Pulmonologist Questions stress

Could there be another reason for my breathlessness or is it anxiety?

I am going through a rough patch in my life due to my divorce. I am currently under tremendous amount of stress, and I have suddenly started feeling breathless even after doing little activity. Could this be because of stress and anxiety or should I go for a check up?

10 Answers

Checking with your physician is always the first recommendation. After you are cleared, then consider seeing a mental health professional.
Hello, Breathless – you probably suspect the answer I will offer you (although you may wish it to be different): Yes, do go to your doctor to rule out sometimes serious causes of breathlessness. Simple tests can establish lung or heart issues. If none of these, get thee to a psychologist or other mental health person to deal with the anxiety: identify what it is about, and find ways to reestablish your previous equilibrium. And don’t procrastinate – get the physical issues off the table as soon as possible.
Glad you asked!


Marian Shapiro, Licensed Psychologist
Blaming shortness of breath on anxiety alone should be a diagnosis of exclusion and making sure no underlying process.

Andres Borja Alvarez, MD
Dear Sir/Madam:
I am sorry to hear that you are going through the stress related to the divorce proceedings. I would suggest go and talk to your primary care and/or your cardiologist as you also see a therapist for stress management. Do not ignore your physical and/or psychological health.
Take care,
Dr. Sonpal
It is always good to rule out a medical issue first. That said, based on what you described you are experiencing a mild form of a panic attack. Seeing a counselor trained in dealing with anxiety issues would be good after seeing what the medical doctor finds. A good source is Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Bourne.
I’d recommend going for a physical. If all is ok, then consider it is probably the stress causing your breathlessness.
Going through a divorce is a difficult phase of life. Some people’s distress shows up in physical symptoms. However, I would encourage you to see your medical provider to rule out any medical explanations. You may also want to consider seeing a mental health provider or spiritual advisor (if you prefer) to help you process recent events in your life. Take care.
A physical exam is always a good way to address symptoms before a diagnosis of stress or anxiety is made.
First, you need a complete physical! If all is fine, yes it could be anxiety. At that point, you might want to consider seeing someone and talking about the thing bothering you.
Hard to say, but I am sure it can be both. Stress does many things. Try seeing a therapist instead of a medical doctor, they will just put you on some medication.