What Happens If You Yell At Someone Having A Panic Attack?
It may be natural to feel nervous or out of control when you have someone around having a panic attack. You may not know what to do and panic yourself. Yelling, shouting, or repeatedly telling them to calm down worsens the situation.
A condescending attitude is evident when you yell at someone who is going through a panic attack. Additionally, it has no benefit. The solution lies elsewhere.
Here’s a comprehensive list of ways to cope with a panic attack. We will have a closer look at how it feels to have a panic attack? What happens if you yell at someone having a panic attack? And finally, how do you respond to a panic attack?
How Do You Know If Your Friend Has A Panic Attack?
Panic attacks are sudden bouts of emotional and physical pain. You feel like something is constricting your heart with a mighty force. You can’t breathe. There is an intense feeling of fear and anxiety, and you are unable to think clearly. How will you know if your friend is feeling that way?
Here are some common signs and symptoms of a panic attack. You can tell from them that what your friend is experiencing is a panic attack or something else:
- Hot flashes
- Extreme sweating
- Shortness of breath. You may see your friend struggling with catching his breath.
- Rapid, irregular heartbeat
- Pounding heart
- Their faces may go red.
- Your friend will go for his head because he is feeling extremely giddy.
- He may also try to grab his throat or heart due to the intense constricting pain in his chest and throat.
- Trembling and shaking
If your friend has a history of stress or depression, and they suddenly show the above signs and symptoms, it’s a panic attack. Stick tight to learn how to help a friend with panic attacks.
What Not To Do: Yelling At Someone Having A Panic Attack
A panic attack is an irrational sensation of deep fear and anxiety. There is nothing tangible happening around, but the patient feels like everything is going to end. So, in such a situation, what good will happen out of yelling?
When a friend has a panic attack, you yell because you panic out of concern. And because you cannot think clearly either. You may say things like
- Calm down!
- Nothing is wrong.
- Don’t worry.
- What do you fear? It’s completely safe here.
- What are you doing?
- What is happening to you?
- Stop it!
These questions and commands are the first natural words that come out, apparently to calm the panic attack. But guess what happens when you yell at someone having a panic attack? Yelling any of the above statements makes the situation worse. Besides, yelling itself is a panic trigger for some people.
When Someone Has A Panic Attack, You Shouldn’t Question Or Yell At Them.
Yelling alone exacerbates the fear and pounding head of a person with a panic attack. On top of that, it is not supportive at all to tell them something evident like ‘stay calm!’ or ‘don’t worry!’. Your friend with a panic attack would prefer to calm down too, only if they knew how!
Do not negate their feelings or cancel them with sentences like ‘The same happened to me,’ Or ‘it’s not a big deal!’ either. If you want to help your friend, you don’t want to make them feel ashamed or embarrassed of their condition. Neither do you want to sympathise with them as if they are in a compromised position?
Your friend having a panic attack may say negative things about themselves out of anxiety, self-shame, or guilt. This roots way back into their life experiences and the trauma they might have gone through.
When you agree with his negative statements, you make them feel even more agitated. Sitting still, listening to them, or watching them quietly would be a much better scenario than this!
How To Respond To A Panic Attack?
First and foremost is to keep your calm. If your friend suddenly begins to experience a panic attack, take a breath first. Then, try to recall the best ways of responding to a panic attack (you will know those in a bit).
If you know of medicine your friend uses in such a situation, look for it first. There might also be some exercise or toy, or a picture may be, that your friend could use to calm their panic attack.
1. It’s Okay If They Want You To Leave
It’s okay to calmly ask before you make assumptions on what your friend may or may not need while having a panic attack. Without panicking or yelling, you can ask what you can do for them?
They may tell you themselves before you even ask to leave. And you should go. In that case, too, you should keep an eye on your friend there. A panic attack should last no more than 10 to 15 minutes. You can stay with them for that while to make sure they don’t harm or injure themselves.
2. Reassure And Validate Their Feelings
Tell them you are there for them. You are there to listen. And that, they are doing a great job. Tell them it’s okay to feel that way.
You can say these positive things to them:-
- I am proud of you.
- You are almost there.
- Keep breathing.
- Look at me. I am with you. I love you.
- You are the strongest person I know.
- Employ Some Grounding Techniques
Use gestures and techniques that make them feel accompanied, loved, and understood to slowly distract them away from the panic and anxiety.
Hold their hand. Make them feel accepted. Play a little game when they seem to cooperate. Some people like to use stress balls in such situations. A grounding technique, in fact, could be anything that distracts their thoughts.
- Calmly Engage Them In A Distracting Conversation
One of the best ways of responding is intelligently talking someone down from a panic attack. Remind them of a sweet memory with you or with someone else. Try to calmly, slowly talk about minor everyday things. Keep it slow so that your friend can follow.
If they tell you they don’t want to talk, you should stop right there.
Now You Know Why Yelling At Someone Having A Panic Attack Is A Bad Idea
We had a brief discussion on how to respond to a panic attack. Yelling came out to be a huge no! An individual who suffers from a panic attack is experiencing the utmost anxiety and fear. You are there to assure him that no matter what, you are always there for them. And even if you yell to tell them that, it won’t do any good!
Subscribe to OnTopHealth to get weekly newsletters and loads of more information.