Everything You Need to Know About Panic Attacks in Children


Did you know that one in twenty children in the United States has been diagnosed with some sort of anxiety disorder? This means that it’s highly likely that you or someone you know has either dealt with anxiety issues themselves or has had to deal with them within their family, even at a young age. Panic attacks are one type of anxiety disorder that affects many people of all ages, including children. In this article, we’ll be going over everything you need to know about panic attacks in children and what can be done to help your child overcome his or her fears.

What are panic attacks?

A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no apparent danger or source of anxiety. A panic attack usually lasts from 10 minutes to an hour and can cause severe shaking, sweating, palpitations, and rapid breathing. In some cases, it can lead to faintness or even a seizure. It occurs when there’s an extreme reaction of your autonomic nervous system (ANS). Your ANS helps regulate unconscious actions such as your heartbeat, breathing, and digestion.

Is there an age when children stop having them?

No. It’s a myth that children grow out of panic disorders like panic attacks. Panic disorder is a very treatable condition, but it has to be caught early on and treated properly, or else it will linger into adulthood. There are several warning signs parents can look for so they can begin treatment as soon as possible.

What makes them worse?

It’s not entirely clear what causes panic attacks in children. As with adults, several factors may play a role: environmental stressors, heredity, and learned behaviors. Additionally, people who have had stressful life events or trauma are more likely to experience panic attacks. One study found that people who suffer from panic disorder can attribute their earliest symptoms of a panic attack (rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath) to traumatic events that occurred during childhood.

How can I help my child?

The first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your child’s psychiatrist in Bhopal. In some cases, talk therapy may be enough; other times, medication will be required. There are several types of medicines available, each with different potential side effects and risks. Your doctor will prescribe whichever one he or she believes will be most effective for your child’s symptoms—and keep an eye on their progress so that adjustments can be made if needed.

When should I worry?

If you or your child experiences regular, unexpected, and strong panic attacks—and especially if these panic attacks occur at night—it’s important to speak with a psychiatrist in Bhopal. He or she will be able to assess whether you or your child is suffering from an anxiety disorder, provide treatments and refer you for further help if necessary.

Final Thoughts:

A panic attack in children can be scary, especially if it’s the first time it’s happened or the child isn’t sure why they’re feeling so stressed out and overwhelmed with anxiety. Luckily, there are ways to treat panic attacks in children before they get out of hand, so it’s important to learn how to spot the symptoms and then get your child help before they develop into more serious conditions like depression or PTSD.