Does difficulty breathing mean I am having a panic attack?

Not always. Difficulty breathing can come from many causes. Sometimes heart problems; lung disease such as asthma or copd; sometimes anatomic problem like when pregnant, plus others. If you've have had a full medical checkup and none of these other things are going on with you, then it's very possible that difficulty breathing relates to anxiety. Not all anxiety is a panic attack, but can feel scary.
No. More commonly it is a product of baby pushing up on the diaphragm. This leads to an inability to expand the lungs completely and may cause shortness of breath. Being short of breath may lead to panic attacks, but you can head this off by sitting or lying down and taking several slow, deep, intentional breaths.

Related Questions

Having difficulty breathing and having panic attacks?

Common panic sx. Difficulty breathing i classic panic sx. It lasts for under an hour but may recur. Seek help for the panic attacks: meds and therapy and the sx can be greatly reduced. Don't just rely on meds as therapy is essential for a good outcome. Read more...

I've been having rapid heartbeats panic attacks and difficulty breathing drs. Said all test come back normal why is this still happening?

Panic attacks. The attacks of panic and hyperventilation are caused by your emotions, and usually any testing comes back normal. You need more emotional help from doctors that specialize in treating panic attacks. Read more...
Chemical imbalance? Panic attacks or anxiety attacks are thought to be biological in origin but often brought out by stressors in one's environment. All the routine medical tests are typically normal (which is a good thing, isn't it?). Panic attacks are horrible experiences and you do need treatment. Usually the ssri's like zoloft, lexapro, (escitalopram) etc. Will suppress panic attacks. Please get help now! Read more...

Have anxiety. Was told am ok by doc. But I have panic attack now. Have difficulty breathing through nose especially when I lie. I also fear dry drown?

Panic attacks are. Acute bouts of intense anxiety + physical sxs like shortness of breath, chest tightness, palpitations, dizziness, numbness, nausea/vomiting, and the fear or dying or going crazy. Panic disorder occurs when the pt worries so abt having further attacks that this worry keeps them from normal fcn. As no medical cause , c MD for review of tx options including medications (SSRIs) & talk therapy (ie CBT) Read more...

Pt c/o sudden weight loss, "panic attacks, " difficulty breathing, stuffy sinuses, cold clammy hands. History of heavy etoh and htn. Wt s ds?

Really? Primary hypertension is not common (less than 10%) before age 40. Sudden weight loss is also rare. These two "facts" need to be confirmed before jumping to any conclusions. If leave out these two items, what's left is heavy alcohol, and a list of anxiety symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal tends to cause anxiety symptoms, increased blood pressure, so when did this "pt" have his/her last alcohol drink? Read more...

How do you cure a panic attack asap? 1 of my friends recently had trouble breathing/tigntness of chest and just stopped functioning for 4 mins. Normal?

Therapy. In addition to medication, I would suggest finding a local psychotherapist who is very reputable, and specializes in dealing with anxiety. Panic attacks and anxiety are very common phenomena that are encountered in psychology practices. Psychotherapy can benefit you greatlyin controlling anxiety. This would also apply to panic attacks. Medications by themselves usually are not optimal for anxiety. Read more...

My anxiety and panic attacks causes breathing problems and deep breathes don't really work, what should I do?

Hyperventilation. Talk to your doctor or to a counselor about ways to think through the panic attacks. If that fails, there are medications that may be useful. Panic attacks do cause 'hyperventilation'/ rapid breathing and you may feel short of breath or have tingling in your face, hands or feet due to chemical changes in your blood from rapid breathing. Uncomfortable but not really dangerous in the short term. Read more...

How can severe panic attacks be treated? My daughter has started having bad panic attacks almost every day. She get where she has a lot of trouble breathing when the attacks happen!

Hello. . Hello. Panic attacks can be very debilitating. Luckily, they are treatable. If this has not already been done, recommend a comprehensive evaluation by either a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist. From there, viable treatment options can be presented to you and your daughter. Read more...
CBT. Dear member1255761,

Sorry to hear about your daughter! Depending on your daughter’s age there are different treatment options. Usually Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered among first treatments of choice for anxiety and panic disorder. Also, mindfulness-based treatments can be effective. Finally, if severe psychiatric evaluation may be useful for medication management. Best of luck! Read more...