Overcome Your Panic Attacks

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Panic Cure Today: Child Anxiety Attacks

Panic Cure Today: Child Anxiety Attacks: "Child Anxiety Attacks Just like adults, children experience fear, anxiety and apprehension. These are but normal emotional experiences that..."

Child Anxiety Attacks

Child Anxiety Attacks

Just like adults, children experience fear, anxiety and apprehension. These are but normal emotional experiences that a person feels regardless of age. However, if anxiety becomes irrational, recurring and severe, and anxiety attacks happen without any apparent reason, and the reaction is disproportionate to the problem at hand, it can be a cause of concern. This is why on the first signs of problem, have your child get proper diagnosis by a health professional to be able to rule out any possible causes and determine the right treatment to be applied.

Since anxiety attack is a type of anxiety disorder, it is important to know what happens to a child who is suffering from such disorder. To be able to identify it, here are the following symptoms:

• Frequent feeling of fear and panic
• Bed wetting
• Tantrums and excessive crying
• Fear of making mistakes
• Fear of getting embarrassed
• Avoidance of certain activities such as school event and summer camps
• Nightmares and night terrors
• Compulsive behaviors
• Resistance to any change
• Low self-esteem, lack of confidence
• Overly shy and difficulty making friends
• Chronic physical symptoms such as stomach aches or headaches without any apparent reason

A child is under an anxiety attack if he shows the following symptoms:

• Gush of overwhelming panic
• Hot flashes or chills
• Trouble breathing or choking sensation
• Feeling of loosing control or going crazy
• Feeling and fear of dying
• Feeling unreal or detach
• Nausea or stomach cramps
• Hyperventilation
• Shaking or trembling
• Feeling like passing out
• Chest pain or heart palpitation

Different children of different ages or even of the same age may manifest different symptoms. Moreover, some of the symptoms given may be considered as a normal behavior of a child. Thus it is a bit tricky to determine if he or she is really having an attack or not. What should be done is to recognize these symptoms and consider them as a reason of concern, then help your child deal with these symptoms through the following:

Seek help from health professional – Effectively stopping anxiety attacks begins with recognition and followed by a compete diagnosis from your medical doctor. A full medical examination should be administered in order to rule out any other physical causes unrelated to anxiety.

Doctors usually give prescription medications to help relieve anxiety. If applicable, SSRI antidepressants may be needed for a long term solution. For a more severe case, doctors may refer the child to a psychologist.

Self-help techniques – Parents may seek the help of books available for treating child anxiety. This is also very effective in teaching parents strategies for responsible parenting, which improve parent-child relationship and help build child self-confidence and self-esteem.

Play therapy – is the child version of exposure therapy. As an effective child anxiety treatment, play therapy uses the power of play to simulate each fearful situation in a controlled environment, which then helps the child face the problem and come up with a solution.

Herbal medicines – is proven and effective means of treating anxiety attacks and other types of anxiety disorder. Some of the commonly recommended remedies include passionflower, valerian, scuttelaria laterifolia (scullcap), California poppy, Melissa officinalis, hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort), hops and lavender.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Causes of Child Anxiety Attacks

Causes of Child Anxiety Attacks

Child anxiety, just like that of adults, is a normal, healthy emotion felt as a response to certain stimuli. But when anxiety becomes recurring, irrational and intense, it may be considered as a disorder. Episodes of anxiety attacks can disable the child from performing his daily duties in school and at home. And while it is generally safe, anxiety attacks can affect how the child lives.

Since children are more fragile, they more vulnerable to such attacks and the effects of these attacks may be more severe than to adults. But what causes anxiety attacks? Here are some of the most common reasons of anxiety attacks:

School Phobia and Separation Anxiety
When a child reaches a certain age, he or she develops school phobia. The exact reason for this is still unknown, but what happens is, the child becomes excessively afraid of going to school. A child manifests this fear by creating reasons and complaining ailments such as toothaches, headache, and stomach cramps to keep him or her from going to school. School phobia is often linked to separation anxiety but the latter can manifest to situations other than in school (e.g. being with a group of people or joining other family for the weekend).

Again, the exact reason for this is unknown. Separation anxiety is excessive fear of being away from someone whom the child is comfortable being with. Tale-told signs of separation anxiety are similar to school phobia.

Stress is linked to anxiety attacks. It may be a result of heavy responsibilities at home and in school, unfinished tasks, physical and psychological abuse, a school bully, environment that is unfit for the child's age, violence, etc.

Change in lifestyle
A child creates friends in school and in the neighborhood. These friends would make him or her feel comfortable and accepted. So when the family moves to another place or to a different school, a child loses the friend and comfort he or she has established and forces him or her to start all over again. If the child cannot cope with this stressful situation, it can lead to episodes of anxiety attack.

Indirect Reasons
In many cases, anxiety attacks just come out of the blue, or happen without any logical, clear or apparent reason. It may occur while the child is relaxed during the day and even while asleep. This may only happen only once. Perhaps, an anxiety attack is brought about by unresolved internal issues, which are not directly connected with the trigger. For example, a child who experiences a death of a loved one may panic whenever a certain, almost similar situation happens. The traumatic experience that he or she went through in the past which are not processed properly can come out, in this case through an attack.

A child may also show episodes of anxiety attacks because the problem at hand reminded him or her about family conflicts. Fighting in the family as well as divorce of parents may be traumatic to a child that when witnessing a similar situation, he or she goes into a panic.

Take note that there is no single reason (and it takes several factors) for a child to have an anxiety attack, but whatever it is, what's important is how do deal with it properly.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Anxiety Attack Treatments

Anxiety Attack Treatments

Anxiety attacks are frightening but the good thing is, episodes are generally harmless. In most cases, attacks rarely last for more than 30 minutes, with peak of intensity within the first 10 minutes. What make such attacks dangerous is if it becomes chronic and if it already affects the well-being of a person and already disrupts his normal way of life.

Several treatments are proven very effective in stopping anxiety attacks. Let us look at some of the more popular ones:

Breathing technique – is one of the most effective ways in controlling anxiety attacks. Proper breathing helps slow down heartbeat and helps calm the tensed muscles as a result of the attack. Breathing also diverts the mind's attention from the "trigger" and calms the self, thus, stopping the attack even faster. Proper breathing techniques are easy to learn and master. 

Self-hypnosis – is a great tool to alter your thought process as well as your body's reaction to those fearful thoughts. During an anxiety attack, lay down on your back or in any comfortable position and try to process your thoughts. Identify the origin of such fearful thoughts. Know if it is real. If you concentrate enough in finding the origins of your thoughts, you will soon realize that they are really not a valid reason for excessive fear. It may sound simple, and it is. Psychiatrists now recommend self-hypnosis as a treatment for anxiety attacks and other anxiety disorders. (Hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy can be used together by your therapist to stop symptoms of anxiety attacks.)

Meditation – has long been credited to relieve stress and anxiety as it promotes the release of negative energy from the body, relaxes tensed muscles, and calms the mind, which in turn, effectively reduces irrational fear and apprehension. Meditation may not be for all because of the time required to master the technique, however, with proper guidance of an expert or a little bit of patience and dedication, you can reap its benefits.

Herbs – (such as chamomile, passion flower, lavender, and ginkgo biloba) are very effective long-term treatment for anxiety attacks. Since they are all-natural, they posses no side effects. They may not be as aggressive as prescription drugs but they work just as effective.

Prescription medicines – are a major help in stopping the symptoms of anxiety and episodes of anxiety attacks. Antidepressants are the most common anxiety treatment. They must be taken continuously, which may take as long as six weeks before noticing the effects. Beta-blockers are a type of drugs that prevent symptoms from recurring. SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors boost the level of serotonin in the brain which regulates and normalizes emotions.

Therapies – are a very important anxiety treatment. These target the psychological aspect of anxiety. CBT or the cognitive-behavioral therapy is used to alter the way of thinking – converting negative thoughts into positive ones. Techniques used in CBT include role-playing and relaxation technique. Exposure therapy exposes the person to the physical sensations of panic in a safe and controlled environment. Through repeated exposure, patients gain greater self control and more confidence in facing fearful situation.

Prescription medicines and therapies, when combined and used at treatment, are very effective. Medical studies show that the response rate of patients is much higher if both methods are used compared to those that are treated using either method.