It can be difficult to diagnose panic disorders in adolescents, because teenage behavior is so unpredictable. Adolescents also can be very uncommunicative so parents don’t know what’s happening unless they happen to be present when attacks occur. Teenagers are called troublesome and difficult when sometimes it’s a matter of anxiety, worry and panic.
Life is tough enough without being an adolescent. Hormones are raging and the brain is producing an excess of many chemicals. Clinical studies are addressing panic disorders in adolescents, but sorting out what’s “normal” and what’s causing panic can be difficult. But the good news is that panic disorders in adolescents are just as treatable as panic disorders in adults.
Teenagers who experience panic disorders usually have many of the same symptoms as adults.
• Racing heart
• Short of breath
Panic disorders in adolescents may produce other noticeable behavior problems. For example, teenagers may refuse to socialize or even leave the house. They might have a fear of socializing only because they don’t want to have a panic attack in front of friends. Adolescents are very susceptible to depression too. In addition, teenagers may start having trouble at school or have what seems to be unreasonable fear of the most normal activities.
Teenage suicide is a very real problem and so it’s important to try and keep the lines of communication open between parents and adolescents. Adolescents who develop depression because of panic disorders are at a higher risk of harming themselves.
Panic disorders in adolescents may be difficult to identify; but the sooner you recognize what’s going on, the easier it will be address the problem. When you believe your teenager is experiencing panic attacks, you should first take him or her to the doctor for a physical evaluation. If no physical reason is found for the attacks, then you can visit a psychologist for additional evaluation.
When attempting to uncover the underlying cause of the panic disorders, you should be prepared to hear the child’s interpretation of their life. Panic disorders in adolescents may be happening for a large variety of reasons. These can include dissatisfaction with their family life or lack of self esteem. You see your adolescent child as beautiful and full of promise, but he or she may not see him or herself the same way.
There are many forms of treatment available for panic disorders in adolescents. These can include physical, cognitive, mental and even spiritual treatment. Just like adults, adolescents learn to cope with attacks and learn how to change their way of thinking in order to reduce the propensity to worry. With proper treatment, panic disorder can be cured.