panic attack

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by pigless in VA, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    I've never even written a post about my daughter, whom I call Candy. Last night, she had a panic attack. The last time she had one was when Ferb made the suicide attempt last month. I understood that. It was horribly scary.

    Last night, she and I were headed to a restaurant to get something for dinner. I was very tired. SO had been at the farm for 2 days. I told her that I needed to get him something for dinner. She said, "He's not here." I said, "Yes, he's back. He just at work until later tonight." She began an argument with me about how I told her that he would be at the farm until Sunday. I never said that. It's possible that she misunderstood me or that I misunderstood a question from her. The problem was that she kept arguing and would not cease.

    I turned around and walked back to the car. At this point, she is apologizing. I wanted to go home. I got in the car and started it. She was holding the door open to the car and I told her, "either get in now or you can walk home." She got in but dissolved into a little sobbing ball. She didn't even have her seatbelt on. I pulled over into another parking spot and turned the car off. I told her to get into the back seat. Too much sobbing and hyperventilating going on for her to do it. I sat there for about 5 minutes not saying anything. I decided just to drive home and she did manage to put her seatbelt on.

    We had a talk when we got home and she was calmer. I am very concerned about how she had a panic attack, because I was angry with her.
  2. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    Hi Pigless. I am so sorry for what you are going through with your children. Do you think she is reacting post stress wise after witnessing your son's suicide attempt? Perhaps she needs someone to speak with about that and the emotions surrounding that. May be she needs validation right now and some special mom and me time. My own daughter shut down after many of the issues with difficult son. Unfortunately I was too wrapped up in son's issues to see that. Luckily she had friends she relied on. However today she still has trust issues and finds some of the events too difficult to discuss. I guess what I am suggesting is that maybe the argument had nothing to do with So being or not being at the farm....maybe her inner voice is crying out to be heard. Just a thought. Many hugs to you and your family.
  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Living like we stressful. Sometimes it's a little thing that unleashes all the hidden, pent up emotions.

    Hugs to both of you.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hyperventalation can cause many scary symptoms. If you see her doing this, tell her to slow her breathing or breathe into a paper bag. I used to have panic attacks and they kicked up under stress AND when I had caffeine.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    How is their relationship? It seems she reacted specifically to the impending return by SO. Either specific to their relationship or the triangle presented by it--with you. Perhaps she was saying she needs you a bit more to herself.

    Is there a way that you can begin to little by little talk to her about her feelings, how they relate specifically to SO, or to your relationship? It seems there was a trigger. Would she benefit from therapy? Could you both benefit from therapy together?

    This is a lot of stress for anybody, what the family has gone through, for a kid it might be too much.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  6. JRC

    JRC Active Member

    I was thinking along the lines of Copa. I was also thinking that having her reality questioned (what she thought she heard or didn't hear) set her off.

    Regardless, I'm so sorry. Panic attacks are awful. And awful to witness. ((hugs))
  7. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    Who is "Ferb"?????

    Would she rather your "SO" not be "here"? Does she have problems with him?

    And where is "here" as opposed to "the farm"? Are those two separate locations?
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Praecepta. This is how I understand the context. Ferb is son (brother of daughter) who recently made a suicidal gesture. Their father died by suicide. Recently both their paternal grandfather and grandmother died. Their uncle also died by suicide.

    Daughter has been through this all along side pigless and Ferb.
    I believe "here" is home and the farm is another location.

    Pigless. You are dealing with so much and so is she. Trauma is cumulative. Our bodies hold it, even while we are not consciously aware. Daughter could have PTSD. She lived through the dying of her father, whether she was old enough to experience it in an adult way, or not.

    There is a lot of recent work on somatic therapies, a somatic understanding of trauma. One name that comes to mind is Peter Levine, a neuropsychologist, I think, is his training. There is another MD who is prominent in this field: Von Bessel or something like that. He is Dutch. You will "see him" if you go to Amazon.

    I think just reading a book or two about the perspective might be enough to support your daughter. Who knows? Ferb might be dealing with the same thing, in another way.

    I know I am.
  9. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I would take her to a psychiatrist and get her started on Paxil ASAP. Even if she's only had two panic attacks, I see a pattern emerging. I know all about panic attacks, and they will continue escalating. If this goes untreated, she will start having panic attacks even when she's not afraid of anything. The phobias, insomnia, and stomach problems will follow.
  10. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    Thanks, I get the picture...

    So the thing with panic attacks is that the mind is "overloaded" with too much stuff. The mind "shuts down" to protect itself. With that said, the remedy (or thing to do) when someone is having a panic attack is to place them in a quiet dark room - no noise, no extreme temperatures, no light, etc. Basically no stimulation whatsoever.

    So by reducing/cutting off any additional stimulation to the brain (sight, sound, touch), the person can rest a bit from their "overstimulation". Takes a couple of hours.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I take Paxil. Its great for me but not everyone can take it. Many take zoloft. I cant. It is very individial.I would see if non medical help works first. It didnt for me, but they have better treatment now. EMDR is one I know about for PTSD (never tried it. Look it up).

    It is hard to withdraw from an antidepressant. Doctors say they arent addictive, but i dont know...the withdrawal on certain ones, Paxil being one of the worst, is horrible. Im afraid to try going off of it because I read horror stories about withdrawals.

    She only had one panic attack? See if it becomes a habit. I had panic disorder so bad I could barely leave the house, but its not as bad for everyone. The only thing that helped me was no caffeine for fifteen years and taking a would kick in about thirty minutes later and I would be back to normal. I dont recommend benzos either. I do recommend cutting caffeine.8

    If it becomes life altering she needs therapy...but there are alternatives to medications now. Research, research, research ! I did that before doing anything regarding my own mental health issues and my kids. Knowledge is power :). There is no one solution or treatment that works for everybody. We are all different. Thats why a medical professional is best. We are just moms and what worked for our kid or us may not work for yours.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  12. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the confusion Praecepta. Copa got it all right. The farm is 3 hours away. We go up there every other week-end and are planning to move there full time this summer. Candy does not want to move, nor does she like SO. I recently started taking her to a therapist to discuss the impending move, SO, and Ferb (difficult brother).

    Praecepta, what else do you think I should have done since she was having a panic attack in a parking lot? Like I said, I was trying to drive home, but I could see she was too upset to continue. I pulled into a spot and just sat there for awhile not saying anything except that I wanted her to go to the back seat. I gave up after I realized she just couldn't do it. I have a blanket in the trunk. Should I have tossed it over her? I knew getting her home was the best thing for her, but it was rather tough to accomplish under those circumstances. Should I maybe have gone over and held her firmly? I was afraid to touch her since I was the one who triggered the panic attack.

    Crayola, this is her third panic attack. Two were because I was angry, one was when Ferb was threatening suicide. I was angry then, too, actually. I was yelling loudly for her to call 911. She couldn't do it. She did bring me her phone, though.

    When we got back to the Richmond house (as opposed to the farmhouse), I talked her into coming inside. I sat and held her and talked to her calmly. That seemed to help her.

    Both kids have been through a lot lately. Ferb tends to get angry and lash out in an aggressive manner. Candy tends to withdraw.

    Wisernow, she does get a lot of mom and me time. But maybe knowing SO would be in town this week-end was upsetting in that she was hoping for more mom and me.

    She has a therapy appointment on Monday. Thanks for the info, Copa. I will look into it. I have never had a full-blown panic attack like Candy experienced. I tend to sink into an eerie calm during extreme emotional events. I agree that Candy probably has PTSD from what she witnessed with her father and now her brother.
  13. JRC

    JRC Active Member

    Pigless I know this is a thread about Candy, but I'm wondering how Ferb is doing? And how is their relationship at the moment?

    Forgive me if you recently did an update and I missed it.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have been at each end of the continuum.

    I think specific recommendations for medication you receive online are best taken with a grain of salt. Especially for a child.

    Nor do I believe that there is any reason to think that panic disorder will be a continuing issue. She has been dealing with extreme stress. There is no reason to think that she will not work this through, with help.

    While she could have PTSD or some other diagnosis, she could also be dealing with something transient and situational that she is in the process of working through.
  15. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    I honestly don't know what to say about Ferb. He is rather a train wreck at the moment. He and Candy do not get along and never have. He has always hated her since the moment she came home from the hospital. Mostly, he leaves her alone.

    He has court on Monday for marijuana possession. I found out last night that the police found him on school grounds. It is possible he will be expelled from school. He is failing two classes. He has been skipping school and there is that disturbing on-going clandestine relationship that I think he is having with a teacher. Most of my interactions with him involve him getting really angry. Today, I told him that he should really have a haircut before court. He was furious. He doesn't even know how he is getting to the courthouse or how he is getting back. He will miss school AGAIN. He lies about most things. I don't like him.
  16. UpandDown

    UpandDown Active Member

    So sorry to hear your daughter had another panic attack. Just reading your words brought back very painful memories of witnessing my son having a panic attack almost exactly a year ago. Terrifying to watch, I can only imagine how awful to have one. Hugs to you and your daughter.
  17. JRC

    JRC Active Member

    I'm sorry that he's a train wreck, and that you basically don't like him right now. Honestly, you have every reason NOT to like him. He certainly isn't making it easier for you *to* like him.

    And that whole thing with the teacher...gross. I might have said something to the therapist--a one sided conversation because the therapist can't say anything to you. Letting him know that 1. He shouldn't leave the door open and 2. You have concerns that you'd like him to know about, knowing that he can't say a word to you. But you want him to know that *if* that situation is in fact happening, you personally think it should be reported. Now, I write that here, from the comfort of my keyboard. Not sure I'd actually have the balls to do it considering that I'd be outing myself for eavsdropping and skirting boundary issues. And this is incredibly sexist of me, but if Ferb were a girl, I'd for sure have said something, boundaries be damned.
  18. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    So far as what to do driving home, just turn off the radio in the car and make it as quiet as you can on the drive home. No need to do anything other than that, just don't have any unneeded noise in the car. If any kids or others in car, ask them to be quiet please.

    Then when you get home, suggest she go into her bedroom, turn off the light, and then close the door. If she doesn't want to do that, then just leave her be for a few hours. Try to keep it quiet in the home for those two hours if possible.

    This is sort of like someone saying "If one more thing happens, I am going to SCREAM!" (They have had their fill of stress and need a break for awhile.)
  19. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Praecepta. I get migraines, so I will remember to treat her like she has a migraine. I think I mostly did okay, then. There was no music, and I didn't try to talk to her on the way home.

    JRC, I have given the Ferb/teacher situation far too much space in my brain. It weighs heavily on me. My therapist knows about it and knows that Ferb's therapist probably cannot report it due to not knowing the teacher's name. I, on the otherhand, know exactly who the skank is. My therapist thinks that it is particularly awful that she is having a relationship with a "troubled" kid. I agree, however, if I am the one who brings an end to this "relationship," then I am the one Ferb will hate. I want to protect him, but I cannot. I have to let the train wreck play out.