Source: Know Someone Suffering From A Panic Attack - 5 Steps You Can Take To Help Them Today.
If you know somebody who suffers from a lot of stress and anxiety, you may very well be wondering how you can help someone who's experiencing a panic attack.
Watching someone suffering an attack can be quite unsettling and emotionally troubling, particularly if you are not entirely sure what's going on and I know we'd all like to help someone get through their experience.
From personal experience I know you can overcome panic attacks for good and no, you don't need any medication to achieve this. There are completely natural methods to stop them for good. In fact, you can gain some great advice about panic attacks from this site.
The drawback is that it can take a little while for them to subside and you need to put in consistent effort to get there which isn't going to help someone who is in the throws of a full blown panic attack.
So in the meantime, here are some more immediate actions you can take.
So what can we actually do? How can we actually comfort them? What are the right things to say?
I found this particular article quite interesting and I think it goes some way towards lending an insight into the mindset of someone who suffers from panic and anxiety.
5 Things People With Anxiety Want You to Know About Panic Attacks
Everybody experiences panic in a different way so don't assume you know what to do. Instead, the best course of action is simply to ask them what they would like.
The first thing you can do is learn to accept and understand but what the person is suffering is very real and true. It is not a figment of their imagination, is not a sign of weakness, it is actually something quite terrifying and uncontrollable because the entire mind and body is experiencing an extreme case of the fight or flight response.
Understanding this means that you can provide the necessary comfort and encouragement to help that person through their episode.
A common concern people have is that everyone is staring at them which can lead to feelings of embarrassment. So it's a good idea to move them away to a quiet space.
Use words of encouragement and remind them that a panic attack can never harm them and that nothing is physically wrong with them. This is because many people will assume they're having a stroke, or even dying. Reminding them that they are physically okay can help.
Typically when someone is suffering a lot of anxiety their breathing rate will increase rapidly and be very shallow, so encourage them to slow down their breathing, which in turn will help to encourage a sense of calm.
High levels of anxiety will affect a persons ability to think straight, so be concise and clear in your language and don't offer a range of choices as this will only confuse the situation.
You can find some additional helpful tips here.
Helping Someone During a Panic Attack
Don't make assumptions about the person. You can never be absolutely sure what they're thinking, so the best thing to do is simply ask. Stay by their side and move them somewhere quiet and away from people and while you're talking to them, keep things simple and concise. Be encouraging and remind them it's only a panic attack and it will pass in a few minutes and then they'll return back to a calm, relaxed state.
Hopefully you should now feel better prepared to know how to help someone who's having a panic attack. There's nothing to be afraid about. Just remember to be encouraging and accepting.
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