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Is it serious?

So my nephew is 4th grade and was just diagnosed today with possible anxiety and was told at his doctor appt., which was today, that the heavy breathing and itching of his skin was not medical, but rather something brought on by anxiety and stress. He is from a divorced family and his mom is the one who took him to his doctor today. The doctor wrote a referral for a therapist to see him and prescribed an inhaler for his heavy breathing episodes when they occur, but, when it happened tonight after he did his homework, my sister(his mom), did not use the inhaler and instead asked him if it hurt and he said, yes, it hurts alot, in my chest. So she rushed him to the urgent care. Could the doctor have misdiagnosed him? Side note- my nephew was told he was to talk with a therapist in a few days and was not looking forward to it. Could this have triggered this?

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:17 PM on Nov. 16, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (5)
  • Its hard to say if that knowledge triggered the heavy breathing episode or not. It is probably best that she did take him to Urgent Care. Best to be safe than sorry.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:29 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • It could be anxiety...sounds like he was having a panic attack (which makes it very hard to breathe).
    Talking with the therapist will probably be help but he will have more and more anxiety attacks leading up to the first meeting. Once he's met with the doctor a few times he'll probably calm down.

    I get panic attacks going into unfamiliar situations. And my 9yo daughter suffers from social anxiety (like me). Last year she got invited to a birthday party for her 2 best friends in school at a roller rink. She was so excited to go, begged for me to let her, behaved all week and then when the girls were on their way over to pick her up she freaked out and refused to go. It was sad. They were so disappointed and she regretted it later. Her problem: they said their cousins would be there and it scared her to meet new people.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 12:24 AM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • I think he should really think about talking a therapist. I know that it can be intimidating and that he is unsure, although I think it might help. My middle child started with anxiety in 2nd grade and we took him to see someone and it really helped him. He learned how to deal with things and how to calm himself down.

    The other thing that really helped my son was a book called Don't Feed the Monster on Tuesday. It talks about how to deal with anxiety and other issues, you can get it at

    Also, panic attacks can really feel like you are dying. There is no way to explain to someone how it feels, if they have never it felt it before. I know when I had my first one, I thought I was going to die. I could not breath and I thought I was going to pass out.

    I agree it is better to be safe then sorry, the same is true if it really is anxiety. You don't want him going around afraid all the time.

    Good Luck

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 9:36 AM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • well those symptoms could be an allergic reaction to something or stress. fear of the therapist could cause a panic attack if he was scared of it, what did the hospital say?

    Answer by AmaliaD at 12:40 PM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • My son has anxiety too....He may be nervous about talking to a therapist, but it will make him feel better once he does. Many kids with anxiety have parents with anxiety as well and it is hard for anyone to stay calm when they are worried about their child. But over-reacting isn't going to help. The whole point of taking him to a doctor is to find out if there is anything physically wrong. Once it is ruled out, then everyone has to try to calmly address the anxiety attack without spiralling out of control themselves. He needs to be reassured, not see that he can throw everyone else into a tailspin too. He needs to believe that it is anxiety, and that it can not really hurt him....that is a step towards minimizing the effect on his life. I would imagine we want this child to have as full a life as possible, rather than live in fear of the anxiety attack itself. This is what therapy is for!

    Answer by BJoan at 8:35 AM on Nov. 19, 2009

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