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Includes Expert Content
My child has anxiety and panic disorder, school refusal
panicmom posted:
Hello, I wanted to post this for any family dealing with a child who has panic disorder. My 11yr old boy started withdrawing from social opportunities with good friends and then went to school refusal. We tried tough love, but the fear was so intense in him we had to give in and homeschool him. We started noticing panic attacks, where he couldn't breathe and thought he was having a heart attack, weak in the knees. Everyone we talked to assumed that he must have been bullied or sexually abused and I can rest assured knowing that that was an impossiblity.

We went to a psychiatrist and started therapy. We tried many different SSRI medications which never helped and only made things worse. To top everything off, my son refused to speak of his fear in anyway, it was too painful to even mention. Klonopin seemed to take the edge off but did not return him to school. After a year and a half of missing school, I came across a therapist who said panic is simple and can cure it in 3 sessions. He was a professional who uses EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) I can tell you that after my son practiced his EMDR homework..which is breathing, visualization, and grounding technique..that he just went back to school full time last week. I know we still have some hurdles and anxiety to work with....but he is back to school and a happy boy. My son's panic was so intense that it was like Post Traumatic Stress. He was so scared of having another panic attack and even more scared to have one in front of his peers. He didn't want to "loose control" in front of them. The EMDR provided another brain pathway, around the build up wall of fear.
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
Glad to hear you found a solution that has worked very well for him. It's not always a matter of medication, as you found out, and it's good to know he's in control now.

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