Journal

Shortness of Breath: Is it COVID19 symptom or Anxiety Attacks?

Shortness of breath is one of the showing symptoms if you have the COVID-19. Most of us are trying to maintain cleanliness and security to avoid getting any symptoms of coronavirus disease. However, some of us can feel a heavy chest and shortness of breath due to the stress of this pandemic crisis. Maybe it is a sign of having anxiety attacks. So here is some information that we can distinguish about the shortness of breath in the time of pandemic crisis.

Different Episode Period

A common symptom associated with both COVID-19 and an anxiety attack is shortness of breath. Typically, the episode period of having shortness of breath due to anxiety attacks lasts from 10 to 30 minutes. These particular episodes do not go along with other symptoms and never continue over an extended period of time. However, having anxiety attacks occur with symptoms such as sweating of hands and feet, having a sense of apprehension or dread, and feeling tense. It is a response from physical symptoms that your mind tells you to fight or to flee from the situation.

The shortness of breath related to COVID-19 will last longer than a 10 to 30 minute period accompanied by other symptoms like fever (around 36.5°C to 37°C), dry cough, chest tightness, muscle pain, headache, loss of taste/smell, chills, and soar throat. If you feel these symptoms during your episode of having shortness of breath, just seek medical help or call the local authorities to assist you.

Self Management

Shortness of breath can certainly make you panic that you have the COVID-19 or you have anxiety attacks. Many people survive from this kind of episode by managing themselves. If you feel something heavy on your chest and you can’t breathe normally, just follow these steps:

1.) Just relax and seat for awhile. Relax your arms and feet and stay calm always.

2.) Drinking a plenty of water can help your breathe since water has an oxygen compound.

3.) Breathe slowly and deeply. You may read this article to know more about breathing techniques.

4.) Maintain a healthy mental state all the time. Just think that you’re safe and GOD is there to help you.

5.) Call for an emergency for your assistance.


Informing your local authorities is a highly suggestive measure if you feel that you have shortness of breath constantly.

The situation of having Anxiety Disorder in the era of the pandemic crisis

I am feeling accomplished in dealing with my Anxiety Disorder for 2 years already. You know what! Being anxious was actually a bad feeling every time I go out and while traveling. Through research and understanding of this mental illness, I can manage my anxiety attacks easily. That’s why self-management is really important when the episode of having shortness of breath due to anxiety attacks occur. I managed not to think that I have a heart attack or something will happen. Breathing slowly and deeply will correspond to your body to calm down and it helps to relax your muscle, especially in the chest area.

This pandemic crisis taught me to be extra careful when it comes to personal safety. Every time I go out, I have my anti-anxiety medicines and a bottle of water as my essential for my anxiety attacks. We cannot predict when and where these anxiety attacks to happen. It is very important to wear a comfortable face mask when you go out for you to able to breathe normally. This isolation made us feel productive at home. You can include exercise like yoga and aerobics in your routine as a benefit for your cardiovascular system. And of course, being positive all the time really helps in fighting this negativity towards the pandemic crisis happening around the globe. We can survive this together and soon we can go back to our normal lives.

Shortness of breath is not just a simple body symptom that we can skip right away. You have to look over to your physical health always, especially this time that we need to stay safe and healthy. If you feel uncomfortable and can’t breathe normally, just stay calm and call for help. I hope you can learn from this blog and I wish everyone is okay and healthy. Keep safe and be positive every day!


Disclaimer

This article is based on my personal experience of having an anxiety disorder and I researched this topic through these source references below.

Source references:

www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/anxiety-symptoms-vs-covid-19-symptoms#soothing-a-panic-attack

https://www.self.com/story/shortness-of-breath-anxiety-coronavirus

www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org

 

 

 

 

 

Content Creator & Illustrator from Cebu, Philippines.

6 Comments

  • Marco Yambao

    Nice read! Though I haven’t experienced any shortness of breath pajud so far this pandemic except when I’m out of air when working out haha. Anyways, keep safe always! 🤗🤗

  • Rome Nicolas

    If you feel uncomfortable and can’t breathe normally, just stay calm and call for help.

    Yes, bes. In this trying times, we have to remain calm and stay relaxed as much as we can. The world is in pain and we can’t afford to be struggling as well, kapoy na kaayo! Hahaha. Bitaw, kidding aside, stay well! 🙂

  • Reck Adventures

    Someone told me to follow the 4-7-8 breathing technique to calm down. This is the fastest technique I used to calm down and sometimes I use this to fall asleep early. Here’s how:
    • 4 seconds to breathe through the nose
    • 7 seconds to hold the breath.
    • 8 seconds to exhale forcefully through the mouth
    You just need to focus on your breathing and repeat it at least 4 times until you’ll feel calm.

  • Angel

    First of all, I hope you are fine now. Thanks for this read. As a nurse working in this time of pandemic and training barangay emergency response time (frontliners) about COVID-19, the distinguishing factors that they should look after are: fever (37.8C), dry cough, and colds. Shortness of breath is a presenting symptom but it manifest in the later days. This article is a great read both for Mental Health and Physiologic Health. Truly, we need Psychological First Aid during this pandemic.

    Please take care, and do not hesitate to call for help!

  • Armie Garde

    Thank you for sharing these info and about your experience, Aldrin. Yes, don’t panic and when the discomfort persists, never hesitate to call for help. Also, anxiety attack or whatever, these days never forget to pray. Praying is a form of meditation too and it helps in many ways. 🙂

  • Maurice Jitty Villaester

    This is an interesting take on the matter. As a person who has asthma, I find it hard sometimes to breath especially when I’m anxious or not. Now, we should really be mindful if we feel something’s wrong with my body. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

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