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not breathing

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biblobaggins23

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2006
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227
okay, sometimes i find that i hold my breath for no apparent reason and stop breathing for a few seconds and catch myself doing that whenever i get reallly anxious or nervous or stressed or on the defensive. i''m in the midst of planning a wedding and working, so i don''t know the source of the problem. its not painful or anything and i don''t feel like i''m dying, its like i almost forget. anyone else experience that?

whats up with this? is this a panic attack? any nurses here? therapists? lol.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
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20,038
A panic attack feels like you are dying. I am sure it is different for everyone and I haven''t had one since college but they felt like I was drowning. I think holding for your breath for a few seconds is fine. As long as you aren''t in pain and remember to breathe again
I am curious what other people think.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
I do it too, like I am bracing myself for something or anticipating something. Can be good or bad, and I also find I do it when I exercise which is odd. I would think it is more of a tension thing but I do do it for good things too!
 

ephemery1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
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1,724
Hi Biblo,

Definitely sounds like you''re experiencing some anxiety, but breath-holding alone wouldn''t be indicative of a panic attack. Like Tacori said, a true panic attack can feel like you''re dying... extreme chest pain, inability to catch your breath, pounding heart, dizziness, feeling of being disconnected from reality, etc. Typically those symptoms last for at least ten minutes before they reach their peak. Panic attacks are one of the most common reasons people end up in the ER, thinking they''re having a heart attack... they are that bad. Some more info if you''re interested: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx27.htm

It definitely makes sense you would be having some anxiety though, with work and wedding-planning stress. Have you ever seen a counselor or therapist? It might be really helpful to learn some cognitive-behavioral strategies to help you get through those times when you notice yourself feeling stressed and doing the breath-holding thing...

Good luck!
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
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11,242
It''s an instinctive response, built in from our predator-prey days (similar to animals "playing dead" to avoid being killed/eaten by a predator). It''s simply self-preservation, but the instinct no longer serves any purpose.

I had breath-holding episodes on numerous occasions until age 9--to the point of passing out for mintues at a time--and the doctors told my parents that almost all kids that do that end up growing out of it. I still slip back into it sometimes, unfortunately most of the time when I''m driving (WORST possible time, I know), but I haven''t fainted from it since I was very young.

Just try to be concious that you tend to do it, and catch yourself quickly before you cause any damage!
 

ljmorgan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
1,037
When I am particularly stressed or nervous, I find myself holding my breath. Just last week at the dentist they kept telling me to BREATHE as I was holding my breath. I think it''s a very normal thing, nothing to be too worried about unless you are doing it to the point of actually passing out. When you realize you''re doing it, just remind yourself to take deep, calming breathes.
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
I still do this too when I am really nervous, but I have trained myself out of it mostly. It''s really not healthy to do this as holding your breath just makes you more tense than you were to begin with. So when you find yourself getting stressed, pay attention to your breathing and take longer, deeper breaths than you normally would. It will help ease your body faster by giving it more oxygen.

*M*
 

nejarb

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
324
yes, that''s a symptom of anxiety. i wouldn''t say that alone is necessarily an anxiety attack, and it certainly isn''t a panic attack (where you feel like you''re dying). i''ve had both, but not for a while, although i do still notice what you are describing sometimes.
 
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