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Hi all. Shortness of breath is my main complaint with anxiety. Do meds help with this symptom?

9 Answers

Luke2486 28 March 2017

Hello everyone... new here. I can't tell if I'm having panic attacks anxiety or what. I feel like I can't breathe and get chest pain and tightness. Scares me to death. Feels like I'm gonna die. I've had 2 stress tests and 2 echocardiogram in the past 3 years and multiple other tests. I'm convinced there's something wrong with my heart but I'm told I'm fine. I can't get it out of my head and feel like I'm going crazy. Klonopin is the only thing that gives relief. I've tried SSRI but all make me feel worse. I lost at the moment and need something to get me thru this. I 've been married 4 years and have a 2 year old and they need me to be there for them. I feel completely drained all the time. Work is becoming difficult to deal with as well. I've had to leave multiple times. I get dizzy and nausea and feel like I'm going to pass out. Can anyone relate?

Votes: +1
Millertyme75 23 April 2017

Yes ,,, I totally understand , going threw same thing for a while now , married for 8 years and have a 7 yr old full of energy kid , and some days get better some get worse ,

JustLilMe 16 Nov 2017

Luke message me. Know exactly how you feel.

l_h23 21 Feb 2017

Hi all, I've been feeling very uncomfortable & anxious. This is usually in a social environment & it's difficult given I work in a customer facing leadership role
I do feel like I'm not breathing well most the time also & at times I'm talking and need to grasp for air. I haven't had any panic attacks though.
I tend to read into things a lot at the moment & I think this has come from dramatic work changes/stress at work.

I haven't seen a doctor about this as it's hard to describe how I feel, any suggestions to assist?

Votes: +0
Teddy265 23 Jan 2018

I_h23 I am facing a very similar scenario. Leadership/customer facing role. Shortness of breath all day though when I’m really focused on something I do not notice it. When back at home it is quite evident—especially on couch. Were you able to navigate to a solution?

Andrea2018 27 June 2018

I had breathing issues for YEARS... could never figure it out. Thought it was asthma. Tested for heart problems. NEVER an answer. Then in chatting w/my doc I asked him about using Lexapro. He prescribed it... I've NEVER had trouble breathing since. Now I am certain, all of the breathing issues were anxiety. I wasn't even sure I was feeling anxious... but it was underlying. I have a very vivid imagination... not always a good thing... not good for someone w/anxiety. There were times I would feel CRAZY that something was going to happen to my kids... when there really was no reason to feel that way... my mind just got carried away. I can't say I don't EVER have those thoughts, but I feel like it's WAY more under control. And, I'm not gasping for air all the time. Maybe an SSRI like this might help?!

pickles503 10 April 2013

SSRI's (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) SSRIs are the first choice of depression selected by health care professionals for the treatment of depression or anxiety. Commonly prescribed SSRIs include the following:

Fluoxetine (Prozac)
Sertraline (Zoloft)
Paroxetine (Paxil)
Escitalopram (Lexapro)
Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
Citalopram (Celexa)

These are examples of benzos:

Helex, Xanax, Xanor, Onax, Alprox, Restyl, Tafil, Paxa
Diazepam (Valium)
Alprazolam (Xanax)
Lorazepam (Ativan)
Clonazepam (Klonopin)

i think we benefit from these meds for anxiety and panic attacks.
Be sure to talk to you doc, Sweeney.
Peace be with you,

Votes: +1
livefreeordie98 10 Oct 2013

I suffered severely from shortness of breath. It was a spiral effect from anxiety/panic attacks. I didn't want to face this fact, but it got worse and worse. I would be so afraid I wouldn't be able to breathe that it brought on a panic attack and I couldn't breathe... like a merry go round. I am on Xanax and it really works well for me.
I have CHF too, but that causes shortness of breath, not a quick shut down of breathing like anxiety/panic attacks do.
Hope this helps someone. I didn't want to take any medication, but it was unbearable. If it works, don't fix it.

pickles503 11 Oct 2013

Hi again Sweeney.
It's amazing, but I know when a panic attack is coming on, so I take meds right away when I feel it. It takes a few minutes, but it makes a world of difference. I know it must be difficult. Try to keep your senses keen. Do the deep breathing excerersing you've done a million times before. If you don't know what they are, let us know. What were you doing when the panic attack started coming on? That makes all the difference in the world. I get them when I have to go somewhere or I'm having a difference with someone and I get very upset. Try, for us, to let us know if you can recognize what may be to cause panic attacks coming on. Thank you. May you have faith, hope and love, Anna

Inactive 10 April 2013

Panic attacks are awful. You really don't know when they are coming on. All of a sudden, you feel scared, frightened and all alone. You feel as though something bad is about to happen. I know xanax helps me. Sometimes, I can feel them coming on. I get this scared feeling. I then take a xanax and it helps. When you first notice the feelings, pls take your meds for anxiety. It does keep it from coming full force. God bless. You are not alone.

Votes: +3
pickles503 10 April 2013

Hi again sweeney. I forgot about your having shortness of breath. That sounds more like a panic attack. You really need to talk to you doc. This can be avoided with the right med.
Peace, hope and Love,

Votes: +0
pickles503 10 April 2013

Hi sweeney. I have the same problem. I take Klonopin and Lamictal and Gabapentin for anxiety. As soon as I realize I'm having anxiety, I take what my doc prescribed, which is Gab and Klonopin.
Anxiety is horrible. For me it leads into a panic attack. So, I have to catch it before it gets worse.
Please talk to your doc about this. There's lots of meds to take for anxiety. He/she will lead you right to the med you need for anxiety.
I'm here if you want to talk more. I think we're friends. If not, friend me, then we can have private conversations.
May peace be with you,

Votes: +1
sweeney01 10 April 2013

Thank you Anna. I have done Klonopin and Xanax before but am afraid to get back on them and get hooked. I was hoping SSRI's would help without the need for benzos. Do you have any success with Benzos? Thank u so much for being here.

sweeney01 10 April 2013

Oops I messed up. I meant to say do you have any success withOUT benzos-meaning JUST an SSRI?

pickles503 11 April 2013

Hi again. Yes, I have had success with benzos. I've taken Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and alprazolam. Their all meds that treat anxiety and panic attacks and a lot more. Have you ever taken any of them. I think you said xanax, but I'm not sure. I'm writing on someone elses response, I think. I can't remember if xanax was the med you tried or not. When I go to the dentist I take klonopin, gabapentin and vicodin. Probably not a good idea, but my doc ordered it for these situations, so I do it. Have you spoke with your doc yet? Plz do so. We can tell you how it works for us, but we're all different, as if you haven't heard this before. Let me know if I can help.
May peace and joy be with you,

butterflylynn 9 April 2013

Shortness of breath is Very common with anxiety.
And the more anxious you are the harder it is to breath. That is usually how a Panic attack starts & your breathing becomes more rapid.

How often are you getting short of breath ? Also have you spoken to your Dr..about this yet?
Xanax is a good medication that works fast for panic attacks. But if you are having shortness of breath alot then your Dr. will put you on a extended release med.

A good & easy breathing technique to practice & use when you are anxious & having problems getting your breathing under control.
To learn this you put a hand onto your stomach then take a Very deep breath thru your NOSE ONLY.
You should feel your stomach rising & keep taking in as much air as possible & then hold it for a few seconds.
Blow SLOWLY THRU YOUR MOUTH with your lips pursed. Keep Blowing air out until you cannot blow Anymore air out.


With your hand still on your stomach you will find it will go down.

Repeat these steps until your breathing slows down to a normal pattern. By doing this you will get your anxiety & heart rate & shortness of breath to a NORMAL pattern.
I hope this helps you & any others out.
Take care, Kathy

Votes: +2
Dumpster Diver 9 April 2013

Dear sweeney, I do think my Klonopin helps me with my shortness of breath.
It is really noticeable if i am forced to go without, I can hardly breathe...
But of course my smoking does not help... D-Squared*

Votes: +1
onceateacher 6 April 2013

Had that just this morning. Unfortunately not unusual for me (though it's only a couple times a week now), I end up taking a xanax. Not the best way to handle this, but it's all that has worked for me. I'm hoping someone out there will have an answer that might work for both of us and anyone else who is dealing with it. Hang in there.

Votes: +1
sweeney01 6 April 2013

Thanks for your response! I have done Xanax as well. It truly did help me as well. I was diagnosed with asthma at first but all the asthma meds did was jack up my anxiety even more. I do not wheeze or cough and the SOB gets BETTER with exercise- not worse. All other docs say it's not asthma-only the pulmonologist thinks it is. I also have really tight neck muscles from what I suspect is incorrect breathing. I have just started Buspar. Will let you know how that works. Hang in there. free discount card

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anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder

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