Hyperventilating

Smile

MyPTSD Pro
I’ve been hyperventilating on and off (Mostly on) for the past five or so days. It’s absolutely exhausting and I don’t know what to do.

Did all my breathing exercises, sensory, even self harming is not helping it.

Texted my P asking for a tranquilizer or something but I’m sure she won’t give it.

Please please, someone help me
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Did all my breathing exercises
If you're doing paced breathing - or any kind of breath work, really - you may not be going for long enough. You also might need to do it on a very regular schedule, to get this current episode to quiet down.

Try and set an alarm for yourself - do a solid 10 minutes of maintaining whatever breathing exercises you've been given, and do it once per hour. I know that sounds like a lot - and it might even be more than you need - but the best way to correct hyperventilation is with re-regulating your breath thoroughly, and often.

I'm sorry you're struggling with this, I know how terrifying it can be.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
my own tendency is to hold my breath when i am anxious. i often don't realize it until i am suffering oxygen deprivation. when my usual breathing exercises don't work, i let myself get creative on my breathing exercises. in my book, singing and humming are also breathing exercises with the potential added bennie of cathartic release through lyrical content. in this context, the singing is not about how you sound. it is about breathing and cathartic release. it's about how you feel.

for what it's worth
when i am struggling with repressed emotions and/or memories, my favorite breathing exercise is one i learned in lamaze childbirth classes. it is taught as the breathing exercise to help you relax between contractions. odds are, you have at least seen it on tv.

hee, hee, hoooooooooooo
hee, hee, hoooooooooooo
 

Smile

MyPTSD Pro
If you're doing paced breathing - or any kind of breath work, really - you may not be going for long enough. You also might need to do it on a very regular schedule, to get this current episode to quiet down.

Try and set an alarm for yourself - do a solid 10 minutes of maintaining whatever breathing exercises you've been given, and do it once per hour. I know that sounds like a lot - and it might even be more than you need - but the best way to correct hyperventilation is with re-regulating your breath thoroughly, and often.

I'm sorry you're struggling with this, I know how terrifying it can be.
Can you give me a breathing exercise?

my own tendency is to hold my breath when i am anxious. i often don't realize it until i am suffering oxygen deprivation. when my usual breathing exercises don't work, i let myself get creative on my breathing exercises. in my book, singing and humming are also breathing exercises with the potential added bennie of cathartic release through lyrical content. in this context, the singing is not about how you sound. it is about breathing and cathartic release. it's about how you feel.

for what it's worth
when i am struggling with repressed emotions and/or memories, my favorite breathing exercise is one i learned in lamaze childbirth classes. it is taught as the breathing exercise to help you relax between contractions. odds are, you have at least seen it on tv.

hee, hee, hoooooooooooo
hee, hee, hoooooooooooo
That’s a great idea! Trying it. But I’m in public so don’t want to look THAT strange
 

Defaultxlove

MyPTSD Pro
T and I just talked about this today. She timed me to show me how long they recommend like Joey said 10 minutes sounds like a good goal for you. We're you able to do that?

Crazy idea. Cold shower? I pretend it's a waterfall and I heat up the bathroom but the water is cold. Here for you while you figure this all out.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Texted my P asking for a tranquilizer or something but I’m sure she won’t give it.
You may have answered this but why do you think she won't give it? Even a low dose of something like Xanax helps tremdously for me. I had to lower my dose per my pain doctor due to being back on oral pain meds but even half of a .5 mg of Xanax helps and of course I can take the entire .5 mg and it really helps to settle my mind to allow me to focus on my breathing.

For the hyperventilating due to anxiety and mainly panic, I do a few things. I first try to settle my mind. Though it feels like I'm dying, I'm not. And that helps me tremendously. To make myself understand that I'm not dying. It helps me to settle my mind so that the focus on breathing helps better.

I then just focus on slowing my breathing. Not any special breathing exercise. Just slowing down my breathing. I naturally breath shallow and that doesn't help this. It's because I was being drowned during my trauma and that caused me to naturally breath shallow so I try to force myself to breath deeper. But I will count seconds. If I am breathing in and out super fast I will try to make myself breath deeper for a second, out for a second. In deeper for a second, out for a second. Then I will slow it even more. In for a 2 seconds, out for 2 seconds. In for 2 seconds, out for 2 seconds. This may have a name but I don't know the name and honestly, for me, it doesn't matter.

I was hyperventilating in an ambulance once and one of the people in the back was threatening some sort of breathing medical device if I didn't stop hyperventilating and that was making it worse. So, one of the other guys in the back was like "breath with me" and that helped a lot. Breathing with him. He would have me breath in with him, out with him. And that helped like instantly. So I found a video on YouTube that was about slowing down your breathing and so I can pull that up in a second, during panic, and am able to do the exact same. In with the person on the video, out with the person on the video. I made that video be on the homescreen of my phone so I can pull it up fast. And so that's another idea. Try to find a video that you can quickly get to in a panic and try to breath with the person on the video.

The name of the game when it comes to hyperventilating is trying to slow your breathing down. I'm sure others have good suggestions but this has worked for me. I don't worry about special breathing exercises. I first remind myself that I'm not dying. I'm OK. I'm safe. Then I just simply force myself to breath deeper (which I can do if I am thinking about it) and slowing down my breathing just by counting the seconds. In for 1 one thousand, out for 1 one thousand (how I count seconds). In for 1 one thousand out for 1 one thousand. Then in for 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, out for 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand. And though I have needed to get to 3 seconds, usually I'm no longer hyperventilating after the 2nd second.

Hope this helps! Hyperventilating really sucks!
 

Jowhar1981

New Here
T and I just talked about this today. She timed me to show me how long they recommend like Joey said 10 minutes sounds like a good goal for you. We're you able to do that?

Crazy idea. Cold shower? I pretend it's a waterfall and I heat up the bathroom but the water is cold. Here for you while you figure this all out.
I’ve been hyperventilating on and off (Mostly on) for the past five or so days. It’s absolutely exhausting and I don’t know what to do.

Did all my breathing exercises, sensory, even self harming is not helping it.

Texted my P asking for a tranquilizer or something but I’m sure she won’t give it.

Please please, someone help me
Hi Smile,

I’ve had recent experiences with hyperventilating as well and am asthmatic so that can create a vicious cycle that sometimes lessens the effectiveness of breathing exercises.

My T suggested ice showers for 1 full minute (I usually set the timer on my phone for 1 min and 10 seconds which gives me enough time to get in the shower and convince myself to stand in the cold water). I wasn’t convinced when she first mentioned it but it’s been surprisingly effective at lowering my panic levels enough so that I don’t feel like I’m starting to dissociate.

I’ve also used the Rootd app which has a panic button that will go through a series of phrases about the science of what you’re feeling and basically acts as a reminder that you’ve survived these before and don’t last forever. It’s sometimes useful just to see that information so you can try to counter panicked thoughts during hyperventilating that can worsen it.

I’m not sure how useful these suggestions are but I hope they help!
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
I’ve also used the Rootd app which has a panic button that will go through a series of phrases about the science of what you’re feeling and basically acts as a reminder that you’ve survived these before and don’t last forever. It’s sometimes useful just to see that information so you can try to counter panicked thoughts during hyperventilating that can worsen it.
That sounds amazing! Will have to look into that. I think what's been said a lot is its helpful to have something that has quick instant access to be able to quickly click on and go through the steps.

@Smile, what has worked to reduce panic for you in the past? Not the hyperventilating but just panic. Can you figure out how to have quick access to that? For me it's a breath with me type of video but for @Jowhar1981 it's an app with a panic button. There are all sorts of apps to help reduce panic.

If it helps, my therapist and I made a suicide contract. It's what I will do before committing to the act of suicide. But we made it into a working, every changing, worksheet of sorts of coping mechanism for panic, disocciation, flashbacks, suicidal ideations and more. Things that we have tried and that these things have shown to work, work the best, and work all the time, every time or near every time. So, if you have a therapist, can you talk to them about helping you create a list of things that you can try to help lower panic? And then try each out, a few times. Find one or two or so that seems to work every time or 99% of the time or so. Then figure out a way to get you an immediate access to it be it a video you can put on your homepage or an app that does these things with a panic button or some sort of quick deploy of it. Maybe it's a list you keep on your phones homescreen or on a small card in your wallet or maybe pictures of a beach or a sunset that you can then imagine yourself at. There are so many things that can help. Some use cold water or ice. In my DBT workbook they talk about things like something soft, something cold and smooth (like a smooth stone) that you can keep in your pocket and you can hold onto or feel that thing. That helped panic a lot back before I was able to reduce it in other ways. Imagery works well for me. When I'm on the phone with an irate customer and am having a panic attack (panic makes panic worse. So the customers panic makes my panic worse which makes theirs worse. Like a snowball) and I will lay back in my chair, look at the ceiling and close my eyes then imagine myself floating on my back on water. If I can get that imagery right, it makes the panic attack stop instantly. That came from a lowering panic app I had found. I don't have it on my new phone but that was the most helpful thing I took away from that app.

Either way, I really hope you find something that helps! 🫂!
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
I have two CD's I use but I always start with 2 to 1 in and out so 1-2-3-4 in 1-2 out. Usually go to 8-4 pretty quick. Count it out deliberately. Breath and count. There is something to focusing on counting, it breaks all the overthinking up.

The two CD's are an oldie called "Calming Massage" that has a metronome tick to count to, and Chakra Balancing: Body, Mind and Soul. No tick but calm music you can easily count and breath to.
 
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