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I feel like i'm suffocating in public places? asthma or anxiety?

This is going to sound really weird, but lately when i walk past people, just in general like down the block or in a store etc. i feel like i can't breathe. I have to go to some isolated area and take very deep breaths to recollect myself and i have no idea as to why.
I don't have any history of asthma, and I've self diagnosed myself with generalized anxiety and recently social anxiety.
My friend (who is a psychology major) told me over last summer(2013) that i have anxiety based on these symptoms:
- i don't feel comfortable in group settings anymore.
- although i've always been shy, i've grown extremely quiet around people.
- i over think everything down to the smallest of detail when i'm alone and it eats away at me and can make me extremely emotional.
- i get very emotional very quickly.
- i've grown very nervous to the point now where i stutter when i speak.
- i've started to have a very clingy and needy behavior out of the blue.

i was never always like this, i used to have a lot of friends (now i only have 2 and one that comes and goes) and i used to throw parties and surround myself with people all the time, but then i lost my best friend as well as a majority of my other friends and then lost my job. i feel like the problems between me and my best friend have made me not want to trust people anymore which is why i find it so hard to communicate with people and whenever i feel like trying i get really nervous and anxious. don't get me wrong, i was never the life of the party, but i was normal. now i can't even start a conversation and can sit in a room with only three people in it and not say a word no matter how much i want to. i don't understand why.

This all started last spring (2013). I feel like its just been increasing since then because now lately when people (strangers, not family or close friends) talk to me i stutter in my response. this is new. also I've noticed that when i walk to and from work or school, if i pass people i feel like i stop breathing. people always tell me i look like i walk with such confidence even to this day but for some reason i feel like everyones judging me as i walk by and I'm constantly wondering what everyone in my radius thinks of me. i don't know how to stop this and this is entirely new. i do walk at a fast pace, but i have my whole life. breathing was never a problem for me, my health has not changed, i eat moderately healthy so i know its not because I'm out of shape, which is why i looked into social anxiety. Some of the symptoms match my own.
However, the breathing problems I'm having are out of control, and I'm not sure if i should call it asthma or anxiety. Do i need a pump for situations like that?? How do i stop it? And if it is anxiety, how do i get rid of anxiety all together? if i have either problem, they're new, i haven't had them my whole life. so it should be possible to stop them now before they get worse?
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Avatar universal
**********i also have been feeling really unhappy lately. i'll find myself crying for the most unnecessary reasons. i'll think about sad things that can possibly happen and they put me into a terrible mood where i can even cry.  i don't want to say I'm depressed because i don't think suicidal thoughts, but it has impacted my motivation to succeed and further relationships with friends and love interests. (or could that also be the anxiety) its coming to the point where i cancel plans frequently because i just odnt have the drive to leave the house.
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Avatar universal
Hi, I've just randomly come across your post through a Google search. Just wanted to check how you've gotten on with your anxiety/asthma? Hope you've made a full recovery! :-) x
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Avatar universal
Have you had any kind of major change happen in your life? Sometimes anxiety can come out of the blue. I was 25 when I had my first panic attack. Never had unusual anxiety prior to the panic attack.

I also feel like I can't breathe, but for me it happens is all different scenarios. I also do not have a history of asthma. It is honestly the worst feeling. I feel like my throat is closing up. It is really scary, but when I feel it starting, I stop and start to take deep breaths.

Are you able to speak to a counselor or psychologist?
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Arlington, VA
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