16 year old daughter has anxciety attacks

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 10/24/2011 6:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone my daughter started having anxciety attacks mildly this summer in a drivers ed class at her high school. She said her heart races and feels sick to her stomach with the shakes. The first day of school came and she did ok but by the second day of school she had a attack at the bus stop and came home crying. I drove her to school and when she got into the building she went to the nurse whom called me shortly after saying she wanted to come home. It has been very upsetting. Last year she never had any attacks like this and she has always had good grades. I contacted her school counselar and he recommended a physcologist right away since she was having problems getting to her classes. Two months later she is getting to all her classes now but still visits the nurse a few times a week cause of upset stomach issues. Today she had a attack on the way home from school on the bus. She is so upset and wonders what is wrong with her. She worries about getting sick and worries about everything these days. She does not want to be this way. The Dr she see's every two weeks does not want to try meds yet. She wants to do relaxation techqnics and things like that first. It may have helped her some but today was another attack and now she is afraid of taking the bus home from school. I said she has to since I work but so far I have been driving her in the mornings since she had one the second day of school. She said when she gets these attacks she feels like she can not escape. We ruled out medical issues as well. She never had one till this summer. She has had some axceity with going to new places before but never with school and never worried like she seems to do everyday now. Could this be the age and harmones or like her therapist says she has anxceity disorder and needs to learn coping technigues. Sorry this is so long. I just am a very worried mother hoping she can get to school and stay in school. She really does try to do well and is really trying to deal with this. She wants to be at school and just be like all the other kids. Its so difficult to see her going through this this year.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 10/24/2011 8:58 PM (GMT -7)   
If the therapist seems to be helping, stick with them but maybe go to the family doc as well to get medication. Relaxation techniques are a great alternative to drugs, but in this case your daughter is suffering and really needs more help. Perhaps weaning off of the drugs would be good once she has a handle on the relaxation techniques. But I would definitely talk to her therapist and let them know that these attacks have been too disruptive for too long and she needs some immediate relief. That is quite a bit of stress on one's body to have attacks that often.

If the therapist still won't budge or has an issue with you going to your family doc for a prescription, then maybe it is time to find a new therapist. I am not typically a proponent of pushing drugs on someone, but if she has been experiencing this for so many weeks then it is time to find her some relief. I have been dealing with anxiety for roughly 12 years and never really got a handle on relaxation techniques myself. Some people need that extra help with medication, at least in the beginning.

Another thing you need to try is to change her diet. Soda, chocolate, coffee, anything with caffeine is going to add to her anxiety and make her feel worse. If she intakes these often then she might experience some withdrawal symptoms if she quits cold turkey. Such symptoms might include headaches, but it will do her good in a couple of days if she starts to eat more healthy. Try this for a bit before going after medication. It could make a world of difference.

I wish your daughter the best of luck in her recovery. Just remember that you and her know what is best, and if you both feel that she has suffered too long then it is time to find her some relief even if it goes against what the therapist is saying.

Scaredy Cat
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26962
   Posted 10/24/2011 9:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I am very sorry to hear of your daughter's troubles. I think the only thing worse than having an anxiety attacks, would be to see your child suffer through them.

Repeated attacks, avoidance and fear of future attacks is pretty much the definition of panic disorder/syndrome. I am so glad to hear that she is getting treatment for this, because I do believe that therapy is a great long term treatment for this issue.

I, along with others here really recommend CBT specifically, as far as therapy goes. Ask her dr. if that is what he/she is guiding her through. If not, you may be able to request it. I went from having daily attacks, to being free of them after my (two) rounds of treatment. Typical results do take time...an average of 10-12 sessions to start to see improvement, so it is not a quick fix, but worth the time!

You may also want to get your daughter some self-help books to give her some added knowledge about the disorder, and extra help. The more you know, the more empowered you feel. Also, there are many different things that work for different people, so the more resources that you can pull from the better!

Also, if you feel comfortable, you can let her talk to us here. This is theraputic much in a way that a group therapy is. We understand exactly what she is going through, and would always be willing to listen and support her:)

She is fortunate to have an understanding and caring mom:) That is going to go a long way in her healing. She will also have to work at it, but you have given her a great start!

Keep up posted on how she is doing...we are cheering you guys on:)

Scaredy Cat

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 839
   Posted 10/25/2011 5:19 AM (GMT -7)   
jdsong, Your daughter sounds exactly like me when I was in school, I was 14 when I was diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder. My anxiety was so bad, especially with school, that I had to eventually drop out, I just couldn't go. Unfortunately back then there was no home schooling, so I had to settle with just getting my GED. We're talking 25 years ago, and to this day I still have anxiety/panic attacks. I have been taking medication for it, off and on, for the last 10 years or so. I just started back on Zoloft about 3 weeks ago. For some reason these disorders go into a type of remission with me. I'll be fine for a year or two and then I get hit with it again, this last time was brought on by something VERY stressful that happened last year.

But anyway, (i'm rambling again, sorry) I agree with everything Alaskah and ScaredyCat told you. It is very important for your daughter to continue therapy and do CBT, also I would suggest some type of fast acting medication for her until she learns coping strategies. It's going to be a long road for her. Thank God she's got a great mom to help her through it. My mom was great with me too, she suffered anxiety/panic attacks also when she was younger so she totally understood what I was going through. I agree with Cat, you should get her some self help books, but also read them yourself. It will help you understand more of what anxiety and panic does to a person, physically and mentally.

My son gets anxiety attacks every once in a while also, he won't take medication for them though. I think since he's seen me going through it all of his life, he has learned how to deal with them himself and just let them pass. It is very heartbreaking to see your child suffer, but he does great, and doesn't have them ALL the time like I do. Good luck with everything, and like Cat said, if you would allow, have your daughter write to us. We'd be glad to help her!
GAD, Panic Disorder, PMDD, Fibromyalgia, Perimenopause, Acid Reflux, Allergies

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 10/25/2011 5:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your support. I will show her this support group and see if she wants to share her feelings here. She really wants to learn how to work through these attacks. She see's a Behavioral PHD and she is working with her on techquics but so far my daughter says they are hard to do and do not seem to be helping much. Today I got her to school and she looked so sad. I know she is worried about another attack and she knows she can go to the nurse if needed during the day. I just think she feels like she is the only teen dealing with these and I wish she could join a support group with other teens and talk with them about it. Not sure they have that kinda thing around here. We have another therapy session this Friday so I am going to bring up her issues with stomach pains and her attacks she had this week at school and on the bus. My daughter hates taking pills anyway. She is afraid of what they might do to her. There is another anxiety and I really don't like her on meds unless we have no choice and maybe its something we may have to consider. (I just don't know what is best at this point) Hoping the Dr can help. She is in 11th grade and never had a issue with going on the bus or having attacks before this year. Do these just come on out of the blue like this?  Its seems her thoughs are so negitive these days with so much fear in her life. She still goes to bowling leagues on Saturdays and joined a bowling club at school. She seems to talk with some of the kids at school. (She is very quiet most days but does have some friends there to sit with at lunch) Recently lunch time has been tough with the noise and people. She sometimes goes to eat at the nurses office. I feel bad cause her friends at lunch wonder why she is going to the nurse so much. Thanks again for the support. Its so stressful to see them going through this. I know this time of year she likes to come home and have a candy bar after school. She does not drink soda much at all. We do try to watch her caffine intake.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 839
   Posted 10/25/2011 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Ahhh! The dreaded lunch period! I remember that myself. There were entirely too many people around me and too much noise. I always felt like I was going to start choking on my food. I have a hard time swallowing anything when I am anxious. NOT FUN! I really feel for your daughter, as I was in the same situation. It's very hard, and it gets depressing, that you can't do the things you used to be able to do without a constant feeling of anxiety and fear. You always feel as if you are an outcast, because nobody really understands what you're feeling, especially at that age.
 To answer your question: "Do these just come on out of the blue like this?" The answer is YES! You can be sitting there watching a TV show, taking a shower, reading, etc... and they just come on without warning. It is called a Panic Attack, and it's VERY frightening.

Best of luck to both of you with everything, Fox

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/21/2012 3:58 AM (GMT -7)   
JDSong, this is exactly what my 16 year old daughter is going through at the moment. I see your post wasv from last year so before I ramble on - are you still there and how is your daughter now?
Poppy x

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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/21/2012 7:08 AM (GMT -7)   
This member was last signed in on 12/23/2011 but let's hope she is still reading and will respond to your post.
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.


"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 4/21/2012 7:45 AM (GMT -7)   
reminds me of myself - suffered for a while during school too
hope she got through it, and back to normal fast -
wishing you and your daughter all the best
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