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Breathing, Can't Stop Worrying - Please Read

Hi everyone,

i am 30 years old, male, married. I live in a crowded city. About 3 weeks ago, I noticed that it was hard for me to breath through my nose. This was the only symptom. Lasted about a week, then I could breath again, but something just didn't feel right. Then I noticed that I started to "watch" my breathing continuously, and can't stop worrying about it. This is causing me to breath "manually", instead of automatically mostly when lying down relaxing like watching tv or trying to sleep.

Went to the general doctor, and he gave me a quick check and said it was anxiety/stress, and to exercise more and eat better. Then I waited a week, and I became some worried I had a fever shoot up to 103.5f and could not sleep for 2 days. This cause me to go to the hospital, where they ran a heart test, blood tests, x-rays, but could not find one darn thing. I also had a complete physical about 6 months ago, and they found nothing.

My work is extremely hectic. I have been doing the same thing 10 years, in a foreign country. Money is good. Was going to resign this month for very personal reasons, but since this happened, changed my mind. Also, the contract might be swtich to a different company this month, but I was told I would have a job still. I also was on a strict diet. I did no exercise. My lease expires next month, and I have to move. The nieghbors are noisy as hell. My wife was pressuring me about various stuff (mostly harmless matters). I was also studying 3-4 hours a night for a certification I wanted (since my episode I have put the books away). I also stopped my diet, and started an exercise program. Things have gotten a little better, but not perfect.

The funny thing about this, is when I exercise (even a walk), talk to people, eating, do something on the computer (like this message), I breath fine and normally, and don't think much about it. It is when I am just lying down trying to relax, or sit and relax, I have this problem of watching my breathing, and trying to control it myself. Has anyone ever heard of this before? My doc said as people get older, stress is not handled as easily, therefore lifestyle changes are required (more exercise, less stressful stuff in your life). I am hoping I have not become a psycho or something now. It really is quite depressing, especially after I thought I was normal all these years. :roll:

any advice appreciated. Is this the sign of anxiety/stress?
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replied January 12th, 2006
Experienced User
Stress
I would definitely say that you have quite a bit of stress going on in your life right now. Stress can cause so many different symptoms/side effects that you never know if you are sick or if it is just stress.

Maybe reevaluate what is important to you and then make some changes if needed so you can reduce the stress in your life and continue on living.
Stress can be harmful after time. As we age it does become harder to deal... You would think it would be easier because you learn as time goes by. But our body's get older and we cannot cope/heal as fast as we would at a younger age.
I would get control, you do not want any further health issues facing you down the road if you can prevent even half of them now by reducing the stress in your life.
Watching your breathing like you said you did, I was like that with my heart rate... I would pay attention to it think I was relaxing it but I was making my pulse increase. It is definitely anxiety causing this in my opinion.

Try yoga, try walks... Change your diet, make more time to relax. Deep breathing in through your nose and out your mouth. It works for me.

Take care
justy24
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replied January 13th, 2006
Hi justy,

i really appreciate your reply. Yes, there might be some hard decisions that I am going to have to make shortly. I was able to start a small running program during the last two weeks. I feel a little bit better now. I am still not recovered though, as I still have trouble relaxing, but I thank god I can at least sleep at night.

I cut out 100% of all caffeine from my diet. I used to think people that drank decaf were wierd or something. Now I know what people drink decaf. I also drink a calming camomile tea before bed. I think that this helps.

It just caught me by complete surprise and I panicked - bigtime. I never knew stress could knock me out so hard. Now I know though.

Thanks.
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replied January 13th, 2006
Experienced User
Caffine Free
I agree in cutting out the coffee. That is one of the first things I did. I drink naturally decaffinated green tea now. Also hot chocolate once in awhile. I feel better without the coffee. I had headaches at first but now I am good to go.

Anytime you have questions...
Take care

justy24
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replied January 15th, 2006
This Is Not to Worry You
This is not a post to make you worry just wanted to say that even though getting rid of caffine from your diet is really good for you be careful of using decaffinated products as often as you drank the caffine as theres somthing in the decaff that actully increases cholesterol. Im not saying don't use use decaff, just don't drink it as much as you did when you drank coffe try balencing out it with fresh juice and water during the day.
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replied May 10th, 2010
Hi Optimus Prime.

Not sure if this will be relevant to you or if you will recieve this but seeing as your posts are 4 years old, however...
I am early 30''s and i experienced the sensation of thinking i had to manually breathe. I first suffered this after waking up from the anesthetic from an operation after the birth of my second child. I was very groggy, and couldn''t feel the ice they put on my chest, meaning maybe the anasthetic affected my chest? Anyway they put it down to anxiety, it was very stressful as was quite groggy for hours afterwards after the operation.

Let me know how you are going with it now, if you get this post.

Scarlett78

If you respond to this, I''ll
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replied August 23rd, 2010
OM I have the same problem; I am 'hyper aware' of my breathing and also tend to watch it all the time. I have gotten totally freaked out by it and it is causing me a great deal of stress; I fell anxious all the time particularly at night and I am dry heaving (symptom of stress). I put it in a call to our local mental health clinic to see if I can get in to see a psychologist. Just to let you know that you are not alone. The exercise thing is tough too because if I start breathing heavy I get more freaked out. I had this problem before and got over it but it's back again. My wife doesn't understand because she thinks breathing is just natural and she doesn't ever think about.
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replied August 26th, 2010
Breathing problems
Wow, i'd forgotten i had sent this post! My story so far, is that it has been 3 years since the birth of my girl. I must say i don't really get this problem anymore, although when i put myself back into thinking about it, i start to feel that way again a bit! I also just recently was talking to someone i know who apparently got the same reaction after anaesthetic with child labour. She still suffers, but has only been 18mths for her. I now realise this is a more common condition than i thought!!
One of the best things for me was to see the best doctor i could- my doctor listened, didn't rush me, and explained all plausable possibilities from a medical view and pshycological view. She explained the way the body works and the logical explanations in how the brain works with anxiety etc and what it would mean if there really was a problem with my heart etc. Basically, she reassurred me. She also specialises in mental health as well as GP which was good. I wonder if our bodies are traumatised physically in some way as to trigger this problem or sensation of having to "manually breathe?". Hence, it isn't so much a physical problem as such but our brain activity has been altered to be hypersensitive to the sensation of breathing.
At night, i would keep distracted by falling asleep to a movie. It gives you comfort, distracts you from the problem, and at least helps you become tired and get some sleep. I wonder if tis is something that can resolve with time, as long as other possibilities are covered such as diet, exercise, stress management etc. Maybe it's about just letting go- acceptance is the key and the knowledge that time can only make it better.
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replied July 28th, 2013
manual breathing
hey , i too suffer from ocd and have done for a number of years, i also used to focus on my breathing and it was the scariest time of my life, about 20 years of suffering, but this can easily be overcome with the right tools, i just wish i had known what i know now earlier. basically i just kept what i had read about techniques online and kept it in mind and practiced it everyday and the fear just gradually went away slowly, because thats all it is thats keeping that thought of breathing and feeling you need to breath for yourself in your mind , fear. you need to trust in your body thats the first thing, the way to do this is by taking some time every night before bed, lay on your back , you will mosy likely have the thought of breathing in your head, but dont worry. just lay there if you feel you need to manually take a breath, DONT!, let your body do it, resist the urge to breath manually and just let your body do it naturally reguardless of how long it takes. now this may feel scary but you have to learn to trust your body, as you relax and dont breath manually your body will intake air and release it itself, just dont do anything and make sure your not holding your breath as you do this,just observe what your bodies doing naturally. this regular observation of your bodies natural breathing( without interfering) every night will totally boost your confidence in yourself and your bodies ability to breath for itself, this inturn will break that fear, and when you do think about your breathing you will be confident of your bodies ability to look after itself and you will know your bodies going to breathe for itself, and you wont even care, but like i said you need to do this every night , it takes time and practice, this technique honestly saved my life as this issue had me feeling helpless, so please believe in it and believe there is a cure, i am living proof. also stay away from things that may make you feel anxious e.g alcohol and drugs even coffee. also keep in mind your body can never stop breathing , its impossible . please pass on this infomation to other similar forums about ocd breathing and spread the knowlledge so people dont have to suffer with this anymore, goodluck
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