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Panic attacks in children
Anxiety is a form of stress that can have physical, mental and emotional symptoms. Negative expectancy of future events may cause big problems in youngsters and the way these negative thinking styles are set up can vary hugely. Feelings of lack of control are common in sufferers of tension and anxiety so children, with their limited independence, can be very vulnerable.
The ways anxiety and panic could affect children
Most people go through phases of anxiety and panic during their childhood and that is fairly normal. These periods of panic don’t appear to do any harm provided they are short lived. However, there are some children who find they are routinely plagued by anxiety and panic. A child’s body can react to stress and anxiety in lots of different ways. They may start shaking or hyperventilating and sometimes can become hot, fidgety and red in the face. Sources of anxiety and panic for children can include school, where there is a demand to perform, as well as social factors, such as intimidation, making friends or household unrest. Childhood should be a time of discovery, exploration and development for children.
Prolonged periods of anxiety can be hugely harmful as they can lead to social alienation, fear and loss in confidence. An anxious child may begin to avoid places or people that cause that reaction in them. Previous experiences where they were harassed in class may create feelings of panic about going to school, a commonplace example. Left unchecked, anxiety symptoms can begin to grow out of control – social alienation, lack of concentration and insomnia can erode self worth and lead to self destructive habits, including smoking, drinking or abusing drugs. It’s always best to catch anxious feelings in children fast so that they don’t result in lifelong problems or issues that go on to impact their adult life.
What is the best way to resolve anxiety in youngsters?
Like adults, anxiety and panic in children are generally a result of fixed ideas or beliefs, such as love being conditional on performance, or feelings of not having enough control. Children can really be helped to come to terms with these feelings and overcome the underlying beliefs by learning some simple hypnotic techniques. Children can have trouble explaining how they are feeling and, in some cases, they just simply don’t know what the feeling is. Hypnotherapy treatments looks at how a child thinks and feels about their daily life. And since children have less inhibitions or rigid beliefs than adults, coupled with great creativeness, they tend to respond far more quickly and strongly to treatment than adults.
Hypnotherapy is our natural learning state, which children make use of frequently, so they normally relax and feel comfortable very quickly. During the hypnosis session children can use the power of their imagination freely. They create powerful visualisations that can help them find new creative ways of taking on the anxiety problems. During a typical hypnotheraputic session, the hypnotherapist would look for the specific stresses in the child’s life. Having established the causes, a relevant creative narrative will help the child set up some new acceptable beliefs.
Hypnotherapist Karen Martin, based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, explains why hypnotherapy can be extremely effective in alleviating anxiety in children: “Children are typically brilliant hypnotherapy subjects as they are frequently entranced by their own creative imagination. A good hypnotherapist will create a fascinating story to transport a relaxed child into their own carefree world where all their fears are vanquished. This positive mental rehearsal can be directed to boosting confidence, managing change and coping with a variety of childhood issues like bullying, exam nerves and family conflict. “Working with children and young people is one of the most rewarding and satisfying aspects of my job. They are receptive because they feel happy and safe during our sessions and are willing to embrace positive new ideas about themselves. The benefits of overcoming their anxieties can continue throughout the rest of their lives. Calm, confident children are far more likely to thrive and succeed in their studies and personal development.”