Panic disorders in children and adolescents are common and treatable. Often referred to as “panic attacks”, they come on suddenly and often develop without warning. Panic Attacks can last for minutes or hours, if not recognized and treated, panic disorder and its complications can be devastating and have lasting effects.
• Racing or pounding heartbeat
• Shortness of breath
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
• Intense fearfulness (a sense that something terrible is happening or about to happen)
• Trembling or shaking
• Fear of dying, losing control or losing your mind
Panic attacks often will interfere with your child’s schoolwork, relationships, friendships and possibly development. Children and adolescents may start to feel anxious all or most of the time, causing them to begin to avoid certain situations. Your child may be hesitant to go to school or participate in activities, may have issues being separated from their parents, and in serious cases your child may be afraid of leaving the house in general. Children with anxiety are at greater risk for developing severe depression and may be at risk for suicidal behavior. Adolescents may also turn to alcohol and drugs as an attempt to lessen their anxiety.
Children with symptoms of panic disorder should be evaluated by a licensed pediatric counselor, who can then refer you to a pediatrician, if needed, to ensure there is no other illness or other physical condition for their symptoms. There are several effective types of treatments for panic disorder. Counseling can help your child and family learn ways to reduce stress and with “cognitive behavioral therapy,” your child can learn ways to help control anxiety and panic attacks. Specific medications, in conjunction with counseling may help manage or reduce the panic attacks. Typically, this is the best course of action to help your child/teen for their long-term success with panic disorder.
At Cameron Pediatric Counseling, we work with many children and families to help them find the best solution for their individual circumstance. With early detection and treatment, we can help to prevent further complications of depression and possible substance abuse.
Serving children and families in the following communities:
Winchester VA | Berryville VA | Stephens City VA | Millwood VA | Middletown VA | Boyce VA | Kernstown VA | Clear Brook VA | Front Royal VA | Shenandoah VA | Strasburg VA | Woodstock VA | Mt Pleasant VA | Cross Junction VA
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