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Hi all. I'm 21 and I've been having this problem for years. I don't know why, but I struggle to get a good breath. I have no history of anxiety or panic attacks, but a small history of very minor asthma. I don't attribute this to asthma as using ventolin did not help my problem. I often just can't breathe and have to stop and really force a good breath in. I also have a problem I think may be related to this of coughing as though I'm a chain smoker. However, I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. This problem was really looked at when I was in Melbourne a few years ago and began coughing blood.

I don't know what the problem is. I've gone to doctors and the hospital to try and figure it out as I've had times where I can't breathe at all. They all just say that they don't see anything wrong with me, but I just know there's something wrong. Is anyone else having this problem?

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I would be worried about that coughing blood part. It's strange that your doctors haven't discovered the cause, though it is better for you! Common respiratory disorders include: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (irritation of the lungs can lead to asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis and people can develop two or three of these together); Chronic Bronchitis (any irritant reaching the bronchi and bronchioles will stimulate an increased secretion of mucus. In chronic bronchitis the air passages become clogged with mucus, and this leads to a persistent cough); Emphysema (the delicate walls of the alveoli break down, reducing the gas exchange area of the lungs). But since your doctors haven't discovered any of these the only thing that remains is the famous "stress factor", breathing difficulty is one of stress symptoms. When a person is under stress, their breathing pattern changes. Typically, an anxious person takes small, shallow breaths, using their shoulders rather than their diaphragm to move air in and out of their lungs. I hope this will help.
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