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How to help a person who has panic attacks

Study guide

Panic attack is a type of nervous attack that causes a person to have sudden and intense fear and anxiety. Panic attack is different from ordinary fear, because in this case there is no real threat. There are several ways to help a person with panic attack, which we will review in this article and tell you what to avoid.

Effective solutions to help people during panic attacks

1. Stay calm

In this situation, staying cool is one of the best things you can do. Panic attacks usually do not last long. According to experts, the most severe attacks last between 5 and 10 minutes. Of course, the person who suffers from this condition may not notice the passage of time and therefore feel scared or think that he is on the verge of death. Even if you are scared, stay calm. Talk to the person in a calm voice and reassure them that you will not leave them and that the situation will not last long.

۲. Ask how you can help

Most people who suffer from panic attacks or other types of anxiety have their own coping strategies. When offering help, keep in mind that he or she knows best what helps him or her the most. However, it may be more difficult for him to communicate during an attack, so ask him about the best way you can help him before repeating the attack. Take a few steps back and give him some space until he is in immediate danger. Of course, stay close enough to keep an eye on the situation.

3. Learn the warning signs

If you are not already familiar with panic attack and its symptoms, take some time to get acquainted with its early symptoms. The symptoms of this attack are similar to the symptoms that people show when faced with a real threat.

Some of these symptoms are:

  • Fear or dread;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Suffocation;
  • heart beat;
  • Dizziness and body tremors.

Not everyone experiences panic attacks in the same way, so it is best to ask what symptoms they experience when they attack. The sooner you know what is happening, the sooner you can help him.

4. Instead of talking, do something

It is true that a calm and familiar voice helps some people to feel better, but try to avoid repeating phrases such as “Do not worry” or constantly asking how they are. Your intention in asking these questions and saying some sentences is just to calm him down, but in that situation your talking may not be of much use.

Instead of saying useless sentences, try these:

  • Ask him out well if he is no longer absorbed in the connection.
  • Remind her to continue to take deep breaths;
  • Engage him in light conversation unless he says he does not want to talk.

5. Understand that panic attacks may not make sense to you or to yourself

Panic Attack can be confusing and scary. People usually can not predict it and often there is no clear reason for it to happen. This can happen in stressful situations and even in quiet moments or during sleep. It may seem helpful to tell your friend that there is nothing to be afraid of, but he or she is probably aware that there is no real threat. This is what makes Panic Attack so confusing. This reaction is similar to the fear reaction, but it occurs without the fear-inducing factor.

A person with panic attacks may be afraid of their own symptoms or relate them to health problems. It is normal to feel embarrassed or ashamed of such a strong reaction. Having a trusted and compassionate companion can create an atmosphere for the person to return to normal.

6. Empathize

People often find it difficult to share their experiences with mental health issues, including panic attacks. Some avoid talking about mental health issues because they believe that others do not understand what is happening to them. An empathetic response can be as simple as this: “This situation seems really difficult. I’m sorry you got it. “Tell me what I can do to support you.”

7. Use soothing techniques

Relieving techniques can be helpful for a wide range of anxiety issues, including panic attacks. These techniques help the person focus on what is happening, not on the fear of being attacked. These techniques are very useful when the severity of the attack is slightly reduced.

Things you can do are:

  • Touching the body, such as holding the hands (if there is no problem with this);
  • Encouraging him to stretch his body or move;
  • Encourage him to repeat a soothing or helpful phrase such as “This is a terrible feeling, but it does not hurt me”;
  • Talk slowly and quietly about familiar places or activities.

8. Respect her needs

Imagine you are sitting with your friend and suddenly he panics. When the attack and its symptoms are over, it seems calmer but tired. Before that you had plans to see a show, a show you were both looking forward to, but now your friend is asking you to take her home.

It’s normal to be disappointed, but remember that only your friend’s wishes are important at that moment. It is important to ask what he needs and what he wants. You may think that watching the show makes him happy or improves his mood, but forcing him to continue interacting when he prefers to be alone in a quiet atmosphere may perpetuate the stress response.

Things to avoid

Things to avoid when a person encounters a panic attack

If someone decides to put you in a panic attack, consider this a sign of their trust, and to respect that trust:

  • Respond with compassion;
  • When attacking and at any other time, be careful what you say and do, because you may have the best of intentions, but you may make him feel bad without realizing it.

Here’s more on what not to do.

1. Do not compare normal stress and fear with panic

You may feel stressed or scared in a dangerous situation, or you may even be anxious yourself, but these experiences are not exactly like panic attacks. Avoid comparing your different experiences.

۲. Do not embarrass or embarrass him

It is very common to worry about panic attacks or to think that this attack may cause annoyance or upset to friends or loved ones.

In this case, refrain from saying such things:

  • Just relax. There is nothing to fear.
  • Upset about this?
  • What happened to you?

You may not want to embarrass your friend, but denying the fact that they are upset can certainly have that effect.

3. Do not advise him

Not every coping technique works for everyone. Experts believe that deep breathing and other relaxation techniques can be helpful, but are most effective when practiced regularly. When these techniques are used only during panic attacks, they often backfire. Reminding your friend to breathe can be helpful, but reminding him or her to take a deep breath may make things worse.

In short, avoid saying how to manage symptoms. You may have heard that yoga, meditation, or quitting caffeine can help, but you do not know what your friend has tried before unless he or she has told you.

When should we get emergency help?

In this situation, calling the emergency services may seem the safest thing to do, but in most cases, it can make the situation more stressful for someone who has a panic attack. It may not be pleasant to be alone with him and see his condition, but it can make a big difference.

In these cases, be sure to call the emergency:

  • Chest pain, such as tightness and persistent pain in the arms or shoulders;
  • Symptoms last longer than 20 minutes and the condition worsens;
  • Shortness of breath does not improve.

You say

Have you ever had a panic attack yourself or your loved ones? What technique has had the most impact at this time? Please share your experiences in this field with us and our dear users.

Warning! This article is for educational purposes only and you need to consult your doctor or specialist to use it. more information






How to help a person who has panic attacks

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