Anxiety Attacks in Children - Effects, Symptoms, Treatment and More

Anxiety disorders and panic attacks / anxiety attacks in children often go undiagnosed. Here, the reasons for being overlooked, adverse effects on the kids, symptoms as well as treatment are discussed.

It is now thought that many "adult" psychiatric disorders have their first manifestations during childhood. However, these early symptoms are often overlooked, and consequently become so overwhelming in adulthood that individuals finally seek treatment.

Because failure to treat an anxiety disorder is likely to result in a worsening of symptoms, it is important to be able to identify symptoms of anxiety as early as possible.

Anxiety in Children Often Overlooked

In children, these episodes are often overlooked. Nearly half of the children that experience symptoms of anxiety prior to reaching puberty fail to receive treatment for ten years or more.

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A note about Anxiety and High Blood Pressure - Discussion and Remedies

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

There are a variety of ideas as to why physicians and caretakers may fail to take notice of anxious behaviors, including anxiety attacks in children. One thought is that children are embarrassed to discuss or admit to the attacks when speaking with parents or physicians, or that they may be fearful of admitting the issue to themselves.

Adverse Effects on Children

Although anxiety attacks in children may not be as apparent as those in adults, they still have adverse effects in multiple areas of the sufferer’s life. Children who experience regular attacks are likely to have difficulty in school, with friendships, and perhaps delays in development. If left untreated, anxiety disorders can lead to repeated school absences or the inability to complete necessary academic requirements.

Additionally, children experiencing frequent panic attacks are likely to experience impairments when relating to peers, develop low self-esteem, and are predisposed to alcohol or other drug use. Perhaps the most alarming consequence of an untreated anxiety disorder is the likelihood that a most severe version will develop during adulthood.

Symptoms of Anxiety Attacks in Children

The symptoms of anxiety attacks in children are quite similar to the manifestation of anxiety in adults. Psychologically, anxiety attacks are marked by an intense feeling of fearfulness, a sense of "unreality", and a fear of dying or losing control that appears quite imminent and 'real'.

Panic attacks or anxiety attacks in children are often accompanied by a number of physiological symptoms as well. Children may complain of dizziness or lightheadedness, a racing or pounding heartbeat, and / or shortness of breath. Trembling or shaking may also be observed in children in the midst of an attack.

Help and Treatment

As with many psychological disorders, there is not a great deal of research available that concerns children, as the ethical and social implications of such research are quite extensive. However, all non-pharmacological options should be explored before resorting to medication, as most medications are likely to affect children differently than adults.

Thus, it is important that children be taught mechanisms of self-help and techniques by which to alter their behavior. They should be instructed on methods of identifying and changing the thought patterns that perpetuate anxiety and fear. Furthermore, cognitive behavioral therapy is thought to be especially helpful in treating those with anxiety disorders.


Unfortunately, anxiety disorders, including anxiety attacks in children often go undiagnosed, only to resurface later in life when symptoms have worsened. It is incredibly important that parents and professionals who work with children are steadfast in screening for this sort of problem, and that when a problem is detected, treatment is implemented quickly.

Treating a child for an anxiety disorder requires extra attention to the child’s subjective experience of the disease, and it is important to explore all options in an effort to find the most appropriate treatment.

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