panic disorders

Anxiety Attacks In Children And Adolescents

If you are reading this article then you are probably looking for more information regarding anxiety attacks in children and adolescents.

Do you have difficulty getting your child to go to school? Does your child prefer to take part in family activities than spend time alone? Has your child’s behaviour recently changed and been accompanied by a sudden loss or gain in weight? Does your child become upset if their routine is suddenly broken? If these things describe your child then it is possible that they are suffering from anxiety or panic disorder.

Many people think that panic attacks only happen in adults. However it is true because children are inexperienced and immature then certain experiences can become stressful to the point which they can cause a panic attack.

It is important to point out that many children will experience these feelings from time-to-time and it can be a healthy and perfectly normal part of development. But how do you know when your child is suffering from a form of anxiety disorder?

A panic attack is a physiological reaction to an event which your body thinks is stressful and as a result of these stressful events our heart beats faster, blood rushes through our body and our breathing quickens and becomes shallow. For some people this sensation can be so extreme that they actually think they are going to have a heart attack. It is important to note that this is a normal response to a potentially dangerous situation. A panic disorder is when you experience these feelings without a good reason to panic.

Is there a DNA test for anxiety?

A lot is known about the links between anxiety and depression. But panic disorders, panic attacks and the genes which cause it are still very much part of current scientific research. Scientists already know which genes are responsible for depression but there is currently no easyDNA test that can tell you whether anyone is predisposed to depression, anxiety attacks or panic disorders. What we do strongly suspect, is that panic attacks also have a hereditary or genetic component as does depression and the two are often linked.

More about panic attacks

There are several non-psychological reasons in adults that cause panic attacks, however these are extemely rare in children. The majority of panic attacks in children occur because they do not have the emotional maturity to handle a particular situation without panicking. It is typically not the adrenal glands, thyroid or other organic causes.

If your child is going through many panic episodes then you need to consider the stresses in their life. For example, has there been a recent death? Is the family involved in a divorce? Has your child started a new school? Have you recently moved to a new neighborhood? It is also important to note that if your child is between the ages of 11 and 14 then they may be starting puberty.

You will also need to consider issues such as is your family under financial strain? Is there abuse or alcoholism happening in the family? Has there been an illness?

You are probably wondering what should you do if you notice an anxiety disorder in your child? The best way to deal with panic attacks is through counseling. You will often find that counseling involves the whole family and a counselor will then help your child to start developing and discovering healthy coping strategies that will enable them to lead a happy life.

It is important to note that when dealing with anxiety attacks in children and adolescents then you may also need to make some changes in your life such as treating alcoholism, improving your marriage or finding a job that is healthy for your family. Some children also respond well to participating in martial arts or sports in order to build greater confidence.

However no child deserves to be plagued by panic attacks and if you recognise the symptoms of panic disorder in your child then it is important that you act quickly in order to help them overcome this problem safely.