What is hyperventilation?

Hyperventilation is a medical illness which is often seen in people who live under a lot of pressure or stress for a longer period of time. Hyperventilation is thus a stress bound illness or disease. To some extent you can say that everyone suffering from hyperventilation has some form of underlying stress. There are a few rare exceptions to this rule. In these cases a medical or biochemical cause can lead to hyperventilation. This is why the advice of your doctor is important.

Who suffers from hyperventilation?

Mainly people who have not learned how to handle stress or pressure from their environment will start to show symptoms or complaints of hyperventilation over time. That is also the reason why any good online self-help program or any therapy also pays attention to underlying stress, not just superficial symptoms.

How can you test if you suffer from hyperventilation?

To test if you suffer from hyperventilation, you should test the different aspects of hyperventilation which may be present. This includes underlying stress, the anxiety often present in hyperventilation, and whether or not you suffer from depression. In the free test which you can do on this website, you will be tested on these three elements.

How should you interpret the hyperventilation test?

If, after doing this test for hyperventilation, all the indicators are in the green, you are fine and probably do not need any kind of treatment. However, if one of the indicators is in the orange region, you ought to take action because you are at risk of your complaints getting worse during the months or years that follow. If any of the indicators are in the red on your self-test, online self-help or therapy is definitely needed in order to prevent your hyperventilation from becoming chronic.

What is the difference between acute hyperventilation and chronic hyperventilation?

Acute hyperventilation

Acute hyperventilation is a type of hyperventilation which only exists short-term, several months at most. People who suffer from acute hyperventilation have a large chance or healing in a short time with the help of a simple online self-help program or with therapeutic guidance. Such people often need no more than one month of online self-help.

Chronic hyperventilation

Chronic hyperventilation develops if one does not take action to solve the problem, and hyperventilation continues for over six months. In the case of chronic hyperventilation we often see that people should follow more than one month of the online self-help program in order to become complaint free and relapse free.

How can you test if your treatment for hyperventilation works?

In the online self-help program '15Minutes4Me.com' you do the same test every week which you can do here for free now. This way you can easily keep track of how far you have come with your efforts. We also mail a weekly report of this which you can show to your doctor or attending physician. This way they can guide you and look at your progress. He can also discuss whether you need to combine the online program with other medical treatment or not. Also, if you already are being treated by a therapist, you can use this development report with graphs with them.

Can an online self-help  program treat or heal hyperventilation?

Yes, in most cases an online self-help program can help you to learn to reduce general stress as well as help you recognize and reduce the specific symptoms of hyperventilation. especially for people suffering from acute hyperventilation, results quickly show. People who have suffered from chronic hyperventilation for years, are recommended to follow the program for several months. We generally recommend starting with the online self-help program and then see how your self-test develops within a week or three. If you, like most participants, see a strong reduction in your stress, anxiety, or depression, continuing to follow the program is likely to be enough help. In case your stress reduction on the test is not so strong, you might want to speak to your doctor about having an additional personal therapy, as an addition to your online self-help program. Of course your doctor is the one that can help you to make this choice and the one that should evaluate whether there are medical causes other than stress for your hyperventilation. The latter is rare, but only your doctor can assess this.

Can psychotherapy help heal hyperventilation?

Most modern types of psychotherapy have positive results on acute hyperventilation, comparable to the results of online self-help. For chronic hyperventilation, the results differ from therapist to therapist.

What can I do today to work on my hyperventilation?

Do the free online self-test now to see if you suffer from hyperventilation, and to see if stress, anxiety, or depression play a role. In case your three scores are in the green, you can return within several weeks to do the test again. This way you can see if your scores stay stable. In case your scores are in the red or orange zone, you can follow the online self-help program '15Minutes4Me.com'.

Paul Koeck, MD