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Question
Posted by: Alex Dion | 2009-07-10

Breathing incorrectly linked to panic attacks?

Is it true that breathing too rapidly or deeply such as yawning frequently can cause drowsiness? If so, could this be a trigger for a panic attack while driving?

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Our expert says:
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PSYCHIATRIST: When a person is having a panic attack, they often breathe too rapidly because the panic causes a sensation of not being able to get enough air into your lungs.They feel they are suffocating. This is called "hyperventilating"and it actually worsens the panic attack. It is in fact possible to trigger a panic attack by making yourself hyperventilate when you feel otherwise fine. Psychologists may use this technique to teach you how to deal with your panic attacks. There are some other answers on this website explaining how to slow and deepen your breathing if you are having a panic attack. Yawning is a physiological mechanism our body has to make us breathe in more oxygen when we are tired or drowsy and not breathing deeply enough.
Panic attacks can occur while driving either just out of the blue initially but possibly because the person develops an anticipatory fear about having a panic attack whilst driving and thereby brings on the panic attack themselves.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Wilbur G | 2009-07-11

How can you overcome the fear of speaking to any size group of people. Anxiety creeps, throat scratching, feel like post nazal drip irritating throat. Breathing is gone?

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