Panic disorder is actually a very common among various age groups. Anyone who is living with panic disorder may experience unexpected, recurrent periods with symptoms of dizziness, shortness of breath, racing heartbeat, and intense fearfulness. These repeated occurrences are called panic attacks and it is important to understand the causes of panic attacks and what to do if your child experiences one. It is crucial to understand how the mind and body works during the panic attacks as it will help you or your child respond healthier and better during the intense moment.

During a panic attack, breathing becomes more rapid and the heart rate increase. When breathing becomes rapid, also called hyperventilation, the lungs inside our body exhale more carbon dioxide than our cells produce and the level of carbon dioxide in our blood and brains decreases. This what makes us feel dizzy or very lightheaded and sometimes, it can make us panic even more with more rapid breathing. If you or your child are familiar with panic attacks, look around at home and thing about what may need to change in the environment in order for you and your child to feel safe. What items would you want nearby that will help relax your mind and body? Focusing on our 5 senses could also help bring us back into the moment. Look around and find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

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