many of us have been there. Then they’re having an epic anxiety attack. It can look like a typical childhood meltdown. They are gasping, sobbing, and perhaps even shaking. Hmm. All you know is that all over the world, your loved ones are suddenly falling apart and you don’t know how to fix them.
After all, anxiety attacks in children are relatively common. Although often called “panic attacks,” anxiety attacks differ from panic attacks in many ways. It’s also important to note that being anxious is different from having an anxiety disorder. It may be hard to imagine that your child or little one can be stressed. may not). What seems “normal” or unimportant to you may seem like a huge scary moment to them.
From loud noises for hypersensitive children to hints that a loved one might be home soon, all kinds of seemingly small things can stress kids and trigger anxiety attacks. Figuring out how best to help a child in a difficult situation can be unclear, so Scary Mommy asked experts to provide actionable advice.
What is an anxiety attack?
“With anxiety, it’s important to distinguish how different [from] Fear,” said Ryan McDonald, LPC Associate at Clear Skies Counseling.Anxiety occurs when someone fears something unknown May For example, the boogeyman comes out of a child’s closet and the door is accidentally left open at night. Both fear and anxiety are normal reactions that our bodies use to protect us. But when symptoms of anxiety become quite severe, they can overwhelm us and trigger an anxiety attack.”
Raise your hand (*raise your hand*) if you’ve never considered the difference between fear and anxiety. Now that you know that your child may be anxious about something, and not necessarily afraid, you need to know what to look out for from an anxiety attack. may include heart pounding or palpitations, sweating, shivering or tingling, chest pain, a sense of imminent doom, or a feeling of being out of control,” McDonald says.
For younger children, this may look like an unexpected “meltdown” with tears and gasps. . They may even twitch occasionally.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks: What’s the Difference?
Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are similar, but differ in cause and severity. Panic attacks usually feel (and look) more intense. They often come without triggers.
Anxiety attacks, on the other hand, are always triggered by anxiety and a perceived threat. However, it’s important to remember that with any type of attack, asking your child to explain their concerns can be a little tricky. Focus on calming and reassuring your child, and think about the details later.
What should you do when your child has an anxiety attack?
“If your child is having an anxiety attack, you can help them by removing them from the environment that triggered the attack,” suggests McDonald. can let you know it’s scary but reassure you it’s safe.Use your quiet voice to keep creating a calm environment, help you lie down and relax, and relax your muscles from head to toe. Try to help control your breathing by using techniques such as box breathing (inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds). takes 30 minutes and your child may not respond immediately when you try to help.”
“When helping a child with an anxiety attack, we need to be extra careful with our language,” says Heather Wilson, executive director of LCSW, LCADC, CCTP, and Epiphany Wellness. “It doesn’t help to say ‘calm down’ or ‘nothing to worry about’. Instead, try to offer more actionable solutions in your own words. You can ask if getting out or drinking water helps.If your child has recurring anxiety attacks, you and your mental health professional can come up with calming words to read aloud. You can, but don’t force your child to talk if they don’t want to.”
How can I ease long-term anxiety?
“Unfortunately, there are types of anxiety disorders that simply cannot be cured. But you and your child can be better prepared for attacks,” Wilson says. So make sure your child knows about the disorder and how specifically it affects them, and develop coping mechanisms they can use the moment anxiety strikes. Please give me.”
There are many experts in the field of psychology who can talk with you or your child about the emotions they are processing during an anxiety attack. With doctors in short supply, getting the help your family needs face-to-face can be a long and difficult process. You can make the most of sticky situations.
1. Address sensory needs.
Slumberkins co-founder Kelly Olyard says, “When kids are going through a very anxious moment, they can focus on something outside their own body to calm their nervous systems and calm them down.” “Having something soft and snuggly can bring comfort in moments like these. It is designed with soft sensory elements that you can feel.
Loveys, best friend stuffers and blankets are not new concepts. If your child doesn’t have Lovey and isn’t prepared to spend money on anything, consider sharing your softest shirt. fulfilling desires.
2. Use the affirmation tool.
“Affirmations are also very helpful in getting through anxiety and panic attacks,” Olliard says. Parents can remind their children of simple affirmations such as ‘I can get through this part’ or ‘This feeling won’t last forever’. increase.”
Surely we all know how difficult this can be, even as an adult. If you are with your child during their first anxiety attack, you can repeat affirmations for them.
3. Build a tangible connection to the parent.
“Children sometimes go through moments of great anxiety when they are away from their parents,” adds Olyard. “Parents are very helpful in calming their children when they are anxious. But what if your child isn’t around? If so, this is the support and love from the parent.
That cozy t-shirt can serve the same purpose. So are lockets for kids with family photos. For older children who may feel too old to be suffocated (*sob*), a worry stone may work well. Carry it in and feel whenever you need parental support.