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Ask Marilyn: This Week's 'Strictly Personal' Question

(Name withheld) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, writes:

Marilyn: My wife unconsciously sighs a lot. We've all heard that this could be the body's way of getting a burst of needed oxygen to the brain, similar to a yawn. But can excessive sighing ever be classified as a habit? Is it possible that an unusual amount of sighing is more psychological in nature rather than a physiological need?

Marilyn responds:

First, your wife needs to see her physician and tell him what's happening. Go with her! Excessive sighing may be a symptom of illness, such as a respiratory problem. And if everything checks out okay, please be advised that frequent sighing is also a sign of depression. The "habit" explanation is plausible, but I suggest that you rank it last among the possibilities.



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