Helene Goldnadel


What's Causing My Child's Panic Attacks? Helene Goldnadel Explains

A child experiencing anxiety isn't much different from the anxiety that an adult experiences. Anxiety is normally a healthy emotion that is felt in response to stressful situations. The emotion may be considered an anxiety disorder or panic attacks when the anxiety spins out of control and may recur from time to time, and is irrational or very intense. These anxiety attacks or panic attacks can become so disabling that the child is unable to perform normal daily activities in school and at home. The attacks are generally not harmful, but it disrupts the child's life and creates a lower level of confidence and quality of life for the child.


The effects of the panic attacks in children may be more severe than they are in adults because children are more vulnerable to the attacks. There are a few identified causes of anxiety attacks in children. Here are some of the most common reasons discussed by Helene Goldnadel.


School Phobia and Separation Anxiety

School phobia develops when a child becomes irrationally afraid of going to school, for reasons still unknown. The child may not tell you of this fear, or may not even realize that this is the fear that they are feeling. The fear may manifest itself by the child complaining of illness such as stomach aches, headaches, or toothaches in order to not go to school. The child may not recognize this ill feeling as fear, but it may truly feel like illness to him.

School phobia is thought of as another form of separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is the excessive or irrational fear of being away from someone the child is close to, such as being away from his mother. Separation anxiety has a wider range of situations that trigger a panic attack such as being away from the child's family by staying overnight with another family. The reason for separation anxiety is also unknown and the symptoms of it are similar to the symptoms of school phobia.


Too Much Stress

Stress is a leading factor in inciting anxiety and panic attacks. The child may feel overburdened by heavy responsibilities at home or school. The child may have a sick parent and feel responsible for the other siblings, not to mention the health of the parent. There may be physical or psychological abuse. He may be dealing with a bully at school. He may live in a home that is unfit or one parent may fly into violent rages. There's a myriad of things that can cause more stress to a child than he can handle for his age.


Lifestyle Change

Friends in school and playmates in the neighborhood make up the bulk of a child's outside world. When the family moves to a new home or to a different school, the child's world changes. All the friends are gone that have given him so much comfort. Now he's alone. And he has to forge his way in the new world alone, making new friends and adjusting to new situations and ways of doing things. If the child is overwhelmed by all this, it can cause a panic attack.


Unknown Reasons

Sometimes it appears that a panic attack just comes out of the blue, for no reason at all. The child may be in a relaxed mode, or even asleep. It's thought that the panic attack is brought on my issues and feelings that the child hasn't properly processed panic attacks may be caused by family conflicts such as fighting or divorce and when the child witnesses a similar situation, a panic attack is triggered.

There are usually several factors that trigger a panic attack in a child. Learning the signs and symptoms of the attacks will help you help your child to begin controlling the attacks.


Also read: Learn About the School Phobia - Helene Goldnadel

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