Helping Someone During a Panic Attack Topic Overview
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 calm. Offer medicine if the person usually takes it during an attack. 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 surprises. 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 head. 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:
Recommended Related to Anxiety Panic
Understanding Panic Attack -- Symptoms
If you have the sudden onset of four or more of the following symptoms, you may be having a panic attack:
Sudden high anxiety with or without a cause
A "smothering" sensation or shortness of breath
A feeling of choking
Chest pain or discomfort
Dizziness or faintness
A sense of unreality
A fear of going crazy or losing control
A fear of dying
Numbness or tingling
Read the Understanding Panic Attack -- Symptoms article > >
"You can get through this." "I am proud of you. Good job." "Tell me what you need now." "Concentrate on your breathing. Stay in the present." "It's not the place that is bothering you; it's the thought." "What you are feeling is scary, but it is not dangerous."
By following these simple guidelines, you can:
Reduce the amount of stress in this very stressful situation. Prevent the situation from getting worse. Help put some control in a confusing situation.
You can offer ongoing help as the person tries to recover from
panic disorder: 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 anxiety. Do not panic when the person panics. Remember that it is all right to be concerned and anxious yourself. Accept the current situation, but know that it will not last forever. Remember to take care of yourself.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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Helping Someone During a Panic Attack Topics