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DD13 bad panic attack at school - any tips?

(11 Posts)
imalostcause Fri 05-Dec-14 14:22:29

My dd aged 13 rang me from school, she was having a bad panic attack and couldn't breath. I tried to calm her down, but in the end have fetched her home.

Anyone have experience with this and any advice to give her?

I've had panic attacks myself and just breath through them, but that doesn't seem to help her. I've bought her Bach Rescue Remedy chewing gum before on the assumption that at least the placebo effect will help and I think it did, but sadly she'd run out and not let me know so had none today.

Can anyone think of anything else that might help her?

HesNotAMessiah Fri 05-Dec-14 15:32:50

I seem to rmemebr someone posting on here about this a while back and there being a visit to the GP mentioned.

I think the GP was able to advise varius techniques for dealing with the attacks when they happen as well as ways to manage the issue longer term.

Might be worth a call to your GP's surgery?

imalostcause Fri 05-Dec-14 16:46:18

I have an appointment with my doctor in 10 days, so will ask then.

Heyho111 Fri 05-Dec-14 21:02:58

It might be worth her accessing the school counsellor. The earlier it's tackled the easier to sort it.
She will be given stratagies to stop it and understanding why it happens. It will help her massively.
It's very common in adolescent girls but sometimes needs a helping hand to work through it.

imalostcause Sun 07-Dec-14 00:46:07

The school are being useless really. We've had other problems and they just told me it would take agrees for her to get to see someone and I should go to my gp. Dd doesn't want to though.

I'm trying to research as much as I can before I see my gp. Tbh I have little faith in them being of any help sad

Heyho111 Sun 07-Dec-14 11:03:47

Ask your school for the schools nurses telephone number and the school counsellor tel no. If they won't give it to you ring the LEA and ask how you can contact them. Ask where you can send them a letter.
Inost areas there is a youth service which will also have counsellors you can access. If you ring your local council they should give you a number to contact.
Keep pushing. Get stroppy till the school etc give you the information. The teacher in charge of pastoral care will have the details. The school nurse will also have close links with the counselling service.

3BloodyKids Sun 07-Dec-14 12:18:05

You're absolutely right about breathing through a panic attack. Fast, shallow breathing causes the dizziness and tingly fingers etc of a panic attack so she needs to do big deep breaths from her stomach until the attack subsides.

She can also try distraction techniques like focusing on something nearby and describing it in her head, eg 'look, there's my bag, it is brown, it has long handles, it has a silky lining...' etc

She does need to see her GP just to rule out any underlying physical condition that could be causing symptoms of panic.

Let her know that it's really common, lots of people experience this and she's not going mad. Also let her know that is feels bad, but nothing bad will happen - panic attacks pass and cause no actual harm other than distress.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is really very effective for panic, so the sooner you ask your GP for a referral, the sooner she can have it. If you're willing to pay for therapy she could see someone immediately and they can help her work out why she is experiencing panic symptoms and help her deal with them effectively.

Here's some useful links:

Mind.org.uk page for children and their parents

Anxiety UK have lots of information and can provide therapy, though it doesn't specify if they work with children so you'd have to check.

Young Minds

www.nopanic.org.uk/

imalostcause Mon 08-Dec-14 08:19:40

Thanks for the advice. I've passed on that information to her, will speaking to my gp in a week and will also school to request she can speak to someone.

ClaraSky Mon 08-Dec-14 11:39:12

I suffered from panic attacks in 6th form and then at work when I had an awful job.

My therapist advised me to imagine I was blowing out candles on a cake, but trying not to get wax on the icing.

So you breathe in, then blow out slowly and steadily for 5 secs or so, imagining the candles are going out.

When you have a panic attack and you breathe quickly you can get too much oxygen to the brain, which makes you feel lightheaded and panic more. So it's important to breathe out steadily to level out our oxygen levels.

I hope she's ok. It's a horrible thing to experience x

Doodlekitty Mon 08-Dec-14 11:53:24

Hi. I suffer from panic attacks which started in year 9. Bach rescue remedy really helped me (only the drops were available back then though!).
I find counting helps me to regulate my breathing now and distacts me enough to bring me out of it on most occasions. As a teenager i used to carry a magazine or book and would sit down as soon as i could and read while trying to breath slowly. It made me less self conscious if i had something in front of me to read.

Its really awful and i feel for your dd. I have never got to the bottom of what causes mine, i hope you have some luck with gp

longtallsally2 Mon 08-Dec-14 11:58:46

First, loads of sympathy for her. Panic attacks are horrible and bad enough to manage if you have lots of support. She's just beginning, and doesn't have that yet.

Do encourage her to visit her GP if she can. They will have good tips for managing panic attacks and will also talk to - and listen to her about why they have started. Yy to pushing the school for the contact details of the school nurse/counsellor. If she doesn't want to be alone, and talk, then she could ask if she could take along a friend too - it will be useful for them to hear some of the advice given so that they can support her.

In the meantime, having a paper bag handy can help. If she breathes out into it, then in again from the paper bag, it will help to reduce the amount of oxygen going in, and so slow the heart rate/racing pulse feeling.

HTH.

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