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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: I swallow mucus in order to feel like I am breathing

 sandie - Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:02 pm

I don't know what topic to put this under. I don't know if I am crazy or if this is really a medical condition. I alwasy have to swallow mucus in order to feel like I am breathing. I breathe air like normal, but I constantly have to swallow mucus. If I try and stop, them I start to panic and feel like I can't breathe. It is even more of a problem when I get ill will a stuffy nose and no mucus. Do I sound crazy?? I don't know who to contact about this or if there is anything that I can do, but it has become a real problem ! Please help
 SoTired76 - Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:11 pm

Hi Sandie,
This must have been hard for you to explain. It sounds like this is just making you more anxious. I have had anxiety issues for a long time now. I have checking behaviors, and other compulsive things associated with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I suffer from chronic URIs, and if I don't have an infection I still have sinus problems and feel like I have to clear my throat all the time. This then seems to increase the anxiousness for me. So, I don't think you sound crazy at all. I am in no position to offer any level of advice like the awesome medical professionals on this board, but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I personally have been told I have this from post nasal drip. I hope you can find the answers you need.
Best wishes and well being
 Dr. K. Eisele - Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:03 am

User avatar Dear Sandie:

This certainly is a problem. I just wanted to clarify something--is it that you have so much mucus that you have to swallow it in order to avoid feeling as though you might drown in it?
 sandie - Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:04 pm

Thanks for your reply. I just feel like I have to swallow all the time and the only way I can swallow is by making mucus. Am I crazy?? Or is there really a probleM ?? I know that when I do get anxiety about the swallowing or even something else, then I do it more often and I really notice it, so I try to keep calm and not pay attention to it but it is not always the case, especially when I get sick.
 Calla Lily - Sun May 04, 2008 6:22 am

I get this sometimes too (like tonight). I'm getting ready for bed, but it's hard to breathe (I've been wheezing tonight), and there's a bunch of mucus in my throat that won't go down (I don't have a cold or any other symptoms), so my anxiety increases because I feel like if I go to sleep I'll suffocate.

I have sleep apnea, so suffocating while sleeping is a real concern, but even just thinking about it makes me feel even more that I can't breathe and I start to panic.

I don't think the panic is causing the mucus production, I think that's a completely separate issue, but the not breathing anxiety has been really bad this past week, even when I'm not trying to sleep.
 Dr. K. Eisele - Mon May 05, 2008 11:21 pm

User avatar Dear Calla Lily:

I'm not sure it's possible to "make" mucus. Of course the mind is hugely powerful, and maybe, if it's possible to produce psychogenic seizures that are nearly indistinguishable from epileptic events by the patient, then it could be possible. I've just never heard of it before.

Good luck, please come back if you learn something more about this problem.

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