A serious question

Hi so I’m kinda new here and frankly was thinking if not even position this question due to the fear I have about alot if things, especially regection. My question is does anyone else have almost a shortness of breath or butterfly type feeling in there chest when they don’t move, or are forced to focus on something uninteresting? I’m sorry I honestly don’t know how to explain it and I’m having a though time pushing past my anxiety just to ask this. I have other question but those can wait.

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This is a question safe zone. I have only been on this forum for a week and I have asked a lot of questions. You did not tell me much about yourself so this is a possibility. Please do not be offended if I am way off.

You sound like you are very anxious. So if you are in an uncomfortable situation you may be having a panic attack. I have had a few and they are not fun. Others may give you other advice. Listen to your body and go to your doctor if you are uncertain.

I am a retired teacher so I believe that all questions are good questions. So enjoy your time and keep learning.

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@Rosebud sorry honest I don’t really know what to explain about myself I guess I’ll start with basics? I’m a male. I’m 20 years old and struggle with alot ADHD being one of them.

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@Jordan, welcome to the community!

I don’t have the shortness of breath when not moving or focusing on something uninteresting but I used to get that way before public speaking. I would get over it once I got going though. When I am hyperfocused on something for a long time, I may end up shallow breathing and then once in a while I just have to stop and take a very deep breath! So I try to take a break every half hour or so and walk about, drink some water, play with the cats etc. Not quite what you have but then we are all different!

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@khagen thanks for the insight. Honest idk how to explain the feeling but it’s really uncomfortable and annoying feeling.

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Sorry to hear that. You can try to figure out various coping strategies and see what works such as deeper slower breathing, walking around, switching your focus to something more interesting, meditation etc. Basically things that would help you relax. But you may wish to talk to your primary doctor and they would suggest further action.

I am sure others will chime in and try to relate their experience. Good luck!

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Hi Jordan, and welcome here to the HowToADHD forums.

We are very open and accepting of here, so feel free to ask questions, share your experiences, and add your voice to the conversations.

I’m JD. I’m male, 46, diagnosed just last year simultaneously with anxiety and ADHD. (I’ve experienced anxiety several times in my life, usually mild and for a short duration, but it was so bad that I needed counseling and medical intervention.)


I have experienced a sensation like you described on a few occasions:

For me, it was due to one of two extreme emotions - fear (fight-or-flight level fear), or love (the smitten “in love” type love). Probably not what you’re feeling, given you tied it to not moving or being “forced to focus on something uninteresting”.

It does sound like a stress reaction of some sort. Perhaps a panic attack, like @Rosebud mentioned. However, it might be a good idea to talk to a doctor, to try to find answers.

Do you know what presentation of ADHD that you have? I know that I don’t have Hyperactive-Impulsive traits (I have the Inattentive presentation), and it is easy for me to sit still. But I’ve known and known-of people with the Hyperactive-Impulsive presentation or Combined presentation who have great difficulty sitting still or being made to try to focus on something that they find uninteresting. It’s very unsettling for them to be made to sit still.

We’re each different (good thing too, because of we were all alike, this world would be pretty boring), and sometimes we each need accommodations. You might need freedom to get up and move. You might need the “uninteresting” information presented in a different way.

If you are concerned that there is anything physically wrong that is causing these sensations, of if this has never happened to you before and just started occurring, then I’d recommend that you see your doctor.

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Something worth knowing is that emotions are linked to your breathing, anxiety will cause shallow fast breathing, but it works both ways so if you actively breath deeply and slowly it will reduce your anxiety if that is the cause, but is is good practice to breath deeply and slowly anyway so worth doing.

If it is really bad you can try box breathing, split your breathing into 4 equal times, say 5 seconds or whatever is comfortable for you, and breath im for 5 hold your breath for five breath out for five hold breath for 5, try this for 5 minutes or so.

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@j_d_aengus I have combined ADHD and anxiety. I have always had this type of feeling since I was young and it’s always bugged me especially since I didn’t get diagnosed until this year so I didn’t even know about these things till recently. I’ll probably end up making an appointment with my doctor and talk about it, thanks for the advice.

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@Samuelburns Thanks I’ll have to try this out, if I remember to lol. And thanks for being supportive.

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Welcome fellow Brain!

Hi, thanks lol I just realized I was sitting here reading through different topics when I’m supposed to be eating lunch while I can.

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One more tip. When you have the strange feeling think about what exactly is going on and later write it down. When you are bored add something to the task. I am squirmy not a full out hyperactive. I would feel almost claustrophobic when I could not move. I would draw, tap a foot, or just stand up. I even enjoy the fidget toys. I have to do two things to get one done. I would do things to distract myself as strange as that sounds. One of my ADHD students gave me one of his fidget toys. I guess I must of looked like I needed it.

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I often read the forums while I’m on lunch, so I hold a sandwich with one hand, while I scroll with my other.

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