Shortness of breath depression (A guide)

In this blog guide, we will see an association between shortness of breath and depression. In addition, the blog guide provides you with eminent research for shortness of breath in association with depression and anxiety. The blog defines what is shortness of breath, how to deal with shortness of breath, and what causes shortness of breath in people with depression and anxiety. 

Shortness of breath and depression 

Shortness of breath is usually not associated with depression. However recent research has shown that there is a small connection between the two. 

A study by the  Duke Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE) showed that over two-thirds of the elderly who face COPD- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is associated with adverse effects such as physical discomfort, fatigue, problems with appetite, and anxiety. These are the prominent symptoms of depression. 

In another study to distinguish between depressed and non-depressed people, in addition to lack of sleep. Loss of appetite, shortness of breath was considered a symptom. 

In a study of 147 primary care patients, female gender, body mass index (BMI), and dyspnea were associated with depressive symptoms. 

Another research, with a sample of 2926, showed a direct connection between shortness of breath and depression. 

There has been a stog association between asthma and depression. In a study, diagnosed depression was associates with diagnosed asthma in 65% of the countries. 

All respiratory symptoms were more common in the group with anxiety and depression symptoms than in the group without anxiety and depression, concluded a study. 

Shortness of breath and anxiety 

The most common symptom of anxiety is shortness of breath. anxiety is your body’s normal reaction to dreadfulness. This is known as the fight-or-flight reaction. Your body responds in physical and mental manners to set you up to one or the other fight or run from the circumstance. 

Shortness of breath is one of those reactions. You may feel like you can’t regain some composure, snugness in your chest, or like you’re suffocating or hungry for air. Studies have indicated a solid relationship between anxiety and respiratory manifestations, including shortness of breath.

While you are having an anxiety or panic attack, your body reacts as if you are running for your life. You may start to experience chest tightening, shortness of breath, and faster breathing because your body is trying to get more oxygen to your muscles, preparing you to run. Your heart rate increases and you may feel hot as more blood pumps to your muscles, preparing you to fight.

In terms of asthma, a study found that 30-day anxiety was significantly associated with diagnosed asthma in 18 out of 45 countries. 

Some data indicates that there is a causal relationship between the development of symptoms of anxiety and depression and dyspnea, also known as shortness of breath.

Altogether, there is a strong association between respiratory symptoms and psychological status

What is shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath clinically called dyspnea is used to describe the subjective feeling of impaired breathing. The term comprises a wide range of respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, increased respiratory rate, or altered depth in respiration. 

Shortness of breath is a scary condition where one feels a tight gasp in their chest, air hunger, difficulty breathing, breathlessness, or a feeling of suffocation.

Expediting shortness of breath is possible in a healthy person too. A quite strenuous exercise, extreme temperatures, obesity, and higher altitude can create shortness of breath in most people. However, they regain their breath within a minute or two. 

Shortness of breath is a medical condition when it occurs frequently without any trigger per se. 

Other causes of shortness of breath 

Apart from the symptoms of a mental health condition, shortness of breath is also seen in people without these conditions. Most instances of shortness of breath are because of heart or lung conditions. Your heart and lungs are associated with moving oxygen to your tissues and eliminating carbon dioxide, and issues with both of these cycles influence your breathing.

In addition to anxiety and depression, there are various other medical conditions that can cause shortness of breath. They include: 

Lung problems

  • Croup (especially in young children)
  • Lung cancer
  • Pleurisy (inflammation of the membrane surrounding the lungs)
  • Pulmonary edema (excess fluid in the lungs)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (scarred and damaged lungs)
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Sarcoidosis (collections of inflammatory cells in the body)
  • Tuberculosis

Heart problems

  • Cardiomyopathy (problem with the heart muscle)
  • Heart failure
  • Pericarditis (inflammation of the tissue around the heart)

Other problems

  • Anemia
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Broken ribs
  • Choking: First aid
  • Epiglottitis (swelling of the “lid” of your windpipe)
  • Foreign object inhaled: First aid
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Kyphoscoliosis (a chest wall deformity)
  • Myasthenia gravis (a condition causing muscle weakness)
  • Obesity 

How to avoid shortness of breath due to depression and anxiety. 

Shortness of breath can be scary. In order to deal with shortness of breath that is accompanied by depression or anxiety, experts suggest diaphragmatic breathing. It is important to focus on your breath, even it may seem to be counter productive. Focusing on it helps you get your breath under control. Through diaphragmatic breathing, as the name suggests we focus on the most efficient breath muscle, the diaphragm. With the help of Diaphragmatic breathing, you can slow your breathing rate, decrease your demand for oxygen, use less effort and energy to breathe. 

Here is how you can practice diaphragmatic breathing 

  • Sit up easily in a seat or lie back on a level surface, similar to your bed, with your head upheld. 
  • keep one hand on your upper chest and the other underneath your rib confine. This will permit you to all the more likely feel your stomach as you relax. 
  • Take in gradually through your nose so your stomach moves out against your hand. 
  • Fix your stomach muscles. Allow them to fall internal as you breathe out through your nose or your mouth (contingent upon what’s simpler for you). 
  • Keep on taking full breaths in and out, feeling your stomach ascend in and out. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes per day.

In addition to this, there are various other things that you can do at home, to reduce or stop the shortness of breath. They are: 

Grounding procedures. One sort of grounding procedure includes grasping body parts and gradually delivering them. Zero in totally on these sensations. 

Careful distractions. Discover something to divert your brain from freezing to help you quiet down. Take a stab at portraying things around you to maintain your emphasis on something different. What tone is your lounge chair? What is its surface? 

Converse with yourself. Since you realize these indications are a piece of your body’s programmed reaction, remind yourself this. At the time of frenzy or uneasiness, let yourself know “I can’t inhale on the grounds that my body is attempting to get more oxygen” or “I’ve been assessed and my heart is fine.” Talking to yourself normally can haul you out of the nervousness. 

Exercise. It might appear to be abnormal to practice amidst a tension assault, however, going for a speedy run or using a portion of that developed energy may really work for you. Your body is setting itself up to run at any rate — you should exploit it. 

Self-care. You can rehearse self-care simply. Drink home-grown tea (yet maintain a strategic distance from jazzed tea, as it can build tension). Light candles with a charming smell. Record your emotions. Turn on some calming music. 

Shock yourself. Stunning yourself by dunking your face in a bowl of ice water is really a procedure prescribed by specialists to help haul you out of an idea winding.

Why is the shortness of breath caused? 

The shortness of breath that happens during panic attacks and anxiety or depression is frequently brought about by an adjustment in your ordinary breathing pattern. Typically, we are not aware of our breathing procedure. At the point when anxiety or panic attacks happen, our breathing may turn out to be more shallow and limited. Rather than filling the lungs with full, total breaths, we take in speedy and short breaths.

This is also known as hyperventilation. this over-breathing causes carbon dioxide levels in the blood to diminish. A decrease in carbon dioxide can cause numerous actual indications, for example, shivering and deadness, chest torment, and dry mouth. Hyperventilation can likewise form into sensations of faintness, unsteadiness, tipsiness, and disarray. An individual who is hyperventilating may begin taking speedy and noisy pants of air.


In this blog guide, we have seen an association between shortness of breath and depression. In addition, the blog guide provided you with eminent research for shortness of breath in association with depression and anxiety. The blog defined what is shortness of breath, how to deal with shortness of breath, and what causes shortness of breath in people with depression and anxiety. 

FAQs: Shortness of breath depression

What are the types of shortness of breath? 

There are two types of shortness of breath, on the basis of their time period. Some people experience sudden shortness of breath for a small period of time known as acute shortness of breath. While others experience shortness of breath for more than two weeks is known as chronic shortness of breath. 

What are the symptoms of respiratory depression?

Respiratory depression is called hypoventilation. It is a breathing disorder characterized by slow and ineffective breathing. Some symptoms of respiratory depression include 

daytime sleepiness.
shortness of breath.
slow and shallow breathing.
bluish-colored lips, fingers, or toes

When should I worry about shortness of breath?

Shortness of bret=ath no matter at what rate is considered to be very scary by people. Usually, people try to take deep breaths in order to get rid of the shortness of breath. In any case, this does not help, and your breath decreases rapidly, causing you problems in breathing, you should visit your doctor. If shortness of breath is accompanied by severe symptoms such as confusion, chest or jaw pain, or pain down your arm, call your doctor immediately. 

What is hypoxia? 

Hypoxia is a condition when your body does not have enough oxygen. Without oxygen, your brain, liver, and other organs can be damaged just minutes after symptoms start. the most prominent symptom of hypoxia is confusion. It is usually caused by Anemia, ARDS (Acute respiratory distress syndrome), and Asthma.

What food item repair your lungs? 

Certain food items have a direct impact on the lungs. Beets and beet greens, Peppers, Apples, Pumpkin, Turmeric, Tomato and tomato products, Blueberries, Green tea are a few food products that might help you enhance your lungs and therefore improve your breathing.