This Article is About
panic attack
symptoms of panic attacks
extreme anxiety
irrational thoughts
shallow breathing
quiet place
deep breaths
heart rate
stimuli
Helping Someone Through A Panic Attack
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Helping someone through a panic attack can be a difficult process however an essential one. But first you must understand what a panic attack is. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of extreme anxiety and they can occur without warning and sometimes there can be no obvious reason for their occurrence. Symptoms include: an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, headaches, nausea, trembling, flashes of hot and cold spells, dizziness, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, and irrational thoughts such as a feeling of impending death. Panic attacks can be utterly debilitating for some because of the physical symptoms they experience however they usually only last 5 to 20 minutes.

Step One: Establish the cause of the panic attack.

If you can determine the cause of the panic attack try to remove this stimulus. If the stimuli cannot be removed from the area, remove the person from the area and take them to the most quiet place you can find.

Step Two: Reassure the person who is experiencing the attack.

Speak to them in a firm manner and reassure them that everything is going to be ok. Try to get them to remain still and ensure them that it is just a panic attack and it will go away soon. Being supportive and getting them to calm down will help them understand that you are here with them and not against them. It can also be beneficial to speak to them about things you have shared with them such as positive events in your lives; this can help them get their mind off the symptoms they are experiencing.

Step Three: Try to get them to control their breathing.

Any person that is experiencing a panic attack usually has rapid or shallow breathing. These types of breathing can lead to headaches, dizziness, and can amplify other symptoms of panic attacks. Instruct them to take deep breaths, in through their nose and out of their mouth. Tell them to concentrate on their breathing and ensure they are taking deep breaths that are filling their diaphragm. If the person is still struggling to control their breathing have them take breaths in and out as you count aloud; perform a 1-2 count on their breath in and then again a 1-2 count as they exhale. Once they can perform this 1-2 count, increase the count upwards to a 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4, and then finally 1-2-3-4-5 count. Ensure they are breathing in while you count through the numbers and then exhaling while you count through the numbers again. Continue with this technique until their breathing has slowed down and become manageable.

Step Four: Stay with the person who is experiencing the attack.

Ensure that you stay with the person until the attack is completely over. Someone who is struggling to breath can develop other medical risks that need to be attended to immediately by emergency personnel. Never leave a person who is struggling to breathe and call emergency services if you feel it is necessary. Remember, emergency services are equipped to deal with a panic attack sufferer and have the training to help with the situation. If the symptoms have not subsided within 20 minutes call for help.

Panic attacks can be overwhelming for the sufferer however having someone there with them helping them through the attack can make all the difference. Just remember, never leave the person, remove them from any stimuli, reassure them, and try to get them to control their breathing. Following these four self help for panic attacks steps can provide relief to a panic attack sufferer. Finally, it should be important for you to know that these four self help for panic attacks steps sometimes can only do so much. If at any time you feel that medical help is needed never hesitate to call.


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