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Shortness of Breath Anxiety

Shortness of breath:

  • You feel that you are short of breath or that your breathing(or breath) is forced or labored.
  • You become conscious of how you are breathing and have a hard time catching your breath.
  • It seems like you have to force yourself to breathe in fear that if you don't, you'll stop breathing or pass out.
  • Or for no apparent reason, you feel out of breath and find yourself doing an unusual amount of yawning in an attempt to catch your breath.
  • It also may feel like you are so out of breath that you have to gasp for air or that you can't breathe deep enough.

Shortness of breath may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.

Shortness of breath can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, fear, and elevated stress, or occur ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent reason.

Shortness of breath can occur rarely and last only for a few moments, occur frequently and last for an extended period of time (minutes to an hour), or persist indefinitely.

Shortness of breath can be mildly noticeable, moderately bothersome, or greatly problematic.

Shortness of breath can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.

All variations and combinations are common.

For more information about the shortness of breath symptom and what causes it, see our "shortness of breath anxiety symptoms" here.

For a more detailed explanation about all anxiety symptoms, including shortness of breath, why symptoms can persist long after the stress response has ended, common barriers to recovery and symptom elimination, and more recovery strategies and tips, we have many chapters that address this information in the Recovery Support area of our website. Chapter 9 in the Recovery Support area is our "Symptoms" chapter. This chapter contains the most comprehensive information about anxiety symptoms anywhere. We've spent a great deal of time and effort putting this symptoms resource together. Click the button below for more information:


If you’d like personal assistance with your recovery, you can learn more about our Personal Coaching option here.

Return to our anxiety symptoms chest page here.

Return to our main anxiety symptoms page.

Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated March 2015. Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including the anxiety symptom shortness of breath.
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