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I Feel Like I Might Just Stop Breathing

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Hello! I'm 16 years old and have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder and panic attacks after visiting the emergency room for the second time. I have had shortness of breath for about 2 years and lately I've been as miserable as ever. I'm irritable, on edge, and quick to snap. I don't have enough energy to wake up for school in the morning. I feel winded and breathless every morning when I finally manage to get out of bed. Last night around 2 o clock AM I ran into my moms bedroom complaining that I couldn't breathe, she called 911 and they told me everything was fine that I was just having another panic attack. Apparently I'm hard to convince, but it's only because I NEVER feel normal or myself anymore. I'm constantly short of breath and feel weak, my arms go numb or tingly like they've fallen asleep, my shoulders ache, stomach feels uncomfortable, my eyes feel heavy and sometimes burn, my chest feels heavy or like it can't expand, and my heartbeat feels slow or faint. Sometimes at night when I'm trying to fall asleep it's hard to not concentrate on my breathing and right before I finally fall asleep, I gasp for air and it wakes me up. I feel like my heart might stop or any breath could be my last one. This is probably something that's seen every single day on this forum and I'm not sure what I'm looking for in response. Maybe comfort in knowing I'm not the only one that constantly feels crappy...maybe some things I can do to not feel so bad, calming thoughts or techniques to feeling healthy again..any response or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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replied May 13th, 2011
Extremely eHealthy
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replied May 13th, 2011
Re: I Feel Like I Might Just Stop Breathing
ashenhaze wrote:
Hello! I'm 16 years old and have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder and panic attacks after visiting the emergency room for the second time. I have had shortness of breath for about 2 years and lately I've been as miserable as ever. I'm irritable, on edge, and quick to snap. I don't have enough energy to wake up for school in the morning. I feel winded and breathless every morning when I finally manage to get out of bed. Last night around 2 o clock AM I ran into my moms bedroom complaining that I couldn't breathe, she called 911 and they told me everything was fine that I was just having another panic attack. Apparently I'm hard to convince, but it's only because I NEVER feel normal or myself anymore. I'm constantly short of breath and feel weak, my arms go numb or tingly like they've fallen asleep, my shoulders ache, stomach feels uncomfortable, my eyes feel heavy and sometimes burn, my chest feels heavy or like it can't expand, and my heartbeat feels slow or faint. Sometimes at night when I'm trying to fall asleep it's hard to not concentrate on my breathing and right before I finally fall asleep, I gasp for air and it wakes me up. I feel like my heart might stop or any breath could be my last one. This is probably something that's seen every single day on this forum and I'm not sure what I'm looking for in response. Maybe comfort in knowing I'm not the only one that constantly feels crappy...maybe some things I can do to not feel so bad, calming thoughts or techniques to feeling healthy again..any response or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


It really saddens me to hear what you are going through. I too suffer with anxiety and have felt this way too but I used to smoke weed and found that this contributed to my shortness of breath so I cut it out. I still smoke cigarettes which dont help either and have tried many times to give it up but when I am stressed, its the only thing I can think about.

You should watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxKUAjsxSk8 &feature=related
I have found it to be very inspiring and hope that it will do the same for you too.
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replied May 23rd, 2011
Response to 16 yo with anxiety
I too have a 16 year-old that has anxiety, along with myself. Because of this, I decided to do some research. I have come to find out that sometimes it can be thyroid related issues, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, even viatimin deficiencies can cause symptoms that are similar to anxiety and/or panic disorders. I would first start by going to an Endocronologist to have your thyroid evaluated and your TSH, T4 and T3 levels checked. (This doctor can also check the vitamin levels in your body.) Our hormones need to be balanced in order for us to feel good, if they are NOT, you may experience a lot of symptoms similar to an anxiety/panic disorder. Also too, shortness of breath can be associated to mitral valve prolapse, which is NOT life-threatining, its a valve in your heart the is not functioning properly. So for that you need to be evaluated by a cardiologist. It seems to me, from my experience, that doctors seem to want to attribute a lot of our symptoms to anxiety, but is it really the right diagnosis when there are so many ailments with similar symptoms. In addition, if you go to an Endocronologist, make sure the doctor is up to date with the new TSH ranges, which I believe are .03 to 3.0. Some Endo's are still using the old ranges .04 to 5.0 and a lot of people are being told that their thyroid in functioning properly in the OLD normal range and are not getting proper treatment because of this. I am not saying for sure you have any of these conditions, but a second opinion is always a good idea just to be sure what you have is just anxiety. I wish you good luck and most of all, good health.
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