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Possible panic attacks in teenager

(10 Posts)
oldlazy Fri 18-Jul-08 19:48:17

DS1 is 16 and for the last 3 years he has had eposides where he is overcome by a feeling of terrible fear. If he is at home he comes to me to be comforted and after a few minutes it goes away. He also feels slightly sick when this happens. They tend to occur more often when he is going through a period of change eg. new term at school or even start of holiday.

I have been through 2 periods in my life where I have suffered from anxiety/panic attacks, but his don't seem to follow the same pattern and they are not always caused bt stress or worry. When I ask him if there is anything sepcific worrying him he says not.

Does anyone have any idea what this could be.

oldlazy Fri 18-Jul-08 22:05:01

bump anybody

wigparty Fri 18-Jul-08 23:56:21

Hi oldlazy,
I think it sounds like anxiety problems, which in my mind are less 'instant' than a panic attack.
Afraid I haven't got much practical advice but I know you can work on making the situation better and am hoping that this bump will get you more help.

MrsMacaroon Sat 19-Jul-08 00:18:47

Could well be panic attacks...mine started as a teen and took many different forms.

Maybe you could print off some info from websites that list all the physical symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety with a description of how and why the body works to cause these feelings of fear etc...that helped me rationalise it and took the fear of the fear away, if you know what i mean. Sometimes you get so scared of feeling the panic that it brings it on...bit of a vicious cycle.

Would he like something like Tai Chi? Something that involves relaxation and breathing would be a good idea and maybe look at his die, esp caffeine and sugar intake. Sounds like he can confide in you so that's a good start.

MrsMacaroon Sat 19-Jul-08 00:19:30

die = diet

oldlazy Sat 19-Jul-08 12:26:26

Thanks for replying. He probably would like TaiChi or even meditation. He may be overdoing caffeine, but is very conscious of having a healthy diet (more than me!).

He does talk to me about how he feels. He is very bright,a very deep philosophical thinker and quite sensitive. Sometimes I think this just exacerbates any anxiety problems.

As long as this is psychological and there is no underlying physical health problem then we can probably deal with it.

MrsMacaroon Sat 19-Jul-08 19:38:13

i doubt there is anything physical but it wouldn't hurt to ask a GP...

the other thing that went through my head was drug use- esp weed...? if he doesn't partake, you need to have a chat with him about the possibility of bad reactions, anxiety wise. My panic attacks went bananas after smoking weed/grass.

Cathpot Sat 19-Jul-08 19:47:09

Good friend of mine had panic attacks that started in late teens and lead to anxiety about getting attacks in public places and so she ended up quite restricted. UK doctors put her on beta blockers which really didnt suit her, what sorted it in the end was a doctor in india prescribing yoga lessons. Helped her get in charge of her breathing and reduce her general anxiety levels. She is fine now. I am about to start a thread myself asking for help for another friend who is having anxiety attacks due to a recent specific trauma. I was wondering if cognitive behaviour therapy might help but I dont know enough about it. I think it is a talking therapy which helps you control negative thoughts. Not sure if that would be an option for your son. At least he has a lovely mum he can come to in the mean time. Good luck

oldlazy Sun 20-Jul-08 18:17:40

Mrs M, I know he is smoking dope occasionally and I have told him that he should be careful because he probably has a predisposition to having a reaction. However these episodes started when he was about 13, so they were not caused by smoking stuff, but I do worry it might make it worse.

MrsMacaroon Mon 21-Jul-08 10:59:49

i think you are right to be worried about this...if you are prone to anxiety dope is risky, mental heath wise.

very hard to get that message across though...maybe you could suggest he look at some websites to educate himself.

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