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Is my child having a panic attack?

 
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Dec 01 2020, 7:43 pm
My ds age 6 is the anxious type. Tonight he freaked out over something inconsequential (wanting a library book after bedtime) and he literally started hyperventilating and gasping saying “Mommy I need you!”

I went to sit with him and we did deep breaths together, but he was shaking and kept freaking out whenever we stopped. He said his chest was hurting and he felt a little better while sitting with me. Once he was talking basically normally I managed to get him back to bed, but he was shaking and started whimpering that his chest hurt.

I took him out of bed, we sat together on the couch and I heard him taking deep breaths and saying “it’s ok” to himself. He started to doze off so I tried to transfer him to bed again, he started to freak out so I said I’ll sit in his roof until he is ready (I am still there now). He kept confirming that I was there and saying he didn’t want me to leave. We NEVER do this, after bedtime routine he is usually great about going to bed.

We are about 15-20 minutes later now and he is mostly calm in bed bH. Is this a panic attack?? If so what do I do about it?? I am sooo not an anxious person so it’s kind of foreign to me. He is anxious in general, but never like this before... Please advise!
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amother




Sapphire
 

Post  Tue, Dec 01 2020, 7:57 pm
Did he wake up from his sleep from it or he just was upset about something and couldn’t calm down. I wouldn’t shrug it off especially if this is not his usual. Did anything traumatic happen today before hand not just with the book? If not I would take him to doctor, check for strep, it can do crazy things to kids. If it continues surely talk to your doctor
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amother




Red
 

Post  Tue, Dec 01 2020, 8:03 pm
Check for strep
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Dec 01 2020, 8:06 pm
He was still awake and heading to bed, and got upset over something inconsequential. He is always anxious but this was wayyyyy worse than usual. He has been more tense/stressed over the past day or two.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Dec 01 2020, 8:22 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
He was still awake and heading to bed, and got upset over something inconsequential. He is always anxious but this was wayyyyy worse than usual. He has been more tense/stressed over the past day or two.


Is there anything new happening in the home? Is he upset when he comes home from school? Has he stopped playing with another boy in the neighborhood suddenly.

When he's calm, ask him what his favorite part of school is. Listen attentively and engage in the conversation, rephrasing and repeating back to him so he knows you are really connecting.

Then ask him what the worst thing about school is. Try to keep quiet and listen as much as you can. Once he gets it all out, then you'll know what the problem is (if any).

Make sure that he knows that no matter what happened, you will not be mad if he comes and tells you. Tell him that it's your job to make him feel safe, and see if you can come up with a plan together.
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amother




Amethyst
 

Post  Tue, Dec 01 2020, 8:29 pm
Can you talk about what was stressful with him? Talk about the library book and what made him upset. Go over exactly what happened in pieces. Keep asking “and then what happened?” And at the end tell him “and Mommy was right here and helped you figure out the situation and made you feel better.”
Ask him “in the future, what can we do that will help you feel better?”
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Dec 01 2020, 9:01 pm
I’m hoping to have a conversation with him tomorrow and see if he has any insight looking back. I also texted my pediatrician to see what he thinks about strep. It was so sad to see him like that Sad
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amother




Cyan
 

Post  Tue, Dec 01 2020, 9:03 pm
Please please please test for strep, lyme and pandas.
I had this exact scenario with my son. This is how he was diagnosed in fact. Went to pediatrician the morning after this out of ordinary panic attack and he had strep.
And actually, certain lyme disease coinfections can cause heart symptoms, heart racing, chest pains...also mycoplasma (just check the post covid threads of people having racing heart etc...)
It might not even be a panic attack per say but a physical symptom of a virus or infection.
Lots of pandas kids flaring right now with full moon (dont ask why, it just happens)
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smss




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Dec 01 2020, 11:53 pm
I'm not familiar with the concept of these type of symptoms being caused by strep (not denying it, just not familiar with it!) but I am familiar with panic attacks and this does sound like one. Your ped is probably a good first stop.
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amother




Red
 

Post  Wed, Dec 02 2020, 5:28 pm
amother [ Cyan ] wrote:
Please please please test for strep, lyme and pandas.
I had this exact scenario with my son. This is how he was diagnosed in fact. Went to pediatrician the morning after this out of ordinary panic attack and he had strep.
And actually, certain lyme disease coinfections can cause heart symptoms, heart racing, chest pains...also mycoplasma (just check the post covid threads of people having racing heart etc...)
It might not even be a panic attack per say but a physical symptom of a virus or infection.
Lots of pandas kids flaring right now with full moon (dont ask why, it just happens)
This.

And flares with full moons is usually parasites, their reproductive cycle coincides with moon cycles. Lyme and co can do this too. Pans/pandas/Lyme/asd kids are all overrun with pathogens, parasites included.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Dec 02 2020, 10:01 pm
So I just wanted to check back in. I spoke to ds today when he was calm, and apparently his chest was hurting (which happens whenever he is anxious) and he was terrified that he would throw up from it because there is a stomach bug circulating in his school. He has anxiety around throwing up apparently...

So how do I address that? I tried to empathize and then discuss how when we throw up it helps our bodies etc, but he wasn’t having it.
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amother




Amethyst
 

Post  Wed, Dec 02 2020, 10:14 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
So I just wanted to check back in. I spoke to ds today when he was calm, and apparently his chest was hurting (which happens whenever he is anxious) and he was terrified that he would throw up from it because there is a stomach bug circulating in his school. He has anxiety around throwing up apparently...

So how do I address that? I tried to empathize and then discuss how when we throw up it helps our bodies etc, but he wasn’t having it.


Talk about throwing up. Tell him that you don’t like it either. Ask him what he’s scared of. Keep prompting with “and THEN what will happen?”
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amother




Pewter
 

Post  Wed, Dec 02 2020, 10:54 pm
It sounds exactly like my panic attacks.

Especially the part where he was telling himself "it's ok, it's ok" and the fear of being sick.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Dec 02 2020, 10:58 pm
amother [ Amethyst ] wrote:
Talk about throwing up. Tell him that you don’t like it either. Ask him what he’s scared of. Keep prompting with “and THEN what will happen?”


So I did the empathizing, but I will try the rest tomorrow. Thanks!
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Dec 02 2020, 11:00 pm
amother [ Pewter ] wrote:
It sounds exactly like my panic attacks.

Especially the part where he was telling himself "it's ok, it's ok" and the fear of being sick.


Right I feel like it really was one, the fact that he was trying to calm himself down and taking deep breaths while hyperventilating made me think so. He NEVER listens when we try to help him to calm down when agitated/overwhelmed/stressed. But here he really knew he needed to, he was totally scared of what was happening.
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amother




Amethyst
 

Post  Thu, Dec 03 2020, 12:04 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Right I feel like it really was one, the fact that he was trying to calm himself down and taking deep breaths while hyperventilating made me think so. He NEVER listens when we try to help him to calm down when agitated/overwhelmed/stressed. But here he really knew he needed to, he was totally scared of what was happening.


When he’s calm, can you talk to him about it? You don’t have to discuss the whole episode, but maybe you can ask him what he needs from you in case it happens again. Maybe a hug, chills, hand holding, reminders to take a deep breath, count to 10 with him...one of the above or all of the above? Etc.
When I have panic attacks I need a tight hug. When there’s no one around, I’ll “hug myself” with a shawl or scarf, like wrap it tight around my elbows and pull. It’s also helps to hold ice.
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