Everybody knows what it’s like to feel anxiety at times, but even someone with an anxiety disorder may not know all the possible symptoms. For example, can anxiety cause shortness of breath? Feeling anxious can show up in a variety of physical signs, and it’s important to recognize the difference between psychological and physical symptoms.
New View Wellness in Atlanta provides focused outpatient treatment for anxiety that helps people leave anxiety behind. Our experienced staff offers multiple types of therapy to help people take charge of their lives again and feel better. If you or a loved one are struggling, call us now at 866-456-1135 or verify your insurance.
What is an Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorders are mental illnesses that cause a person to experience a great deal of anxiety. Some people have panic attacks, too. These disorders happen to people from all walks of life and can cripple a person’s ability to take of their responsibilities or enjoy their daily lives.
Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental health disorder in the country. The different types include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Specific phobias
Can Anxiety Cause Shortness of Breath?
Anxiety disorders can cause several types of medical symptoms, but can anxiety cause shortness of breath? It can be difficult to know if a person is experiencing a symptom solely related to their anxiety or if it’s something else. Shortness of breath is a common symptom when someone is having a panic attack. They find it hard to take deep breaths, and this keeps them in a state of high anxiety. The individual may also experience shakiness, chest pains, a rapid heart rate, and dry mouth. Even when not having a panic attack, someone with anxiety may find they have developed a habit that includes episodes of shortness of breath.
One thing to remember is that shortness of breath related to an anxiety disorder is temporary. Someone who is having a medical issue will find their breath remains uneven and should seek medical help. In fact, even if shortness of breath is temporary, someone who has not yet identified it as related to anxiety should talk to their doctor.
Do Breathing Exercises Help Anxiety?
Someone who has trouble with shortness of breath due to their anxiety can learn to practice breathing exercises designed to help with this. Many of them involve counting to a specific number as the person inhales, holds their breath, and exhales. Repeating these patterns helps them restore normal breathing. These exercises can be done when anxiety strikes or in anticipation of a situation that feels stressful. They can also be done when a person wakes up or right before they go to bed.
Other Ways to Cope With Anxiety
Someone with anxiety can use breathing exercises to help regulate their breath and feel calmer. In addition, they can use other methods to promote a sense of calmness in their daily lives. When these methods are combined with therapy, they can produce powerful results.
Ground Yourself: Use positive self-talk, like assuring yourself that anxiety is temporary, and you will be okay. Look around and name everything you see, smell, hear, taste, or can touch. You can also engage in a simple activity like brushing your teeth or rearranging a drawer to give yourself something to focus on.
Get into a Self-Care Routine: Plan downtime and eliminate activities you don’t have to do. Engage in activities that center the mind like reading, taking a nap, or enjoying a long bath.
Get Creative: Channel your inner artist, dancer, writer, or other creator of art. Spending time being artistic helps people process their emotions while focusing on something positive.
Get Moving: Exercise alleviates symptoms of anxiety and depression. Go for a walk, ride a bike, or take up a sport or activity new to you, and do it regularly.
How are Anxiety Disorders Treated?
If a person wonders, “Can anxiety cause shortness of breath?”, they may need treatment for an anxiety disorder. They can be treated in a residential setting or at an outpatient mental health facility. Someone with anxiety will be introduced to different kinds of therapy that help address the root causes of their emotions. From there, they learn to develop healthy coping skills. This includes both addressing the anxiety in a positive manner as it occurs and preventing episodes from occurring.
Anxiety disorders often respond well to the use of FDA-approved mental health medications. Each person attending treatment will be assessed to see if they should be matched with a medication right for them. The prescribing clinician will oversee their usage to monitor them for how the drug works. Any necessary changes can be made.
Begin Treatment for Anxiety in Atlanta
If you have anxiety, you probably know it can surface in a variety of ways. If you find yourself asking the question, “Can anxiety cause shortness of breath?”, you may need professional treatment. New View Wellness in Atlanta offers concrete pathways to relieving symptoms of anxiety. We use evidence-based therapies to help you identify triggers and take control of them. We also offer prescription medications that help ease the symptoms caused by anxiety disorders.
Are you ready to talk about living a life without anxiety? Contact us now and let us help you take that first step.