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Courage1984 Aug 15, 2017 (12:01 PM)  

Posts: 85
Joined: Jul 11, 2017

Amet amazing job! 

Yes you are definitely not alone. You are on the road to recovery.  It's okay.  Panic attacks will still happen but you'll notice  in time that they become (a) shorter in duration (b) more spaced a part. If it helps at all today I had a full blown panic attack  this morning lol. For me, if ppl were able to see panic attacks and they were not  so invisible, I wouldnt fear them as much. But because it is in the walls of your mind, they are like ghosts that haunt you. 

Oh I was going to share an insight my therapist said though it may or may not apply. She said anxiety manifests itself when there is a loss of control in your life. Though ironically we feel like we're losing control, anxiety is always about having control. In your case it is your breathing. In my case it is not being able to control panic attacks. When she said this it made sense. I was unemployed with a huge student debt and couldnt find a job in my field, I had stress at work etc. So the first thing I did is I tried to bring some order in my life. I accepted a part time job. I quit my other job. I have a fixed schedule. Not sure if that was useless or useful.

Keep us posted with your progress or if you need to vent

Amet Aug 15, 2017 (11:15 AM)  

Posts: 70
Joined: Aug 08, 2017

Thank you so much for that! It feels so reassuring to know people have gotten through this. I am so sorry you went through that and are experiencing it again. I know how hard it is and how frustrating it can be. I've been in and out of feeling depressed and having to push myself to leave the house. Anxiety is honestly such a struggle but I am so glad I found this support group so I know I am not alone in what I am feeling. I know a lot of people who experience anxiety but not to the extent where they obsess so much over their breathing so I am glad to hear that this is a normal process. Although I am not happy someone else experienced it cause it is so terrible. I just started the program so I am hoping it helps along with seeing a therapist. I am always here if you need to talk! It helps going through it with other people. I was finally feeling a bit of relief but then had a bad panic attack last night. I noticed I start to hyperventilate without even being aware of it. I was driving and felt out of nowhere my hands and legs all tingling and numb and then of course started to panic about my breathing and had a panic attack. I finally convinced myself it's fine and I am okay. Even today I woke up a bit anxious but I thought to myself clearly you are still breathing if you slept through the night and are still alive lol!

catbag Aug 14, 2017 (11:45 PM)  

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 01, 2017

Hey Amet. I started struggling with this same exact problem when I was about 17. I'm not entirely sure of what caused it, but one day I just noticed that it was getting harder to breathe and I had convinced myself I wasn't able to breathe. Of course at the time I did not know this was a symptom of panic, so I had my friends drive me to the hospital where they X-rayed my chest and told me everything was fine(They actually told me I was hypokalemic at the time but I'm not sure that had much to do with my panic). It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life, so much so that I had begun to worry about it a lot. I had no idea what my problem was, I would search around online for hours trying to figure out why I would feel like this out of the blue. Even the next couple of days after that first experience while I was at home, I felt it again and I had my father drive me to the ER, this time they took some blood and told me everything was fine again. Eventually I figured out that what was happening was that I was having panic attacks, and I was constantly afraid of feeling that same awful feeling of that first full-blown attack. For a long time, I became very depressed and stopped enjoying the things I used to love. I started avoiding my friends that were around me when the first attack happened, and holed myself into my room for as long as I could every day. I eventually dropped out of school because I couldn't handle the daily anxiety attacks I had at that time. I eventually started to miss the things I used to like so badly that I just went out and did them anyway, consequences of my agoraphobia be damned. Even at that time I did not have the useful resources I do now to help me manage my anxiety but doing that over and over eventually made me feel very calmed, I was able to convince myself that nothing bad was ever happening when I did the things that triggered my anxiety attacks and that I was always safe, and that nothing was wrong with my breathing. It took sometime less than a year to fully get myself back in control. I'm almost 21 now, but last month I began to have anxiety attacks again. The first time it happened it was quite severe, but I thought nothing of it even though I felt very worn the rest of the day, and I felt fine the following day. A month later however, it happened once again, but this time I felt very confused as to why this would happen to me again. I began to slip back into the pattern of daily panic attacks and dreading the next one after each one passed, hoping they would end or just go away. I started obsessing over my breathing and not being able to get it under control, as I thought losing control of my breathing started my panic attacks or at least made them worse. During my series of panic attacks when I was 17, I had read that measuring your breaths out using that old 7-11 trick was a way to restore a normal breathing rhythm in the case of a panic attack. I did this anytime I started feeling anxious (with a stopwatch handy), though sometimes when I got too anxious, I felt like it wasn't working and it made me panic even more, and breathing seemed to get harder and harder. At some point I began to obsess over time. Sometimes when I get anxious I will check the time, and I will become very concious of how my I've been breathing since I last checked. So if I start feeling anxious, I begin to think I must have been breathing out of that 7-11 rhythm and would immediately try to fix it. I would be concerned that it might not make me feel more relaxed so I would just start getting more anxious about it, and eventually it would feel too difficult to hold my breath for longer than 10 seconds. However since I know all about what this experience feels like, I know for sure that with practice and perhaps some meditation and other relaxation methods, that this feeling dissipates and I won't have to fear my fear anymore. I've been using this program for about a month and I already feel remarkably substantial changes from how I felt when this started again. I'm very glad I have access to the resources and support I do now and I'm confident that with these things I can get over my anxiety in a fraction of the time it took before. I can begin to enjoy the things I always did after I reteach myself how to react to my worries. It's a long road and fighting anxiety is not easy but it can be done. Stay strong and we'll all find a way through this!

Amet Aug 14, 2017 (12:14 PM)  

Posts: 70
Joined: Aug 08, 2017

Hi Courage1984, Thank you so much for that reply. It really made me feel better. I'm definitely not happy that you experienced this because it sucks! but I am glad I am not the only one and it is possible to get passed this. I kept worrying thinking OMG no the doctors for sure missed something and this time is it I'm going to stop breathing but I keep reminding myself it has been two months if it was going to happen for any medical reason it would have happened by now! And so clearly that is my proof that it is anxiety and nothing more.

Courage1984 Aug 11, 2017 (02:25 PM)  

Posts: 85
Joined: Jul 11, 2017

Hey Amet! 

Im sorry that youre having a hard time with anxiety. I had the EXACT same thing. I was focused on my breathing and felt like I couldnt breath which triggered panic attacks. Then it became an obsession in which I felt like I had to manually breath or  feared that my body will forget and ill suffocate. But listen it lasted a few months and went away. What you need to do is let go your need for control. Remember:

1. Your body has been breathing fine and keeping you alive for the past 26 years. Your body is an amazing machine and does not need your aid or attention in micromanaging. 

2. What is the worst that could happen? You faint. If you read about fainting it is your body shutting YOU Amet down and taking control. Again confirms that the body is equipped to deal with all scenarios.

3. Remind yourself that you are experiencing a symptom of anxiety. The purpose of rapid breathing is to prepare you for the flight or fight response.

4. Just like you set your alarm expecting to wake up the next, have the same attitude with your breathing. It knows what it is doing. 

I know youll pull through :)

Amet Aug 08, 2017 (10:13 AM)  

Posts: 70
Joined: Aug 08, 2017

I just started this program a week ago and so far it has been okay. I'm 26 and have always had anxiety and depression but have been able to manage it. The past few months have been extremely difficult for me to the point where I had to take a month off work and begin taking medication (ciprolax). It started with me getting a bad panic attack at work and I felt I couldn't breathe. For the first month I was getting panic attacks multiple times a day and always having a feeling like I couldn't breathe properly or wasn't getting enough air. This made me so depressed that all I wanted to do was sleep and couldn't bring myself to go outside. I finally had to pull myself out of it because I got offered a new job somewhere else. The medication at this point began to start helping. The past four weeks I have still been struggling with a lot of crying and feeling overwhelmed with my anxiety. I have moments throughout the day where I feel like I get sensations that I will stop breathing or that I am not breathing right. This sometimes causes a panic attack (I get them every few days now). It has become so frustrating that I had to take two days off because I couldn't stop crying and didn't want to leave my bed. I constantly think about my breathing and it has become an obsession that I can't seem to break. I was hoping someone could give me some advice if they have been through this before. I get moments where I feel like I can't do this anymore and I can't live my life like this or I'll just go insane. I can't enjoy things I used to do because my mind is always racing.

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