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Panic attack daughter

(13 Posts)
Butby Fri 17-Oct-14 19:20:31

Me and my almost 17 year old just got into our monthly row about the state of her bedroom when her eyes went bloodshot, she started struggling to control her breathing and folded up double with tummy pain. When I had calmed her down she told me she has started suffering panic attacks which she went to the doctor about on Monday. GP told her it was anxiety and panic attacks and she should look up some techniques on the internet. She has been confiding in a family friend. Is this normal teenage behaviour ? She has left school this year, started college and a placement and got a part time job. She is generally happy and quietly confident that I feel such a failure that she didn't confide in me.. So worried about her

Technicolourtats Fri 17-Oct-14 19:24:42

It's anxiety, it's not necessarily indicative of anything worse but the GP should be helping with that. Has she been prescribed any medication? Bless you both, I have them all the time and know how horrible it is. The main thing you can do for her is to be calm, and don't panic when she 'can't' breathe- as much as it feels like she can't, she can. Breathe in for 5, hold and breathe out for 5. flowers

3catsandcounting Fri 17-Oct-14 21:26:49

Having a 17 year-old DD, and as an occasional sufferer of panic attacks, myself, I'm really impressed that your DD took herself to the docs in the first place - good for her, what a mature girl!
My DD has had issues with college, she feels "trapped" and everyone annoys her; doesn't panic as such, but just clams up and refuses to leave her bed!
The breathing is very important though, just something to focus on, if nothing else,

Butby Fri 17-Oct-14 21:45:57

Thanks both, yes it does show her maturity although I think her confidente booked the appt for her. I suffer mildly with anxiety too but I am confused as to the trigger as she does say she's happy and can't really put it down to anything in particular, it's just been a big year with lots of change for her smile

morethanpotatoprints Fri 17-Oct-14 21:53:34

My ds is nearly 20 and he has just started with panic attacks at work today.
he has been taking ads from the doctor for a month now as he had heart palpitations, he is wearing a monitor atm because until today he hadn't had a panic attack and they are looking at what could have caused the palpitations.
He doesn't know that anything is bothering him at all.
He has moved a bit in work and been in several different depts., so maybe its the frequent changes.
He says he feels doom and despondency and is quite depressed.

Butby Fri 17-Oct-14 22:15:43

Oh dear, I hope he feels better soon, the gp said to my daughter it's quite common know to know the trigger

Greenrememberedhills Mon 20-Oct-14 22:10:27

Ask her not about the panic attacks but how she is finding life ATM .

I wouldn't be surprised if a new course, fears about doing well, or making friends, and getting used to a job are all acting together to make her feel a bit overwhelmed.

LeftHandedMouse Tue 21-Oct-14 10:44:22

We have periodic meltdowns, not sure they're panic attacks, more just the world seems to get too much for her.

When we ask if there's anything the matter it's nothing in particular, she just feels down and anxious a lot of the time, worries a lot about things that are out of her control, no idea what her future holds etc

Sure there must be a book about this, any suggestions?

Songbird14 Sun 26-Oct-14 09:22:53

I'm a counsellor and psychotherapist and work with teenagers re panic attacks. They are very frightening, but can be managed without medication. I think it's always better to avoid meds at this age, but that's just my personal opinion. Deep breathing is a really good way of managing a panic attack - you can try it together. If your child sees you not being frightened of it too then that will help them learn that they can survive one. Try 7-11. Breathe in for 7 and out for 11. Through mouth or nose, doesn't matter how fast or slow, it's the ratio between the two that works. Prob need to repeat five times or so before notice it working. If it's a bad one, hold onto a wall, chair, person as this makes you feel physically sturdy and helps.

Panic attacks are a physical reaction to an overload of emotion. They are not something to be frightened of although I know they are frightening. The fear of having a panic attack becomes bigger than the original panic attack, and makes it all worse. I'm on mumsnet because I'm struggling with my 13yr old sons terrible attitude - what teenager doesn't have an overload of emotions? It's normal. Learning how to manage the overload is the way to go, and not to be frightened of it.

Hope that helps in some way xxx

MilkThistle187 Sun 26-Oct-14 10:02:40

Great advice from Songbird. This time last year my 13 yo ds' life was crippled by panic attacks. Through CBT and therapy he has really turned things around and feels much more in control of his life.

I would echo trying to avoid meds. Try and get some CBT, in the meantime try mindfulness( loads on the internet about this), relaxation techniques, distraction (ds has a playlist of 'happy songs' on his phone) and slow, deep breathing.

Songbird14 Sun 26-Oct-14 10:31:15

Totally agree milkthistle. Also, I know it sounds simplistic, but making sure they are eating well, getting enough sleep, enough down time without electronic screens. Generally upping the tlc. I know it's hard, but that all does really help with panic attacks. Using your mum instinct to look after them and making me feel loved and secure.

Songbird14 Sun 26-Oct-14 10:32:28

Meant to say 'making THEM feel loved and secure' ..... Freudian slip as to why I'm on mumsnet in the first place!!! Lol!

Ashbeeee Mon 03-Nov-14 06:09:26

Hello all, I used to suffer panic attacks and was taught a life saver technique that I've now taught my 15yo D. When it comes on, either think, or say out loud (if possible and not looking too stupid), 'STOP!', then breathe in deeply as you can (it might not be too deep at first), hold for 2 secs, breathe out slowly (blow if poss), whilst thinking about your hands, if they are clenched, unclench them, focus on unfurling the fingers, then on unclenching the jaw. Then lowering the shoulders. Breathe in, And out, in and out. Slowly 5 times. The panic will subside. Eventually you get so that you can feel them coming on, and stop them before they even get going. The feeling of supremacy over the bastards is very empowering smile
Knowing that you can control the panics, rather than them controlling you, is the trick here.
Good luck.

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