It is very common for children to experience panic attack symptoms. Some are not able to distinguish what is a panic attack and what are the symptoms of a heart condition or asthma, for example. Unfortunately this can lead to much anxiety and frustration for the child suffering from this condition, as well as for the parents. It is vital that these children know what panic attack symptoms are so they can recognize them and take the necessary steps to help themselves.
One of the most common panic attack symptoms in a child is rapid heartbeat, sweating, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. The child’s breathing might also become very fast and shallow. They may begin to feel sick or dizzy. Sometimes the child will have a hard time catching their breath. There are other instances when a child will exhibit all of these symptoms, at least in the beginning. Children do not usually get panic attacks until they are older, around 12 years of age.
It is important that you do not panic at this point and attempt to comfort your child. If you are calm, the child will more likely be calm. This will give the opportunity for the child to open up and tell you what is happening to them. If you respond appropriately and help the child gain his or her confidence, the panic attack will become less intense and may dissipate before it gets out of control.
If you notice any panic attack symptoms in your child, make sure you take the time to speak with them calmly. You want to determine the cause of the problem. In most cases, it is a physical problem and can be easily corrected by taking medication or doing some simple exercises. If it is a psychological issue, however, you may need to work with your child’s therapist to find the source and correct it so it does not recur.
If you have noticed panic attack symptoms in your child, you will want to take care of him or her as soon as possible. Once the symptoms are established, they can become much more difficult to reverse. They can also become more severe, causing your child to lash out and act inappropriately. You want to do everything possible to keep the symptoms from surfacing again, if you can.
Your doctor may also be able to prescribe some kind of behavioral therapy for your child. This can be very helpful for children who are unable to control their behaviors. Some therapists are trained specifically in treating children with these symptoms, so you may want to see if you can find one in your area. Another option may be to seek therapy through school or other groups that focus on mental health issues. Talking to others who have been in the same situation will help you understand your child’s perspective on the situation and what you can do to help encourage good behavior.