A Panic Attack and a Birthday

Happy Friday ladies!! Hello, best day of the week! I was going to Blog about something else today, but the beauty in having your own Blog is that you can switch it up at any time, and today I really needed to reach out to you for help.

Last night something very weird and disturbing happened. I am wondering if it has ever happened to any of your kids. My parents are leaving on a trip today, so naturally they wanted to spend some time with the boys before they left. It is also my hubby’s 36th birthday today, so it was sort of like a going away / birthday dinner. At around 6:30PM, we all headed downtown to the boys’ favorite burger joint– me, the kids, my parents, and hubby came directly from work. The place was busy, as our Montreal Canadiens were playing last night, and the restaurant was very loud, and very crowded.


We all sat down, starved. All of a sudden, completely out of the blue, my 6 year old son began to panic. He complained that it was very loud, and he began to cry uncontrollably. He then said he wanted to throw up, so I immediately ran him to the bathroom. He didn’t throw up, but was complaining he HAD to go home. Not even the burger and fries on the table (which he usually LOVES) could calm him down. We took him outside, and the minute he got outside, he started to relax. He was back to normal. It was near 7Pm at this point, and I knew he was hungry, so I tried to bring him back inside. The minute he came back in, he started to almost shake again, cry, and was literally eating his burger with tears streaming down his eyes, with his coat on. He just wanted to go home. So, after he ate a little, we did just that. We darted home. Besides one time a year ago at a hockey game, where he did something similar, this has NEVER happened in 6 1/2 years.

When we got home, he was perfectly himself. Bubbly and happy. I didn’t sleep the whole night. I was so disturbed and so upset. And this morning, after jumping on my hubby to wish him a happy birthday and give him his birthday card, he darted off to school, looking forward to his playdate this afternoon. Completely NORMAL. Now I am concerned if or when this will happen again, or if it was an isolated incident. For those of you who suffer from panic or anxiety, or have had a child who has experienced something similar, can any of you offer some advice or insight? I don’t believe people should suffer alone or in silence. Your insight would be appreciated today.

So, ladies, have a great weekend. I will have to be a big girl next week. Parents away, in-laws away, hubby going away. Can I call any of you in the middle of the night if there’s an emergency?

Plus, I want to wish my handsome hubby a happy 36th birthday!! He’s looking forward to celebrating tonight…after hours, if ya know what I mean!!

erica diamond


  1. I am so sorry for what happened. You must have been very upset. I am sure something triggered him. If it’s never happened before, hopefully it won’t happen again. Do you even know if it was a panic attack for sure?

  2. It seems like there were a lot of factors going on at the time, so it is hard to pinpoint what it was and if it was a panic attack. In my expereince, it is best to prepare them for what is about to happen, who will be there, how long you will be there for etc. And here are the two key things that I have found help: Firstly let them know that you are there with them and for them. Secondly, let them know that if at anytime they feel uncomfortable you can step out or away. Once you have removed yourself from the environment, take some time to talk about it and again reassure that you are there for them. If this does not calm them down, I make sure that they know that we can leave and go home. Hope this helps.

  3. It has happened to me a few times over the years, usually stems from being anxious about something else and the noise and chaos triggers the panic attack. Once I am outside and the noise has subsided or I am back on familiar ground everything is fine. I wouldn’t get too worried, although looking into what may have happened that day or that week may help pin point what the stressor was and you can help him work through it for next time. Even as an adult I don’t always know what the stressor is at the time, but thinking about it after this happens I can usually figure it out. Removing him from the situation is always the best solution, especially if this only happens once every few years. Hope this helps!

  4. Thank you all so much for your comments. It seems something could have set him off, and that it doesn’t necessarily have to happen again, nor was it necessarily a full blown panic attack. I did all the calming and reassuring you spoke of, and he seemed perfect afterwards.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

  5. A panic attack is usually sweating, shortness of breath, confusion of unseen fear. Freaking out can be bad behavior to outburst of tears. I have cried with panic attacks too. I have also had panic attackes where I can not catch my breath my heart is accelarating but I can not sit still I go from place to place tying to find a safe place. I have also experienced pressure all over head and chest.

    My son when he was little had an episode where he freaked out crying, running, stomping feet, swinging arms, biting it was scary my mother in law is a licensed family counselor here in California. Thank God she was there. She showed me how to restrain him safely so niether of us got hurt. This freakout was brought on because his older brother had just been on leave from the Marines and had just left again. My son felt deserted. My son’s father had been in a fender bender on the freeway and our family car had to be towed home. No Daddy just wrecked car in driveway. Although I tried to console my son that Daddy was riding with a friend and would be home after work. He was having to much seperation anxiety to put it all together. My brother had also died not two months before so he was trying to process all this information.

    Panic attack first remove from situation if possible. A restauraunt it is usually the crowd and the noise. I suggest outside. Talk smooth and loving to him. Let him pull himself together and get control of himself. Use your best Mommy soothing technique you have. Sometimes if he is breathing so hard he looks like he is gonna pass out have him sit down with knees bent and place head on knees. Making his own pocket of safety elimanating all the outside stimuli that caused it. Again Calm Soothing. When he calms dont be in a hurry take all the time you need. most restaurants will heat or hold your food. Breifly talk about his fear, what he think happened, what he think caused it. He may not know or want to talk about it, but let him know you love him and he is alright. You maybe frustrated but dont let him know if you can help it. Talk to your Doctor soon, there are a lot of conditions that cause panic attackes.

    Freaking Out: If he is in danger of hurting you, himself, or anyone with acting out of control, you have to help him get control. My mother-in-law taught me to take my child to the ground in a sitting position legs straight but bent slightly at knee. Sit behind your child your stomach to his back, wrap your arms around his arms preventing him from throwing them about and your legs are crossed over his legs to stop the kicking. Now just wait. Again talk in your best soothing manner. Little boys sometimes get overwhelmed with emotion and dont know how to process it all. It is okay. Let him know you support and love him. He will calm down.

    Sounds like a panic attack more than emotional overload. Only you know what is going on in his life so use your best judgement. If it happens again I would talk to his Dr. My friends son had hyper sensative hearing and could not go to a movie theatre because it overloaded his sences. There are alot of reasons these things happen.

    Remember trust yourself.

  6. I have only had 2 in my life and it was related to sensory overload. My son has the same thing but it has only really happened to him once. He is 7 years old. I have noticed that when he is tired and can’t really say that himself, I just know it from the long day we had that his tolerance for multiple things declines. Sort of like babies? You know how too many people in their faces they finally just start crying, it can just be all too much to take in at one time. Anyways we were at a party and kids were running around and music was playing and adults were chatting and it was generally a busy house and he just shut down. He would not detach himself from my leg and looked like he was gonna crack. As soon as we left he was fine. I think for me its a bit different since he is the only child and I am single mom, our house for the most part is not a loud or busy house so he isn’t used to having multiple things going on. As I write this I realize as a baby he was like that too, he would cry if the radio and vacuum were going on at the same time, it was just too much for him. It doesn’t happen all the time but its definitely when he isn’t feeling well or tired. Talked to the dr and they saw no reason for concern as long as it doesn’t impact his day to day life as someone else had said previously. When it happened to me I just wanted to feel safe and secure and you are doing just that, it’s just life and typically what happens to our kids affect us 100 million times more than it effects them. It is the plight of a good mommy 🙂 Happy weekend and Happy 36th hubby!

  7. That kind of overload can be quite scary to an adult, let alone a child. I am extremely hypersensitive to noise, bright lights, and chaos in general…why did I ever have six children? Anyway, it seems to be related to stress and the pressure it puts on our senses. It certainly could be an isolated incident, but it might be a clue to something else altogether. I’ve had all of my kids, at one time or another, freak out in public. I don’t recall the details but know that in all cases it was just normal overload and tiredness.


  8. If he’s an anxious young boy, then chances are he has had anxiety issues but may have gone undetected due to his inability to really express it and they may never have been as bad as that night. I suffer from high anxiety and have all my life. Usually, I’m ok, but when it comes on, it’s bad. You can’t really do too much about it except to pay attention to certain events and see if he reacts again. Anxiety can be calmed in a child by a calming, almost meditation type tone. It really depends on the degrees. It sounds to me like he did just that, have an anxiety attack. Unfortunately, they can’t express why; you can go back there 10 times, and on the 11th time, he reacts. Depends on what is bothering him… It gets easier… anyone have high anxiety or high energy? OCD? Neurotic?

  9. Hope your little guys is doing better. Things can be so overwelming for kids. My daughter is 14 now, and long past those early meltdowns…just waiting for hormones to kick in and it will start all over again!!
    Many thanks again for your very inspirational talk at the W2 breakfast last week. I’ve followed your advice and created a BLOG…what fun!
    BTW, nothing to do with this topic, but did you get a chance to see the film “Motherhood”? I would highly recommend it to all your followers (OMG that word makes you sound like a cult leader!!). Uma Thurman is fantastic!

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