Will I ever breathe normally again??

So guys basically, I've had a couple of episodes of hyperventilation. I hyperventilated about a month ago - the first time I made a recovery very quickly. I hyperventilated the second time though for hours and after the event I felt very short of breath!! The attacks just kept coming and I've had quite a few now, sometimes they are just with a fast heart beat and I don't hyperventilate any more but just keep breathing fairly shallowly. Well, a month later and I'm waking up in the night with a fast heart beat etc. And, the shortness of breath it has not gone away.

My shortness of breath is with my 24/7 and it's very disturbing. It's ruining my life. My doctor diagnosed asthma but I know it is not that. Is there a medication I can take for the shortness of breath? Will I ever breathe normally again?

Also unrelated but since I had the episodes of hyperventilation, I now have tear throughs under my eyes that weren't there before, I'm wondering if they will go away once my breathing resolves itself.

Desperately seeking answers to what seems like a miserable dilemma.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
hello needin. welcome to the forum.

i hold my breath allot when i get anxious. i literally hold my breath until i turn blue. i've had sibs-in-healing who seem to think that, as a psych symptom, their hyperventilation/asthma is very similar to my hypoventilation. same root, different manifestation. the same therapy exercises work for both extremes, too. breathing exercises are my single most used therapy tool. i'm still not normal, but functional is plenty for me.

steadying support while you find what works for you. welcome aboard.
 
hello needin. welcome to the forum.

i hold my breath allot when i get anxious. i literally hold my breath until i turn blue. i've had sibs-in-healing who seem to think that, as a psych symptom, their hyperventilation/asthma is very similar to my hypoventilation. same root, different manifestation. the same therapy exercises work for both extremes, too. breathing exercises are my single most used therapy tool. i'm still not normal, but functional is plenty for me.

steadying support while you find what works for you. welcome aboard.
Hi arfie,

Thank you for the support.

I am at the point where I'm feeling desperate, as hypoventilation leaves me feeling both tired and depressed.

I was given a brown inhaler from the doctor, I'm going to see if it works.

All I want is to have the old me back. The me that didn't think about my breathing 24/7.

Will go to the doctor again if no joy.

I'm glad you are functional and better than before.
 

Sideways

Moderator
The me that didn't think about my breathing 24/7.
I work really hard on my breathing. Years of yoga and guided relaxations, and practicing every day. I can control my panic attacks now with my breath, which changed my life immensely. I practice controlled breathing every night.

Even with all that? I still hold my breath when I'm anxious. It's really good that you're able to notice (loads of people don't even realise they do this). Like any learned skill, it takes practice. Regular practice at a time when you're reasonably relaxed (which is why I do it when I go to bed). But it's definitely a skill you can learn, and for me personally, it's had one of the biggest payoffs of all the coping skills that I've put energy into.

On top of using it to force my anxiety downwards, I can now also use my breath to ground myself when I'm dissociated, and I can use my breath for mindfulness. Anywhere, any time, without anyone realising, and with zero cost or side effects.

Definitely medication to help me with my depression and dissociation made it possible for me to spend time learning how to breathe. But that's how I'd approach it - instead of using medication for the breathing itself, use medication to help with the things that are underlying the reason you're holding your breath (anxiety is the big one) while you get used to breathing in a way that helps you self-regulate.

If all else fails? Walk. A brisk walk will help force your breathing to regulate itself. That's a simple way to practice controlled breathing, without the challenge of having to focus on your breath or body directly (which a lot of folks with ptsd struggle with - often acknowledging the body is a trigger).
 
I would explain my symptoms as feeling as if I have a reduced lung capacity, and also, extremely shallow breathing.

Has anyone had this? Could breathing ever return to normal after this?

Desperate for a solution.
 

MrMoonlight

MyPTSD Pro
I think of breathing quickly as fight or flight... the body getting ready for action by getting oxygen to the blood.

Sorry you are experiencing these things. And I do thing we can get better with work and learning about ourselves.
 
Last edited:
I would explain my symptoms as feeling as if I have a reduced lung capacity, and also, extremely shallow breathing.

Has anyone had this? Could breathing ever return to normal after this?

Desperate for a solution.
I would emphasize that I am breathing shallowly.. all the time/24 7 which is making me feel as if I'll never get over it and I'm like this for life. I hope not!

I would explain my symptoms as feeling as if I have a reduced lung capacity, and also, extremely shallow breathing.

Has anyone had this? Could breathing ever return to normal after this?

Desperate for a solution.
I don't want to live a life like this where I'm constantly breathing shallowly. It is not one bit enjoyable and it is absolutely exhausting.

I would explain my symptoms as feeling as if I have a reduced lung capacity, and also, extremely shallow breathing.

Has anyone had this? Could breathing ever return to normal after this?

Desperate for a solution.
For me it's also, heart palpitations and being constantly thirsty.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I don't want to live a life like this where I'm constantly breathing shallowly.
There's loads of things you can do to train your body to breathe deeper: walking, swimming, singing, yoga, guided relaxation (which you can do without leaving your chair)...the list goes on and on. This doesn't need to be a life sentence.

Mod Note:
I've merged your two threads on this issue to keep it all in one place. If you have any questions about that, send us a message at Contact Us.
 
Top