Saturday, June 22, 2024

How To Calm Someone Down From A Panic Attack

Don't Miss

You Have No Reason To Be Nervous

How To Calm Down During A Panic Attack

Most likely, the person who is having the panic attack is aware that there is no reason to be anxious. When going through a panic attack, a persons fight-or-flight stress response is triggered, making their mind and body prepare for an actual or perceived threat.

Even if they are not in any real danger, they still may not be able to stop the attack from running its course. Reinforcing that the persons fear is unfounded can increase ones sense of anxiety.

Instead of bringing the lack of threat to their attention, try being a voice of encouragement. Use a soothing voice and simply remind them that you are there for them.

Tips For Calming A Panic Attack

Knowing how to calm a panic attack is more useful than you may think. In the US, 40 million adults have some type of anxiety disorder. Even those who have no history of anxiety disorders may also suffer from a panic attack at some point in their life and dont know how to calm themselves down.

While panic attacks generally wont cause serious physical health dangers, they can still be scary if you dont know how to calm it down right away. However, the good news is, there are ways to calm yourself down to get through a panic attack better.

Treatment Options For Patients With Anxiety

There are two primary treatments for individuals with anxiety:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy , which involves learning how to lower anxiety and face distressing situations.
  • Medication management with antidepressants, which works well on its own but even better when coupled with CBT.;

During therapy, continue to show your support by:

  • Asking your loved one what you can do to help them.
  • Asking if you can attend a therapy session to learn some skills to better support them.
  • Making time for your own life and interests to sustain your energy.
  • Encouraging your loved one to try another therapist if the first one isnt a good fit.

Read Also: What Is A Depression On A Topographic Map

To Relieve Anxiety Talk Out Loud To Yourself

Give yourself permission to have an anxiety attack by saying the words out loud. Remind yourself that the attack will end, and it wont kill you or cause you to faint.

Carbonell says that understanding the physiology of fainting and reminding yourself of it is important. People faint when their blood pressure drops. A;anxiety attack can make you feel like youre going to faint, but you wont because your blood pressure doesn’t drop during an attack. Remind yourself out loud of truths like these to counter your fears.

What Causes Panic Disorder

Ways To Calm Down From An Anxiety Attack

While the exact causes are not known, what researchers do know is that panic disorder does sometimes run in families. And it is often seen in individuals who suffer from other anxiety disorders explains Cole.

For example, a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder may experience a panic attack when their schedule or compulsions are interrupted. Individuals who struggle with specific phobias are also susceptible to panic attacks. A person with an extreme fear of heights may experience a panic attack in a penthouse apartment.

And for someone with generalized anxiety disorder , a condition characterized by extreme fear or worry, the unending anxiety can escalate to a panic attack. People with post-traumatic stress disorder have a higher incidence of panic disorder than the general population.; Illness or traumatic events increase the chances of panic attacks.

People with hyperthyroidism , mitral valve prolapse, and other conditions or diseases also may be more easily triggered.

Recommended Reading: Can Being Cheated On Give You Ptsd

Ways To Prevent Panic Attacks

“You need to try to work out what particular stress you might be under that could make your symptoms worse,” says Professor Salkovskis. “It’s important not to restrict your movements and daily activities.”

  • Doing breathing exercises every day will help to prevent panic attacks and relieve them when they are happening
  • Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, will help you to manage stress levels, release tension, improve your mood and boost confidence
  • Eat regular meals to stabilise your blood sugar levels
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking these can make panic attacks worse. Panic support groups have useful advice about how you can effectively manage your attacks. Knowing that other people are experiencing the same feelings can be reassuring. Your GP can put you in touch with groups in your area
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy ;can identify and change the negative thought patterns that are feeding your panic attacks

Conversation With Positive Words And Affirmations:

What someone says when confronted by someone suffering from an attack of panic is equally essential to what they are doing.

  • Engaging in conversation may help distract the person from the symptoms and aid the person manage their breathing. It is crucial to inquire whether the person needs assistance rather than thinking that they have a need. These are guidelines regarding what to say and how to act:
  • Questions: introduce yourself. Then ask the person if they require assistance. If they do, ask them whether they feel theyre experiencing panic attacks. This question could bring them back from previous panic attacks and the way they came back.
  • Stay or leave: Let the person know that they dont need to remain in the same place. Removing yourself from a particular circumstance can ease the burden of a person suffering from an anxiety attack.;
  • Positive phrases: Staying positive and non-judgmental is essential. Help the person realize that youre there to support them. Theyre safe and will be able to overcome this. Make them aware that panic attacks are only temporary.
  • Begin a casual conversation: An engaging chat can distract someone from the signs. If youre a friend, try to bring up an issue theyre keen on to help them find something else to think about.

Read Also: How To Get Motivated To Exercise When Depressed

Tool #: Focus On A Specific Object

Once youve taken some deep breaths and grounded yourself, pick one object to focus on and mindfully study it. The point of this exercise is to extend the process of grounding yourself in the present.

It can also help you refocus your attention away from any automatic thoughts that may be making your panic attack worse or reactions to the physical sensations you feel. Often our reaction to a panic attack can exacerbate symptoms, so it can be incredibly helpful to distract yourself with an object.

Object Focus Instructions:

  • Find an object to focus on and take some time to notice it.

  • Is it smooth? Rough? Squishy? What colors are you seeing? Are there any other unique characteristics? Mindfully study it like a scientist.

  • You can either find something in the moment or plan ahead by carrying a key chain or something portable.

  • Use A Paper Bag To Help To Control Your Breathing

    How To Calm Down During A Panic Attack

    You may have seen people using a paper bag to help them control their breathing in films or photos and wondered if this was an effective way to manage anxiety. Dr Arroll says that this can, in fact, be a helpful way to control your breathing. It helps to prevent you from inhaling too much oxygen which will regulate your breathing, she explains.

    Hyperventilation makes you feel breathless so you might be gasping for air and taking in too much oxygen, Dr Arroll says, explaining that a paper bag will help to stop this and make you feel less panicked overall.

    Also Check: The Fear Of Spoons

    Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Anxiety

    Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories:

    How Do You Calm Down From A Panic Attack

    Panic attack may last for a short span of time but it can leave a long lasting feeling of being uneasy and uncomfortable. If you are worried about how do you calm down from a panic attack, you need to consider the related factors and your own responses to them.

    In order to overcome a panic attack, it is important to understand the panic attack and train your mind to accept the attack and respond in a calm way. Training the mind involves responding in a manner that is acceptable and that does not worsen the situation. Behavior therapy and breathing training helps to reduce hyperventilation and is an important part of reducing symptoms of panic attacks. This is one of the effective ways to calm down from a panic attack.1

    It is important to note that if a particular strategy does not solve the problem it is probably not doing any good and a different strategy should be looked for.

    Here are some of the steps to follow to calm down from a panic attack. These can also be called as AWARE steps, with each step being valuable in providing relief.

    • A Acknowledge and accept
    • E End

    You May Like: What Phobia Is Weather Related

    What Is A Panic Attack

    A panic attack is an intense wave of fear characterized by its unexpectedness and debilitating, immobilizing intensity. Your heart pounds, you cant breathe, and you may feel like youre dying or going crazy. Panic attacks often strike out of the blue, without any warning, and sometimes with no clear trigger. They may even occur when youre relaxed or asleep.

    A panic attack may be a one-time occurrence, although many people experience repeat episodes. Recurrent panic attacks are often triggered by a specific situation, such as crossing a bridge or speaking in publicespecially if that situation has caused a panic attack before. Usually, the panic-inducing situation is one in which you feel endangered and unable to escape, triggering the bodys fight-or-flight response.

    You may experience one or more panic attacks, yet be otherwise perfectly happy and healthy. Or your panic attacks may occur as part of another disorder, such as panic disorder, social phobia, or depression. Regardless of the cause, panic attacks are treatable. There are strategies you can use to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic, regain your confidence, and take back control of your life.

    Paulas story

    Symptoms Of A Panic Attack

    How can I calm down during a panic attack? (Panic Attacks ...

    The symptoms of a panic or anxiety attack generally arrive unexpectedly and quickly. Usually, there is a massive wave of anxiety and a rapid build-up of physical symptoms. These physical symptoms can include:

    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Uncontrollable shakes
    • Chest pains or tightness

    These symptoms can be very frightening. Many people experiencing an anxiety attack feel like they will die or worry they are having a heart attack. This can also cause a cascading fear of the next attack, triggering another panic attack. Importantly though, panic attacks always pass, and none of these symptoms are a sign of anything physically harmful happening.

    Don’t Miss: Does Celine Dion Have An Eating Disorder

    Treatment For Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder

    The most effective form of professional treatment for tackling panic attacks, panic disorder, and agoraphobia is therapy. Even a short course of treatment can help.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the thinking patterns and behaviors that are sustaining or triggering your panic attacks and helps you look at your fears in a more realistic light. For example, if you had a panic attack while driving, what is the worst thing that would really happen? While you might have to pull over to the side of the road, you are not likely to crash your car or have a heart attack. Once you learn that nothing truly disastrous is going to happen, the experience of panic becomes less terrifying.

    Hotlines and support

    NAMI Helpline; Trained volunteers can provide information, referrals, and support for those suffering from anxiety disorders in the U.S. Call 1-800-950-6264.

    Find a Therapist; Search for anxiety disorder treatment providers in the U.S.

    Support Groups; List of support groups in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and South Africa.

    Anxiety UK; Information, support, and a dedicated helpline for UK sufferers and their families. Call: 03444 775 774.

    Anxiety Canada; Provides links to services in different Canadian provinces.

    SANE Help;Centre Provides information about symptoms, treatments, medications, and where to go for support in Australia. Call: 1800 18 7263. .

    Talk To A Therapist With Experience In Anxiety Attacks

    People often fear the worst when they’re having an;anxiety attack. Most of the time, theres no underlying physical problem, such as a real heart attack. But you should get the medical all clear if you have repeat anxiety attacks, just to be sure you dont need additional treatment. Then find a cognitive;behavioral therapist with experience treating anxiety to help you through.

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Meaning Of Phobia

    Focus On Taking Action

    A soothing voice might help some people, but try to avoid saying things like Dont worry over and over. You might mean well, but your words may not help in the moment. Try these suggestions:

    • Remind your friend to take slow, deep breaths and breathe with them. This can often help as they start to mirror your actions.
    • Ask them to count backwards slowly from 100.
    • Help them to get comfortable .
    • Ask them to name five things they can see, hear, smell or feel.
    • Reassure them that theyre experiencing panic and that it will go away.
    • If the symptoms continue, become worse, or they dont improve after 2030 minutes, call 000.

    Try A Coping Visualisation

    Dealing With Panic Attacks & Anxiety – How To Calm Down

    This method involves you imagining;yourself in a situation where you have had a panic attack or you have been in a heightened sense of anxiety in order to stimulate a sense of panic. Its also known as negative visualisation.

    While youre imagining it, walk yourself through how you would cope in that situation. What will happen is that your mind then has a roadmap to follow in terms of dealing with the real panic, Dr Arroll says.

    This technique may sound counter-intuitive but Dr Arroll explains that it works because facing your anxiety head on can often be the best way to deal with it. Imagining yourself coping is more useful than trying to avoid the situation, Dr Arroll says, adding that, a sense of denial is one of the most detrimental things.;

    Read Also: Does Celine Dion Have An Eating Disorder

    The Unofficial Dos And Donts Of Being Around Someone With An Anxiety Disorder

    Frequently on the Internet I see various articles for sufferers of anxiety or panic disorders about how to deal with anxiety or panic attacks while theyre happening. What I see less often is articles with information for friends and family of a sufferer on how to help them. It certainly shouldnt be anyone elses responsibility to fix the problem because that can only truly be done by the person whos experiencing the anxiety. But the easiest way for a person to overcome anxiety or panic is having someone they are completely comfortable with around them someone that can assure them everything is going to be okay.

    Ive been fortunate enough to clear up a lot of my issues thanks to these points and additional lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Based on my experience talking with others, many people can relate. Please know I am not a doctor, and if you think you or someone else is having serious issues with anxiety or panic disorders, seek professional medical advice. I just write these tips based on my own experience.

    Symptoms Of Panic Attacks And Anxiety Faqs

    How do you ground someone having a panic attack?

    The most effective way to ground them, or bring them back to the reality around them, is to help them stabilize their breathing. A lot of people will hyperventilate during a panic attack and this can have mental and physical side effects that make it hard to focus or relax. Focus on their breathing first by either doing counted breathing or using a breathing rhythm video or app.

    Should you touch someone having a panic attack?

    This is entirely dependent on the person. Some will find comfort in being held and rocked during their panic attacks, others may not want to be touched. It is very important that you always ask before simply reaching out or hugging someone experiencing a panic attack. They may become scared and lash out without realizing it if they cannot see you before you touch them or if they were not expecting to be touched.

    How long do panic attacks last?

    Everyone is different but in general the worst of a panic attack will peak within 10 minutes. Most panic attacks are no longer than 30 minutes. If you notice that your loved ones panic attacks are lasting longer, it may be time to seek professional care.

    What triggers panic attacks?

    How do you calm a panic attack?

    What is the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack?

    You May Like: Celine Dion Eating Disorder

    Try Talking To Them Gently

    Let them know that youre there for them, and that they are safe. They might not answer you, but if they do then you can ask them what you can do to help.;

    Try not to take it personally if their response isnt necessarily friendly or helpful remember that theyre unlikely to be aware of what theyre saying or how theyre coming across to you.;;

    Dont Shame Or Minimize

    How to Stop a Panic Attack: 10+ Proven Tips to Calm Your ...

    Its pretty common to worry about having a panic attack, especially in front of strangers, or believe the attack might annoy or inconvenience friends or loved ones.

    People struggling with anxiety or panic attacks might intellectually understand the response is illogical. But hearing that from someone else can increase their isolation, Bingham explains.

    Avoid saying things like:

    • Just relax. Theres nothing to be afraid of.
    • Youre upset over that?
    • Whats wrong with you?

    You might not intend to make your friend feel ashamed, but denying the reality of their distress can certainly have that effect.

    Recommended Reading: What Does The Suffix Phobia Mean

    More articles

    Popular Articles