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Panic Attacks in Teens: How Can Parents Help Their Children Deal with it

Panic Attacks in Teens

Statistics reveal that 8% of teens have experienced panic attacks in their life. Teenagers tend to try to fit into groups for recognition. Having that feeling that something is always around posing as an obstacle leads to non-existing fear. These feelings of terror can affect their way of co-existing and can result in derealization. These episodes of fear have happened to more than half of the world's population.

For these reasons, all parents need to know how to address it. With that being said, let's take a look at what causes panic attacks and how you can help your kid to deal with these feelings when they strike without warning.

what is panic attacks

What Causes Panic Attacks?

Many parents are wondering what causes panic attacks in teenagers? Below are some reasons that cause panic attacks in teens to help you understand it better.

Hormonal Imbalances

Your teen will sometimes experience a lot of anxiety during their adolescence stage. The hormones in their body may fluctuate, making your child upset and experience unknown fear. In turn, this can lead to depression, and they could experience frustration and anger. At this stage, girls could experience irregular periods. In boys, there is around a 30-fold increase in testosterone production; this is often linked to their changes in behavior and mood such as depression or having stress due to forthcoming exams.

Life Expectation

The current life is full of high expectations: from the education system, parents, and pressure from peers. Teenagers of today want to have a life of proving that they can achieve whatever they want. If they are unable to meet their high expectations or maintain a certain standard, this can lead to stress and cause panic attacks in teens.

Substance Abuse

Many teens often rush into experimenting with drugs and alcohol; this can lead to drug abuse and addiction.  Social media and mainstream media advertising on the coolness of alcohol have adversely affected teenagers. The rampant penetration of drugs into the streets has caused an increase in panic attacks in teens.

Environmental Factors

Another cause of panic attacks in teens is the upbringing, with regards to the level of stress that surrounds teens. The ecosystem contributes to a whole lot of expectations that your teenager is waiting to fulfill. It is factual to say that hiccups and hitches of life are a major contributing factor. A traumatic experience like someone dying in the family, illness, or divorce may trigger the onset of a panic attack.

Health Disorders

Health conditions may trigger panic attacks in teens. For instance, asthma is known to increase the risk of teens having panic attacks. You should ensure that your asthmatic child stays away from anything that might trigger a panic attack. This can affect their studies, growth, and even hinder the normal development of their social life. In turn, this can lead to depressions.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Panic In Teens?

Now that you know what causes panic attacks, it is important to know which signs and symptoms you should look out for. Although the symptoms vary from one person to another, here are some of the common ones:

1. Physical Symptoms

Some of the physical symptoms that teens who are having panic attacks may experience include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Tightness in the throat or shortness of breath
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sweating
  • Rapid, pounding heart rate
  • Chest pains
  • Headache
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Tingling sensation or numbness

2. Behavioral Symptoms

Any moment you notice your kid has changed their diet and their sleep patterns have been affected, then the chances are high that your teen is going through a panic attack. Your child may also isolate themselves from friends or even family for no apparent reason. They may also refuse to leave the house or do the chores that you have assigned them to do. Additionally, they may lose interest in every activity that usually brings joy to their lives. At some point, they may feel uneasy. The fact that they are unsettled means they can decide not to hear your advice.

3. Mental Symptoms

Panic attacks can result in changes in mental state. Because panic attacks worsen without treatment, parents need to recognize the mental symptoms early so that they can help their kids. Your child may start getting worried without a reason, which can lead to depression. They may also experience a fear of death or a sense of impending danger or doom when they are having a panic attack. What’s the bottom line? The very fear of losing control and dying - coupled with suicidal thoughts - are the symptoms that you need to look out for if you think your teen is having a panic attack.

How Can Parents Help Their Teens to Deal With Panic Attacks?

Parenting teenagers is not an easy task. But it can be rewarding if you are closer to your child and help when they are going through various challenges in life. You should always be an advocate of the well-being of your kids.

If you notice any of these symptoms, then you need to act quickly to ensure that your teen has a happy, healthy life. Here's how you can help your teen when they are experiencing a panic attack.

1. Acknowledge Your Kid's Fear

The first step to helping your child is acknowledging their fear. Your kid should feel that you believe in them and take them seriously. You should also let them know that you are there to support them.

2. Equip Them With The Right Knowledge for Managing Panic Attacks

Teach your child how to handle anxiety when they have reached adolescence. Give them lessons on the different strategies that can help them to relax. Essentially, this can include taking long breaths, meditating, and listening to music. Also, encourage them to exercise regularly, as this will help to relieve stress. Physical activity may help increase the production of their brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, which are known as endorphins.

3. Help Them Achieve Their Goals

You should help your teen to set goals for the things that are causing them to have this episode of intense fear. Encourage them to meet their goals, but avoid stepping in too early or taking control. Let them explore and understand their feelings. You can tell them about your past worries as a teenager and give them assurances that they can overcome what they are feeling. Here’s the kicker: The fact that you are your child’s hero, tell them how life was hell, then you came out simply because of following instructions.

4. Show Your Kid Affection

Hugging your child and frequently telling them that you love them may help them feel better. Your love will show your kid that you are there to help overcome the situation. Be a good example to your kid by showing them how you deal with anxiety and stress.

5. Take Them to a Doctor

You may need to take your kid to a doctor if you feel that they are not getting better. If the situation is out of control, you should let a professional handle the case.

panic attacks in teens take them to doctors

FamiSafe - A parental Control App to Safeguard Kids

Anxiety, fear, peer pressure, and temper, are the common causes of panic attacks but can easily be curbed at their inception. Prevention is better than cure. Monitoring your kids' online activity can help you understand what is causing their stress, fear, and change in behavior. That is where the FamiSafe parental control app comes in.

With this app, you will be able to track their location and know if they are where they are supposed to be. This will help you to ensure that they don't visit high-risk areas. Want to know the best part? FamiSafe comes with a web filtering feature that allows you to block sites that are categorized as risky. The app alerts you whenever your kid visits a site that is classified as dangerous because they have explicit content.

By allowing you to monitor and control your children's mobile devices' usage, FamiSafe can help you to protect your kid from having panic attacks caused by internet dangers. The app is affordable and is available for both iOS and Android users.

  • Location Tracking & Geo-fencing
  • App Blocker
  • Web Filtering
  • Screen Time Control
  • Smart Parental Control Setting

Teenagers are on the verge of breaking down with the innovations of this century. While your kids need mobile devices to help them communicate with their family and friends, you should keep in mind that there are many dangers online, such as cyber predators and cyberbullying. And these can lead to panic attacks. FamiSafe can ensure that your kid is safe online and they live a happy life.

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Ankhi Bhattacharya

contributor Editor