Dealing with Panic Attacks in Children
Children go through frightened feelings, anxiety and worry similar to any adult as well. It is quite normal for people of all ages to experience these feelings. It only becomes a concern when these fears become frequent, disruptive and occur at all times without a valid circumstance for the agitation.
This is the main reason you need to seek medical attention from the start when it begins to appear as s problem so that you can identify the possible reasons and try a course of remedy for panic attacks in children.
While children panic attack is just another form of anxiety related condition, it is essential to find out how to deal with a child who might possibly be going through such a problem. Below are some of the typical signs that you can watch out for:
- Always feeling anxious and agitated
- Wetting the bed
- Throwing tantrums and screaming
- Too afraid to try anything new
- Very shy and avoids making new friends
- Doesn’t take part in any school activities
- Afraid to fall asleep due to nightmares
- Excessive behaviors
- Nervous of any change to routines
- Low self morale and confidence
- Physical ailments without a valid cause
During an episode where panic attacks children, they will usually portray these signs:
- Sudden burst of panicked feeling
- Feeling very hot or very cold
- Feeling difficult to breathe and tightness in the chest
- Acting crazy and disorientated
- Feeling like they are going to die
- Losing sense of reality
- Feeling nauseous and having stomach discomfort
- Increased heart rate and breathing
- Feeling faint
- Chest pains
These symptoms may differ according to a child’s age and other factors. In fact some of these behaviors may just be normal childlike behavior. So it is not always easy to know the difference between normal behavior and a panic attack syndrome. Therefore it is good to know what these symptoms are and differentiate them from your child’s normal behavior, after that you can help your child manage the problem by using these methods:
First of all you need to get professional medical help. An expert will be able to run the necessary tests to identify the problem and perform a medical diagnosis based on these factors. A thorough physical analysis will also differentiate the symptoms to see if it is indeed a panic disorder or some other medical problem.
Normally, doctors will prescribe medicines to help with anxiety relief. In some cases antidepressants would be suggested for a long lasting result. For more serious cases, they might suggest visiting a child psychologist as well.
You can also use self help methods to treat panic attacks in children. There are many books out there for reference on how to cope with this sort of disorder. Some of these books will also advise parents on good parenting and improving their relationship with the child and to build up and encourage the child’s morale.
Role play is another form of exposure therapy carried out with children. To reduce the child’s anxiety when it comes to dealing with stressful situations, a model scenario is created to teach the child on how to behave and react.
Herbal therapy has also been found to be rather effective when dealing with panic attacks in children. The usual herbs that come highly recommended are the St. John’s Wort, California poppy, skullcap, passion flower, Melissa officinalis, lavender and hops to name a few.