How To Help Via Text Message
If youre out and about when you get a text from someone that says, I think Im having a panic attack, what do you do?
One of the best things you can do is offer supportive phrases that reinforce their ability to cope. Try a few of these supportive phrases:
- This is time-limited. It will pass.
- Youre doing a great job.
- Im confident that you can handle this.
- Youre going to get through this!
Whether in person or over text, try to avoid making a big deal of their symptoms. Your role can be to help them extinguish the idea that a panic attack is dangerous or intolerable, and remind them that they can handle this experience. You can then offer to help reconnect if they need more support later on.
Sample Questions Of Panic Attack Quiz
The following sample quiz will test your knowledge of panic attacks. There are some questions, and all you need to do is answer them honestly. If youre ready, lets get started. Thee are some sample questions of the Panic Attack Quiz.
Have you ever felt like you were having an out-of-body experience?
- Not at all
Do your palms sweat and/or do you feel weak when anxious?
Have there been times in which it scares you to be with people because of the fear that something bad might happen?
Do you feel like you cant stop perspiring when anxious?
Do you feel like your thoughts are racing and that its difficult to control them?
Have there been times in which you felt so scared of dying or getting sick?
Do you avoid certain places because they trigger anxiety for you?
Do you feel overly nervous about something?
Do memories of past events play through your mind and cause even more stress than what is already happening around the current situation at hand?
Does being near someone who seems angry make you a little scary?
Have you ever been afraid that you might die?
Do you feel panicky for no real reason?
Do you wish that your life was more exciting so as to avoid feeling nervous about the unknown possibilities of what might happen in the future?
Have there been times when you felt like you were going crazy or losing control over yourself, but couldnt quite explain why this is happening?
- Not at all
- Very much
Faqs On Panic Attacks
How do you ground someone having a panic attack?
The most effective way to ground them, or bring them back to the surrounding reality, 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. The anxiety 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.
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Where Benzodiazepines Fit In
Benzodiazepines are used as a sleep aid and anti-anxiety medicine. They help treat symptoms such as decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, unusual talkativeness, increased activity, agitation, or distractibility, which may be part of a manic or hypomanic episode in people with bipolar disorder. There is a risk of addiction, so these medications are usually limited to short-term use for temporary relief of these symptoms.
Always Seek Professional Advice
Always seek medical advice if you are not sure whether your symptoms, or another persons symptoms, indicate a panic attack. In an emergency, dial triple zero for an ambulance. Its important to see your doctor for a check-up to make sure that any recurring physical panic-like symptoms are not due to illnesses, including:
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Asking questions and providing information to your doctor or health care provider can improve your care. Talking with your doctor builds trust and leads to better results, quality, safety, and satisfaction. Visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website for tips at .
Help Them By Focusing On The Present
Grounding techniques are useful for managing symptoms of a panic attack. These involve engaging your surroundings with your senses, rather than focusing on mental feelings of fear.
Here are some tips to follow:
- Hand your friend something to hold and encourage them to focus on the texture. A piece of ice, a ring of keys, an article of clothing almost anything can work for this.
- If there is food or drink nearby, encourage your friend to focus on the smell and describe it. Other fragrances, such as the smell of a candle, can also help ground a person.
- Suggest doing a few stretches or going for a short walk outside. However, be aware that intense exercise can be hard if theyre experiencing shortness of breath.
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What Is It Like To Have Panic Disorder
One day, without any warning or reason, a feeling of terrible anxiety came crashing down on me. I felt like I couldnt get enough air, no matter how hard I breathed. My heart was pounding out of my chest, and I thought I might die. I was sweating and felt dizzy. I felt like I had no control over these feelings and like I was drowning and couldnt think straight.
After what seemed like an eternity, my breathing slowed and I eventually let go of the fear and my racing thoughts, but I was totally drained and exhausted. These attacks started to occur every couple of weeks, and I thought I was losing my mind. My friend saw how I was struggling and told me to call my doctor for help.
A Word From Mantra Care
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What Do Results Show
The results are dependent upon how many yes answers you get. The more yes answers, the greater your chances are of having experienced a panic attack and should take this quiz to determine whether or not youre ready for the next steps in order to get better.
If you got no no answers and only one or two not at all, then congratulations: You probably havent suffered from a full-blown panic attack! However, it never hurts to double-check with your doctor.
Take Charge With The Venue
A guy once asked me to go bowling on a first date. Yeah, no thanks! I was nervous enough as it was without having to worry about being terrible at bowling. If a particular setting puts you on edge, you can always laugh the request off and say something like, Maybe on the second date! Then, suggest somewhere youd feel more comfortable going.
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Panic Disorder Treatment Options
Panic attacks and panic disorders are treatable once the underlying cause is identified. Usually medical conditions and other factors are ruled out before making the diagnosis, says Flo Leighton, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and therapist with Union Square Practice in Manhattan. Getting to the root cause typically takes a couple of sessions, says Leighton. Here are some options that may be recommended to you :
Panic Attacks I Turned My Mental Health Crisis Into A Mental Health Triumph
“Although it’s taken me a long time I have learned I am a strong person who has the potential to help others.”
You might find that you become scared of going out alone or to public places because you’re worried about having another panic attack. If this fear becomes very intense, it may be called agoraphobia. See our pages on types of phobia for more information.
“I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I just wanted to get out, to go somewhere else, but I couldn’t because I was on a train.”
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Find A Therapist To Help You Cope
If anxiety impedes your ability to live a healthy, productive life, its essential to seek professional help to curtail the progressive nature of anxiety and panic disorders. There, you can help determine the root causes and take effective steps toward management. Psychotherapy which address mental disorders via psychological instead of medical means is a common treatment, notes Strauss.
There are often limiting negative beliefs that contribute to the genesis of anxiety, and psychotherapy can help the client track and challenge the automatic thoughts that accompany the emotions of anxiety and fear, she explains. Its important that one tries to learn the skills to cope with anxiety in addition to consider the use of medication. Treatment modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy , Dialectical Behavioral Therapy , Internal Family Systems, EMDR, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Interpersonal Therapy can all be used to help the client become increasingly more aware of what triggers anxiety.
Over time, you will be better equipped to identify these negative thought patterns as they arise, and be able to nip them in the bud, instead of having them spiral out of control.
Want more tips like these? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding easier, healthier and smarter ways to live. and follow us on , and .
Mental Health Treatment Program Locator
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides this online resource for locating mental health treatment facilities and programs. The Mental Health Treatment Locator section of the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator lists facilities providing mental health services to persons with mental illness. Find a facility in your state at www.nimh.nih.gov/findhelp.
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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
Use Essential Oils To Snap Your System Out Of The Attack
Personally, I rely on essential oils and happily so. They arent like prescription drugs, where you become addicted and dependent. Essential oils are 100% natural and you can use them to snap your mind, body, and soul out of an attack. I always have some sort of anti-anxiety essential oil on me, whether its a roller or a drop on my wrist, essential oil jewelry, etc.
The scent of natural extracts trigger certain toxins in your brain that help you calm down and come out of a panic attack. However, its important to find out which ones do what. So, do educate yourself on the types of essential oils for anxiety and what each does.
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The End Of Everything: What A Panic Attack Feels Like
Only 16, Caroline, had her first panic attack a year ago. Her mother was dropping her off at her summer job at a local school when, without warning, a full-blown panic attack engulfed her. My heart started racing and my body felt so hot. I started to sweat and shake uncontrollably. My vision became distorted and my body felt limp, like a wet noodle, she says. For 20 minutes, until the panic attacked passed, Caroline refused to get out of the car. Her mother didnt know what to do.
Kirstie Craine Ruiz, 46, has lived with anxiety, panic attacks, and panic disorder for about ten years. For a long time, she had full-blown attacks 2-3 nights a week. I would usually awake to a racing heart or the feeling of my heart expanding in my chestas it might explodeFrom there, I would begin to panic and my heart would go even fasterand my body would shake so hard that it felt like I was having a convulsion. I could barely breathe and was usually pretty sure I was having a heart attack and that I was going to die. Sometimes Id go the ER and theyd hold me overnight because my heart would be going so fast and they couldnt get it to go down.
Let Us Help With Your Loved Ones Panic Disorder
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Millions of Americans suffer from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and other conditions. It can be a lonely, confusing, and emotional experience but you are not alone. If you or someone you love is struggling, SUN Behavioral Health in Erlanger can help.
At SUN Behavioral, our masters-level clinicians provide care for these specific challenges surrounding mental illness. Struggling with a mental illness is extremely difficult. Not only does it impact an individual on an emotional level, but it can also leave them with several physical complications.
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Engage In Light Exercise
Endorphins keep the blood pumping in exactly the right away. It can help flood our body with endorphins, which can improve our mood. Because youre stressed, choose light exercise thats gentle on the body, like walking or swimming.
The exception to this is if youre hyperventilating or struggling to breathe. Do what you can to catch your breath first.
How Is Panic Disorder Treated
First, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor should do an exam and ask you about your health history to make sure that an unrelated physical problem is not causing your symptoms. Your doctor may refer to you a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Panic disorder is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you.
Psychotherapy. A type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy is especially useful as a first-line treatment for panic disorder. CBT teaches you different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to the feelings that come on with a panic attack. The attacks can begin to disappear once you learn to react differently to the physical sensations of anxiety and fear that occur during panic attacks.
For more information on psychotherapy, see .
Medication. Doctors also may prescribe different types of medications to help treat panic disorder:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
Another type of medication called beta-blockers can help control some of the physical symptoms of panic disorder, such as rapid heart rate. Although doctors do not commonly prescribe beta-blockers for panic disorder, they may be helpful in certain situations that precede a panic attack.
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How To Handle A Panic Attack
Professor Paul Salkovskis, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science at the University of Bath, says it’s important not to let your fear of panic attacks control you.
“Panic attacks always pass and the symptoms are not a sign of anything harmful happening,” he says. “Tell yourself that the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused by anxiety.”
He says don’t look for distractions. “Ride out the attack. Try to keep doing things. If possible, it’s important to try to remain in the situation until the anxiety has subsided.”
“Confront your fear. If you don’t run away from it, you’re giving yourself a chance to discover that nothing’s going to happen.”
As the anxiety begins to pass, start to focus on your surroundings and continue to do what you were doing before.
“If youre having a short, sudden panic attack, it can be helpful to have someone with you, reassuring you that it will pass and the symptoms are nothing to worry about,” says Professor Salkovskis.