The Main Causes
Panic attacks are described as a surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear over a period of time. A panic attack usually starts when the flight-or-fight response, an instinctual reaction in animals and humans when in danger, is activated due to a stressful event. A panic attack can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
Causes Of Panic Attacks In Children
Panic attacks in young children are shown quite differently from adults. Children who get panic attacks throw tantrums and cry inconsolably. The child may experience shakiness, shortness of breath, the feeling of choking, sweating, numbness and nausea.
In terms of behavior, children who suffer from panic attacks are easily startled; experience a decrease in appetite, a difficulty in concentrating, stomach ache, headache and difficulty sleeping because of frequent nightmares. Panic attacks can be so severe in children that they may feel an aversion to certain things, like school, because of the fear they feel towards them.
The main causes of panic attacks in young children are both found to be genetic and environmental. Family history can be one of the causes of panic attacks in children. It is said that children who have direct relatives who suffer from panic attacks are also more likely to develop symptoms of panic attacks themselves.
Most reasons for why children get panic attacks are environmental in nature, and most of them are from the things that they are exposed to. One reason for the development of panic attacks is separation anxiety.
Children have a fear of losing people and a secure environment, and when the child realizes that he or she is lacking either a parent or a safe environment, a child feels anxiety.
Traumatizing events can also be a starting point for panic attack symptoms. When a child associates fear with a certain event or thing, like a red balloon suddenly bursting, the child develops and imagined fear for that balloon. It is this association that a child feels anxiety.
Physical, emotion or sexual abuse is a traumatic experience that can greatly affect a child and anxiety. Social anxiety can also be a reason and part of the main cause of panic attacks in children. A bully at school, a rival sibling or the inability to make friends can cause a child to feel a panic attack and consequently feel a need to avoid school.
Exposure to negative feelings can also be a reason to feel anxiety. If a child witnesses his or her parents arguing, the child may feel anxiety over the parents’ argument.
There really are many causes of panic attacks in young children and it is important to address all angles to get to the bottom of it. Finding out what the main cause of panic attacks in your child is important for many reasons especially treating them.