FALSE ALARM 3. “I’m going to stop breathing!”

Correcting common Misinterpretations

FALSE ALARM 3. “I’m going to stop breathing!”
SYMPTOM – Tight chest / Difficulty breathing / Choking feeling / Sensation of ‘lump in throat’
ACTUAL REALITY You CANNOT stop breathing because of a panic attack.
  • No one has EVER stopped breathing because of a panic attack – it is actually IMPOSSIBLE.
  • During panic you feel tension in the neck and chest muscles which gives you the FEELING that you may stop breathing or ‘suffocate’.
  • When people panic they also tense their stomach very tightly which causes them to have to take very shallow breaths or else they try to take very deep breaths which can make them feel dizzy.
  • If you simply LET GO of your stomach muscles you will feel air being drawn in all by itself and your breathing will return to normal.
  • Your body will automatically FORCE you to to breathe if you aren’t getting enough oxygen – test this by holding your breath for a few minutes and see what happens.
  • You are NEVER in any danger of not breathing during a panic attack.


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