Automatic breathing stopped

Edited , 48 users are following.

First it started with chest tightness then 2 days later the problem began...I've been having this breathing problem for about two weeks now where my body isn't automatically breathing on its own. All day I constantly have to inhale and exhale all on my own if I don't I just don't breathe at all. I went through a CT scan, Chest X-ray, got a lot of blood drawn to check my oxygen levels etc everything has come back fine the doctors told me I'm a very healthy person. My doctor claims this is anxiety and has me taking 1mg of Clonazapam twice a day which hasn't worked so now I'm starting to take Citalopram. Could this really be anxiety ? I'm starting to think other wise I have spoke to people that have anxiety and that dealt with this but for them it's only for a short period of time. this has been and on going constant thing for way toooo long I don't know what to do at this point. I can't even do simple things like watching tv. It's tooken such a toll on my life.

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  • Edited

    Anxiety can cause sooo many different symptoms. I know you feel like your breathing is stopping but trust your brain isn't going to let that happen. If your brain wasn't sending signals for you to breath there would be no way for you to make yourself breath. It's deffiently anxiety messing with your mind.

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    • Posted

      not necessarily but yes could be

      voluntary breathing

      and

      involuntary breathing

      come from 2 places in the brain

      2 different nerve sectors

      voluntary from cerebellum

      involuntary from medulla

      there could be some.nerve damage on the vagus nerve that is connected to the medulla the damage would be right on the lungs

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    • Edited

      Okay but it seems your not understanding the concern. No matter what your saying breathing is an automatic function. Yes the signal can come from either the medulla or the sensorimotor cortex but no matter which area of the brain the signal comes from its still an automatic process.

      You can control how fast your breathing or hold your breath etc but if cause yourself to hyperventilate to the point where you end up dropping your carbon dioxide level to low you will lose consciousness and if you hold your breath for far to long you will lose consciousness so that your brain can regain control and restore the balance. Your brain isnt gonna allow you to die. Now if something is going on nerve damage or anything that is fully blocking the signal from your brain to your diaphragm then yes you can die but you will have no control over that. You cant say oh no my brain isnt sending out the signal for me to breath so I am gonna have to make myself breath, its just not possible.

      The concern in this thread was that they feel like they are the conductor and that they have to make themselves breath because for them the automatic function has stopped working which is not possible. If your brain stopped sending the signals to the nerves that perform the act of breathing (no matter what part of the brain said signal is coming from) you would go into respiratory distress period.

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  • Posted

    Hi nathalia

    I would definitely agree with your doctor about this been anxiety if all your test come back nornal as I have had this where I thought my body had forgotten how to breath and I dealt with this for over a month!

    The main problem when you are conciously controlling your breathing is you breath too much which throws the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide off in the body.. your body has too much oxygen so doesnt need to take a breath and that's why it feels like you have to force yourself to breath.

    Have faith in your brain and breathing it will take as much or as little as it needs..

    Think of it this way, you say you have had this for 2 weeks but if your body had forgotten how to breath then the first night you went to sleep you would have stopped breathing,, BUT you didn't as your brain takes over.. breathing is an automatic and subconscious action that you don't need to control. If you held your breath for too long you would pass out but then you would automatically continue to breathe as your brain does this for you..

    I know it's hard to think of other things while you feel like this as I've gone through this myself.. it sounds odd but the next time you feel as if you cannot breath go for a walk or jog on the spot as this will use more of the oxygen you have in your body and regulate your breathing ..

    One good thing I found is to relax by breathing.. breath slowly in through your nose for 5 seconds hold for 2 and then breathe out through your mouth for 11 like you were blowing through a straw.. this again will regulate your oxygen balance..

    Hope this helps, I know how you feel and how scary it is but the more you don't fear the feeling and the more you trust your brains to breath the less it will happen

    Sorry for the long reply, if it helps message me anytime.. you are not alone in the way you feel.

    Shane

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  • Edited

    I know how you both feel. Shane I’m going through this and it’s been an on and off thing from my anxiety. It definitely is anxiety. It’s hard but got to have faith.  I would love to know how both you and Nathalia are doing with it now. 
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    • Posted

      Had to make a new account, well I been doing fine but I got a cold and it was hard for me to breathe, now I'm back to thinking about it and controlling my breathing. And it is worse than ever!

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    • Posted

      Your totally right. Ugh I don't know why I let myself over think, literally convincing myself that it isn't anxiety. I just don't understand how anxiety can make you feel like you have to take each breath manually. I'm thinking it's my asthma or my brain lol it's ridiculous

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    • Posted

      Hey i developed a panic disorder almost a year ago now. came outta absolutely no where. anyways i started on Prozac in jan and it’s helped tons, but all of a sudden i’m dealing with breathing manually like you are. Feeling dizzy and all that all of a sudden, which is something I’ve gotten over all ready and is extremely frustrating because i don’t want it to interfere with my life again. I find distracting myself to be the best option - focusing on school work, talking, eating(!!!), and music. Find eating helps the best for me because i guess i have a fear of feeling faint! anyways i don’t think this was much help for you but i’m also lookin for some help haha 
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    • Posted

      Yeah those things help me, exspecially eating lol music is only distracting when I sing to the song other than that I'm manually breathing, I can't even watch TV, taking a shower is a huge struggle, I can't relax nothing. How often do you manually breathe? When you stop does it feel as if your holding your breath?

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    • Posted

      I have those triggers like you’ll be good for a month or more and then one little thing triggers it sad but I’ve learned we been through it before and we will conquer it every time!
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    • Posted

      I’ve learned to accept it as apart of us and to try to learn how to cope or solutions when I’m in those obsessive breathing state of mind. It’s hard it’s like doing mental pushups but I know each time is just another chance to try to get better and be stronger and train my mind it’s ok and to try to not let it get to me, and to tell myself breathing is automatic even if I think otherwise it’s just a fact of life and it’s always automatic, but it’s about training the mind that’s what I’m trying to do so I can live my life in good times and bad times 
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    • Posted

      I’m trying to get this as a active support group for everyone. But to what you were asking it’s like a wave of emotions I can feel great one hour and s****y the next. Same as for my days. And as often as I focus on it, but I’ve been getting better to be like hey even if I’m focusing on it I’m breathing. The act of focusing is annoying not the actual breathing, just like if u were to focus on the road for so long you get annoyed. If I stop I feel like I’m definitely forcing myself to not breath which is even worse feeling. I can’t lie and say I don’t get migraines and stressed from focusing on it but we have to be warriors and keep getting better everyday 
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    • Edited

      Have your symptoms gone away?mine started last week when my stupid therapist told me about her patient controlling her breathing and next day I copied it and couldn't stop. I can't even go out or sleep or distract myself to do anything. I definitely have OCD. I don't think I can live like this. Already feel like giving up 😦

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    • Posted

      Please tell me you found a fix? I've struggled with this for 2 months now and it's ruining my damn life, it gets worse when I try to sleep making it near impossible to do so. I'm. Really starting to just give up, I'm so fed up of this now. Manually breathing is getting tiresome, it literally feels like I'm holding my breath if I stop doing it so I can't just stop and let my body take over because it isn't. I can't keep living like this 😦

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    • Posted

      Hey. I know exactly what you are going through. I've also been facing the same thing this past few days. I've seen a doctor and they said all my tests are fine and when ever I stop trying to breath it feels like I'm holding my breath. The worst is when I start sleeping at night. it feels like I hold my breath. I have been really worried thinking it was something life threatening and searching the Internet throughout. I even thought I had covid. It has been ruining my life because its all I can think about. But I'm happy that I know im not the only one experiencing this.

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    • Posted

      Hey, is this still ongoing for you or are you better? I'm going through the exact same thing. Feels like my body can't feel my breath through my nose so I have to manually take each breath. it feels like there's no automatic drive to breath or to tell my body how often or how deeply to breathe.

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    • Posted

      You don't have to keep dealing with this. The only thing sustaining it is that it's scary and so the mind finds it interesting to think about. I have had this several times in my life and it always goes away because my brain always loses interest in it and forgets it.

      Think of this time as a good thing as it gives you a chance to remove a lot of the fear for the next time it comes around so it will go away even faster!

      I also find if i lay down and place my hand on my lower stomache it helps to let my natural breathing take over 😃

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    • Posted

      Don't be so afraid of it my friend. I have had this many times in life and I always forget about it! It get's boring eventually once we stop fearing it so we just forget about it.

      it's not really manually breathing you are doing more than tensing up around your diaphragm when you breath creating a sensation and then panicking when you don't feel that sensation... at least this is in my case! 😄

      Breathing is out of our control no matter how much we try to control it and so no matter what you do your body going to breath haha.

      all these little worries:

      -What if I am not breathing enough?

      -What if I breath too much?

      -What if I am stuck like this forever!?

      None of them hold any truth so you will feel safer to accept that and wait patiently for your brain to get bored of manually thinking about breathing! 😄

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