Anxiety is one of the worst feelings that can arise. It causes all kinds of symptoms and, in turn, can be caused by any day-to-day problem, even if you don’t really know what it is.
Sometimes we live under stress without realizing it, to the point where we cannot swallow saliva, which it makes us wonder why our throats are tied.
This sensation, called hysterical bowling, is common if you have an anxiety disorder, although it is sometimes difficult to relate this symptom to a psychological problem and is mistaken for a medical condition. Let’s take a closer look at how this feeling can be given and how to combat it.
Why a lump in the throat?
The feeling of having a lump in the throat is called bolus hysterica or pharyngeal balloon and is one of the main symptoms of an anxiety disorder. It consists of the contraction of the muscles of the throat, when there is no organic factor or cause, preventing the ability to speak, to swallow food or even to swallow saliva.
The reason for this feeling is that, when we are anxious, the body prepares for a possible danger or threat. To ensure that the ability to escape or attack is satisfied in the most efficient way, certain physiological processes are inhibited, especially those related to the digestive system, with swallowing and digestion being the most affected.
This is why not only the sensation of drowning occurs, but the mouth also dries up because the production of saliva, which is used in the digestion process, is paralyzed.
Many people with high stress levels may experience a sensation similar to drowning or a blocked throat, even though there is no object or physical cause for it. So despite the feeling, which is very unpleasant, there is no real threat to the drowning person. In fact, if you try to drink water and stay calm, there’s a good chance you’ll swallow it.
However, even though it’s a sensation, that doesn’t mean it can’t get worse. If the sufferer begins to truly believe that they are going to drown, the hysterical bowl will persist, in addition to helping the person begin to behave desperately to get rid of it.
Even if you have had this feeling before and know, objectively speaking, that it will be overcome in a few minutes, yes the feeling of suffocation ends up producing an emotional reaction in the person, Such as crying or loss of calm.
Many people can suffer from pharyngeal balloon for multiple causes, but if the sensation persists over time, it is very necessary to seek professional help. Not only to prevent or try to reduce its occurrence, but to understand the anxiety problem that is causing it.
Characteristics of this boring feeling
As we said before, the hysterical bolus essentially manifests itself in the form of very annoying choke, commonly compared as if a knot is obstructing the throat. However, the following two characteristics should be highlighted.
1. Appears in unexpected situations
Unlike panic attacks, a lump in the throat is a condition that can occur without a prior signal that it is going to happen. The hysterical bowl appears when all is well, without warning.
This feeling arises due to all the anxiety you are suffering from which subconsciously it orchestrates and gradually triggers a series of physiological responsesFeeling drowned is one of them.
Because it occurs without attracting attention or in a situation of high stress, it is more difficult to identify the cause that generates this feeling.
2. Difficulty speaking fluently
Although the sensation of drowning is indeed this, a sensation, that causes a tension in the throat, which it is difficult to speak comfortably.
The exact same thing would happen if you had a rope around your neck or someone suffocated the person and therefore could not speak normally.
What can be done?
On more than one occasion, especially when you don’t know what to do or have never felt this feeling before, the person responds in a very alarmed manner. It helps to worsen the feeling of drowning, to make the person even more nervous, to enter a loop which only promotes the negative feeling of going further.
So, faced with the remarkable feeling of not being able to breathe properly, you end up going to the emergency room, where, after the appropriate tests, it is seen that there is no object obstructing your throat. Some kind of medicine may be prescribed to calm the feeling of discomfort, without considering that you are actually experiencing a symptom caused by a psychological problem.
Ignore or ignore this signal and therefore do not delve into the possible anxiety disorder that should be behind it, it is very detrimental to the well-being of the person. Failure to delve into the causes of the person’s anxiety can cause their symptoms to become chronic. Anxiety, distress, stress, and crying are warnings that something is wrong with our lives, and we need to pay attention to it. Ignoring these red flags will not cause them to disconnect or the problem behind them will not magically disappear.
A lump in the throat, as a symptom of anxiety, can be a sign that you need to urgently go to a professional to treat the problem that is causing it, which of course is not an infection of the pharynx or an infection. neck obstruction. Take medication that only “covers up” the symptom instead of working on the cause all you will get is to suffer from this unpleasant feeling again in the future and on top of that develop some kind of addiction to the drugs taken to treat this discomfort.
Hysterical bolus may be the first of the many psychosomatic symptoms caused by anxiety. Then there can be others, perhaps much worse, like chest pain, which can be mistaken for a heart attack, depersonalization, facial paralysis, gastrointestinal pain, tics …
The knot in the throat is a symptom which, while simple, is disabling, especially because may appear at any time without notice. It happens suddenly, like it’s a summer storm. Since it is not possible to prevent it on your own, the best option is to seek specialist help.
- Jones D., Prowse S. (2015). Globus pharyngeus: an update for general practice. The British Journal of General Practice. 65 (639): 554-5.
- Kortequee S., Karkos PD, Atkinson H., Sethi N., Sylvester DC, Harar RS, et al. (2013). Management of the pharyngeal balloon. International Journal of Otorhinolaryngology. 2013: 946780.
- Cybulska EM (1997). Globe hystericus: a somatic symptom of depression? The role of electroconvulsive therapy and antidepressants. Psychosomatic medicine. 59 (1): 67-9.