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Moms Talk About Panic Attacks

When your young child has panic attacks – hyperventilating, pacing, shaking- what do you do? Ask your parent friends for help!

  • I suggest teaching him to trick his body into calming down. If you’re focusing on drinking or chewing/salivating, for example, your body will stop fight or fight mode because you can’t be in danger if you’re salivating etc… so hard and scary… Also, my body breaks into a drenching sweat so cooling off and removing clothes really helps. And sniffing lavender or a food will help too.
  • How to Stop a Panic Attack Before Things Get Really Bad –
  • Introducing scents in general are a good prevention.
  • True but it’s very hard to predict panic attacks or even recognize what the triggers are. Mine (claustrophobia, sudden extreme temperature shifts, disorientation) took years to figure out.
  • This simple visual to slow my breathing helps me! Feeling anxious? Take deep breaths in sync with this!
  • We turn on soothing music, have some tea, and a back rub. Maybe a cat snuggle. Depending on how he feels, tight hugs, but definitely lots of verbal reassurance that it will end and he’s strong and can get through it. I ask if he wants to talk about it after and don’t push it if he says no. I’ll bring it up much later, just so he knows I remember and care about him.
  • One of my children gets panic attacks…I suffer from them as well…they’re SO horrible, I can’t breathe, and my heart rate goes from 140 to 190 bpm resting
  • My four year old gets them (or maybe anxiety attacks, I’m not sure) and typically a back rub, warm shower while I hold her, calm talking, slow breathing practice, and sometimes warm tea or milk helps.
  • Oh yes, my eight year old started daily panic attacks after a year of very intermittent ones. It’s scary for me and for him. We use breathing techniques and a few other modalities his therapist showed us. At one point it was so bad we medicated him with anti-anxiety meds and he’s back to normal now and has had one panic attack in the last eight months.
  • My son used to get them all the time. It was brought on by going to school. Do you have any clue what brought it on? Unfortunately there are so many triggers in our crazy world right now. The things that helped us were going outside and feeling the cold air, using a weighted blanket, letting him know that this feeling will pass, a bracelet with essential oils to smell to help ground him, and we also did a few therapy sessions (then Covid hit). If your son is old enough to know what a panic attack and anxiety is, I would talk openly about it. It will give him the freedom to let you know if he feels one coming on again.
  • I get panic attacks, and grounding activities help for me. I like counting colors. Finding everything red, then everything orange, then yellow, etc. The idea is to distract the mind and have it focus on something other than the anxiety fueling the attack.
  • I used to sit with my child (now a teen) and remind her to breathe slowly, and that the feeling wasn’t going to last forever. I would tell her that we are going to sit together and get through it together. I also had her pick a sort of mantra when she was not having an attack to incorporate with the breathing, that she thought would be comforting to her. Hers was something like “I just have to breathe, I’m going to be okay. This feeling will go away.” I encouraged her to take a deep breath when the feeling began and think of their mantra in their head or say it aloud if she could. I also reminded her that smart, high achieving, exceptional people like her sometimes suffer from these attacks, and she is not alone. There are many happy people managing these attacks successfully. Talking to a professional may be helpful too. Hugs to you and your young one, you both are not alone!
  • Valor essential oil is amazing. You can roll it on wrists or forehead. Deep breathing. It’s great for calming, comforting and grounding the soul and mind. I also use it randomly at times if my heart starts racing.
  • My six year old has had panic and anxiety attacks for about 3 years now. She does not like being told to breathe. What has worked a bit was therapy to talk out her emotions. She and I both are big feelers and I tell her all the time it’s okay to cry with me or get angry with me if she needs to. That has really helped her go from having them often to only once in a while. Also moving too “fast” in the schedule of the day brings hers on. What helps calm her is her room. We have created an area where she keeps markers, pads of paper, her favorite blanket, things she can squeeze if she’s mad, and visualized cards that remind her how to “calm her body down” (it actually helps her breathe in and out but she doesn’t realize that). She likes to be in control so telling her “how to calm down” never works. So for her to have her own space truly has been a life saver in those moments. I often ask if she wants me near her or not. Sometimes she does and other times it’s no. Sometimes she falls asleep.
  • I personally take Gaia Herbs ‘Ashwaganda’ daily so that I don’t have them. It has helped a lot. The company is very responsive, you may want to email them and ask if their supplements are ok for that age group.
  • No personal experience with kids doing it, but I’ve talked many people down by asking them simple questions about their surroundings. It works for me during my panic attacks, too.
  • Ask them to find something blue, red, yellow. Then ask them to take a deep breath through their nose and tell you what they smell. In my experience, reminding them to actively try to do something that their body can make them freak out more. Bringing them back to their actual surroundings instead of the scary landscape they’ve created in their head is a good tool.
  • This is what I do. It’s 54321 – 5 things you see, 4 things you hear, 3 things you smell, two things you can touch and one positive affirmation about myself.
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