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Brief Hyperventilation Episodes


Senior Member
I keep having these little mini episodes where I hyperventilate, moan, and my whole body spasms. I am compelled to thrash about like a fish in a bucket. The episodes only last a few seconds or so, and then I relax again. Sometimes it's like my whole body is trying to wring itself out like a sentient wet towel. I am barely in control of any of it. Even the moan isn't a choice, it just erupts from my lips. The episodes are always triggered by painful thoughts.

I'm sure anxiety and trauma are involved, and I think the episodes may be related to some numbness and tingling in my extremities as well, since both things - numbness, hyperventilation - only happen when I'm laying down.

I can't remember when it started, but I know it's been going on for more than a year now. It's worse when I'm stressed.

Anybody else get this? I'm not sure if it's a CFS/ME thing, or a trauma thing, or an anxiety thing, or all of the above.

And more importantly, is there anything I can do?


Senior Member
Hello....I suffer from anxiety and have for many years. You may be exactly right when you think your problems are at least partially caused by anxiety. I know people don't like to hear this, mainly b/c of the bad name psychotherapy has, but I found that a combo of drugs (after getting out of it myself when very young for a long period of time) and therapy has helped immensely. I no longer deal with my therapist...but she's always there, and my neurologist handles my ongoing medication.

A lot of symptoms will resolve on their own if the right thing is treated...and that may involve trying many things and drugs at different dosages, etc. My neurologist also follows the world of natural medicine, so that has been used also. However, after a week in a mental hospital (after developing ongoing shingles) I decided to go on medication. It has been a lifesaver and I say that with thankfulness.

Anxiety disorder can quickly become panic disorder and I wouldn't wish that upon anyone. I expect that my life will be that of medication until the very end. Bear in mind, that no all are addictive and I used some mild ones that I only took as needed for many years. Now it's time to step up to something more serious. Your doctor may have the name of therapists for you to see....that's flexible but helps if they do. Don't be afraid...go forward. Yours, Lenora.