I am not a doctor or a psychologist so seek medical attention (Call 911) in any type of emergency!! This post is just my opinion on what a person could do to help someone who’s having a panic attack!!
My husband asked me recently for a step by step guide for how he can help me get through a panic attack. He also asked me to write a post on my blog because he’s sure there are a lot of people (He says guys especially) who have no idea how to help someone during a panic attack.
I always try my very hardest to conceal my issues with Depression, Anxiety & Panic Attacks. I fear judgement. I fear that people/friends/family will abandon me because they don’t want to deal with my issues. I don’t want the label or the stigma of “it’s all in my head”.
Here is links to the lists of symptoms of these mental illnesses as defined by the Mayo Clinic.
With in the last 6 months my panic attacks have increased from one every once in a while to multiple times a week. Unless you have been through a panic attack it is pretty hard to explain how it feels. I suffer from Anxiety and depression. My depression feelings come and go through seasons of highs and lows. Although it’s usually tolerable with medicine. My Anxiety on the other hand a gotten progressively worse. I have yet to pinpoint a true honest reason as to why the sudden intense dramatic increase.
The panic attacks are fairly new for me. They sure do scare me. Logically you know that everything will be OK but your anxiety kicks into overdrive and throws every part of your being into panic mode.
I am sure everyone’s panic attack feels differently to them this is only my perspective.
When I start to feel a Panic Attack coming it begins in my chest. It rapidly tightens and feels very heavy. I start to have a hard time breathing. My heart races and it feels like it is pounding out of my chest. I fight very hard knowing that it is coming and try to make it stop. I get sweaty. No matter how strong I fight it the tears start filling my eyes and rolling down my cheeks.. I would give anything to be able to stop this but I can’t. So I fight it off with ever once of my being. I tremble, cry, my heart races, body shakes, I can’t breathe& I have an intense urge to run away. I associate that to wanting to run away from the panic I lose all sense of thought & can’t process what’s going on around me or tell you what I want or need. Its like your brain turns off and you feel painfully alone. Like you are the only person on the planet (only you could very well be surrounded by lots of people). It is a dark, deep painful feeling of alone. It hurts. It’s intense. Your body is tense, your chest feels like the world is sitting on it, your heart races, your body shakes from the inside out, your head is a mess of thick dense fog and ALL you want more than anything is for the panic to stop. My Panic attacks can last anywhere from 20 minutes to hours. For me once it has happened I can feel the panic scratching at the surface constantly for the rest of the day. I can’t relax and I feel on edge. I’m exhausted but my body is restless. I feel totally out of sorts, drained and lost.
What can you do to help – 15 Tips to help a person having a panic attack!!
- Ask “Are you OK” If they say no – proceed on
- Ask if you can give them a Hug (Helps some/Not others) That’s why you ask!!
- Ask them if they want to leave if you are out in public. Or gently guide them to a nice quiet area. Away from staring eyes!
- Reassure them. It’s OK, You’re alright, This will end, I’m right here for you!!
- Ask to hold there hand or rub their back. Physical touch can be reassuring for some.
- Talk to them even if they don’t respond, Just talk softly about whatever you can think of. It is nice hearing a familiar voice and know you are not alone.
- Stay with them!! Don’t leave them alone.
- When you start to see that the attack may be easing a bit. Ask them if they need water? It’s amazing how much it drains you.
- Give them time. Panic attacks drain your whole body. They will need a bit of time to get themselves to where they can think straight, talk, walk.
- Remember that the rest of the day is going to be hard for them. Their body is full of Intense raw emotions, their brain may feel foggy for the day and they are truly physically exhausted.
- Be Patient
- Be Kind
- Be Understanding
- Take care of them the best you can ❤
- Love them through the tough difficult days!! Reassure them often. Don’t give up on them!! They hate that this happens just as much & more than you do.
Do you know someone who has Panic attacks??
Do you suffer from any of these mental illnesses or others??
You are NOT alone!! You are important. Your life matters!!