My ten year old daughter has panic attacks .

(18 Posts)
BaldricksTurnip Sun 13-Jan-13 00:15:19

I have suffered with anxiety since I was 17. After years of living in fear of feeling anxious and thus feeling anxious, I find that one of the most helpful things is to go with it when it's happening. Tell her not to fight the anxious feelings and not to fear them as they are after all only a feeling and those feelings WILL pass. Feeling afraid of feeling anxious exacerbates the anxiety. I think the trick is to accept it and know that it is temporary. Poor girl I know how bad anxiety and panic can be, give her a big cuddle from me.

SuperDuperTrooper Sat 12-Jan-13 20:39:02

I think suzyruts post is great. I was too going to suggest breathing techniques when suffering a panic attack. It's the rapid breathing that makes the sufferer feel ill and out of control. Long, slow, deep breaths in and out are really important to help control the attack. Counting really helps to time the lengths and give the sufferer a focus. Good luck.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Sat 12-Jan-13 19:20:24

suzyrut that's really, really helpful.

I am ordering the book mentioned above tonight, when it comes I will read it through with her.

I am really thankful that you have taken the time to help us.

Andro Thu 10-Jan-13 16:11:03

Don;t just let this go either if you're convinced she needs professional help. DS has a phobia of flying, it's so bad he had to be hospitalised after the last panic attack. His first counselor was atrocious but we pushed for a specialist (a psychologist who specialised in trauma based phobias in our case) and the situation is improving. One of the biggest things was DS learning to articulate what he was feeling and beginning to explore what was triggering his feelings at a particular point it time.

Good luck getting your DD the help she needs.

Noren Thu 10-Jan-13 15:47:34

Posted too soon. Just wanted to say it helped me a lot and it's all told in cartoons and accessible to children too.

Noren Thu 10-Jan-13 15:46:57
suzyrut Thu 10-Jan-13 15:25:32

Hi OP, Just wanted to say that my son suffered from panic attacks on and off for about a year around the age of 11, he's 13 now and seems (touch wood) to have grown out of it. They ranged from being upset and not being able to go to sleep because of something on his mind to full on screaming, crying "I'm going to die" moments. We didn't go to CBT or to the doctors (I'm not suggesting you shouldn't at all and maybe I should've) but I just wanted to share what worked for us.

1. Making sure he had a very calming bed time routine, almost the same as with a toddler.
2. Restricting access to anything electronic to a really minimal time and nothing in the evening.
3. When an attack occurred we'd sit on the floor together (facing each other) and do deep breathing exercises. Very straight forward in for 7 out for 11 until the panic passed.
4. I explained the biological reasons behind "fight or flight" and that what he was experiencing was a rush of adrenaline. My son has quite a scientific mind and I think it helped him to know he was experiencing a "normal" biological reaction.

I hope everything goes ok at the doctors btw, it is absolutey devastating feeling so powerless to be able to comfort and help your child, eurgh I shudder just remembering it.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Thu 10-Jan-13 13:25:25

Thank you for the links and for the kind words. It means a lot to me.

Sickandsad Mon 07-Jan-13 22:43:39

Hi OP, hope your DD is feeling better. When you see your GP make sure you are specific about wanting a referral to your local CAMHS service. Some GPs are better than others but I know from a close friends experience with her DS that it can be hard to access the right help for children with anxiety issues.

Have you looked at the Youngminds website? It provides some good basic info about what you could expect from a referral to CAMHS. I would also recommend googling the name of your local NHS trust (the service could be provided by a community or a mental health trust doenung on where you live) and CAMHS for info about services in your area.

www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents/services_children_young_people/camhs/what_are_cahms

I'm glad that your DD has such a great supportive mum looking out for her. Best of luck with getting the referral sorted out easily.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Mon 07-Jan-13 21:59:42

I tried to speak to her about the last one with the poo situation and she didn't want to talk about it, I didn't push her to discuss it and I thought if it had been me I wouldn't want to either but I will discuss the issue in general with her.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Mon 07-Jan-13 21:57:30

Thank you all for your advice. I knew Mumsnet would help me.
She has a doctors appointment next Wednesday.
I know certain things make them worse, tiredness, loud noises, different places.
She is a happy child, other than this making her unhappy, and we are lucky enough to have a good life with no big problems, so there is not a specific problem that causes her to feel this way. But I realise there may be no specific reason.
What can I do to calm her down when they are happening? I tried holding her and speaking calmly, will the doctor/people he refers me to be able to answer any questions I have?
Thank you again.

Oh the poor soul. I have suffered with very similar attacks since I was about 16. Because they used to give me diarrhoea I ended up worrying about going out. I struggled for years and really wish I'd sought help sooner. My dr was rubbish and didn't recognise it as anxiety. Just ibs. Medication has changed my life.
Whilst I'm certainly not suggesting your dd needs medication I totally agree with pps re getting help. Anxiety can easily spiral out of control and if she's seen early you may be able to stop it.

Anxiety runs in my family and I'm terrified my dc will suffer. My teenager is a bit panicky about punctuality and random things but not excessively so, I worry about my 9 yo who could be me at that age.

thornrose Sat 05-Jan-13 00:12:27

My 13 yo dd suffers from anxiety and panic. It was at its worst when she was 10. I used CAMHS to get a referral for cbt which helped. I agree that you should get help ASAP, it's unlikely to go away without it in all honesty.
My dd had very specific health anxiety. Does your dd have specific triggers?

sensesworkingovertime Sat 05-Jan-13 00:02:46

Hi Iced Gem, I think Super Dupers advice sounds good - in other words it sounds like you need some help with this one, don't struggle with it!

I tuned in as soon as I read '10 year old DD', as mine gives me plenty to worry about. Is she a sensitive child by the way? I wouldn't say mine has panic attacks exactly but more like 'worry attacks'. She wil suddenly start worrying about something and it will seem to have come from nowhere - it can be quite alarming and I have to think on my feet of things to say and answers to give her.

I can totally understand how much you love her and how much you want to help her. I do not have any expert advice, only words of support and here's hoping you get through it all soon. Does it help to talk things through with her when she's not panicking at all? Hope all goes well soon.

SuperDuperTrooper Fri 04-Jan-13 20:05:35

I'm sure that's the right thing to do. It is difficult having emotional problems but it can be controlled and perhaps even overcome for good. As far as CBT is concerned my advice would be to make sure she does any "homework" that the counsellor sets as its the hard work done in your own time that makes all the difference as opposed to the therapy sessions themselves. Hope it's a quick and easy ride for her and you.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Thu 03-Jan-13 21:19:31

Thank you for the reply. Its answered what I was wondering about doing something now or leaving it until she is older hoping she might get better,
I will definitely help her now. It seems a case of the sooner the better then really. I'll research the therapy you mentioned.
I love her so much, feel so sad for her sad
Thank you.

SuperDuperTrooper Thu 03-Jan-13 21:03:27

No real advise here for having a child that suffers with panic attacks but I've had them myself. For me Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was very helpful as it teaches you to channel your thoughts rationally and, therefore, avoid the panic feeling. I would certainly recommend it in an attempt to teach her sooner rather than later how to control her feelings. I went privately to get seen immediately but you could see her gp and go on a waiting list for NHS treatment. At times the feeling has crept back and Ive needed to return to a counsellor to regain control but its always helped. An anxious life is half a life if you ask me so best nip it in the bud if possible. Good luck.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Thu 03-Jan-13 19:35:47

I don't know if the is the right place to post this and if there are already any threads about it (I am on my phone and can't look properly)
My daughter is ten and has always got panicky if she is tired or ill or in stressful (to her) situations.

I thought they had got better but she just had the worst one she ever had, I think is must give her IBS/upset tummy as she has just had diarrhoea, sorry if TMI, it was a huge amount and must have been painful.

Its very distressing to see her like this, I was able to calm her down eventually this time.
I would love advice from anyone else please on what to do to help her.
If anyone does reply I can tell you any other information that would help me help her.
I have suffered from this mildly in the past and she never actually saw me when I had them, I am really worried for her.
Thanks for reading.

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