10 yr old and Panic attacks

Jennifer - posted on 08/12/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My daughter is ten yrs old and having recurring panic attacks. She does not want to sleep alone. School is starting Friday and she is terrified her teacher will be awful to her.

Last year her teacher told her she was faking, as my daughter clutched her chest feeling as though she could not breath. Doctors have not suggested medication. What do I do to put her at ease. She needs her rest. I need my rest. She is a striaght a student she should love school.

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Michelle - posted on 08/15/2009

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You're not alone! My daughter will be 11 in Sept and she has panic attacks. My husband has a heart condition, so we were worried about that and had her all checked out. I have four kids, so it was hard to deal with at first. I have weekly talks with my daughter, on Saturdays away from the house and Tuesdays, just to see how things are. Those are the only times I can get her away from the house so her siblings don't overhear. At the begining of the last school year (she had just been diagnosed) we sat down with her and her teacher and explained about the attacks. That way everyone knew and it wasn't too much of an issue. Her teacher and her came up with a system, where if he noticed her acting odd, he would ask if she needed a minute and she would be able to go outside the room or to the health room to get herself together. He would also do it to some other kids, so it didn't seem like he was picking on her. It was a great system and she managed to keep her perfect grades. Sometimes she felt self-consious, but we talked through it and she's dealt with it fine. It just takes some getting used to.



I'm hoping we can do the same type of thing with her teacher this year and it works as well. Just take it one day at a time and have a lot of heart to hearts with your daughter. Explain it to her, ask her if she would be comfortable with her teacher knowing and come up with a plan in case she has an attack. It's really all you can do, besides find someone outside the situation for her to talk to. Doesn't have to be a shrink, we considered that for my daughter but wanted to see how it worked out before we took that step. Now she has me, her dad, and my mom to talk to about things. We're not professionals, but she has her own support group. Good luck and I hope you find something that works.



I would also have a talk with the principle about that teacher and tell them it's a serious condition and you don't want your daughter around that teacher, because if they're just going to accuse her of faking it...it might make it worse and it could cause more problems with her anxiety. My daughter would freak and have an attack if she thought everyone was going to accuse her of faking it. It is a real problem and there are medications out there, but who wants to feed their 11 yr old meds if it can be controlled in other ways?

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Jane - posted on 02/12/2013

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Hi-I see that this was posted a few years ago but I am curious how you fared. I hope that everything worked out for you and your child and would love to know what if anything worked to help your daughter with the panic attacks. What has been your journey?
Thank you!

Jill - posted on 08/25/2009

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My son, who will be 20 in Sept. was ADHD so when his panic attacks started I wasn't suprised. He was about 15 when they started. One night I rushed him to emergency because I thought he was having a heart attack! I was telling a friend from work about it. She said she use to have them, she told how she got trhough them and how to help my son through one. It worked! I had to walk him through it, but he had to stand up straight, looking down at his feet and concentrating only on his breathing and his feet, taking one step forward at a time. It took him a while to get it under control without me being there to help him, but he did eventually. He still has them, though not as often thank God, but he knows how to cope with them better. He also had to learn what kind of stress triggered them.

[deleted account]

My 10yr old started showing signs at about 2yrs old at gas stations. That was the only time. Likely for me my daughter could talk well. When school started i was told she was spoiled. I talked to my DR. and we agreed talking is the best way for her. My BF daughter is on med for hers , She would throw up from fear of school. It is real and i wish i could give you great advice but all i can say is talk to your dr and talk to your daughter. BTW my mother and i also have panic attacks. They are different for everyone. I would try talking to her about her feeling and if it helps her she can write it down when she feels like i1 is coming on. Then you both can talk about what triggered it. I am happy to say that my Daughter has 1 manybe 3 times a year now. She has through her diary seen a pattern and yes over tired is a trigger.

If the teacher does not listen well you could always get your dr to recomend a book or pamplet for the teacher to look at. Good luck and if you want to talk you can email me

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Lisa - posted on 08/22/2009

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Your not alone. Talk to you pediatrician. My 10 year old has panic attacks she was averaging 1-2 a day. I talked to my pediatrician, he said lack of sleep makes them worse. She takes (over the counter in the vitamin section) 6mgs of melitonin at night, it's all natural and helps promote sleep. She also sees a child therapist once a week. She teaches her relaxation, how to read "the warning signs" her body gives before a panic attack starts so she knows when to use the relaxation tecniques. It has helped her so much. We have been on this routine for 6 months and now she may have only 1 or 2 a month.

Jennifer - posted on 08/18/2009

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I am a sub at the school. I have talked with the nurse, teachers and principle. They all seem so put out by the situation. They sent her home today for making a scene.

Laura - posted on 08/18/2009

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Communicate with your school's principal and teacher! Let them know of your daughter's condition and formulate a plan for coping with these attacks. Let your daughter be part of the decision-making so that she feels she has some input/control in the process.

Kylie - posted on 08/17/2009

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Hi Jennifer. I have a 12 yr old who was diagnosed at 3 yrs old with a severe anxiety disorder. She had a serious panic attack last year at school and the teacher couldnt deal with it and locked her in a store room which led to my daughter having a whole range of psychological problems for which she was put on medication. We contacted the Department of Education and took her out of school. I work in the health industry and specialised in Mental Health for two yrs so I was lucky to have the knowledge and experience working in my favor. It is an awful thing for a young person to go through and when the panic attack is happening they do feel like they cant breath, and experience chest pains. Your daughters teacher obviously doesnt know anything about panic attacks and needs to be educated about this awful condition.

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talk to the schools principal there are alot of things they can do to help your daughters school year be a great one

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