I developed breathing difficulties approx 2 years ago, which have worsened daily since?

I developed breathing difficulties approx 2 years ago, which have worsened daily since. I am consistently told by the doctor that I am hyper ventilating due to anxiety …. I only wish this were the case but it isn’t.

I originally felt like something wasn’t moving properly when I breathed in and out, so doc ordered chest xray which came back clear. No wheezing or any symptom like that, just that i couldn’t breathe deeply any more. Problems have persisted, getting worse with worsening pantness, shortness of breath at all times and worsening feeling of suffocation especially when lying down. I’m breathing about 40 breaths every 30 secs now, constantly like this and am exhausted with it and scared at the increasing shallowness and choking feeling. Very bad feeling of choking all the time and gurgling noises in throat now, very shallow breaths n and out. Can still swallow but feels very odd and uncomfortable. Have also had a diaphragm test as i had read this can cause respiratory issues like this, this was also clear. Have now such a shallow breath in and out and permanent choking feeling, wretching sometimes which is so difficult even as so little air. The huge problem i have is that i haven’t been taken seriously about what is happening and has continued to happen, worsening., and am now at a complete crisis point and still not believed…after my partner died, i got put on medication for anxiety, this worsened on medications which i reacted badly to and I have ended up with a diagnosis of bi-polar. I stopped the meds sometime ago because of physical side effects like twitches and high cholesterol, fatty lipids on eyes from it and other pretty bad side effects…but obviously still have the diagnosis of bi polar which has prevented being taken seriously on this. It has been horrific trying to persuade people something is wrong and worsening to be constantly told its it my head…, i wish it were this easy! I have been complaining of the worsening feeling of some kind of paralysis a long time, and am consistently told by the doctor that i am hyper ventilating due to anxiety. I only wish this were the case. I ve been back to the doctor again this week, told i am hyperventilating and need medication to treat the anxiety, and that my swallowing is fine because I can take a sip of water and swallow that. Also my oxygen saturation level is ok. AM very scared as feel throat could close very soon, my breathing is very weak, very short and shallow and am waking up choking…Getting to sleep is very difficult as the breathing is so shallow and just panting so fast…Im now despairing because if i go to urgent care, Ive been told they will say the same thing… this has been said to me more than once in the past three months, but nothing is improving just worsening. (…) Just to add to this, i couldn’t do sprirometry test recently as have such shallow breath, and they said i wasn’t doing it properly due to anxiety. (…) It took a year faster chest xray to ask for diaphragm test too, despite me continually saying it was worsening both to my gp and psychiatrist. Just cant believe what is happening and nowhere to turn. I would take medication if this were anxiety, but it isn’t and is so so uncomfortable and frightening now…. and i just wonder what if anything can I do. I have a feeling i will choke to death whenever i lie down now and am feeling its pretty urgent. I just get told it isn’t getting worse, because i first mentioned it two years ago, and am unable and powerless to prove otherwise. Can someone please advise on what I can do now. Fearing for my life now and don’t know how. Age: 44 Gender: Female

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ahmed Fawzy
6:38 pm

Hi First of all to fix your problem for now you need to do an O shape with your mouth while exhaling the air, this will 100% fix your problem, second the anxiety drugs you took what was it? Physical therapist specialized in chest problems can fix your problem by re educating your lungs to do diaphragmatic and Costal breathing My opinion yes it’s anxiety related but mainly the problem is that you are counting and focusing on your breath so you need to put your mind off the breathing Please let me know drugs you used to be able… Read more »

Ayman Darrag
6:46 pm

In my opinion if you have something other than anxiety you should check thyroid glands and hiatal hernia possibilities ,then I recommend yoga, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques ..

Dr.Honey Arora
7:13 pm

Hi.. Thanks for the query.. See you can not deny the fact that you are having severe anxiety and breath watching is further worsening the problem. If chest x ray and even diaphragm study is fine then you need not to worry.. However once get your cardiac investigations done.. Anxiety and panic attacks can cause similar suffocating and breathing problems so you need to get proper counseling and medication for anxiety.. If any one medication is causing side effects then other alternative can be given to you for relief.. Along with it you can start doing meditation, deep breathing exercises… Read more »

7:19 pm

hi dr, the o shape cure doesnt make any difference as to the problem, same v short breath and choking sensation. I came off risperidone very quickyl due to side effects, and experienced massive twitching in arms and legs, my latest psychiatrist said these were extra pyridimal side effects, but when this happened, i lay down for a very long time until seizures finally subsided, three months. The breathing issue started after about this length of time. SHe doesnt want me to take any medication and has asked for further testing. My fear is that right this minute im choking,… Read more »

7:24 pm

also have barely any air to exhale

Masr Fawzy
8:25 pm

Let me tell you that your main problem is anxiety , up to panic attacks

You need to consult a psychotherapist, as he is going to help you a lot…

Nick Holling
Nick Holling
11:21 pm

Everyone of these doctors will point at anxiety as its an easy option and the symptoms add up and its easy medication to just dump on people and like you, it does absolutely nothing for me. Ive had the similar symptoms for around 3 years now and have only been taken seriously after dragging myself physically into my doctors on my hands and knees in the middle of my attack. (My attacks cause my whole body to convulse violently now as time has gone on). Go see a cardiologist, if your heart is clear and multiple ECG’s are too then… Read more »

Ahmed Fawzy
11:43 pm

Hi Mrs Trina
Can you try one pill of hyroxyzine 10mg ( antihistaminic) , you should feel okay in 20 min if this does not help then you should switch doctors and see a psychiatrist specialist
Do not take more than 10mg as this is just test phase, we can discuss dosage later if it helped
Good Luck

Ahmed Fawzy
11:46 pm

By the way if it is not anxiety and hydroxizine does not help then I recommend checking for hyperthyroidism or increased adrenal secretions, both can cause shocking sensation and shallow breathing

Domina Zluf
1:47 am

In my opinion, you need to get your thyroid hormone levels checked out.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can in fact resemble those of anxiety.

Dr.Honey Arora
10:18 am

You can get checked for allergies as environmental allergens can cause breathing problems..
Also I agree that hyperthyroidism should be checked..
You can once try bronchodilator sprays under supervision of your doctor and see if it can help..

Hope this helps..

3:52 pm

I donotaccept the anxiety diagnosis, mainly because of the worsening choking and shallow breaths. I struggle to take a breathing now without choking and struggling to swallow food. Is it possible this is anything to do with my vocal chords. I also struggle to speak I forgot to mention this voice is very strained and very unconfortable to speak. Also got awful gurgling noises in throat. When breathe now it feels so so uncomfortable in my throat, the choking is worsening still and my breath is nearly non existent and when I inhale, the breath is so short it just… Read more »

4:36 pm

Ive had a throid check before which was OK. I agree with you nick that this is just dismissed as anxiety on basis chest xrays were clear. Also a doctor here mentioned I was anxious because I was counting my breath.. I gave the breaths per minute to show how fast it was, if this were anxiety, I would be trying to slow it down, but this is not possible , i would give anything for a normal breathing rate, but its physically impossible and has been for some time NOT anxiety…it is not like this becausei am anxious..the problem… Read more »