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Shanti

Shortness of breath and other breathing issues

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Shanti

I have this now and then, and I know it's part of the jerks. Suddenly out of nowhere, I take a deep in-breath, like a gasp. It's hard to describe because all our breathing is pretty much involuntary. But this is different. It's a big, deep, quick in-breath and feels like a jerk almost. Has anyone had this? I've had it off and on from the beginning and it happens only when I'm laying down on my back.

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ladybug

Yes, I have had this several times and it is definitely related to the jerks.

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Barbarannamated

I haven't had this, exactly. I know that I'm a breath-holder, esp when stressed. Sometimes I'll take in a sudden jerky breath after holding. All subconscious, of course.

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Shanti

Yes, I have had this several times and it is definitely related to the jerks.

 

I'm sorry you have this too, but it is good to know it's a withdrawal symptom.

 

Bar I do that sometimes too. Thank you for responding.

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Phil

I haven't had this, exactly. I know that I'm a breath-holder, esp when stressed. Sometimes I'll take in a sudden jerky breath after holding. All subconscious, of course.

 

I do this too. When I'm really anxious it's almost as if I freeze and stop breathing, and everything feels silent and weird. I have to consciously take deep breaths sometimes.

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Shanti

I did it again last night, even with the muscle relaxer. The last few times it's been an inhale through my nose. It's a really deep inbreath. I don't hold my breath first though.

 

This is what I thought after it happened. I instantly thought of Pranayama. I wrote about Pranayama here, and my friends keep telling me I need to do Pranayama for this condition. They insist it will help heal my brain. Just yesterday someone kept telling me to do it. I haven't done it yet. I tend to be rebellious of people telling me what I "need" to do. Well, last night, right after it happened I thought "omg, this is supposed to happen" and I totally felt like God is making me do Pranayama. lol. So after it happened, I did Pranayama for a few minutes, then it didn't happen again and I fell back to sleep with no problem. I didn't even have my usual morning zap that wakes me up. God works is mysterious ways I think. It might not be, but I just have a feeling my body is trying to heal my brain.

 

I'm going to do Pranayama a couple times a day and see if that stops this. I'll post back here if it does.

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Shanti

One friend was so persistant that I deleted him from my friends on FB. He posted twice on my wall how to do Pranayama, even though I lied and said I was doing it. I felt bad then added him back and asked him not to be pushy.

 

This is what he wrote on my wall. It's really easy to do, and it isn't much different than what my body is doing with these involuntary inbreaths.

 

they are beat thru yoga pranayama and yoga poses including as much alkaline foods and juices, v8 etc as possible. 15 minutes of breathing = 5 hours of rest even more than that, in terms of cleansing.

 

Then again:

 

alternate nostril breathing head stand shoulder stand standing fold plough pose. iboga . chamomile. green tea. these are all profound helpers - if we are talking about ssri those are poison they have been slowly weaned off of i did so as a teen otherwise u might die. all the same yoga makes it thousands of times faster. 1 drop of peroxide per glass of water = liquid oxygen = profoundly cleansing

 

I'm not going to stand on my head or do yoga though :blink:

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Shanti

I don't want to scare anyone, but if you are getting the lung jerks, or in the heart, I'd get a prescription for a muscle relaxer. I was in the ER yesterday as part of lung collapsed. (Aveola I think). They say they don't know why, and suspected it was from anesthesia I had almost 2 years ago in a surgery. But I suspect it's from the lung jerks I was having and will talk to my doctor today about that. So just be careful if you're having this symptom.

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fefesmom

Hi. I used to have these (I think they are what you describe) - a quick, involuntary gasp inward. But they haven't happened at all since I've been in wd from effexor (twelve weeks today). I do think they happened when I was anxious and they usually happened when I was with other people and had been talking. Maybe not enough air because of anxiety and talking using up air too? Why they have disappeared with wd I have no idea.

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Shanti

Mine have been gone a while too. I haven't had any at all since I switched from Paxil to Prozac. Also, I take half a Xanax and a muscle relaxer before bed. It didn't so much as feel like I was gasping for air. It was totally involuntary like a jerk.

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Barbarannamated

Shanti ~

Are you ok (question)

Is the muscle relaxant the main treatment (Q)

 

Sorry --i keep blowing out the punctuation marks on my mobile -- I wonder if my finger is like your wired mouse but I don't know where to get a wireless finger :-o

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Shanti

Shanti ~

Are you ok (question)

Is the muscle relaxant the main treatment (Q)

 

Sorry --i keep blowing out the punctuation marks on my mobile -- I wonder if my finger is like your wired mouse but I don't know where to get a wireless finger :-o

 

Wireless finger lol. My space bar isn't working well. I'm always having to hit it twice now.

 

Yeah, I'm okay. They told me to do deep breath exercises every hour, and I'm following up with my doc in about a half hour. Yes the muscle relaxer was the biggest help with the jerks for me.

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basildev

Hey everyone,

 

I'm asking this question on behalf of my mum who has been taking Effexor for several years.

 

About a year ago she started getting shortness of breath and we were very worried about her. She had every test known to man and all came up clear. It occurred to her that it might be the medication that was causing this.

 

Has anybody else ever experienced this side effect? The symptoms only came up in the last year or so.

 

Now I've discovered she has changed meds. Her doctor took her off Effexor over 2 months and she's having horrendous withdwawal symptoms. The doctor just responds by throwing more (different) meds at her, including an anti-psychotic for bi-polar.

 

I so wish she had told me she was going to go off Effexor so I could have warned her. I fear now it's too late and she's going to suffer through many months (or years) of debilitating withdrawals.

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Skyler

Now I've discovered she has changed meds. Her doctor took her off Effexor over 2 months and she's having horrendous withdwawal symptoms. The doctor just responds by throwing more (different) meds at her, including an anti-psychotic for bi-polar.

 

I so wish she had told me she was going to go off Effexor so I could have warned her. I fear now it's too late and she's going to suffer through many months (or years) of debilitating withdrawals.

 

Hi basildev.. I'm very sorry to read of your mother's withdrawal.. merdre.. how dreadful. You must be enormously frustrated. Wow..

 

I wonder if it might still be in time for her to reinstate a low dose of effexor. Others with more knowledge will be chiming in.

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basildev

Merdre indeed, Shuyler! :blink:

 

I was thinking of that too. She says it's been 'a few months' since she changed meds (end therefore discontinued Effexor).

 

Thing is, she had a really bad dizzy spell a couple of months back and got sent to the hospital. It really scared her and they found nothing wrong. If ONLY I'd known she'd gone off Effexor I'd have put 2 and 2 together. It was a withdrawal symptom!

 

She's going into have a hip operation in 2 days. Her doctor says she's not going to change her meds now. I really think my mum wouldn't be game to try and reinstate anyway. She's always trusted doctors and psychiatrists implicitly. She'll probbaly want to follow their advice. So I have to respect that she needs to do what's right for her.

 

But I think she would be happy to know if her shortness of breath was due to Effexor. That might put her mind at ease.

 

In any case I have sent her several links from this forum about AD withdrawal. That's really all I can do. She's on her own path.

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Narcissus

I've had a few strange panicky episodes during Effexor withdrawal where I experienced a shortness of breath and a general difficulty breathing. I had never experienced anything like it prior. But it was episodic, not continuous. Does she constantly feel short of breathe?

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basildev

Hi pgd,

 

the symptoms she was having were while she was on the medication, not when she came off it. The shortness of breath was why she decided to change meds.

 

Mum's wasn't continuous either. But enough to get her worried.

 

Thanks for your reply:)

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Finn

I'm wondering if anyone has experience this as a withdrawal symtpom: shortness of breath, as in needing to take quick, short breaths in order to get any oxygen, dizziness like the room is titling and thinking you'll collaspe and pain and weakness in limbs like they're not getting enough oxygen. It comes suddenly and lasts for maybe a minute but the pain in limbs tends ot linger. It's literally like I'm not getting enough oxygen. I'm tapering off Prozac, after using it as a bridge to get off Effexor.

 

This may not purely be withdrawal since I do have asthma, but this specific symptom pattern isn't how I experience asthma, and it has never happened before, but has happened a lot in the past few weeks. Alternatively, it could be made worse by low blood sugar because in the past, I have at least twice experienced instances where I showered before eating anything and actually saw black closing in like I was going to pass out. So, there's a lot that could be causing this, but it is very, very scary, and this praticular thing hasn't occured before.

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Marie

I'm thinking this could be a w/d sx involving one of the cranial nerves. There are nerves that come directly out of the brain and give sensory info to all parts of the body.

 

Shortness of breath is a common benzo w/d sx, and this involves the vagus cranial nerve which controls info to the epiglottis, larynx, pharynx, bronchii, lungs, and all the way down the respiratory system into the heart.

 

Similar w/d sx also involve other "brain med" w/ds.

 

It's definitely worth consideration and perhaps some research.

 

Marie

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Petunia

As Marie mentioned, 'shortness of breath' is a symptom common to withdrawal and anxiety in general. Members have talked about it in other threads.  When this happens, its important to relax and take slow deep breath, not short fast ones or you will hyperventilate.  Maybe learn some breathing techniques or exercises.  There is one in this thread here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

 

Or I'm sure a search would bring up other kinds of exercises.

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Jose
Hello, I wanted to share a breathing sequence that is doing me lots of good. I learnt it at a 3-day course last year. It was given by the 'art of living' people, I didn't know them before but later I found they are a large community worldwide that some regard as sectarian-type.
Anyhow I have no relation whatsoever with the art of living and I have not followed any of their stuff after that course last year, but I do have to thank them for teaching me this sequence, because during the periods that I manage to do this regularly, every morning, the effect is outstanding.
 
I started doing 20 minute sessions every morning just after waking up and before breakfast, and it makes such a difference throughout the day, on the mood, the energy levels, the emotional endurance and enthusiasm. As I have been practising this, I have found my own personal variations.
 
Here is the sequence:

Part 1 - Ujjayi: breathing making a gutural sound like trying to close your throat while you breath. Breathe in counting 4 in your mind, hold breath counting 4, breathe out counting 6, count 2 while no air in the lungs.
This is done in a 10+10+10 way: 10 times with your hands each side of the waist, then rest for a few seconds, 10 times with your thumbs under armpits and hands open, rest and 10 times with palms against your upper back, elbows pointing upward.
You are supposed to sit in the thunderbolt pose, which is on your knees, with bottom resting on the feet, in order to maintain a straight back. It's not so comfortable so you may want to use a cushion over your feet.

Part 2 - bhastrika: still thunderbolt pose, fists next to your shoulders, you breath in very rapidly (like a blow, but with care) while you lift your arms to the ceiling and open your hands, then bring the fists back down to the shoulders while releasing the air rapidly. All through the nostrils. Up and down should happen in around 1 second. You do three series of 20 ups and downs with a 20 second rest in between.

Part 3 - sit in the lotus position or similar, do a long ohm three times. This helps me focus and get a stiller mind.

Part 4 - breathing normally (no sounds, not taking full inhalations or exhalations), but without stops between inhaling and exhaling, lotus position or resting your back against something like a wall, etc. 20 times in and out at a slow pace (5 seconds per in+out), 40 times medium speed (1-2 seconds per in+out) and 40 times fast (double the medium speed). You do this 20+40+40 series three times without stops.

The whole sequence takes about 20 minutes. Try this for 3-4 weeks minimum to get effect. Best done just after waking up and before breakfast. 
The science behind this seems to be the oxygenation of the body, the relaxing effect of conscious breathing and the stimulation of he nerves, especially the vagus nerve, which is the nexus between the brain and the guts. 
 
My best wishes to you all.

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Altostrata

Thank you, Jose. Are those yoga breathing techniques?

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Jose

Ujjayi and bhastrika are yoga breathing techniques, yes.

The ohm does carry breathing with it of course.

The fourth part is more like a sequence of abdominal breathing series at different speed, I don't think it relates to a specific pranayama form.

 

I find that the focus during the exercises makes a big difference. Encouraging myself internally to pay attention to my breathing, without forcing myself to it, has a noticeable effect. It's like inviting myself to enjoy it while doing it. Of course sometimes I'm not in the mood for joy, but still send myself gentle reminders during the breathing. After all, it's this growing capacity to lift oneself up physically and mentally what makes the whole thing work.

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btdt

In the Integral tradition, Kapalabhati consists of multiple rounds of rapid breathing in which the breath is forcefully expelled from the lungs with a strong inward thrust of the abdomen. Students might start out with one round of 15 breaths in quick succession and build up to several hundred breaths in one round. In Nadi Suddhi, the fingers and thumb of the right hand are used to close off first one nostril and then the other. This pranayama starts with an exhalation and an inhalation through the left nostril, followed by a full breath through the right, with the whole pattern repeated several times.

 

I had to look it up to see if it was the same thing I did at reiki... yep I will try anything I don't care if it helps it helps ... I think it helped can't say exactly how felt a bit better.

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SigmundFreud

it happens to me during sleep. i have read 2 threads at BB that this is a side efffect of benzos too. is this anything to be worried about? 

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WiggleIt

Oh my god, this happens to me when I sleep!  It is one of the things that wakes me up from sleep.  I had a sleep test done and it did not show any breathing abnormalities, but this breathing sensation happens to me, too.  I should be comforted that the sleep test came back normal, but it makes the sensation no less scary.

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Brandy

WiggleIt, I just saw this thread for the first time today. I'm not sure everyone is describing the exact same thing. The reason I never posted about it is that I didn't know what to call it or quite how to describe it.

 

The reason I think people may be describing different things in this thread (though they may be related) is that I too only had this when sleeping. It was so strong it literally would wake me up, or be part of whatever phenomenon suddenly woke me.

 

It was actually my first "symptom" when I suddenly woke up in withdrawal. (This was back in 2006, and I assure you it's long gone with me.) I've described my onset of withdrawal as feeling fine, then waking with a scream in a state of extreme derealization and terror that lasted a long time. (Again, gone for many years, I assure you.)

 

But when I've thought about it since first writing about it, it wasn't a scream in that it was a sharp - and audibly loud - huge sucking in of breath. Not outgoing breath like a scream. It was my diaphragm or lower chest sucking in like a gasp but much stronger and deeper. Made an involuntary loud noise. Much louder than a gasp.

 

I bolted awake with jerks that sometimes bolted me upright (involuntarily sitting upright position) and sometimes even flipped me off the bed. This went on often for some time. I bolted awake as often as every 15 minutes for that long (and less often after that for a while), though the deep chest loud "gasp" (like a reverse scream) was only periodic. Certainly not every time.

 

I found that sleeping with my upper body propped up helped. I often had to use one of those pillows people use to sit up and read in bed, because I also had crushing pressure pains in my chest and breathing problems when lying flat with just my usual pillow. Other times, and later, a wedge pillow (with a regular pillow or dogbone/neckroll pillow on top, for comfort) was sufficient. Then just angled layers of regular pillows. I still use the latter for some problems, but the ones I talked about here are history, thank goodness.

 

I hope you feel better soon!

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btdt

Oddly just today I posted a link about stomach and breath... in relation to being told I had a stuck diaphragm when I was in withdrawal ... by a kinesiologist so I looked that up today...found this info about the vagus nerve being messed up -  causing this stuck diaphragm or a hiatal hernia... which lead to other things as it always does with google and I am curious as to how ssri type drugs affect the vagus nerve... and if it causes these issues ... maybe all of them. 

I was going to give it a go but got side tracked. maybe later... 

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katieb

This is happening quite frequently recently. It's like I suddenly stop breathing then try to breathe and nothing happens so I panick and take a sharp intake of breath.It is happening g mostly at night when I am in bed.Does anyone else have anything like this ?

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stan

during several years, i had to think to walk, to think to speak, to think to stand up... all what we do normally automatic was no more automatic, and today i have still residuals after 6 years

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someday

Yes I have always gotten this a lot during times of anxiety. It is a very common experience. You feel like you have stopped breathing, and that it's necessary to start consciously breathing, but the truth is that you would continue breathing subconsciously anyway. It's just your anxiety making you paranoid.

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Altostrata

Rather than throwing yourself into anxiety, as someday described, take up slow meditative breathing to calm yourself.

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grandmaD

I have been struggling with permanent breathlessness now for some time which is the worst its ever been since a slow (2.5%) taper from 2011.

 

I did a search with came up with nothing.  For all these years I have put it down to withdrawal, so I was surprised I didn't find anything.

 

I have had an x-ray which showed nothing.  I have had a stress test done which I failed basically because of this issue and I couldn't walk at all on the walker at the speed they had it at.  The results of the overall stress test came back with nothing.

 

I had my gall bladder removed July 2015 which I feel I still have not recovered from, as I still have a sore and painful belly, around my middle and at times chest ache and ribcage ache and sometimes goes around to my back on the rights side (same symptoms I had before having it removed).  So I don't know if there is a connect with that.  I have a lot of discomfit if I eat anything with fat in it or sugar, or wheat, or foods that cause flatulence, etc.

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Buffy

I hve difficulty taking a breath. In some positions of relaxation I can take a full breath that brings a headspin that its so relieving. But not more than 2 deep breaths.

 

For years I told the doctors that I couldnt breathe, they said I wasnt practicing deep breathing enough. Now that practice has progressed to gasping.

 

I went to a chiro last year - It was the first time aince they drugged me that I could breathe. The floods of relief had me blissed out on the waiting room floor, I had more relief than I have ever felt.

 

Being able to breathe was an unexpected but very welcome side effect.

 

I mentioned the relief to my therapist at the time (the one I had been complaining about shortness or breath and pain for 7 years) she didnt react at all.

 

I cough up handfuls of clear and black goop. Last time I went to the GP he ordered an xray, but I didnt go through with it, no energy, I'd rather suffocate than take their drugs or go near another hospital.

 

I have a lot of chest pain but its all been put down to anxiety.

 

I hope there is some relief for you grandmaD

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grandmaD

Thanks for your reply Buffy.  Good to meet another Aussie!

 

I have found I can take a deep breath if I put all my weight on my arms/hands while in a sitting position and take the weight off my body.

 

I don't cough up anything and my chest feel clear.

 

Have you had gall surgery or stomach surgery?

 

I have had chest ache and chest pains throughout tapering, and was told that was due to the gall bladder, but I still get these from time to time and I wonder if it has to do with digestion/missing gall/whatever!

 

I have also been told by the dr. it is anxiety!  I do relaxation and breathing exercises religiously 2 or 3 times a day and more when necessary.

 

Did you just get relief the day you had the chiro or are you completely better now?

 

Just an aside - did you have trouble getting off Lyrica? 

 

Sorry to hear you are stuck on an a/d still but more sorry to say that when you begin to taper it will not be without any suffering.  I wish you all the best for your recovery if you are aiming to get off it.  You are very wise to read up as much as you can.  Basically, I strongly believe the slower you go, the easier it will be, but it will never be without issues, so be warned!

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Buffy

Thanks grandmaD.

 

No I havent had stomach surgery before. I do suspect that a few years of taking medication on an empty stomach has upset mine though.

 

On the day of chiropractic, I can get a few breaths, its the next day that I feel I can breathe normally. The relief has only lasted 2 weeks at most for me so far - but I have not been exercising lately, past a bit of stretching and walking, I need to strengthen myself.

 

I didnt find the Lyrica too hard to get off, I actually felt better with the inital half dose drop. But I was only on it a few months, I'd have to check the paperwork but I think I started it oct 15, and started dropping it in feb 16. I do seem to still have vison and dry skin issues that started with the drug and have not left me yet. I had no idea they had smaller doses than 75mg!

 

My pain specialist was so stoked with himself, bragging that he helped get this wonder drug on the pbs... I kinda hope he ends up taking his own wonder drug one day. I felt completely drunk on it.

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