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Coping With Panic Attacks In Children

Mar 28, 2008
Panic attacks or anxiety disorder in children and adolescents is a common and treatable disorder.
These attacks are more common in today's world then most people realize. In our fast pace world, bad diets, lack of exercise and high levels of anxiety and stress are more commonplace than ever before.

The main symptoms of panic attacks can often be unexpected and recurring situations of intense fear and discomfort. The attacks can often take place when your mind realizes there's an imminent danger nearby or simply when no danger is detected or in an ordinary situation.

There are a variety of different symptoms associated with a panic attack with the most common being a racing heartbeat and intense feelings of fear. Usually these attacks can last anywhere from a few minutes to hours.

Sometimes anxiety attacks will result when your mind detects an immediate danger or they can also result without warning.

The main symptoms of a panic attack include:

- Racing heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Intense fear (Usually a fear of dying or a fear of losing your mind)
- Trembling or shaking
- Dizziness (Usually caused by rapid breathing)
- Feelings of not being in reality

Panic attacks can regularly affect children more than an adult because a child is less adept at handling the symptoms compared to an adult. An adult has an easier time grasping the fact that panic attacks are normally not life threatening then compared to a childs view of panic attacks and the symptoms that cause them to be desperately afraid.

Panic/Anxiety attacks often runs in families and if not treated can cause serious complications in a childs life. Panic attacks can affect a childs relationships with family and other students at school and result in poor grades and overall poor development.

When a child expects recurring attacks, often times they will develop and live in a constant state of fear or anxious feeling because they expect another panic attack to occur. In severe situations they will be afraid to leave home or avoid certain places. This type of condition is known as agoraphobia and is not uncommon with children that experience panic attacks regularly.

Another thing to look for if a child is experiencing chronic panic attacks is turning to substance abuse. Early treatment is important to help avoid a child developing severe changes in their lifestyle such as substance abuse, agoraphobia, suicidal behavior and severe cases of depression.
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