once in s while.  (the doctor didn't know what it was)

It became clear to me that it's Anxiety.

The first times I remembering getting it were before Christmas every year ( long story --  I ended up doing all the shopping for family members, because they weren't able to, I had so many obligations) --  that's what helped me to realize that --  for me --  the cause is Anxiety

I'm sure certain things like caffeine would make it worse, medication for Attention Deficit...  (So, anti-anxiety medication, like Ativan (Lorazapam) would be good to try...)

Even figuring out that Anxiety causes this "awful feeling" helped me.

       :  )
Avatar universal
I've had the same things for months except I don't need to take deep breathes I just need to yawn alot but like you said not satisfying also it feels like something is in my throat but nothing is. I'm in tears because I'm scared nothing will help me my throat never gets worse though.
1 Comments
Oh my this sounds just like me I would suggest getting someone to look into your throat immediately because I suffered a long time before a diagnosis and I am still not well but I have what is called silent reflux and it's getting to be very common these days, (* all the stuff we eat and breathe in is having a toll on our bodies). It's called LERD or SILENT Reflux!!! I had identical symptoms.
*my opinion
Avatar universal
Thank god I found your comment.  I have had terrible problems with nerve issues ranging from sweats at night, right quadrant pain and burning, to the same breathing issues so many seems to mention...... I went to a chiropractor.  Amazing..... My spine has been locked for months and finally she managed to "pop" it.  Not immediately and not all at once..... But the first time I physically cried.  The release was that power.  Thank you truly so much. I was desperate.  
Avatar universal
I'm here to comment on this post because I too had the exact same urge or air hunger. It felt like sighing was the only way to get that " satisfying breath" and when that breath doesn't come the urge to keep trying would kick in until the nervousness would set in that I'm not getting enough air.

I wanted to take the time and make this post to say IT DOES AND WILL GO AWAY. A lot of people on this thread have the same issue and you may have come here worried and seeking answers but it is something you can totally rid of WITHOUT needing anxiety medicine. Now that's not to speak for everyone but I personally didn't take an medications and it has gone away...... The only thing that worked for me was realIzing my body was fine and I WAS doing it to myself.

Taking these deep breaths over and over is not practical, the body should be breathing without us even realizing, it's when we focus on our breathing so much we hunger for more air. STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. Now that was hard at first, the only way to stop thinking about it is to fight that urge for a deep breath. Fight the urge to "satisfy" that feeling that a yawn or sigh would give us. Tell yourself your not supposed to breathe like that. Breaths should be short and quiet and go unnoticed. Now fighting this urge will be uncomfortable at first,  BUT that uncomfortable feeling you'll feel in your chest is the cure ! When you feel that uncomfortable feeling tell yourself you are healing yourself of this annoyance. That's what worked for me. Eventually the urge will loose its power and you'll stop taking deep breaths as this too is unhealthy for the body because you can throw off your oxygen to co2 levels with breathing so hard.

Another very important thing to tell yourself is your body has your best interest at heart, your body will do its job correctly, your body wants to work well for you. If you've gone to doctors and they don't find anything chances are it may be anxiety OR some sort of anxiety episode onset this feeling and it's going to take YOU to turn it back off. I also didn't want to believe it was anxiety and when the doctors told me I looked at them like they were crazy.
I never ever had anxiety before and had nothing to feel anxious over however I have had some extra stress which unknowingly was causing some anxiety and one morning I woke up flustered and kept trying to take deep breaths and "couldn't" however my body was getting the exact amount of oxygen it needed what I wasn't getting was that satisfying breath... I soon realized this satisfying breath was so crab able because it temporarily stretches your chest/lungs and momentarily relives anxious feelings even anxious feeling that have no physical symptom the urge itself is enough. Think about it. The urge for that breath create a by of anxiety and once you get it it's temporarily relived however it will NEVER go away if you keep feeding it.

Think about this... Before it ever started before you ever had this urge when you would go to the doctor lets say for a physical and they check your chest and say "take a deep breath" that deep breath you would take is nothing like the deep "satisfying breath" you keep wanting. You didn't sit in the exam room grasping for deep amounts of air to the point you begin hyperventilating. Focus on that.

Once you fight the urge and feel the uncomfortable feeling welcome that feeling ! That's your body forgetting the urge, that's your body and mind becoming balanced again to your pre episode days. The good thing is if it's not medical you can reverse it yourself and I'm here to say IT WILL GO AWAY. Even if you don't get those deep sigh feelings every time you breathe who gives a sh**t your FINE and once you stop hyper focusing on your breathing it goes way.. I wanted to share my story because I too was on these threads a few weeks ago seeking answers and googling every night until I realized I was doing it to myself and I can stop it myself fight the urge and the urge will loose its power and go away.

You will get over it and it doesn't need to be medically treated. This started for me in May of this year and as of July it was gone completely.
9 Comments
Hello there! I've had this problem for a about a month and today was the last straw for me. I couldn't it anymore and just sat down crying. It's 2.30 am where I am now and I can't express how much your comment means to me. You made me so much better at a point where I convinced myself that I'll never get cured. You've really helped and thank you for that(:
Hi I'm so glad I came across your post,  I have been having the problem all week I finally am calmed down I fought the urge to take that deep breathe I didn't know what to do I was crying and tired of it and finally any relaxing and I haven't taking a deep breathe in maybe 5 minutes and I'm fine thanks so much it's gonna take some time but I will accomplish it thevjs
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I feel better already! I have been going crazy! I went to the e.r. thinking I was suffocating. I dont think it will be easy but I am going to try to fight the urge. Thank you so much!!
Hi. I have the same symptoms but I have noticed that if I'm distracted I forget to take the deep breaths. And I am fine. I also have asthma & I have my inhaler. I use it but I try not to. I try to get distracted & see if I could do without my inhaler. If I do then I know I'm fine. I also keep telling myself it's all in my head. I thought I was the only one thinking that way. Thanks. :) while I sit here commenting about it I haven't had the urge to take deep breaths. I feel fine.
This post is amazing, recently I have started having anxiety a few months ago,I used to just think people were dramatic but I wouldn't wish this feeling on anyone. It's a dibilitating feeling that something's wrong and I just want to cry but I can't cause I can "barley breath". My husband gets annoyed and tells me I'm ok, which actually helps calm me down because he knows it's not serious. This has been so helpful
This post is amazing, recently I have started having anxiety a few months ago,I used to just think people were dramatic but I wouldn't wish this feeling on anyone. It's a dibilitating feeling that something's wrong and I just want to cry but I can't cause I can "barley breath". My husband gets annoyed and tells me I'm ok, which actually helps calm me down because he knows it's not serious. This has been so helpful
This post is amazing, recently I have started having anxiety a few months ago,I used to just think people were dramatic but I wouldnt wish this feeling on anyone. Ita a dibilitating feeling that somethings wrong and I just want to cry but I cant cause I can barley breathe. My husband gets annoyed and tells me Im ok, which actually helps calm me down because he knows its not serious. This has been so helpful
Dude you rock !! Fight the urge people YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS I TRIED IT AND IT WORKED FOR ME GOOD LUCK AND DONT FORGET THIS WILL GO AWAY ! God bless !

I.just want to add something " IF YOU GO TO SLEEP AND WAKE UP THERES NOTHING WRONG ! "
So happy I found this!! I feel exactly the same. I’ve been trying to fight the urge but it is really very hard I’ve been so using to breathing this way for so long, but I have beat it before and for whatever reason it’s come back and I’m tells trying. I also have a difficult time eating the breathing gets so much worse , anyone else ?
Avatar universal
I did post how this has gone away for me and what I did to make it go away but fighting the urge but I was eager to do more research into this I’m am so excited to come on here and give this explanation as to what I found, being this was something I dealt with for 3 longs months. There is an answer as to why we have had or for some of us still have this urge to take these deep breaths. We also have had or for some of us still have this want for a “satisfying breath”. This satisfying breath as most can only describe as being achieved by either a deep sigh or a yawn and due to this everyone experiencing this wants to sigh all the time or yawn.  When we sigh we get that satisfying breath and want to repeat them back to back but we can’t and assume something is wrong medically or that we cant breath.  The reason you can’t get these satisfying breaths back to back is because these satisfying breaths are just long sighs and YOU CANT sigh back to back. Its impossible. Sighing is more then just a sign of anxiety, stress or even depression, sighing is a reflex controlled by your brain that’s an essential task to survival.
We UNKNOWINGLY sigh every 5 minutes. Our brain has cluster of neurons that contain receptors that trigger our breathing behavior, these neurons contain peptides that send a signal to our body to produce sighs. Sighing is a reflex that our life depends on. When we sigh we re-inflate tiny sacs in our lungs called alveioli. These alveioli control the bodys oxygen flow. These sacs deflate over time and our brain sends a signal for our body to sigh to inflate these sacs and expand the lungs. This signal is sent about every 5 minutes or 12 times every hour. Once you sigh and your lungs expand and your alveoli sacs are filled YOU CAN NOT take another Sigh or “deep breath” once your lungs are expanded. This is why someone may feel like they cant get good deep satisfying breaths back to back, because its impossible. However I can almost bet that if you waited 5 or more minutes you would be able to get another one of those “satisfying breaths” you can actually get one of these breaths 12 times within an hour. So in fact your breathing is 100% perfect and your lungs are nice and filled with air when you cant get these deep breaths. Your not supposed to. Take a deep sigh and your will feel relieved try to do it back to back and soon youll be hyperventilating, wait 5,6,7 minutes and try again. BAM success.
So theres no need to worry, once you stop paying attention to your breath and obsessing over those deep satisfying breaths IT WILL GO AWAY. Your body will breath how it needs to and your brain will send signals to sigh when you NEED to.
Now a quick note on the anxiety aspect of this. There is no surprise that anxiety is often diagnosed when someone feels this or someone may be taking anxiety pills. This is because when we are anxious, stressed, or depressed we SIGH MORE. We have an URGE to sigh more. This is not yet known why we sigh more when we have anxiety but its related to the signals our brain sends our breathing center. So now when were anxious we want to sigh back to back and our bodies can not physically handle that much air. So when you anxious your going to try to take deep breaths or sigh back to back and you wont be able to so your going to think you cant breathe and you may panic and then you find our self on anxiety medicine. The reason doctors are quick to give anxiety medicine is because it will relax the nervous system which will slow down the response in your brain which then will slow down your urge to sigh and will slowly allow your body to breath/sigh a little more naturally. HOWEVER not everyone but in most cases you can do this yourself WITHOUT medicine. Just know that when you can’t take those deep breaths nothing is wrong! There is nothing to worry about (unless you have asthma and really can’t take deep breaths). You can only truly get those breaths 12 times within an hour don’t try to push more, you don’t need it. Just keep that in mind and relax, STOP focusing on your breath and once you get a good deep sigh fight the urge that’s going to immediately come next for another one, fight the urge, it will be hard but it will be your cure. Just tell yourself as hard as you try and give in you will not get that breath because your lungs are already expanded just fight the urge relax and listen to your body which will cue you when you need to sigh again, eventually the urge will loose its power and your body will do it unconsciously.
I am proof it goes away. It took 12 weeks, but IT IS GONE! !!! I know how scary it can be but YOU WILL GET PAST IT!
1 Comments
Hey im thankful i saw your message im going to fight the urge till the end thanks your a savior jess0619
Mine started this past saterday right after a big hang over
Avatar universal
I have been feeling this way for about a week now, it is so annoying! Im a 15 year old girl and all the things I have read on google about this are usually people in their late 20s or 30s so im wondering of something is serioulsy wrong.  I feel like i cant get a good satisfying breath in and when i realize i cant i keep trying but still nothing.
Avatar universal
Hi everybody, I have had the same symptoms, and I visited a lot of doctors (cardio, pulmonogist, cardiologist, neurologist etc.), but everything was OK, except Lyme desase :(. I hope I could help....
Avatar universal
I have been misdiagnosed for years as anxiety when all along it was silent reflux disease or LERD. And it's very hard to get a deep breath when you have this call it very difficult and I'm sorry because breathing is number 1 and it ***** when you can't
Avatar universal
Yes it could be anxiety but a lot of doctors don't catch the silent reflux until the symptoms are really really bad and there is damage, so it's just something to think about. It's feeling like something stuck in your throat you can't get a good breath of air IN, also mucus problems and this is damage from acid from your stomach into the esophagus, larnyx, throat. I didn't even know you had, I've never even felt heartburn, I know it sounds strange. (Silent Reflux)
Avatar universal
Same thing here... It's draining and scary... Off and on for few weeks, lasting all day, have to try really hard to take deep breath and sometimes can't, I even try bending over or leaning back to get a deep breath, the urge to get a deeper breath, it's making my back and sides hurt, can't finish yawn to the satisfying end is the worst feeling... 34 yrs old...
Avatar universal
Hi all, I guess I am just another one of many with this undiagnosed condition. Started for me Jan-28-2016, went away for a couple of months (or I didn't notice it), and has been full force every single day other than those months. Some days worse than others, but my symptoms are categorized by exactly what people are saying - the sensation that I need to breath deep to get that little bit of satisfaction, but it doesn't always come.

I went through all the medical tests as well, but here's what I noticed:

1) Seems we can all sleep - so it can't be something physically wrong with our lungs right? How would we be able to sleep for 7+ hours without needing to breath deep?
2) It does tend to not be as evident when I am concentrating on something - for example, I like to gamble - I've gone hours gambling realizing I never had to breath deep. I've seen other people have said this too about when they are concentrating on something else.
3) Everyone talks about anxiety being involved. Ok, so I understand some of you (including me) don't "feel anxious", but really, do you know what not feeling anxious really feels like? I think some of us have been just so nervous and worried for so long it almost feels normal.

In conclusion - this issue *****, there's no doubt about that. But it just HAS to be pyschological. It seems everyone who has this had an initial incident that led to it (as did I). It's the craziest, stupidest thing, but it's all in our mind that we need a deep breath because we ARE getting 100% (or close) oxygen saturation, and something about our nervous system has gone haywire and feels we need to breath deep to ensure we "are ok". I don't know what more we can do other than just forget about it, and the good thing about that is - every 5 minutes you can take a deep breath - it's when you get frantic to try to get it where we get in trouble.
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Wow I’m so happy to see others commenting the same thing ! I mean I’m sad others have to go through this but I’m glad I’m not alone. I’ve had this since I was 12 I was diagnosed for asthma but it was very bad I couldn’t take deep breaths and always had to yawn constantly. A lot of times my throat would close up and I always felt my breathing was labored. It lasted a few years and one day just went away and was gone for 15 years and all of a sudden last summer it came back!!! Out of be blue!! I too believe it must be psychological not in the sense that we are crazy or anything like that because obviously what we are feeling is very real! At least I can say that for myself , I also notice it gets ten times worse when eating ?? Since doctors can’t help us I wonder how can we make this go away if it’s not really real?? I have tried breathing exercises but they don’t seem to help. I’m just very scared because I feel how can I live a normal life feeling this way :( if anyone can give any advice please help me thank you !
Avatar universal
Have you found the answer to this? I am having the exact same thing and I do not believe it's anxiety. Thanks!
Avatar universal
I have this every day,allday long and it happens every few minutes. Im miserable. I have GERD and a hiatal hernia but my mungs and heart are not the cause. I suspect GERD or the hernia but the Dr says it cant ne vaused y that. I need relief and answers.
1 Comments
Ive a hital hernia also and this breathing problem...it was always put down to the hernia
Avatar universal
I have this exact same problem! I noticed this about maybe 5 months ago in December. It was light and would go away, but would come back here and there. Since February, I have to inhale deeply every single day, throughout the day. I even have to try to stretch out my throat and my arms to see if I can get the air to... how should I say this... to circulate everywhere in my lungs, especially to the lower part since the top seems to be tighter. I keep myself in good shape (though I eat out quite often, so I need to start to rule that out), but I find myself yawning a lot when it feels especially tight and when I feel like I'm not getting enough air. The yawning seems to bring the air in very well (feels more satisfying), it's minor relief but it's more comfortable to yawn then stretch out my chest and neck to inhale. Working out feels draining and breathing is so hard when I'm lifting. I think it started more prominently when I was running in the snow.

At first the doctors thought it was asthma (my mom has asthma and I also had this a couple times as a kid but after one episode, it would go away and not come back again for years), so they tried some asthma medications (flovent and salbutamol) and put me through a spirometry test. Medications did not get rid of it and spirometry test was normal. Then I did a chest x-ray, ECG and blood test. Chest x-ray normal, blood normal and ECG results pending. They've been giving me anxiety medications for the longest time now, first with Ativan and then APO-LORAZEPAM. I'm healthy, fit (athletic build and normal bmi), male, currently 27, athletic, optimal blood pressure (below 120/80) and resting heart rate between 53-60. No other problems that I can think of, and my heart feels strong, but my lungs can't seem to keep up with my stronger heart. My sleep is not affected by it (though I wake up quite often throughout the night anyways since my sleeping is not so good to begin with) and it's quite easy to breathe for the first 15-45 min after waking up. Never smoked, but drank maybe 3-4 alcoholic beverages in my lifetime.

I had strongly believed it was not anxiety, since I'm so familiar with mental health and the like because I work in health (and also assess for anxiety). I also don't seem to notice it very much when I'm in the heat of something crazy like a competitive online game, but walking and working out still feels very draining. I'm working in my office right now and as I write this, still forcing deep breaths. My workplace is in the hospital and I occasionally work in the lab, but I've been here for so long that I can't seem to think it's due to chemicals. To find that I can breathe normally during my sleep (it doesn't wake me up, I just sleep bad) and that my body is quite strong, makes me think.. maybe it's in my head... maybe anxiety has always been my 'normal'- which kind of terrifies me because I feel even less anxious then when I was in university. I'm trying some of the breathing techniques that were mentioned here, and continuing my over the counter acid reflux and heartburn tablets. Might even get some sleeping meds prescribed. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one feeling this and thank you so much guys
Avatar universal
I have this exact same problem! I noticed this about maybe 5 months ago in December. It was light and would go away, but would come back here and there. Since February, I have to inhale deeply every single day, throughout the day. I even have to try to stretch out my throat and my arms to see if I can get the air to... how should I say this... to circulate everywhere in my lungs, especially to the lower part since the top seems to be tighter. I keep myself in good shape (though I eat out quite often, so I need to start to rule that out), but I find myself yawning a lot when it feels especially tight and when I feel like I'm not getting enough air. The yawning seems to bring the air in very well (feels more satisfying), it's minor relief but it's more comfortable to yawn then stretch out my chest and neck to inhale. Working out feels draining and breathing is so hard when I'm lifting. I think it started more prominently when I was running in the snow.

At first the doctors thought it was asthma (my mom has asthma and I also had this a couple times as a kid but after one episode, it would go away and not come back again for years), so they tried some asthma medications (flovent and salbutamol) and put me through a spirometry test. Medications did not get rid of it and spirometry test was normal. Then I did a chest x-ray, ECG and blood test. Chest x-ray normal, blood normal and ECG results pending. They've been giving me anxiety medications for the longest time now, first with Ativan and then APO-LORAZEPAM. I'm healthy, fit (athletic build and normal bmi), male, currently 27, athletic, optimal blood pressure (below 120/80) and resting heart rate between 53-60. No other problems that I can think of, and my heart feels strong, but my lungs can't seem to keep up with my stronger heart. My sleep is not affected by it (though I wake up quite often throughout the night anyways since my sleeping is not so good to begin with) and it's quite easy to breathe for the first 15-45 min after waking up. Never smoked, but drank maybe 3-4 alcoholic beverages in my lifetime.

I had strongly believed it was not anxiety, since I'm so familiar with mental health and the like because I work in health (and also assess for anxiety). I also don't seem to notice it very much when I'm in the heat of something crazy like a competitive online game, but walking and working out still feels very draining. I'm working in my office right now and as I write this, still forcing deep breaths. My workplace is in the hospital and I occasionally work in the lab, but I've been here for so long that I can't seem to think it's due to chemicals. To find that I can breathe normally during my sleep (it doesn't wake me up, I just sleep bad) and that my body is quite strong, makes me think.. maybe it's in my head... maybe anxiety has always been my 'normal'- which kind of terrifies me because I feel even less anxious then when I was in university. I'm trying some of the breathing techniques that were mentioned here, and continuing my over the counter acid reflux and heartburn tablets. Might even get some sleeping meds prescribed. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one feeling this and thank you so much guys
2 Comments
Sorry reposted by mistake
100% Like my situation - all of it. Some times It vanishes. Do share please if you come to know of some definitive solution. For now, I found breathing techniques as the most helpful remedy.
Avatar universal
Hello, I just had a baby back in December of 2016, my baby is now 7months old.
I started feeling this way about 4 months after giving birth, so I've had this breathing issue for 3months now, I have GERD, always have, and I also have high anxiety and it gets so bad I have panic attacks nearly every day, I believe we all have a little anxiety,We just don't notice it, I think if your body goes through something shocking or sudden like, starting a new job,GERD could cause it!, moving,getting severely depressed, in my case giving birth and dealing with postpartum on top of this anxiety,fear and being left alone 12hours a day with the baby, etc.
It can trigger your anxiety without you even knowing and cause your body to go into survival mode, Your body is panicking with all the stress and you think you have a breathing problem, you'll think you're dying often, you'll worry about something constantly. There's millions of symptoms of anxiety disorder, you'd really be surprised!
I hope you found a solution!
God bless!
Avatar universal
Deep breaths and yawning all of the time what is wrong with me. Please someone help me. Please come reach out and give me some hope. Please.
Avatar universal
Did u ever find the answers im expereincing the EXACT same thing...plz let me no thx
Avatar universal
I haven't seen a doctor but I'm 99% sure it's anxiety-related. Most everything I've read about people going to the doctor turns up cold, anyway. Not saying you shouldn't get checked out, but for my part I didn't have the health insurance to afford a doctor. I tried my partner's Xanax but I didn't really feel it helped, plus I'm not crazy about pills, plus the last thing I want right now is a benzo addiction. Really, it started to get better when I started addressing my anxiety and relaxing about the whole "air hunger" thing. Just remember that--if it is anxiety-related--you're not going to suffocate or die. In fact, your physical health probably has nothing to do with it. It's just going to annoy the **** out of you for a while. It sounds crazy, but the more I got comfortable with the fact that it was just going to be there, the better it got. Another thing that helped was keeping busy, being around friends, being immersed in anything that distracted my mind enough to stop thinking about my breathing patterns. And yet another hurdle that you've got to get over is sleep. Despite the fact that this is going to interfere with your sleep--I sometimes couldn't sleep until I got so tired it was harder to stay awake--you've got to sleep. Once you do get to sleep, try to stay asleep for as long as you can. It was very noticeable that the less I slept, the worse it got. No medical background here, but if I were to give my two cents, I'd say just convince your mind that this is something you're simply going to have to live with--that way your mind stops freaking out about it--live a normal life as best you can and try to get some ******* sleep! Easier said than done, I know, but it worked for me.
Avatar universal
It’s hyperventilation syndrome. I’ve just been diagnosed with it and it requires breathing retraining. Will be a long road to recovery but I just hope the toad does lead to recovery as I can’t cope with this anymore.
Avatar universal
Howdy folks, I have had this for over a couple of decades.  It would come for a month a at time, then leave and for the last 10 yrs it was constant.  Initially taking nexium and controlling the acid reflex helped, but then the breather issue came back.  

I have finally stopped all coffee.  The breather issue went away.  I have had it only a few times since and it has happened after I have taken a sip of my wife’s coffee - I still love the smell and taste of coffee.  So it has been a year since I have had even a hint of the breathing issue.  This past Christmas I was in the Dominican Replublic relaxing and thought I would have a cup of coffee - no response.  I didn’t try again.  My wife got a Nespresso for X-mas so I tried one cup - no issue.  So the next morning I tried another - my breathing issue kicked in.  So I figured that is it.  I accidentally got a chi latte rather than a chi-tea latte on Friday and my breathing kicked it quite strongly.  

After all the trial and errors, I figured I am allergic to the oils in coffee.  Just a few sips can cause the breathing issue and it kicks in with in an hour.  So probably not linked to my acid reflux.  I do drink caffeinated tea and no issues, but decaf coffee also leads to my breathing issues.  My actually breathing issues are identical to those above.  So for me - it appears to be an allergy to oils or some other components in coffee.  I am going to try coffee plus an antihistamine to see if that makes a difference.

I’ve been drink the non-coffee beverages like Akava and encore.

Anyway to me, for the past few years I have been doing the trial and error approach and so far it has been a perfect match to drinking coffee.  I do not miss the need to constantly take deep breaths.  Hope this helps you.  
Avatar universal
Hi I don't know what's the cause to this but I'm going through the same thing as you recently, I just have the urge to take a deep breath and it can be quite scary well for me it is, makes me worry if there's something wrong with me,but just try to not focus on it an inhale from your nose, hold for a few seconds and let it out through your mouth slowly. I hope this helps decrease that urge to take a deep breath constantly. Just know that you're not alone on this:)
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