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Little Pink Coupe

Losing control over lungs during panic attack/meltdown/crying jag?

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Little Pink Coupe

Does anyone else - when they're having a meltdown or a panic attack or are just crying really hard - feel that the insides of their chests feel unusual - almost as if someone's taken ahold of your lungs and is shaking them up and down and not letting you breathe normally? I've felt that way recently when I've been sad and crying a lot....and it was really bad when I had a bad panic attack a few months ago. It got to where I went from whimpering and sobbing to just making this high-pitched "zebra-like" noise, like "Wuh...wuh....wuh...wuuuhh...." It took me a really long time to be able to calm down and breathe properly, and I knew those two things were pretty much mutually exclusive...that is, I couldn't calm down until I was able to take long, deep breaths. My psychiatrist said it was hyperventilation.

 

What I want to know is, has anyone else had any experience with this?

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Auletes

I tend to hyperventilate during a meltdown/panic attack.

It always makes me feel very dizzy.

Covering your month with the hands helps to get enough CO2 back and the dizziness vanishes.

To relax the breathing it helps me to put a book on my chest/belly.

And knowing that it's nothing really dangerous, telling myself I'm just having a meltdown which will go over helps as well.

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(deleted)

Yes I sometimes do that when I'm very upset and then my arms will go numb as well. It doesn't help that my mother usually tries to deal with it by telling me to hold my breath (and if it gets really bad she presses on my chest).

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Little Pink Coupe

 It doesn't help that my mother usually tries to deal with it by telling me to hold my breath (and if it gets really bad she presses on my chest).

Oh my goodness, that sounds awful!  :blink:

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Gin

Definitely yes, I always hyperventilate. I perceive it as something very embarrassing, especially on front of teachers or so, but I have come to terms with it over the years as I started viewing it less as a fault of my own but more of the fault if the person who made me cry in the first place.. Nobody should be destroying another person to the extend where they have to cry like that. An example is my gym teacher, in 8th grade she once said that I was "too fat to be an astronaut" (I really wanted to be an astoinomer at that point, we had taken a tour through ESA and she was obviously too dumb to listen/notice that the people working there were astronomers not astronauts), looking back on old photographs, I was never even chubby, she was just a horrible human being who made me anorexic for many years, I still have some remains of an eating disorder. She really just destroyed part of my life, I have considered seeking her up on facebook to tell her how despicable of a person she was.

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RiRi

Yup. This has happened to me. It was so bad recently. I was really stressed out and scared that day. My boyfriend had to calm me down because I couldn't breathe at all. I felt like I had no control of my lungs. I tried taking deep breaths, but they just weren't working as they normally would when I'm feeling stressed out. I guess after a while I went back to normal state. Sucks when feeling like this because the not being able to breath makes me even more panicky.

Edited by Anna

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Gin

Yup. This has happened to me. It was so bad recently. I was really stressed out and scared that day. My boyfriend had to calm me down because I couldn't breathe at all. I felt like I had no control of my lungs. I tried taking deep breaths, but they just weren't working as they normally would when I'm feeling stressed out. I guess after a while I went back to normal state. Sucks when feeling like this because the not being able to breath makes me even more panicky.

It is an awful feeling, the old fashioned breathing into a paper bag trick helps though, you just need a paper bag handy and that is not that common nowadays... 

I tend to hyperventilate during a meltdown/panic attack.

It always makes me feel very dizzy.

Covering your month with the hands helps to get enough CO2 back and the dizziness vanishes.

To relax the breathing it helps me to put a book on my chest/belly.

And knowing that it's nothing really dangerous, telling myself I'm just having a meltdown which will go over helps as well.

 Sounds like a good trick, I'll try that next time :)

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Cosmic

Does anyone else - when they're having a meltdown or a panic attack or are just crying really hard - feel that the insides of their chests feel unusual - almost as if someone's taken ahold of your lungs and is shaking them up and down and not letting you breathe normally? I've felt that way recently when I've been sad and crying a lot....and it was really bad when I had a bad panic attack a few months ago. It got to where I went from whimpering and sobbing to just making this high-pitched "zebra-like" noise, like "Wuh...wuh....wuh...wuuuhh...." It took me a really long time to be able to calm down and breathe properly, and I knew those two things were pretty much mutually exclusive...that is, I couldn't calm down until I was able to take long, deep breaths. My psychiatrist said it was hyperventilation.

 

What I want to know is, has anyone else had any experience with this?

 

I have. Many, many times. I do my best to avoid triggering situations now. 

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CrohnicallyAwkward

I do this during panic attacks, it's hyperventilation. I find holding my breath does help- it stabilises the co2 or something, but it also means that 'not being able to breathe' comes back under my control and is something that I am choosing to do.

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RiRi

It is an awful feeling, the old fashioned breathing into a paper bag trick helps though, you just need a paper bag handy and that is not that common nowadays... 

 Sounds like a good trick, I'll try that next time :)

Thank you, Gin. I will try this next time, also what others have advised.

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