What can you do if you are near someone who is in the middle of a panic attack? Sit back and let us tell you what you can do to help the person.

To understand panic attacks, let’s first understand what they are.

In a panic attack, one experiences intense fear that causes severe physical reactions without any danger or obvious cause.

It can be very uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of a panic attack. It is common for people to have one or two panic attacks in a lifetime.

The problem often goes away when a stressful situation ends; however, an individual experiencing a panic attack may feel like they are having a heart attack or losing control.

What Does It Look Like When Someone Has A Panic Attack?

The person may feel a sense of impending doom as if something bad will happen. They may also have a racing heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, or feelings of unreality. Many people feel like they are going crazy or are dying.

how to help someone with a panic attack

Essentially, a panic attack is an experience of extreme dread or fear that lasts for more than a few seconds. Many different factors, especially mental health issues, can trigger the panic disorder.

There are numerous types of panic attacks, including long-term issues such as past traumas, post-traumatic stress disorder, biological issues, and temporary/situational issues such as a sudden loss or accident.

How Can I Help Someone Who Is Having A Panic Attack?

If the person is with you, the best thing you can do is stay with them and keep them calm. Talk in a soothing voice and reassure them that they are safe and that the panic attack will soon pass.

If possible, try to get them to focus on their breath and slow it down. 

If the person is not with you, try to contact them as soon as possible. Ensure that they know you are there to support them.

What Should I Avoid Doing When Someone Is Having A Panic Attack?

Do not reason with the person or tell them that they overreacted, don’t let them feel embarrassed because it’s not a big deal, and you can surely offer support instantly. You should not leave them alone or leave them wandering around on their own.

Don’t give them medication or other treatments without consulting a doctor either.

Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Panic Attacks – Are These Signs Of A Panic Attack? 

Some people experience panic attacks occasionally, while others do so more frequently. Symptoms of a panic attack vary from person to person

Signs Of A Panic Attack

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The following signs or symptoms are usually associated with panic attacks:

  • A Feeling Of Impending Doom Or Danger
  • The Fear Of Losing Control Or Dying
  • Fast, Pounding Heartbeat
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Unsteady Movements
  • Feeling Short Of Breath 
  • Swollen Throat.
  • Accompanied By Chills
  • Hot Flashes
  • Nauseous
  • Pain In The Abdomen
  • Accompanied By Chest Pain
  • Headache
  • Faintness, Dizziness, Or Lightheadedness
  • A Feeling Of Numbness Or Tingling
  • A Feeling Of Being Detached From Reality

Fear of having another panic attack is one of the worst things about panic attacks. You may avoid situations where panic attacks might occur so much that you fear getting them.

How Do You Calm Someone Down From A Panic Attack?

There are 40 million adults in the US who suffer from anxiety disorders. In addition to those with anxiety disorders, those without a history of anxiety are often plagued by panic attacks and don’t know how to cope with them.

Panic attacks generally do not pose serious health risks, but they can still be terrifying if they are not calmed as soon as possible.

how to help a friend with panic attacks

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Many anxiety attacks show physical symptoms that are related to your breathing and heart rate. You may experience breathing problems, such as hyperventilation. The consequences can further exacerbate your anxiety.

It is important to focus on breathing during an anxiety attack to calm it down. Take deep breaths, hold it for a few seconds, then slowly exhale.

The vital thing is to ground the patient. You should focus on the tangible things instead of worrying about how frightening the attack is. The muscles of someone suffering from a panic attack may tighten without noticing. A nice massage can really help the person to stay calm in such difficult situations.

You might find it helpful to contact your therapist during a time of crisis if you already have one. Your doctor might be able to walk you through some important steps on how to stop anxiety attacks.

Should I Ground Someone Having A Panic Attack?

Grounding techniques are used to calm people during and after a panic attack. Grounding can provide a temporary distraction from the attack and may help to lessen its intensity.

There are many different ways to ground someone during a panic attack.

Some common techniques include focusing on the five senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching), counting down from 100, focusing on movement (such as walking), or thinking about something calming (such as nature).

Grounding techniques

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You might also be familiar with yoga or meditation. These can also be helpful ways to ground someone.

5-4-3-2-1 is the best technique you can use to cure panic attacks. We will discuss it later in the article. It is like slowly pulling yourself back to the ground by tying anchors to the boat.

If you can make the person who is experiencing a panic attack happy from within, this will help them pass through the attack quickly and will make them feel better. A good laugh is the best medicine for anxiety. Make them laugh by telling them a joke or recalling a nice funny memory.

5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique For Anxiety

Before starting this exercise, pay attention to your breathing. Slow, deep, long breaths can help you maintain a sense of calm or help you return to a calmer state.

5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique

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Focusing on your surroundings, five senses, or bodily sensations is the pivot point in this technique.

Observe FIVE things around you. Anything around you, from a pen to a spot on the ceiling, can inspire you.

Count FOUR things that you can feel around you. Your hair, your pillow, or the ground could do the trick.

Take note of THREE things you hear. It can be anything. Identify what you can hear from outside your body.

Think about TWO things you can smell. You could smell nature outside or the soap in your bathroom if you are feeling unsure about what you are smelling.

Identify ONE thing you can taste. How does the inside of your mouth taste: gum, coffee, or the sandwich from lunch?

There is nothing complicated about the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique.  Once everything is calm, things will feel much better.

Can You Hug Someone Having An Anxiety Attack?

Hugging is a very personal action, and not everyone will want or need physical contact during a panic attack.

However, if the person seems receptive to being hugged or they are your family member, it can be a calming and supportive gesture.

Hugging provides physical support and can be an ongoing help to ground someone during an anxiety attack. It also conveys warmth, safety, and love, which can be extremely comforting.

Hug Someone

If you can hug the person during an attack, do so gently and slowly.

Let them take their time in returning the hug, or rest their head on your shoulder. Again, this should only be done if the person seems comfortable with it.

Furthermore, someone experiencing an anxiety attack is in a state of heightened sensitivities and more alert than usual, so touching them is likely to increase their activity level or be perceived as a threat.

What Can Instantly Stop A Panic Attack?

There is no “instant” cure for panic attacks, as they vary in duration and intensity. However, several techniques can help to stop or lessen the attack.

Grounding techniques, deep breathing, and positive self-talk are all helpful ways to regain control during a panic attack.

If the person has a severe attack, it may be necessary to seek professional help. A therapist or counsellor can provide support and guidance in managing panic attacks.

They can also offer strategies for coping with and preventing future attacks.

Tips To Stop A Panic Attack

People with panic attacks and panic disorders can often benefit from a cognitive-behavioural therapy session (CBT) and other forms of counselling. By using cognitive behavioural therapy, you can learn to see challenging or frightening situations differently and find new coping methods as they arise.

There is no way to cure an underlying anxiety disorder without medication, but it can lead to dependence quickly. Because of this, doctors typically recommend the short-term use of these drugs during a crisis.

Stop A Panic Attack

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Controlling your breathing decreases your chances of experiencing hyperventilating, which can easily reduce the effect of a panic attack. Take breaths in and out through your mouth multiple times, allowing your chest and stomach to fill up with air slowly, then slowly empty.

Mindfulness can help you stay connected to what’s going on around you. Panic attacks may cause you to become detached from reality. A person experiencing a panic attack may find it helpful to focus their attention on something else. Concentrate on one object in your line of sight.

During a panic attack, repeating the mantra – I am strong; I can handle this, internally can be soothing and reassuring, and it gives you something to grasp onto.

Conclusions

It can be terrifying and overwhelming to suffer from anxiety attacks or panic attacks. However, several techniques can help to stop or lessen the attack.

Grounding techniques, deep breathing, and positive self-talk are all helpful ways to regain control during a panic attack.

It is also important to be supportive and understanding, as panic attacks can be frightening and overwhelming. If the person has a severe attack, it may be necessary to seek professional help.

If you constantly get anxiety attacks, do consider getting a backflow incense burner in Australia from My Incense Waterfalls. This soothing little item helps you admire the beauty of the world.

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