As a parent, it’s so heartbreaking to see the amount of anxiety and stress that a child can experience, especially when it requires a panic attack. According to Shannon V. McHugh, PsyD, “Some people experience such significant amounts of worry or fear that they develop mental health conditions that can induce ‘panic attacks’.” A proper understanding of how to defuse that stress and anxiety is fundamental. There’s a complete sense of getting back to a place of calmness, and figuring out the actual underlying concerns about the situation to be able to move on.
When your child experiences a panic attack, help him get his body out of it. Allow a diversion of focus to something else and move it to a different positive direction. So right now, we’re giving you helpful tips and tools that can save your child from having constant and severe panic attacks. According to Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, “Sometimes referred to as an anxiety attack, a panic attack is a distinct physical form of intense anxiety.”
The Helpful Tips
- Do something that encourages your child to change his way of breathing. The change of breathing pattern will help in shifting the brain from negativity because it slowly removes the unwanted thoughts out of its position in the cerebral cortex. But since this method is not ideally easy to ask from your child, use a tool that can help you to do so. You can utilize a pinwheel and ask him to blow. This way, it will be easier for him to change the course of his breathing pattern by merely focusing on releasing air from the lungs.
- If your child is prone to anxiety, he’ll experience panic attacks. According to licensed mental health counselor Branden Barnett, “A little anxiety is normal and comes with life, it becomes a problem when it starts preventing you from being the person you want to be or living the life you want to live.” So to reduce its symptoms, try to talk to your kid about happy things and incorporate good stuff in his head. You may not see the effect of talk therapy at first, but eventually, when you get your child’s attention, he’ll be less likely thinking about something awful. The actual conversation diverts his thoughts and emotions to the current topic you ask him to talk about.
- Another useful tip in grabbing your kid’s attention is finding an object that he can focus on. This way, you can help him eliminate the conflicting thoughts and reduce panic attacks by allowing concentration on a specific object. You can let him watch television with cartoons and animations or lend him a mobile phone so that he can play with games on it. Though sometimes it may not entirely remove his anxiety from these, at least it will give you ample time to think about a possible solution.
- Immediately engage in a different activity when your kid is currently in a panic mode. You can encourage him to go out and play outside, provided with your supervision. Allow him to participate in a physical activity where he can distress himself and move away from thinking about things that don’t matter. Let him run a course or walk a distance. Since exercise is a good source of brain stimulation, your kid can benefit a lot from altering a brain function.
The unique thing about addressing panic attacks on a child is the speed of recovery. Proper treatment and medication are still necessary to always consider it part of the list.