Helping Someone During a Panic Attack
If someone you know has a
panic attack, he or she may become very anxious and
not think clearly. You can help the person by doing the following:
- Stay with the person and keep
- Offer medicine if the person usually takes it during an
- Move the person to a quiet place.
- Don't make
assumptions about what the person needs. Ask.
- Speak to the person
in short, simple sentences.
- Be predictable. Avoid
- Help the person focus by asking him or her to repeat a
simple, physically tiring task such as raising his or her arms over the
- Help slow the person's breathing by breathing with him or her
or by counting slowly to 10.
It is helpful when the person is experiencing a panic attack to say
things such as:
- "You can get through this."
- "I am
proud of you. Good job."
- "Tell me what you need
- "Concentrate on your breathing. Stay in the
- "It's not the place that is bothering you; it's the
- "What you are feeling is scary, but it is not
By following these simple guidelines, you can:
- Reduce the amount of stress in this very
- Prevent the situation from getting
- Help put some control in a confusing situation.
You can offer ongoing help as the person tries to recover from
- Allow the person to proceed in therapy at his or
her own pace.
- Be patient and praise all efforts toward recovery,
even if the person is not meeting all of the goals.
- Do not agree
to help the person avoid things or situations that cause
- Do not panic when the person panics.
that it is all right to be concerned and anxious yourself.
the current situation, but know that it will not last
- Remember to take care of yourself.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 07, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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Helping Someone During a Panic Attack Topics