Dyspnea or Mood Disorder?

I think that it is impossible to tell the difference using only words.

It is especially hard for a patient to know the difference when they do not know the word DYSPNEA and when dyspnea triggers intermittent or ingoing fear and anxiety, sometimes INSTEAD OF the sensation of breathing difficulty.

These sensations are intertwined.


While fear and anxiety can be mood symptoms….dyspnea is NOT a mood symptom but is a [hidden inside the sensation of anxiety] symptom of difficulty taking a satisfying breath.

The difference between dyspnea and mood or emotion can be seen when comparing the experience of not being able to catch one’s breath when SOBBING. If you have ever had the experience of sobbing, you know that you will not be able to catch your breath and that you will pant between breaths and that the entire episode is physically recognizable as sobbing rather than say, asthma.

Dyspnea at rest is not as obvious and the sensation will not necessarily be accompanied by visible cues that can easily be picked up.

See how this can become confusing for doctor and patient and family alike?

Yet, doctors know that Dyspnea is a common, distressing symptom of cardiopulmonary and neuromuscular diseases. Parshall MB, Schwartzstein RM, Adams L, Banzett RB, Manning HL, Bourbeau J, Calverley PM, Gift AG, Harver A, Lareau SC, Mahler DA, Meek PM, O’Donnell DE; American Thoracic Society Committee on Dyspnea. An official American Thoracic Society statement: update on the mechanisms, assessment, and management of dyspnea. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 Feb 15;185(4):435-52. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201111-2042ST. PMID: 22336677; PMCID: PMC5448624.

Yet doctors do not look for signs [signs is jargon that doctors use] of possible hidden cardiopulmonary and neuromuscular diseases.

How sad is that?….for the patient I mean?

Breathing, Sleep and Dyspnea!

How much of “mental ” health relies on these 3 basic factors?

Disturbances in breathing, in Sleep, resulting in dyspnea [and mild nausea- we might add] are things that doctors can now investigate and they are conditions that doctors can now treat successfully [without the trial and error unscientific methods of psychiatry, we might add.].

To be continued…we are still editing…we might edit out the snarky remarks for example…we will see…..


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