Panic disorders do not choose an age group. In this article, we'll get to know more about panic attacks in adolescents.
Panic attacks strike more people today than at any other point in history. Before, panic attacks are reported to plague people aged 20 to 40 years old. But as time changes, statistics present that teenagers aged 13 to 19 years are affected as well. Without proper attention and treatment, teenagers can continue to have problems after they enter adulthood. It is imperative then that help be sought for your child. No teen needs to suffer from this affliction for too long.
The causes of panic attacks in teens are quite different from those of adults. Triggers for adults come in the form of separation from or death of a loved one, loss of a good paying job, a hefty family income, or beloved home, whereas teenagers are overwhelmed by societal, family, peer, and self-imposed demands, expectations, and pressures. Owing to their emotional and physical immaturity, teenagers are not quite adept in confronting pressures at home or in school. The stress of achieving not only excellent marks in school subjects and projects but also being a champion in sports and other competitions can be too much for them. They are pressured to take every exam as seriously as if it were a case of life or death. Now more than ever, a struggle to be the best among one’s peers is instilled in their minds.
Panic attacks set in when these demands and stresses are not managed efficiently. A sudden charge of intense fear and panic will envelope them reaching a peak within 10 minutes that includes at least four of the following symptoms:
1. Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
4. Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
5. Feeling of choking
6. Chest pain
7. Nausea or abdominal distress
8. Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
9. Feelings of unreality (derealization) or being detached from oneself (depersonalization)
10. Fear of losing control or going crazy
11. Fear of dying
12. Numbness or tingling sensations (paresthesias)
13. Chills or hot flushes
Sometimes, teens, especially if they are young, may have trouble explaining their symptoms and might be too embarrassed to want to openly discuss what is happening to them. Parents then are encouraged to pay attention to the habits and activities of their kids. A sudden change in doings such as non-participation in physical and school activities, non-entering of crowded places, avoidance of once loved hobbies and interests, and frequent absences from school or during exam days can be a cue that there is something bothering teenagers.
However, other medical conditions can be at play in here. Diabetes, thyroid or cardiac conditions, or adverse reactions to asthma medications can be the cause of the above mentioned signs and symptoms. Therefore, parents are advised to take their teens to a family physician for a medical check-up first to rule out these medical problems. Always remember that there are far better ways of curing panic attacks than just taking in prescription drugs. As much as possible, taking these drugs should be the last resort if no other natural or alternative methods have been proven effective in providing remedy to panic attacks.
Panic attacks in teenagers must be dealt with and must be treated immediately before it succeeds in ruining their life as teenagers. If teenagers are not being told about the different methods that he may explore towards conquering these panic attacks, it is possible that he will have to go through these panic attacks even as he reaches adulthood.