Child Panic Attack – Comforting Your Child in Time of Need
Panic and anxiety attacks are not just affecting adults, children can get them too. The difference between a child panic attack and an adult panic attack is that the child panic attack is much harder to diagnose. They are often misunderstood as ADD or some other ailment. Hyperactivity is sometimes suspected to actually be a child panic attack due to the similarity in symptoms.
Panic attacks are seldom predictable–especially with children. Sometimes they happen without any obvious trigger at all. Sometimes it can be difficult for a child to explain how they are feeling or what they are experiencing, so it may seem very unpredictable and mysterious for us.
Just like you and I, children have their own fears and worries. These only become problematic when these fears escalate to the point of causing a child panic attacks and interfere with their ability to live a normal life. This can happen to any child–especially at school, one of the most stressful places in a child’s life. These panic attacks can also be quite specific as well depending on the lifestyle of the child and what they are accustomed to.
There are two very general causes that seem to pop up again and again in sparking a child panic attack. The first is dealing with a separation of their parents. This seems to have the largest effect on boys and can cause a good deal of anxiety for them. The second common trigger is a lack of attention from either the child’s parents or friends at school. Children thrive on regular attention when they are growing up and if they don’t get enough of it, they can sometimes feel anxious. A child that may have experienced some other form of trauma or abuse may feel shy or otherwise withdrawn. This could invite panic attacks down the road as well.
Child panic attacks come in many forms, from physical symptoms to psychological symptoms. Physically, a child may experience intense sweating or difficulty breathing comfortably. Psychological symptoms can be challenging to pin down, but are commonly associated with some form of abuse or neglect. Children often don’t know what they are going through and thus it is difficult for them to explain it. Sometimes children may have agoraphobia or some type of social anxiety. Parents should take extra care if they suspect that the child panic attack may be indicating some other physical or mental issues.
When you realize that your child may be having a panic attack, you should try to understand the situation and don’t simply brush it off. Professional treatment and relaxation are good measures to help manage a child panic attack.
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