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I think my daughter has panic attacks about school?!

She's always done fairly well. VERY well last year and first marking period this year (consistent A/B honor roll every marking period). Well, she started having stomach problems in October and missed some school. Final diagnosis was GERD...

Anyway, now she is having major issues with getting up and wanting to go to school, completing her homework, etc. She will start getting upset, crying, complaining of instant headaches, ill stomach, and even that she can't breathe!

At first, I thought it was related to her GERD, but now I'm wondering if it could be panic attacks.

Where do I start? Pediatrician seems logical, but I don't want her to feel like she's got any more issues than she already has (with her stomach and daily medication). She hates feeling like shes always sick!

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Asked by FishBiscuit at 1:33 PM on Dec. 8, 2008 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Why don't you talk to her about what she thinks the cause is? Does she have all these symptoms on the weekends? Can you help her with her homework so she doesn't feel overwhelmed? I think the biggest help for her would be you over the pediatrician, if she knows she has you for a strong support system she will probably open up to you more. I know that with panic/anxiety issues complaining of physical symptoms is always a way to get out of something you don't want to do, and a lot of times the physical pains aren't really serious, they are caused by fear and anxiety. And what she's doing is becoming a routine which is not good. Maybe talk to her about panic an anxiety get a good book on it and see if you two can put your finger on it. When she finds out what's going on that takes a lot of the suffering part away. GL to you guys.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:13 PM on Dec. 8, 2008

  • As a person who suffers from panic and anxiety attacks, I goota say i agree with everything the anonymous poster before me said

    Answer by geminishadow79 at 3:50 PM on Dec. 8, 2008

  • Rule out medical and get a referal for a therapist. Be honest with her without getting frustrated. Tell her you know something has changed, that you are sad for her that she no longer likes going to school, and that you are commiting yourself to assisting her in a solution. Let her know that you know you can't "fix" whatever is going on but that you are going to be supportive. At this age it could be anything from a tween girl bully to just feeling bad about herself. It could be a lot of things. Most girls who have depression and low self esteem at this age often have stomach issues or physical (somatic) complaints. You may want to discuss depression/anxiety with her doctor as well as a therapist. Enroll her in something outside of school that helps to improve self esteem such as dance or karate. There is a world out there that has nothing to do with school and she can discover who she is outside of that.

    Answer by frogdawg at 5:42 PM on Dec. 8, 2008

  • from personal experience I can tell you my panic attacks started in the 7th grade. It went untreated till I was an adult in my mid 20's I now take zoloft and thank god it was invented. When my own daughter started with it I knew exactly what it was and took her in right a way and it made all the difference. What I did was took her into a therapist had a psych eval done and when it came back anxiety and depression I knew what she needed and the dr agreed. Does anxiety run in the family? Usually it does so if others in the family have it that is probably her problem.

    Answer by babyfat5 at 7:44 PM on Dec. 8, 2008

  • my oldest son (11 a 4th grader) was going through the same type stuff and come to find out he was getting picked on it school not only but the students but by the bus driver also. he loved school but hated going because of this. so we now home school and  everyone around us has seen a big change for the better and he is doing better as far as grades he is doing 5th grade work and loves it. so i would look into things other than your child is doing and look at things that are being done to your child.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:19 PM on Dec. 8, 2008

  • Seriously? I would talk to her about it immediately. It's entirely possible that she fell behind with the school she missed and is having a hard time keeping up-or atleast feels like she is. You didn't mention what her grades are, but if they have fallen significantly, then I would bet that is the case. She may evwen be having a problem with one of her teachers or other students and just wants to forget about it when she comes home from school...guess what homework reminds he of school...I had that problem for a while.

    Answer by TempestRayne at 7:56 PM on Dec. 9, 2008

  • My daughter does the same thing at times. I have found a web sight that is helpful. It is called My daughter makes great grades,but still worries and doesn't like to try new things that she thinks she might not be good at right away. I have contacted a therapist and we will be going to see her.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 4:43 AM on Dec. 11, 2008

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