Is this actually anxiety??

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Hi, this is my first post so hopefully there aren't already 100 posts already like this, if there is I apologise!

Basically what's been happening started about 2 months ago when I got quite a bad chest infection (I'm asthmatic so chest infections are always a little extra scary). It eventually cleared up but I’ve had a constant heaviness in my chest since and started getting pain when I walked or exercised. One day it got so bad I was doubled over and could barely breathe. I went to the doc who diagnosed me with a "strained diaphragm" which I probably got from the excessive coughing when I had the chest infection. That explained the pain in my lower chest but when I asked him about the constant heaviness in my chest he said it was probably anxiety.

I didn't really believe him about the anxiety so got on with resting my diaphragm. A week later and the heaviness is still here but now I’ve started having "attacks", basically my chest gets SO heavy it's like I’m being crushed and I can't breathe, I usually take my inhaler at this point which doesn't work, but it clears up after a few minutes. This leaves me upset and really tired and it can take a good half hour to get over it and stop shaking.

I had three of these attacks on Monday and another on Tuesday morning so I made an emergency app at the doctor, who did various tests (oxygen levels, listened to my chest). They said my chest is fine and it's most likely a low level ongoing anxiety that's causing the constant heaviness and attacks.

Thing is I don't feel anxious at all, I feel just like I always do. Before the attacks my breathing is slow and controlled (something I've learned from having asthma so long) but nothing will stop the attack coming on. I don't get palpitations, I get a little dizzy but nothing major. Does this sound like anxiety?? I'm pretty sceptical so I'd appreciate some replies and perhaps if someone has had similar experiences?

 

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Sorry I should also point out that these attacks never happen in a stressful situation. First was when I was sitting at my desk, second when I was doing my shopping, third when I was sitting in the car. Yesterday was again sitting at my desk.
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    • Posted

      That sounds exactly like anxiety. Anxiety is different for everybody, so just because it doesn't happen like most people doesn't rule out that it is anxiety. I get anxiety out of no where, even when I am not even anxious or stressed out. I could be having the time of my life and BAM it'll hit me. When it does my chest feels very heavy and it feel like my breathing is constricted. When it stops, my chest feels weak and tired. It kind of feels like somebody is sitting on my chest. It's probably happening so often because you're worried about it happening again and that there might be something wrong, but don't worry yourself it is just anxiety!
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  • Posted

    It could be anxiety, if your doctor says its a possibility it definitely is. If it is really bad then a psychiatrist is the only one who could truly say if you have anxiety. If it turns out you do, then they could also help you figure out the root of your problems so that the physical symptoms of anxiety stop smile a lot of times anxiety can affect your body in drastic ways but the better you control it the less intense it will be
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  • Posted

    Thanks for the replies. It's astonishing that something mental can cause the body to react in such a physical way.

    I've had a couple of hours over the last 2 days where my breathing has been normal, it's like having a cool glass of water after being stranded in the desert for weeks! Hopefully now that I know my lungs aren't going to collapse I'll be able to work through it although I have plenty to be anxious about I'm hoping it was just the worry about my breathing that casued these attacks.

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    • Posted

      My anxiety problem all started with worrying about my breathing. I know exactly how you feel. It takes much time and practice to learn how to cope and realize "hey this is just anxiety, you're just fine" always remind yourself that when you feel like you "can't breathe" or that you're dying
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