my 15 yr old son has panic attacks that seem to be school related.

Posted , 8 users are following.

My son catches the train to school sometimes on the days he can't, he becomes very stressed. I have completed the journey with him many times and he is fine for a little while then he can't do it again.

He got on the train reluctantly today and when he got off the other end I received a text I can't do it. I had to call the school and ask someone to go and get him. He was in a right state, heavy breathing, said he felt like he was having a heart attack.

Once in school he didn't attend any lessons he worked in a small individual space.

I will have to go on the train with him tomorrow.

Just when we think we have solved it.

Another bout arrives. My son says he doesn't know why he gets like this. He says he wants to go home where it is safe.

When I speak to him later on his says he doesn't know what he was as thinking or what the problem is.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi. Im so sorry to hear about your son. I and my children have suffered with this in the past. The best thing you can do is look up nhs counselling. In Derbyshire we have one called Talking Therapies which offers one to one CBT based therapy. They really help. Maybe ask your doctor or you can self refer. Download apps on the App Store for him to listen to, they really help. He's lucky to have a caring mum. Good luck
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  • Posted

    Hi Deborah

    Sorry to hear of this

    I would sit down with him and have a nice

    Chat to try and find out what the problem is

    You could maybe take him out for the day

    Or something along those lines

    By reading your post 2 things came to me

    Either ( agoraphobia ) fear of travelling on trains is a symptom of this , or somethings happening at school I hope you can atleast

    Find out what is wrong then you can work on it

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  • Posted

    Hi. The last lady is right, though I'm sure you have talked with him. You don't want to make a big thing of it and label him or it could make things worse. Tell him it's a very common problem but no one talks about it. Google Itv this morning as they had a morning on panic attacks with a doctor. Not seen it but noticed it when I was looking for something else
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  • Posted

    hey deborah,

    sorry to hear about your son. its good that he has you to help him through it though!

    have you spoken to the school? maybe he might be being bullied? its just a thought but kids now days can be very cruel. i hope that your son is ok!

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  • Posted

    Yeah, If possible try and find out whats on his mind, without badgering him, dont make it a big deal, to find out, maybe aim for the easter hols, also get him doing some activities, cycling, jogging, maybe boxing training, and a lot less dangerous than rugby which is great for self esteem. Cbt may be an option if you cannot get a reason for the panic attacks
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  • Posted

    Deborah, this is a long shot but if I can descibe what happened with my own son it might ring a bell or not. My son too had terrible panic episodes and we thought it related to multiple bereavement so persevered with trying to help him with counseling (CAAMHS didnt exist then) etc. He "got through" school but got worse at university. They refered him to a psychologist and it turned out that he has Dyspraxia which doesnt effect inteligence but is a specific learning difficulty that can result in other problems such as panic disorder. He got tailored help and felt incredibly relieved when he got this "diagnosis" and now after a couple of years no longer has panic episodes and copes well with change. We were told that this happens to many kids who get through early years of education because they are bright and have the skills to make it appear that they are coping but then "crash" when things change. Perhaps this might apply to your son. we were lucky because the university were brilliant I have heard that schools arent so good but it may be worth asking a friendly teacher
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  • Posted

    I can relate to your son. When i was at secondary school i struggled to go. Even though my mum would drive me up to the school gates, i just had constant anxiety about being out of the house and didn't feel safe at school. School was the worst time for me & it made my anxiety 10x worse. You should definitely look in to some counselling for your son or maybe just try getting him to take small train journeys but not going to school. a train journey somewhere else might stop him accossiating train journeys with school & it might help a little bit? smile
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  • Posted

    Not sure if you saw my seperate post, could not log in earlier about going on train with a friend from school, or if not is there a school bus? My own son just 16 goes 20 miles to school by train and loves it, but could not cope with the noise on a school bus. During Easter break take him to school on the train and see whether you notice it is the train causing anxiety or when he gets closer to school. It may be that he is finding something at school difficult ie a friendship or even workload as they start gearing up for GCSE's. My son is year 11 and I have noticed that he has started to not eat foods that he once loved, just can't face them for whatever reason, I have no idea as he get's upset when questioned. It is so hard watching a teenager with all their hormones struggling.
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    • Posted

      Hi young at heart

      There is no bus. He says he loves school. I don't understand how sometimes he manages fine and other times he can't handle it.

      I spoke to him about using a relaxation app on his phone when he is slightly anxious he said" I will have to use it 24/7 then. He still looked at the apps but said they where all rubbish for one reason or another.

      I am thinking about home schooling him. The school suggested we be more flexible and he goes in when he can and I teach him the work they send me when he can't.

      We are having a professionals meeting after Easter so will see what happens then.

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