My 15 yo dd has begun to have what we're pretty sure are panic attacks. We are getting bloodwork this weekend to rulle out medical issues. She is a fantastic child, but has always been a worrier. Since she started high school this year, she has begun having migraines, and now these attacks. The school she is in is HUGE and VERY chaotic. It is overcrowded, lots of drugs and gangs, etc... She is in good classes, but hatest he environment. However, she cannot leave the school district, because they are opening a smaller, much better school next year which she will attend. I am considering having her attend the district cyberschool for the rest of this year until we can hopefully get her anxiety under control. DO you think this is a good or terrible idea? I don't want her to avoid things, but this just seems to be way to much for her at once. HELP!!
Panic attacks run in my family and can be pretty awful and scary. My 3 children all went through a period of panic attacks. My 1st child was hit with them while in middle school at the age of 14. After a year of seeing him in tears and always without a smile, we all sat down and decided to send him a different school for his last year of middle school. It turned out to be the best thing we did. He was more sure of himself,made friends easily, etc. This new school was a Catholic school and when middle school was over, we enrolled him in a catholic hs. He did wonderful, made the baseball team and seemed like a different kid. Now my other 2 children told me they suffer from them too. One at a time they all saw a therapist that helped them greatly. They are now wonderful business people and when they get one, they do what the therapist told them. They are 33, 31 and 29. They have fantastic lives. Your daughter needs to find someone who will talk to her as a 14 year old and calm her fears. There are so many symptoms of panic attacks also. Good luck and any other questions, please feel to ask. 15 is a really stressed age
My daughter's current school is opening a new magnet school next year. She is currently in the program, but has to attend this horrible h.s. for the rest of year, because that is where it's being held until the new building is constructed. She started out with migraines...now, these attacks. She is such a fantastic kid. I just feel so horrible for her that she has to go through this. Her only option is to attend the district cyberschool for the rest of this year, but we were supposed to let them know last week. We won't have her bloodwork results until next week. I just don't want her to get in the habit of avoiding uncomfortable environments. BGut, at the same time, I feel that she is just too overwhelmed right now, and needs time so she can learn to handle the anxiety. I am so torn. I don't know what the right thing to do is.
As a teacher and a mom who has dealt with her own children with anxiety, my opinion would be to take the cyberschool option. Sounds like the environment is too much for her. I think that will alleviate a lot of stress for her.
Best of luck in whatever direction you choose
I'm sure her blood work will be fine. She will get into the habit of avoiding bad situations. Keep telling her everything will be fine, take a deep breathe. Does she have any close friends? Maybe they can help although my son had many friends and he just pushed them aside. A new school will help her. We had my son in home schooling for a while and that helps. Panic attacks are awful and I hope she can over come them.
She does have good friends, but she definitely does not get together with them often outside of school. She does not like loud, crowded places, so there goes most places that kids her age go. I am so afraid that if she is cyberschooled, she will withdraw even further.
Hi, you might be correct about that. Maybe she can pick 1 girl to bond with. That would be nice. Also make sure she knows that it is common for young people to feel anxious. She shouldn't feel she's the only one. You never stated what her symptoms were or how she feels during an attack. Did her blood work come back? Will keep in touch. Linda
She is having spells where she will feel very weak and dizzy...like she is going to pass out. She also says that although she can move her arms and legs, she can't feel them. She feels like she's "not there". This can hit her at school, in the car, at home while watching TV. There is no rhyme or reason to it. However, she has also been extremely hungry and shaky and has been having a lot of severe headaches. The dr is trying to rule out anemia, hyperthyroidism, or any kind of blood sugar issue. Diabetes runs VERY strongly in our family and I have bouts of low blood sugar. The blood work was done today, so I'm hoping to have the results by Monday. I contacted the vice principal of the new school yesterday, and it may already be too late to switch to the district cyberschool.
All of her bloodwork came back normal. I bought a glucose meter so that when she feels like this at home, I can take her blood sugar and make sure she is not having reactive hypoglycemia....they only tested for fasting. She also has an appt. next Wed at the neurologist to see what's going on with the headaches (I think those are separate from these spells). She still HATES the high school she's at, but she is doing ok thinking these are being caused from low blood sugar.
I suffer from panic attacks. They are horrible and almost ruined my life. I started avoiding situations and not wanting to drive. But being a mother of 3 I had no choice but to push through because I had to drive the kids to school and run errands. I have tried medication, therapy and self help. In the end being able to self soothe myself if the best tool. With medicine by the time you take the pill the attack is over. But I have learned methods to count backwards and talk to myself or eating a mint that have helped stop the attack when it starts and it doesn't progress. Being able to do that made me feel empowered to know I can help myself and not feel so alone and helpless.
As a parent I would be torn in your shoes. I would want to remove my child from the horrible situation and save them. But with my situation I have learned that teaching a leave the stressing situation as a solution can bring a lifetime of issues.
Let me know if I can be of any help I feel for you and your daughter. I have a 17 yr old daughter myself. She gets panic but only when seh sees bugs. She is frozen and can't move if she sees spiders also.
Ugh...although the attacks have lessened, she is now BEGGING me to allow her to attend the cyberschool for the rest of this year. Apparently boys are interested in dating her, and the mere idea make her HORRIFIED. Her friends don't understand why, but it is just another area being affected by her anxiety. My husband thinks if we allow her to leave the high school, it will just reinforce her idea that she can quit anything that gets too tough (she does tend to do this, and we usually let her because of her high anxiety level). I don't want to reinforce that either, but she is crying on a regular basis about her uncomfortableness over everything at this school. Attending the cyber school would be very hard, because she would have a TON of catching up to do. She would also be a bit behind next year at the new magnet school, because none of the cyber classes are honor courses and she couldn't take this year's magnet biology on line. Ugh! I don't know what to do!
I know people say and I do believe it too, never quit. But sometimes you have to in order to keep healthy. I feel for your whole family. I no what you are going through. Today my 29 year old unmarried son called me to talk him out of a panic attack he was having while on the road. I told him to pull over and we talked for about 20, until he felt better. He was extremely dizzy and had horrible heart palapations. He has decided to try an anti depressent that his friend, who is a doctor, told him he needs. Your daughter is young yet and this is all new to her. In my opinion, I would do anything to keep her as happy as can be and always be on her side. This is not a show of weakness but helplessness. Young people have so much stress to deal with now a days. She will learn to overcome these fears as she gets older. Keep in touch
I was thinking that she might have a problem with someone bothering her in school. Not just bullying but maybe following her around or just pestering her. I would ask her or some of her teachers about that. Believe me teachers know a lot! Or if she is better, tell her to keep her chin up, school is almost over and she can put in behide her. Hey, whatever works.
Last edited by NJLinda; 02-17-2013 at 05:35 AM.
hi im 24 years old and i still have panic attacks. they started freshman year of high school. i was great at school but with all the drama, gangs and drugs i started to panic. i didnt know if what i would say would get me into to trouble with certain people. my grades started to drop because of my panic attacks. my parents finally put me into a independent study program through a charter school. i did so well that i graduated a year early. i do still suffer from panic attacks but i now know it is because of my poly cystic ovarian syndrome. my PCOS causes a high testosterone level and low progesterone and estrogen level. i call it my hulk anger and frustration meets my barbie girly side and do not mix well causing anxiety and panic attacks. it has taken me a long time to figure out triggers and ways of dealing with it without medication. it did help to talk to a therapist and it has gotten much better. i have had to cut out certain things and certain people in order to be able to live my life a little better. i hope this helps and i wish you and your daughter the best of luck.