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> It was almost always triggered by a thought that I couldn’t breathe or I wasn’t getting enough air or that my chest was tight.

> One day, I didn’t feel anxious at all but I noticed that I couldn’t take a full deep breath most of the time.

What you experienced is called hyperventilation. It's when you breathe so much that you have exhaled too much CO2, causing a pH change in your blood. You then responded with fear that led to recurring panic attack (panic disorder).

I am surprised you didn't use the term 'hyperventilation'. Several years ago I had a similar episode, developing chest pain and recurring panic attacks (panic disorder) due to hyperventilation. In the past I also had moderate (to severe) anxiety.

It was debilitating, but I've resolved my issues with techniques learned through therapy. You might be interested in reading: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23279349

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