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I'm the mother of a 13 year old girl who is suffering from anxiety and I am struggling in how to support her. My daughter is finding it hard to attend school as she feels dizzy and sick when she is at school with no obvious cause. I am struggling to know how to encourage her to go to school and getting the balance between understanding and being tough and making her face her anxiety and work through it. If anyone

has any advice either as a parent or as a teenager who has experienced this it would be very appreciated.

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  • Is there any events that recently happen with the family that is causing that.

  • Dear mom of an anxious teen,

    When anxiety is present, the person is often breathing too fast. It doesn't always have to be obvious. This breathing too fast can make her feel dizzy or lightheaded. Lightheaded comes 1st before dizziness, it's only a matter of degree; lightheaded is the lesser of the 2, dizziness is where the world is actually spinning around for her and nausea is present. It's helpful if you can calmly guide her to slow down her breathing by encouraging her to slowly count for herself her breaths inward and then outward. She may not want a lot of help, but just to be aware of what she needs is a good start for her. If she wants you to count out loud, then by all means do that, too. You can count 1...2...3...4...and out...2...3...4....the pace may vary with her activity level at the time.

    She can do this without being obvious about it when she's at school and doesn't want to be noticed by other students. I'll be glad to answer other questions if you have them. I hope all goes well for both of you. Both myself and one of my sons have anxiety disorders.

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