Panic Attacks in Children
Panic attacks in children are a major pschycological issue, yet they
often get overlooked because most children lack the skills to communicate their panic attack experiences. Parents
can spare their children a lifetime of struggle with panic disorder by learning to recognize and address their
children’s stress levels.
How frequent are panic attacks in
If you, as a parent, still believe that childhood is a magical time during which
your children can learn to feel comfortable in the world from the safety of their home and school environments,
your children might have something to teach you!
Today’s children are being pressured from all sides from extremely early ages to
be thinner, smarter, more athletic, more competitive, and more socially dazzling than ever before. They learn in
short order that a failure on any front will leave them vulnerable to criticism from adults and ridicule from other
Many children are also struggling with family issues including sibling rivalry
and divorce. They also picking up on the financial struggles of their parents. The childhood script of today is,
quite simply, an open invitation to overwhelming levels of stress and anxiety. Yet children also feel tremendous
pressure to cover up their feelings of anxiety. Stress left unrelieved long enough can easily erupt at home and in
school as panic attacks in children.
In his pamphlet Anxiety Disorders Other than Obsessive Compulsive Disorders,
James Chandler, MD FRCPC estimates that as many as 12% (about 1 in 8) of all 9th-graders have experienced at least
one panic attack. He also says that about 20 % of all adults who suffer from full-blown panic disorder experienced
their first panic attack before they were ten years old. Is there a way to recognize panic attacks in children in
time to keep them from escalating into lifelong panic disorder?
Unfortunately, few children have the verbal skills to effectively communicate
their levels of anxiety, and even those who do are reluctant to admit that they feel so fearful. To complicate
matters even further, many adults don’t recognize the signs of panic attacks in children, and may write them off as
simple demands for attention. What signs should you look for in your children to determine if they may be
vulnerable to panic attacks?
The symptoms of panic attacks in children are, for the
most part, the same as they are in adults. Elevated heart rate accompanied by shortness of breath or a feeling of
suffocating; dizziness; nausea; trembling; and an overwhelming feeling of doom or fear of death are common
indications of ongoing panic attacks in children.
There are, however, other signs that indicate a child may be heading for panic
attacks even if he or she has not already experienced them. Does your child becomes unreasonably angry, sad, or
even violent? Is he or she sleeping too much, or not enough? Frequent and sudden mood shifts or a loss of appetite
are also indications that your child’s stress level is tipping toward the intolerable and panic attacks are
becoming a real possibility.
Any child unlucky enough to experience panic attacks while at school can feel
even more hopeless. The worry that he or she might lose control in the classroom at any second will produce just
the sort of anxiety which brings on panic attacks in children. Even if a panic attack doesn’t develop, fear of one
can distract the child, leading to poor grades and reluctance to interact with classmates.
Some children are so concerned about the possibility of panic attacks that they
find reasons to avoid school altogether. Children who miss significant time in school are at risk becoming
The economic and environmental challenges facing the children of the 21st
century are serious enough without those children having to cope with home-and-school-related stresses. Do your
best to keep your child’s world stress-free by learning as much as you can about panic attacks in
Ready To Stop Panic Attacks
"Learn how Karin Regenass went from
hopeless to break free from her panic attacks with the Linden
"I am a recent user of the Linden Method (indeed just started last week!) I was suffering from
anxiety and panick attacks since last year, it got so disturbing I thought that even death was
better, my thoughts drove me crazy and also these feelings which came with derealisation and
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immediately (I did not have one since then) and now after a week my anxiety is just like a faded
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fun activities! To all fellow sufferers I'd say - life is waaays to beautiful! Don't waste another
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Thank you so much."
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