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shortness of breath driving me crazy

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by savasana, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. savasana

    savasana Peer Supporter

    Hi all,

    Have you ever experienced shortness of breath as a TMS symptom? I KNOW it's TMS, no doubt, because I'm not sick or anything, and I have felt like someone is sitting on my chest the past few days. Forcing myself to take really deep breaths because I feel like I can't catch my breath. Deep down I know this is some sort of anxiety reaction. I almost feel light headed sometimes too! It's a super frustrating and uncomfortable feeling. If I stop thinking about it, my chest will relax, but the moment I become aware of it again, it starts again. Been like this for the past few days non stop.

  2. JoeHealingTms

    JoeHealingTms Peer Supporter

    Hi: Sorry to hear you are in this situation. Before following any advice on TMS, have you cleared up yourself with a physician to check for other causes? Is this recent or have been going on for some time? TMS is only applied once you have made sure that there are no physical underlying conditions, specially when there is shortness of breath or dizzy feelings. If you have properly checked up all the physical things that could also do this and everything is ok, then you can start thinking about it being TMS.
  3. savasana

    savasana Peer Supporter

    Like I said I know this is an anxiety reaction. I’m a healthy person in my 20s. It is also not pneumonia or anything like that. Also like I said if I stop thinking about it it goes away. Thank you for your concern.
    AnonymousNick likes this.
  4. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    I've definitely had it. So annoying. It's an anxiety symptom for sure, a result of tension and mental strain. Trust that it will pass with time, and try not to give it too much attention (very hard, I know!).
    KittenLePurr likes this.
  5. AnonymousNick

    AnonymousNick Peer Supporter

    Yep, my father was a sort of a nut about "proper breathing" and really helped to screw up my natural sense of breath. Consequently I can get tighter and feel like I'm doing something wrong with even breathing! What has helped is to notice when my breathing is shallow or that I can't fully exhale, but not try to fix it. Then I will relax and have a nice natural almost involuntary deep inhalation. Hope it helps.
  6. samuelp180

    samuelp180 Peer Supporter

    Hi! I have it rigjt now and it’s extra hard with corona virus going on!!!
  7. samuelp180

    samuelp180 Peer Supporter

    I’m struggling with it really hard RN
  8. sarah0924

    sarah0924 New Member

    One of my biggest helps has been practicing yoga nidra, in fact it was after practicing for a while I was able to feel relaxed in my own skin/self soothe. I still get "attacks" times when I feel like I can't breathe...happened in IKEA the other day...omgosh so claustrophobic. But, I used some self-talk and reminded myself it was a pattern of thinking and was able to finish shopping.
    I definitely think Covid has made it worse. I hate wearing a mask sometimes it makes me claustrophobic, & I have thought about carrying a medical card for it. It is nice coming here and knowing I am not alone...
    cyber hugs
    KittenLePurr likes this.
  9. Ann s is

    Ann s is Peer Supporter

    I've had shortness of breath for a year. Heart, lungs, blood work, x-rays all checked out. It's TMS. Does not occur when sleeping, watching TV or driving. How do I ignore it? This is about the 20th TMS symptom I've had. It is the worst. Thanks for the help and support. Everything else I tell it to STOP and it does. Not this.
  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @Ann s is. My go-to response for moments of anxiety, stress, and tension is therapeutic diaphragmatic breathing. Just do a web search on "deep breathing vagus nerve" to learn about it, and find a media resource that will help you do it. The goal is to relax your diaphragm and stimulate your vagus nerve.

    This taught in yoga among other mindbody practices, which is where I learned it, and it's practiced in daily meditation, but if you're like me and many others, a consistent and substantive practice of meditation seems to be out of reach thanks to our resistant TMS brains. Instead of continuing to beat myself up about my inability to sit down and meditate, I have been simply stopping multiple times throughout the day to take a few deep and mindful breaths. I find myself doing this more and more frequently the more I do it. I also do it first thing when I wake up, and last thing before falling asleep.

    I tell you, a couple of months down the road, I realize that this one easy little thing has greatly improved my sense of well-being, and especially many aspects of digestive function. It also really helps whenever I feel "vestibularly challenged" which is one of my TMS brain's favorite all-time symptoms (aka, dizziness or feeling off-balance). The funny thing is that I'll start to mindfully take deep breaths whenever I feel off balance or dizzy, and continue to do whatever I was already doing (it almost always happens when I'm walking, frequently in large stores or strange locations) and it will only be later that I recall the incident, but I can't recall the sensation continuing, nor when it stopped - because it always does - so it must happen incredibly quickly after I take just a few mindful breaths.

    It's an impressively powerful technique that virtually NO time, almost no effort, and zero $$$. You just have to remember to do it, be consistent, and have faith that it's good for you whether or not you think you're getting any benefit from it (because your TMS brain will try to convince you it's pointless). The benefit exists, and awareness will come in time.

    Combine it with drinking some plain water, especially if you are in the grip of a symptom, for an even greater benefit.

    Good luck!
  11. Ann s is

    Ann s is Peer Supporter

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. Very helpful. Funny you should mention dizziness--I have that too! I will look up the deep breathing exercise and start right away! Thanks again.
  12. fridaynotes

    fridaynotes Well known member

    i also have shortness of breath and difficulty breathing as a somewhat persistent TMS symptom. it will just flare up for a little while and then disappear as mysteriously as it arose. i imagine its definitely anxiety and therefore TMS. its a really difficult symptom because it feels very “life and death” which makes the fear factor really high~ and that really reinforces the anxiety response. it can be a terrible cycle. the key is the deep breathing exercises, meditating, journaling and reminding yourself it’s TMS.
    Ann s is likes this.
  13. Ann s is

    Ann s is Peer Supporter

    Thanks for your reply. I was terribly concerned for awhile and the doctors seemed to concerned as well. Hence, all the medical tests. In the end they just gave up. Gee, thanks, docs.

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