Little kids

Nervous cough in a child's symptoms and treatment


Coughing is not always a sign of a cold or a viral illness. Sometimes this reflex phenomenon is neurotic. If a baby has coughing attacks in a variety of stressful situations and doesn’t show up in a calm state, this type of cough is called neurological, psychogenic or neurogenic. How to cope with this symptom and how dangerous is such a cough?

What is the reason?

Coughing is one of the most frequent symptoms with which the baby’s parents refer to the pediatrician. It sometimes happens that the problem is difficult to cope with, and the usual therapy does not give results. If the cough torments the child for a rather long period, the doctor looks for alternative methods of therapy. However, during the examination, listening, and also on the basis of other examinations, the pediatrician may conclude that there are no abnormalities in the work of the respiratory organs of the little patient.

According to recent studies, cough may be due to rhythmic contractions of the muscles of the vocal muscles, that is, a kind of tic. In this regard, the second name of the neurological cough - vocal tick.

To date, the causes of different types of tick (including vocal) have not been studied thoroughly. Experts investigating this phenomenon are divided into two camps. One group of scientists believes that tick is due to genetic mutations, the other - psychological disorders. The second option involves the influence of external traumatic factors on the patient, that is, the cause of the problem can be stress.

To confirm the hypothesis about the stressful nature of psychogenic cough in children, one can take into account its following manifestations. This theory is supported by a cough that begins:

  • before a particularly important event in the baby’s life: an exam, a concert, a matinee in kindergarten,
Nervousness in a child may occur on the eve of an important exam, credit, or other important day.
  • in tense at home, provoked by parents seeking to achieve the ideal behavior of a son,
  • at the time of stressful events: fright, watching an emotional film, quarreling with a friend,
  • while communicating with a person whose son or daughter is afraid: a strict teacher, a doctor.

Main features

Speaking of neurological cough, we can distinguish several of its main symptoms. As a rule, patients have two or more of the following symptoms:

  • the cough torments the child regularly, he is annoying, unproductive,
  • an attack begins without a cause, no other symptoms of the upper respiratory tract are observed,
  • coughing almost always accompanies the baby at the moment of fright, stress,
  • the intensity of the attack decreases, or it passes at all when the child is fascinated by something, is interested,
  • the onset of the disease is almost always observed in children aged 3-4 years,
  • during sports or at the time of active play, the cough does not become more intense, it may even decrease,
When a child is focused on action or is in motion, a nervous cough usually passes.
  • drug therapy does not bring results - antibiotics, mucolytic drugs, cough suppressants do not help,
  • in a dream the baby does not cough - only while awake,
  • the cough does not change during the whole period of the disease - it does not become deeper or more irritating,
  • almost all parents of children-patients note that the intensity of attacks depends on the time of day and season, in most cases it increases in the mornings and evenings, in the fall and in the winter.


Treatment of psychogenic cough is not an easy task. Most experts note the importance of creating a calm atmosphere in a child at home, as well as conducting psychotherapy sessions. It is very important to try to protect the baby from stressful situations in the children's institution. The treatment regimen for this disease should include outpatient procedures. Such patients are not placed in hospital, since a change in familiar conditions can provoke a worsening of the problem.

Working with a psychologist should be part of a nerve cough treatment.

Medication Treatment

To begin with, it is worthwhile to determine the expediency of treating a child with medicines. Doctors, if possible, try to avoid such appointments. In particular, Dr. Komarovsky does not recommend to deal with the problem with medication. It is recommended to treat cough with medications if it prevents the baby from communicating with peers, finding friends and socially adapting as a whole.

If the doctor decided to prescribe a small patient any pharmacological drugs, it is better to stop at the lowest doses of drugs. Practice shows that the most effective drugs are antipsychotics, it is they who do an excellent job with the symptoms of vocal tic. In this case, parents should be informed that antipsychotic drugs have a number of side effects. If you take them for a long time, there may be headaches, anxiety, impaired attention, sleep disturbance, increased muscle tone.

Also, doctors prescribe fortifying drugs, nootropics, which increase concentration, improve memory, increase brain resistance to negative factors. However, unlike neuroleptics, the effectiveness of which in these circumstances is close to 80%, the benefits of nootropics with vocal tics have not been proven.

Psychotherapeutic treatment

Psychotherapy sessions have a powerful therapeutic effect in the treatment of neurogenic cough. With children, they conduct sessions of behavioral, family, individual psychotherapy. When treating young patients, experts practice conducting distracting sessions — for example, they treat a problem with the help of special breathing techniques.

Sometimes the treatment uses specially selected breathing exercises.

What can parents help?

The help of parents in the treatment of psychogenic cough is invaluable. In addition to creating a benevolent and calm atmosphere at home, their actions should be coordinated and aimed at maintaining the overall tone of the baby’s body, strengthening its nervous system:

  • We must try not to focus on the child's vocal ticks. A mistake will be pulling out, punishing the baby during an attack. It is better to distract the crumb, give him an interesting task, so that he forgot about the problem.
  • Experts recommend to write down the identified causes that led to the attack. For example, if a child coughed during a visit to relatives or heard a quarrel between mom and dad.
  • It is worth paying attention to the mode of the baby. It is necessary to put him to sleep at the same time, be sure to walk with him in the air. Physical activity will be a plus, but watching TV and classes at the computer should be limited.
  • Products that contain caffeine, it is desirable to remove from the diet of the child. This is cocoa, tea, chocolate, some carbonated drinks. At the same time, make sure that the menu contains dishes containing magnesium - nuts, peas, and greens.

Home Treatment

Having decided to deal with vocal tick, one should not neglect the popular methods of treatment. Most of them are aimed at relaxing, calming the nervous system. There are external methods of influence and internal. To external can be attributed to the bath, which it is desirable to take 2-3 times a week, and to the internal - the reception of soothing decoctions and tinctures.

Relaxing baths help nervous babies

Relaxing baths will allow the child to calm down, get positive emotions, play in the water. It is better to take a warm bath before bedtime - after such a procedure, the process of falling asleep will be easy, and sleep will be calm and deep. To enhance the effect, you can add bath salt to the water, as well as make infusions of herbs:

  • decoction of chamomile flowers has an antiseptic effect, soothes and also relieves the symptoms of the problem,
  • valerian tincture also soothes, relieves cramps,
  • infusion or lavender oil will help strengthen the nervous system, as well as improve blood circulation.

Soothing concoctions

Herbal preparations are sold at any pharmacy, a prescription for their purchase is not needed. Soothing tea will help a child older than 3 years to relax before going to bed, cope with stress, strengthen the nervous system, relieve tension. In addition, herbal tea can be offered to the child in the middle of the day. General recommendations for brewing herbs are simple: you need to pour 15 g of grass with a glass of boiling water and leave for 40 minutes in a water bath under a lid. After cool, strain and dilute with boiled water to a volume of 200 ml. Such charges are suitable for a child:

  • to relieve coughing valerian, heather, motherwort,

Alcohol tinctures

Herbal tinctures on alcohol can also be given to children after 12 years of age, strictly observing the dosage. It is even better to consult a doctor before starting a course. Such drugs are suitable:

  • tincture of Eleutherococcus, which not only improves the overall tone of the body, but is also indicated for neurogenic diseases,
  • Hawthorn extract is recommended to be taken to improve blood circulation in the brain, as well as to reduce nervous excitability, to treat neurosis,
  • Angelica extract is indicated for the treatment of convulsions, as well as hysterical conditions,
  • motherwort tincture effectively restores the nervous system, suppresses coughing nerves,
  • sleep-grass removes well hysterical and vocal tic attacks,
  • nettle leaves improve the blood formula, raise the tone, give vigor,
  • tincture of peony roots is indicated for neurasthenia, it can be used to relieve convulsions, calm the child,
  • Tincture of Aralia Manchu is indicated for depression, asthenia, its reception removes signs of fatigue, heals neuroses, raises the tone, calms the nervous system.

It is difficult to cure an annoying and debilitating cough caused by stressful conditions, but if you address the issue in a comprehensive manner, the result will certainly be. You should not expect a quick effect from the treatment of a vocal tic, better arm yourself with patience and act consistently and persistently.

Nervous cough in children

Nervous cough occurs in 10% of children suffering from prolonged chronic cough. This symptom is reflex and arises due to the irritant effect on the area of ​​the cerebral cortex responsible for the cough reflex.

  • experiences about an upcoming important event, such as a test,
  • unhealthy situation in the family, where parents show excessive demands or aggression towards the child,
  • peer conflicts,
  • negative emotions after seeing in the movie, fear,
  • stress when communicating with teachers and other authoritative personalities for the child,
  • copying chronic cough, which may be present in someone close,
  • predisposition as a result of complications during pregnancy or childbirth in the mother.

Coughing can also be a way by which a child tries to arouse sympathy from loved ones, requires additional attention from others.

Features and course of the disease

You are dealing with a nervous cough, if you can say that:

Most often, a psychogenic cough disappears on its own, without additional intervention by doctors, but this happens only by the age of 18. Therefore, it is advisable to find effective ways to relieve nervous cough.

As noted above, standard therapy, effective against cough in the vast majority of situations, does not work in this case. The basis of the treatment of neurological cough is a set of measures and procedures aimed at finding the cause of the symptom, its elimination and relieving stress with the help of various relaxing techniques and sedatives.

As a sedative, they use both pharmaceutical preparations and methods of traditional medicine based on the use of herbal decoctions, relaxing massages and baths.

  1. Among the most popular recipes for treating nervous cough in children is tea made from herbs that have a calming effect.

This tool is completely harmless to the child's body. The only thing is to make sure that there is no individual intolerance to the components of tea.

Children should use tea from curative herbs three times a day, having established obligatory reception just before falling asleep. Such a procedure will allow the child to calm down before bedtime, relieving the tension that has accumulated during the day.

Regardless of which medicinal plant will be used to make tea, there are general recommendations: for a glass of hot boiled water, take 15 grams of chopped herb, which is drawn for half an hour.

A sedative effect can be achieved by using tea prepared with:

It is better if the procedure will be carried out immediately before bedtime, because often children have problems falling asleep against the background of a nervous cough. After taking a bath with decoctions of medicinal herbs, the child will relax, which will promote deep and full sleep.

To achieve a soothing and relaxing effect, you can add to the bath:

For the preparation of alcohol tinctures used:


  • do not shout, make remarks solely in a calm manner,
  • to pay attention to what excites a child in everyday life, to find time to listen to him,
  • pay attention to the atmosphere in the children's team, which is visited by the child,
  • It is possible to reduce the burden and requirements that are imposed on him at school or at home, because very often it is the excessive ambition of parents that negatively affects the psychological state of their children,
  • monitor sleep patterns, which should be at least eight to nine hours (preschoolers need extra daytime sleep),
  • exclude watching TV shows and any games on the computer just before bedtime, preferring quiet games in the afternoon and evening,
  • remove from the diet of the child such beverages as coffee and tea, products made from cocoa products, increasing the consumption of vegetables and foods high in magnesium.

Treatment of nervous cough should be carried out under the supervision of a physician. The diagnosis is made only after a complete examination of the child and the exclusion of other possible causes of the symptom.

The presence of other symptoms accompanying a cough should alert the parents and the doctor. Among them may be frequent blinking of the eyes, as well as other involuntary movements, which indicate the presence of mental disorders.

Author: Nadezhda Chernobay

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The main causes of nervous cough in children

When the nervous coughing reduces the vocal musculature, which becomes the cause of psychogenic bronchospasm (or vocal tic). Experts identify two causes of its occurrence - gene mutations and severe stress in a child. The following factors can trigger cough:

  • experiences about a certain event that is important for a baby - performance, test, visit to the doctor,
  • difficult family environment, tensions with parents,
  • the increased demands that adults place on a child,
  • stress when dealing with people whom the child is afraid of (teachers, unfriendly neighbors, picky relatives),
  • scare and negative emotions after watching a movie
  • copying chronic cough that torments one of your close ones.

What are the symptoms of the disease?

Diagnosing a psychogenic cough is not easy. For a diagnosis, it is important to observe the development and characteristics of its occurrence for a long period of time. Typical symptoms:

  • the baby coughs only wakefulness, day and night sleep pass quietly,
  • nerve cough is dry, intrusive and does not give way to wet,
  • there are no signs of an infectious disease - fever, headache, runny nose,
  • frequent blinking of your eyes during coughing - this indicates a child’s nervous tension,
  • the child suffocates, complains about the lack of air during the attack,
  • cold preparations do not help,
  • if the baby is interested or fascinated by something, there is no coughing,
  • neurotic cough manifests itself more intensively in the autumn-winter period (avitaminosis) and evening (fatigue),
  • the child is not disturbed appetite and sleep.

Симптомы кашля неврологического характера обычно проходят у детей к 18 годам. Кашель выматывает ребенка, негативно отражается на его развитии и постоянно тревожит родителей. Therefore, it is important to identify the disease and begin to fight it as soon as possible.

Diagnostic methods

In the diagnosis, the doctor focuses on the complaints of the parents, the symptoms and the general health of the child. Additional studies are being conducted to rule out asthma, allergies and other diseases that may cause coughing. Several specialists work with the baby - pulmonologist, allergist, otolaryngologist, neurologist, psychotherapist. For 3 months, while collecting history, cough is considered chronic. Often, after the end of this period, a nervous cough is diagnosed in 10% of babies.

Treatment of neurological cough

Children are treated at home without quarrels and conflicts. Changing the usual environment is not recommended, as this can be an additional stress. Standard antitussive therapy and medication will not help to overcome the disease. It is necessary to find out the causes of the child’s unrest and completely eliminate them from his life.

Medication approach

Whenever possible, doctors avoid prescribing serious medicines. Drug intake is necessary in the case when the cough interferes with the child's social adaptation, interferes with the formation of interpersonal relations. Antidepressants and sedatives help to cope with the vocal tic in children. Funds are prescribed in small doses, the course of treatment is only under the supervision of a physician.

In addition, it is important to remember about the side effects of drugs. With a long reception, the baby may complain of a headache, sleep disorder. Possible hypertonicity of the muscles, impaired concentration, an obsessive state of undue anxiety.

Recipes of traditional medicine

In folk medicine there are a large number of safe and effective recipes that will help to relax and calm the child:

  • Soothing tinctures and decoctions. Medicinal fees can be bought at pharmacies or prepared by yourself at home. Basically they consist of motherwort, thyme, valerian, heather. It is important to give drinks strictly in the dose prescribed by the doctor, be sure to monitor the reaction (perhaps, at first, allergies will appear, then you will need to replace the collection).
  • Evening baths Warm baths with lavender essential oil, infusions of chamomile flowers or valerian root strengthen the nervous system, improve blood circulation. Dr. Komarovsky advises to make baths with the addition of sea salt, which is useful for nerves and skin.
  • Relaxing and tonic massage. It is better to entrust massage procedures to a specialist, it is advisable to conduct two courses of 10 sessions with a break of 4-6 weeks. Massage normalizes the circulatory and nervous system, helps to cure scoliosis, strengthen muscles.

Stress and long walks and observations of nature can also relieve stress. You can enter the family tradition and every weekend to visit parks, scenic spots, feed the ducks. You should replace watching TV and computer with active games - basketball, football, swimming or other kind of sport that your child likes. During treatment, parents should observe the following simple rules:

  • Attentive to the child. No need to focus on bouts of psychogenic cough. It is important to wait until the cough passes and take the baby with an interesting affair. It is advisable to record the reasons for the vocal tick.
  • Exclude from the diet products that contain caffeine (chocolate, tea, cappuccino, Coca-Cola). Add to the menu legumes, greens, nuts and other foods high in magnesium.
  • Observe mode. The child needs to go to bed and get up at the same time, homework should not be put off for a deep evening.

Homeopathic remedies

A good homeopathic remedy will help to deal with a nervous cough in a child, but the results of the treatment will not be immediately apparent. Selection of drugs is carried out taking into account the physique of the child, his state of health. Often, treatment regimens may be required. Among the drugs that can be treated nervous cough - Chamomilla (Hamomilla), Ignatia (Ignatia) and others. During the course of treatment with drugs you need to strictly follow the dosage prescribed by the doctor.

Preventive measures

To prevent the occurrence of the disease and its recurrence, it is necessary to create a normal psychological atmosphere at home. The child’s hobbies should be encouraged, and help in adaptation among peers. The baby needs to be tuned to a positive attitude towards small everyday troubles that can happen to everyone. Dr. Komarovsky stresses that the level of stress lowers the course of taking vitamins and the positive emotions that can be obtained when traveling to nature, playing sports or your favorite hobby.

How to get rid of nervous cough

Usually cough is the body's desire to reflex cleansing caused by irritation of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract during the inflammatory process. However, when nervous coughing receptors are not irritated. Such a cough, as a rule, accompanies all kinds of nervous disorders.

Neurogenic cough is a symptom indicating various abnormalities of the nervous system. Its appearance explains the irritation that occurs in the cerebral cortex, as a result of which the cough reflex is triggered. In other words, this type of cough has no somatic causes, that is, the diseases that caused it. However, only after the complete elimination of all possible diseases and pathologies can we talk about the neurotic, psychogenic origin of cough.


Neurogenic cough has a number of characteristic features. As a rule, these are frequent, voiced, with dry coughs, which may increase in various stressful situations and disappear in a calm state, for example, during sleep.

Thus, nervous coughs manifest themselves to a greater degree at times of great mental stress. We can say that this is a kind of protective reaction of the body to an event. Such a cough can manifest itself both arbitrarily and unconsciously.

Being arbitrary, it is an artificial symptom designed to help its owner draw attention to himself. An unconscious cough may be the result of some previous lung disease and now resembles a fixed reflex. In addition, it may indicate a firmly seated mental experiences, sometimes at a subconscious level. Only a qualified psychotherapist is able to identify the true causes of concern to the patient, and nervous coughing as its consequence.

As a rule, after an accurate diagnosis, the patient will be prescribed a comprehensive treatment with drugs that affect the medulla, where the cough reflex functions are suppressed.

Folk remedies in the fight against neural cough

Along with drug treatment, folk remedies can help in the fight against nervous coughing and stress in general. So, they will help to calm the nervous experiences of various kinds of decoctions and infusions of healing herbs.

Infusions must be prepared at the rate of 15-20 grams of raw materials per 200 milliliters of boiling water. Thus, the healing collection of valerian, corn sticks, motherwort and heather can not only relieve attacks of neurogenic cough, but also relieve nervous disorders, panic attacks and feelings of fear.

Thyme is not only able to relieve tension and relieve stress, but also strengthens the nerves in general. And Valerian relieves neurotic symptoms, reducing the excitability of the central nervous system.

It is also useful to make a bath with the addition of healing decoctions of valerian, chamomile and lavender. So, lavender is able to restore the nervous system, valerian will help relieve convulsive states of the larynx, and chamomile can completely eliminate nervous coughing.

Alcohol tinctures are considered to be no less effective. The recommended dose for adults is 30-35 drops, for children it is calculated by the number of years. So, hawthorn is useful in case of excessive excitability and nervousness, and also it enhances the blood circulation of the brain. Nettle perfectly tones and invigorates, and peony tincture, on the contrary, has a calming effect and relieves coughing. An infusion of motherwort is able to restore breathing and restore calm, suppressing the constant urge to cough. Sleep-grass is also able to eliminate neurogenic cough, generally improving the tone of the nervous system of the body.

There are a number of other drugs that can help treat and eliminate symptoms of nerve coughs, such as Aralia Manchurian, Dagil, Echinopanax, Quaternary Stone, Eleutherococcus, Levsee Safflower and others. The main thing is to remember that any even the most effective plant can have a number of contraindications, therefore, it is impossible to do without consulting a doctor in this matter.

Nervous cough: symptoms

When a person is healthy, he does not even think about how his thoughts can affect the general condition. But at the moment when the disease begins, a logical question arises: “Does the state of mind affect the course of the illness?” The answer is quite simple: “Of course, yes!” Moreover, psychological reasons can be the basis for the development of many diseases. Nervous cough is proof of that. In medical language, this phenomenon is called psychosomatics.

Nervous cough: the reasons for its development

If the occurrence of involuntary actions of the usual type requires exposure of pathogens to the body (bacteria, infections, viruses, etc.), then in this case this factor is absent. Psychogenic cough also has nothing to do with self-suggestion. The reason for its development is considered psychosomatics. That is, the protective reaction of the organism to the onset of an undesirable situation for a person. A vivid example of this is the child’s refusal to go to school on a certain day (he did not learn the lessons, there will be a test). The child may experience a sharp rise in temperature, a reflex act and other symptoms characteristic of psychosomatics.

Nervous Cough: Symptoms

The main symptom of an involuntary act is the rapid (paroxysmal) appearance of neurological cough, which instantly disappears immediately after the removal of the irritant factor. There is another type of disease. In this case, there is not paroxysmal development of the disease, but a long one. Involuntary act can be recorded for several weeks or even months, years. There may be a nervous tick. The sound of the neurotic coughing act is very resonant. Sputum is completely absent. The main symptom is the presence of reflex actions in the complete absence of any prerequisites for this, that is, tests show that a person is completely healthy. Also a sign of nervous cough is his absence during deep sleep. This results from the fact that the person completely relaxes, that is, there is no negative impact on the psyche.

Nervous cough: treatment

How to treat a reflex act, if the cause of its occurrence lies in a psychological disorder? Of course, with soothing medicines and herbal preparations containing motherwort, peppermint, etc. But this only helps when the involuntary action has a paroxysmal character. What if a nervous cough accompanies a person for several months? Here we are already talking not just about a nervous breakdown or the impact of an upcoming event (for example, putting a session or going to unpleasant people). In such a situation, the help of a qualified psychologist is necessary, since the person himself may not understand the cause of the disorder. In addition to visiting the doctor, you must undergo a special relaxing therapy. Well proven bath with sea salt and aromatic oils, massages. It is advisable to go for a walk before bedtime, the duration of which should not be less than 15-20 minutes.

Nervous cough in adults

Cough prevents foreign bodies from getting into the lungs and helps to eliminate pathological substances. This is a protective reaction of the body to irritation of bronchial receptors. However, against the background of neuropsychiatric disorders, a nervous cough appears, which occurs without irritation of the receptors on the bronchi.

Causes of Nervous Cough Development in Adults

Symptom develops with various disorders of the nervous system, with hysteria. In persons with an unstable psyche, anxiety irritates the cough center, located in the medulla. Thus, a person unknowingly tries to attract the attention of others, to cause pity.

Psychogenic cough in adults appears when there is a restless atmosphere, anxiety, a dispute, a person gets into an unusual situation, crowded places. Physical stress or emotional excitement can provoke an attack. Also, the cause of the pathology are children's mental trauma, the complexity of communication with society. In this case, a nervous cough begins in childhood and remains untreated in adolescence and adulthood.

One of the causes of pathology are long-term inflammatory diseases of the respiratory system. The person after recovery coughs out of habit during emotional distress, while waiting for an event and getting into an awkward situation. This occurs due to the fixation of the constant cough reflex at the nervous level.

Symptoms of psychogenic cough in adults

The psychogenic cough reflex is loud, sounds like a scream of geese or a car siren. The attack is not accompanied by withdrawal of bronchial secretions (dry), nasal discharge, fever. It begins under the influence of the above provocative factors and stops if you distract an adult. Also an attack of neuropsychiatric cough never develops during sleep.

In severe mental disorder, the symptom often develops and is accompanied by other signs:

  • Palpitations,
  • Heartache,
  • Feeling of fear,
  • Shortness of breath, up to choking,
  • Skin redness
  • Excessive perspiration.

Psychogenic cough resistant to treatment. It lasts for many years and severely limits the ability to work and social activity of a person. In order to make a diagnosis, a specialist should exclude a wide range of diseases of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems and conduct a neurological examination.

Psychogenic cough

Usually the appearance of cough is regarded as a sign of any disease of the respiratory tract or lungs. However, it can be caused not only by a caught infection, but also by psychosomatic disorder. According to external manifestations, psychogenic cough differs little from coughing caused by the pathology of the respiratory system; it also causes discomfort, creates inconvenience and adversely affects the general condition of a person. Its peculiarity is that it is not amenable to treatment and does not decrease from taking special preparations. In such cases, you need to pay attention to the remaining signs of the disease, it will help to establish the diagnosis. Help in this can appeal to a specialist.

Who are subject to psychogenic cough

The most susceptible to psychogenic cough are people who experience regular significant physical and moral overload, as well as too emotional.

This type of cough is more common in children and adolescents, as they are more emotional and more responsive to psychological stress. In adults, a cough that has a psychogenic nature often becomes one of the effects of hyperventilation syndrome.

Causes of Cough

The beginning of a psychogenic cough is usually a difficult situation in the psycho-emotional sense. These include:

  • too tense atmosphere in family life or in the workplace,
  • the need to engage in unpleasant activities, for example, to speak in front of a large number of people
  • severe stress associated with exams, quarrels with loved ones, loneliness and other negative circumstances,
  • such a cough can also occur in other people's diseases, like a reflective reflex.

Signs of psychogenic cough

A psychogenic cough has its own specific signs, it is dry, loud, and may resemble a goose scream or a loud dog barking. In addition, exacerbations are observed in adverse situations, and with distraction, the symptoms disappear completely. The cough of a psychogenic nature is not amenable to treatment, so it can take a few months, and sometimes years. It should also be noted that this disease usually does not lead to a disturbance of appetite and sleep. The examination can be noted the absence of pathological changes in the lungs. Often, the diagnosis of the disease is complicated by the previous long-term erroneous treatment of various active drugs, which can lead to disruption of the normal functioning of the respiratory system.

When diagnosing patients, symptoms of various mental disorders are often revealed: a tendency to hysterics, disappearance of voice, psychogenic tics and others.

Treatment of psychogenic cough

Лечение кашля психогенного характера заключается в создании спокойной психологической обстановки, устранении стрессов и дискомфортных ситуаций. It is necessary to protect the patient from overwork and excessive overload, this will help the rational mode of the day, in which the load alternates with periods of rest. At the beginning of an attack, you should try to distract a person, for example, with an interesting book or film.

When establishing the diagnosis of "psychogenic cough", it is desirable to conduct a course of psychotherapy, during which the patient is guided to an understanding of the causes of his illness. In addition, it is desirable to teach him the techniques of slow breathing, relaxation and relaxation. For children and adolescents, a tight wrap with chest tissue for a period of 1–2 days can be used, as a distracting therapy, electric shocks to the forearm area. In extreme cases, use tranquilizers and other drugs.


Nervous cough in children is recognized, based on parents' complaints, examination by a pediatrician, and differential diagnosis. Only after the exclusion of similar diseases (asthma) is diagnosed. Diagnostics is carried out: allergist, pulmonologist, psychotherapist, neuropathologist, otolaryngologist.

In 10% of children suffering from coughing, the neurogenic nature of the disease is detected: in addition to bronchospasm, there are symptoms of mental disorders: tics, loss of voice, tendency to hysteria.

This is interesting: a nervous cough occurs in smart children with a multitude of interests who are overloaded with school and after school. They are vulnerable, sensitive, others seem stubborn and proud.

Bronchospasm, which has arisen due to psychogenic factors, is not amenable to drug treatment. The basis of therapy is a set of procedures and measures that are aimed at finding the causes of the occurrence and elimination of stress factors. Conditions need to be created for the recovery of the nervous system.

The treatment is carried out at home, as a change in the usual habitat conditions provokes the aggravation of the problem.

There are several methods of therapy:

Psychotherapy sessions

The psychotherapist plays a major role in getting rid of the problem. He establishes the cause of the irritant, teaches the patient to relax, talks with parents. Sometimes conducts sessions of individual behavioral psychotherapy. For young patients - distracting sessions, including special breathing techniques.

Pharmacological drugs

Treatment with pharmacology is allowed if it is difficult for the child to build interpersonal relationships due to nerve cough. As a sedative, pharmacy drugs are used in the minimum dosage, which only the doctor prescribes:

  1. Antidepressants,
  2. Sedative tinctures.

Folk methods

Most techniques are aimed at relaxing the nervous system, which is achieved by internal (taking soothing tinctures, decoctions) and external methods of influence (baths, therapeutic massage).

Soothing concoctions

Pharmacies sell medicinal herbs (purchased without a prescription). They help relieve tension before bedtime, calm down during the day. Take herbal tea three times a day. General recommendations for brewing are as follows: 15 g (tablespoon) is poured with boiling water (1 cup) and infused in a water bath for 40 to 45 minutes. After diluted with water (boiled) to 200 ml.

To relieve painful symptoms suitable charges of heather, thyme, motherwort, valerian.

Tincture on alcohol

Children after 12 years (after consulting a doctor) are recommended to give alcoholic tinctures. Be sure to comply with the dosage. One dose should contain the number of drops corresponding to the age. The following drugs are suitable for treatment:

  • Hawthorn treats neuroses, circulatory disorders,
  • Sleep-grass relieves a nervous cough in a child,
  • Aralia Manchu is indicated for overwork, asthenia, depression,
  • Nettle leaves energize, improve blood count,
  • Motherwort reassures,
  • Eleutherococcus raises the tone
  • Peony roots relieve cramps
  • The angels heal hysterical states.


Relaxing baths help well for colds with cough, in the treatment of bronchospasm neurological nature. They allow the kid to play in the water, get positive emotions, calm down. For greater effect, sea salt or herbal decoctions are added to the bath from:

  • Chamomile flowers (relaxes, relieves nervousness),
  • Valerian rhizomes (prevents the occurrence of seizures),
  • Lavender (restores the function of the nervous system).

The procedure is carried out at bedtime for a quarter of an hour (60 to 70 minutes after dinner, 3 times a week). After the bath, the baby will relax and fall asleep faster.

Help parents if the child has a nervous cough (neurological)

A cough that occurs on the basis of nerves in a child cannot be cured without the help of parents. In addition to creating a calm environment in the house, their actions should be aimed at strengthening the body, maintaining the overall tone.

For this you need:

  • Often walk with my son or daughter in the air, put them to bed at one time. Sleep should last at least 8 - 9 hours, and preschool children show daytime sleep. But classes at the computer and watching TV will have to be limited,
  • Exclude products that contain caffeine: coffee, cocoa, tea, chocolate. Replace them with products that contain large quantities of magnesium: green vegetables, nuts,
  • Reduce the requirements for the daughter (son) at home and at school. His mental state is negatively affected by the high demands of parents and teachers,
  • Do exercises for relaxation together, setting an example: jump, work muscles, and then relax them,
  • Do not punish the daughter (son) when they come in with a cough, do not pull out, do not focus attention on the problem. We must try to distract the baby. For example, take an interesting assignment,
  • Doctors advise you to write down the reasons that led to: whether there was a cough on the basis of nerves because of parents' quarrels, during visits to relatives or speaking in public,
  • Benefit bring moderate exercise. It is advisable to visit the sports section,
  • Monitor the psychophysical condition. Daughter (son) is embarrassed when a cough occurs in public? Surround them with love, care. Protect from undue attention.

Important: the main task is not the relief of attacks, but the creation for the patient of a comfortable living environment (following the recommendations).

Annoying and debilitating nervous cough in children caused by stress, difficult to cure. But a positive result will certainly be, if we approach the treatment comprehensively. Do not expect a quick effect, arm yourself with patience, act persistently and consistently.

Causes and treatment of psychogenic cough

What to do if there are complaints that the cough does not take a very long time, is unproductive, while other symptoms of any disease of the respiratory tract is not observed. The child is active, feeling good.

Sometimes it happens that various antibiotic vitamins have been tried, and the cough does not go away. In this case, it can be assumed that the cough has a psychogenic nature.

It should be noted that cough can be a manifestation of a mental disorder, may occur with neuroses of varying severity. In severe mental disorders, in addition to cough, one can observe a number of other symptoms. In mild neurotic disorders other than coughing, other symptoms may not be observed.

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The fact that the cough has a psychogenic character, indicate its such features:

  • when the baby is sleeping, the cough does not appear,
  • deterioration occurs in the autumn-winter period and in the evening,
  • cough is dry and unproductive,
  • cough does not increase after physical exertion.

If you have noticed that a child’s coughing or slight coughing occurs:

  • during the excitement because of any events that have taken place or an important event, sometimes unpleasant,
  • as a response to the aggressive and hostile attitude of others, especially if they are parents or other close relatives,
  • after conflict with peers
  • under stress
  • when frightened.

You can be sure that a nervous cough in children becomes a reaction to the problems listed above. Sometimes the child coughs, naturally unconsciously. Sometimes the attacks are aggravated in order to attract your attention, ask for additional affection and other psychological “bonuses”.

A born baby has only a partially formed nervous system. The development of this system, which began during the intrauterine development, continues in the first years of life. The formation of a healthy or not so nervous constitution of a child is influenced by many factors, such as:

  1. the conditions of pregnancy of the mother,
  2. the presence of complications during childbirth,
  3. conditions for the future development of the baby.

Do not worry if your child has a nervous cough. And although such a cough is not amenable to drug treatment, it passes by the age of eighteen. The first symptoms of such cough usually appear between the ages of two and four years.

What to do in order not to wait for such a long time, but speed up the process of recovery of the child. There are various methods of treatment and psychological practices that help to cope with a nervous cough in children. And here the main thing is your desire to cope with the illness, perseverance, a systematic approach to the problem, and, most importantly, parents should understand the importance of patient and benevolent attitude towards the child.

Experts note that the basis for the treatment of any neurological disorders, and cough in particular, lies in the search for internal unconscious causes of the appearance of individual symptoms, their elaboration, elimination, removal of stress triggers.

Herbs and baths, and other treatments

Soothing means can be used as purchased at the pharmacy, and made at home according to the recipes of traditional medicine. Before use, make sure that the products do not cause allergic reactions.

Teas made from soothing herbs or their collections have the mildest effect on children. Tea is taken three times a day. Last time - before bedtime. Receiving tea before bedtime will allow the child to calm down, relieve tension that has arisen during the day.

When making tea, usually about 15 grams of finely chopped herbs are taken into a glass of hot boiled water. Infusion of the drink is carried out for half an hour.

For soothing teas such medicinal herbs are used:

Herbal mix of heather, motherwort and valerian will relieve nervous tension and fears, valerian will reduce the excitability of the central nervous system, the evading peony will help you to sleep peacefully, tea from thyme will gradually strengthen the nervous system.

Children over the age of twelve can be given herbal infusions on alcohol, while taking precautions.

Mental stress is effectively relieved by alcoholic infusions of such herbs as:

  • hawthorn
  • nettle,
  • motherwort,
  • peony roots,
  • sleep herbs.

Relaxing treatments include bathing and massage.

Bath is better to take before bedtime. This method has been known for a long time. Water has a beneficial effect on the overall energy and the state of the human psyche.

To enhance the soothing effect, you can add sea salt, essential oils, decoctions of herbs to water.

Problems with falling asleep will help solve such essential oils:

  • pink
  • lavender
  • tangerine,
  • orange,
  • grapefruit,
  • bergamot,
  • lemon

From herbal bath infusions recommended chamomile, valerian.

Relaxing massage

Massage has a positive effect on the nerve endings on the body, relaxes muscles, improves blood circulation, speeds up the metabolic processes in the body. In addition to the beneficial effects on the psyche, such a massage will also strengthen the child’s immune system. A little distracted from the question of the benefits of massage, it should be said that sometimes a neuralgic cough occurs after a long illness of a child, namely a prolonged cough caused by a disease of the respiratory organs. The cough center in the brain gets used to irritation, and then, in a stressful situation, produces exactly the cough reaction, which is why good immunity and the overall physical health of the child are so important.

Returning to the topic of massage, we recall that a relaxing massage includes massage: chest, back, abdomen, arms, legs.

You do not need to have special skills and abilities for such manipulations. The main positive attitude, a gentle cordial attitude towards the child. Nervous cough in children in such a situation can pass quickly enough.

In conclusion, talking about relaxing and soothing procedures, it should be noted that a thoroughly ventilated room and a clean neat bed will be the final chords in achieving complete relaxation of your child.

Tips for parents

One of the methods that should be aimed at combating neurotic states, including nervous cough, will be to attract the child to interesting hobbies. In neurotic neurosis, it is helpful to do something with the child. Teach him something interesting. In winter, it can be skiing, ice skating, an interesting excursion to the museum. In the summer of useful entertainment even more. There may be fishing, and not great trips, boating. Mom will always be easier to attract a girl to any women's hobbies, housekeeping, garden care, and dad to interest the boy in this manly occupation. A busy, interested child can easily and imperceptibly overcome and outgrow mental problems.

Why does a neurogenic cough appear

Stress, fear and anxiety in all forms are the main causes of nervous cough. The child may be worried about their studies, relationships with peers, going to the doctor, and communicating with unfamiliar people. Some children begin to cough because they are afraid of being punished or upsetting their parents. Too strict upbringing, as well as poor family relations between parents, also cause attacks of neurological cough.

Very rarely, a neurogenic cough remains in the form of a habit after suffering a serious illness with a real cough. Sometimes a neurological cough is an attempt to draw attention to oneself, a subconscious desire for sympathy or attention, and also an attempt to avoid unpleasant duties, tasks, procedures.

An attack of cough is provoked by his waiting. Being in a stuffy room also contributes to a seizure, which is accompanied by yawning and rapid breathing. Affects the emergence of nervous cough and behavior of parents who pay too much unreasonable attention to any manifestations of respiratory diseases. In this case, coughing becomes a powerful means of attracting attention.

Signs of Nervous Cough

Despite the fact that cough accompanies many different diseases, it is still possible to establish its true cause. A set of symptoms has been identified that characterizes neurotic cough, which is also called a simple vocal tic:

  • no other signs of infection
  • the child’s illness is manifested only during the day, and at night he does not cough,
  • the cough appears at the moment of stress or after it, and increases in the evening due to accumulated daytime stress,
  • symptoms do not progress and do not disappear,
  • antitussives do not have the desired effect
  • the nature of the cough is dry and intrusive,
  • the child may complain about the lack of air during the attack.

Psychogenic cough is sometimes demonstrative in nature and can be deliberately loud. In parallel with the attack, there may be complaints of heart pain, a change in the rhythm of the heartbeat, the appearance of panic or unreasonable fear. It is extremely rare that children even manage to excrete a sputum-like substance, but this happens only in case of serious hysteria.

Treatment and prevention of nervous cough

In children, the disease is treated only after diagnosis, with the exclusion of all other ailments. The main remedy for recovery is to identify and eliminate the causes of fear, stress or anxiety. At this stage consultation of the psychotherapist is required. Having identified the problem, the doctor gradually adjusts the behavior of the child. It is possible that behavior correction is required by parents, for example, in case of hypertreatment.

Treatment is complemented by taking mild sedatives of plant origin. Purchased preparations are used, home-made sedative teas, infusions, decoctions of herbs. The doctor can prescribe massage sessions. It is obligatory to observe the daily regimen, reduce the time spent at a computer or TV, regular walks, sports.

Medications are prescribed for ineffective treatment with natural medicines or for diagnosed lesions of certain areas of the brain.

Prevention of the disease in a child includes creating a normal psychological environment at home, helping the child adapt among his peers, instilling self-control skills, and setting up a positive attitude towards life. Reception of vitamin complexes, proper nutrition and daily regimen will help reduce stress levels.