Panic Attacks are an authentic experience that can cause significant harm to a teen’s mental and physical health. Teens experience panic attacks for various reasons: overwhelming fear or worry, stress from school or social activities, and a lack of understanding and support from family or friends.
Signs of a Panic Attack in Teens
Feelings of anxiety or stress often precede panic attacks and generate adrenaline. They can last anywhere from seconds to minutes. Many find panic attacks intense and disabling. Thoughts or situations that cause fear or anxiety trigger these panic attacks. Yet, they can also occur during everyday activities like taking a walk or going for a run.
Here are some signs of a panic attack:
- Heart palpitations, chest pain, or tightness
- Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- An intense feeling of fear, helplessness, or devastation anxiety
- Sweating or tears (or even sweat)
- Body shakes or tremors
- Adrenaline or intense emotions rush through the body
Causes of Anxiety or Panic Attacks in Teens
A blend of environmental, psychological, and social factors can cause panic attacks. Some possible causes of panic attacks in teens include:
- Feeling overstimulated or stressed because of family problems
- Using drugs and alcohol
- Behavioral or mental health issues like eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bipolar Disorder
- Experiencing fear or PTSD after a traumatic experience
- Fear of abandonment or social rejection leads to loneliness or isolation
- Pressure from your parents or other authority figures
- Changes in routine or environment disrupt the person’s equilibrium
- Stress from school or family responsibilities
- Social media exposure such as online bullying may trigger a panic attack
- Different experiences can cause intense emotions like worry, guilt, and sadness
- Going through a tough patch at school or work
Tips and Tricks to Help Your Child During an Anxiety or Panic Attack
First and foremost, it is essential to have a plan for dealing with an emergency. Ensure the plan outlines what acts your child can take during a panic attack, such as going to a nearby safe place, getting help from a friend or family member, and calling for help.
During panic attacks, a parent can also:
- Keep them calm. Use calming techniques, like counting to 10, soothing music, deep breathing exercises, or soothing touches or embraces.
- Seek professional medical attention. If the attack is severe, do not hesitate to contact medical services.
- Draw them to a calming environment. If possible, direct the child to a calming environment, like a comforting room or nature.
- Help them focus. Bring awareness to the present moment. Comfort your child with soothing and supportive words. Let them know that you are here for them.
- Avoid making things worse. When your child is in an anxious or panicked state, it’s important not to make things worse. Instead, relax and calmly guide them through the panic.
Build Your Teen’s Resilience and Self-Confidence to Prevent Panic Attacks
We recommend helping your child restore their resilience and self-confidence. Such an approach will help them manage their anxiety long-term. Additionally, it allows them to feel comfortable in their skin and grounded in their lives. It also gives them the tools needed for the challenges of life.
#1. Find a hobby or passion. Talk to your child about their worries and educate them on the best activities to deal with anxiety or stress.
#2. Show the value of helping others. Helping others will allow your teen to use their talents or skills to benefit others. It will build your child’s confidence in themselves and their skills.
#3. Be aware of the expectations you set for your child. Everyone, including children, makes mistakes. Teens are trying to determine their identity, aspirations, and core network. Hence, many find this period stressful, especially if their parents hold the bar so high for them. Instead, focus on helping them take a step back to reassess for proper, steady growth. It’s essential to be aware of your expectations of your teen and how you’re going to help them cope.
#4. Practice relaxation techniques with your child. Suggest to them to focus on positive and helpful things in their lives. It can help take the edge off of their anxiety. Some great relaxation techniques include deep stretching, exercise, deep breathing, meditation, and reciting positive affirmations.
#5. Highlight your teen’s strengths instead of their weaknesses. It’s easy to focus on the negative, but what if we focus on the positives? Consider discussing your child’s strengths with them. Discuss the qualities that make them friendly, caring, intelligent, athletic, or even creative. This will help your child feel more in control and give them a sense of self-efficacy. It will also help them relax and de-stress.
One of the best ways to deal with stress and anxiety is to practice relaxation techniques with your child. When people can relax, they will find it easier to manage their stress. You can help your teen do this by using different relaxation techniques, building their resilience, and restoring their self-esteem. Some relaxation techniques include deep breathing, counting to 10, or focusing on positive thoughts. Furthermore, to develop your teen’s self-esteem, focus on consistent positive reinforcement by providing growth opportunities and sharing your own experiences with them. To build their resilience, focus on teaching moments or seek professional assistance. At Clearfork, we help teens suffering from SUD and mental health issues like anxiety. If your child is currently in need of professional support, we can help you today. Our admissions staff can provide more information about our treatment programs. To find out more, contact Clearfork Academy by calling (888) 966-8604.