6 Ways To Help Someone Having A Panic Attack

It can be difficult for the person to face such situations alone; therefore, it becomes necessary to be there for them and help them.

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: Jan 25, 2023 12:38 IST
6 Ways To Help Someone Having A Panic Attack

A panic attack is an overwhelming bout of abrupt, severe fear and anxiety. It can be difficult for the person to face such situations alone; therefore, it becomes necessary to be there for them and help them. You should be able to recognise the symptoms of a panic attack so that it becomes easier for you to learn when to help. 

Read on to understand the symptoms of panic attacks and ways to help someone deal with them. 

Symptoms Of Panic Attack

  • The person may be experiencing intense fear and may have a pounding heart
  • The person may have difficulty in breathing 
  • There can be pain in the chest or head
  • The person may experience sweating or chills 
  • There may be signs of dizziness or shaking
  • The person may lose control or have lightheadedness

Things You Should Do To Help Someone Having A Panic Attack

Keep Your Calm

The first practice that should be followed is to remain calm. Do not be terrified, as this can worsen the situation for the one having a panic attack. Panic attacks usually don’t last for too long, so make sure that you are calm to make them believe everything is fine.

Be With Them

You should not leave the person alone and be with them when they have a panic attack. If you know someone who frequently has panic attacks, ask them in advance how you can help them, as everyone has different coping mechanisms. People have difficulty communicating, so it’s better to learn what to do beforehand. If they want you to leave them, you can give them some space, but keep an eye on them and let them know they can ask you for help. 

Focus On Your Actions

Avoid repeatedly telling them not to worry; instead, ask them to take deep breaths. You can start some light conversations with them if they want. However, set some boundaries and avoid asking the person too many questions.

Show Them You Care

Most of the time, people avoid talking about panic attacks or health issues as they feel people won’t understand or believe them. Be their support and show them that you care. Instead of saying it’s all in your head, or don’t be negative, try saying it may have been tough and ensure you are there to help.

Ask Them To Seek Help

If you know someone who encounters panic attacks frequently or is affecting them at a larger scale, ask them to seek help. You can encourage them to visit a therapist to help them get better.

Also Read: Do You Shop When Stressed? The Pros And Cons Of Retail Therapy

Grounding Techniques

You should make them grounded to ease their situation. This includes physical touch or asking them to stretch or move. You can talk to them slowly about some other incidents to distract them.

Things You Should Not Do

  • Don’t make the person having a panic attack feel illogical or insignificant. Ask them about their experience and how they feel. 
  • Avoid being judgemental and making the person feel that they are the reason for their panic attack. 
  • You should not try to avoid the situation as it can worsen their condition later.
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