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Avatar universal

I’m afraid I’ll stop breathing If I think about it too much

Ok so I’ve been dealing with anxiety and panic disorder for years (it started at a very young age). For the past few years tho I’ve been thinking about breathing 24/7 and It gives me so much anxiety and panic attacks. Lately I’ve been having one obsessive thought. One of my friends once told me that brain is a powerful thing so if you think about death too much you will actually die (which doesn’t make any sense but it still affects me). So I‘ve got one thought stuck with me: if I think about stopping breathing I might actually stop it. What if i make myself believe that I can’t breathe and it actually happens? Oh and then I’ve got another obsessive thought that if I make myself believe that I cant breathe in certain places (for example my country) I actually will stop breathing... It all makes zero sense Ik but when I’m having a panic attack it feels so real and I feel like I’m suffocating. So is all of this dangerous? What’s the worst thing that could happen to me from all this?
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Avatar universal
That if you don't do something to successfully tackle your anxiety problem you'll still have an anxiety problem.  The breathing thought is just a thought, and it will eventually go away and then you'll get another one if you don't stop the problem.  I know, easier said than done, but if you aren't in therapy with a psychologist who specializes in therapy that actually clicks with you it's something you should be doing.  If you haven't tried CBT, try it once or twice or three times.  And if you can't function, see a psychiatrist and find a med that can help in the meantime.  But no, you aren't going to make yourself stop breathing, it's an anxiety attack.  I hope you find a way to overcome this, I know, it's really hard.  In the meantime also, you might want to increase exercise, learn relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation, and do everything you can to minimize the time you spend on these kinds of thoughts.  And again, I know it's incredibly hard but keep trying anyway.  Lots of people believe their thinking or actions can cause all sorts of things, but we're usually not that powerful.  We can make ourselves miserable really well, though.
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Arlington, VA
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