Panic attacks in children are quite different from adult ones. They are generally more severe and last longer than any other form of panic disorder. There are lots of reasons why anxiety attacks can affect children differently than adults.
As the most common explanation, this happens because children have a much lower tolerance to stress. Since children don’t have an adult level of experience yet, they don’t know how to control their emotions. They are not yet able to accept their emotions as a part of life and thus have a higher tendency to have difficult experiences during the episodes.
On the other hand, a parent can hardly control a child’s thoughts, opinions, and feelings. Hence, they do not understand what is happening. However, children tend to be more sensitive to their emotions.
Another reason why panic attacks in children are so difficult to deal with is that they are more easily triggered by external factors. Such factors can be anything. A sudden sense of fear due to the presence of a child in a certain place can cause panic attacks in children. Similarly, a wrong perception about a person’s behavior can lead to panic attacks in children.
However, these episodes can also happen when children see their parents fighting. A feeling of anxiety is caused by the fact that the child tries to make it stop, only to find out that it has already started.
The reason for panic attacks in children can also be because of a traumatic experience in the past. Even though they may have the capability to control their emotions, they do not yet understand how to cope with trauma.
Children and adults often have their own beliefs about life. If you put a question to them such as “Why do panic attacks happen,” chances are that the answer will be different from what their parents think.
In most cases, the question will be prompted by the behavior of a child. If your child is acting strangely, because of anxiety or fear, it is probably because of a painful experience that the child experienced as a small child.
During a panic attack in children, it is quite normal for them to react very violently. After experiencing a traumatic experience, it is almost impossible for them to continue to be calm, and without emotional outbursts.
While panic attacks in children are often caused by fear, many parents find that they have no idea of the reasons behind the attacks. If you suspect that your child is having a panic attack, you can help them get through it by reassuring them that everything will be okay. Give them their space and time away from you while they are feeling anxious.
Tell your child that you love them, but that you are at home and safe. Give them some time to think about things before they return to the real world.