Thursday, April 18, 2024

What To Say To A Person Having A Panic Attack

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Tell Them Youre There

What NOT To Say To Someone Who Is Having A Panic Attack

Panic attacks can be brought on for various reasons, and one of those reasons involves loneliness. Some people fear loneliness so much that it leads to panic attacks. Telling the person experiencing this attack that youre there can do wonders. Even if the person youre trying to help doesnt have this fear, support can still make a difference.

As mentioned above, silence is good, but you should still make it a point to say something kind every so often. Sometimes, the person having the attack may ask if youre still there, and you can just confirm that you are. Now, the person may not ask, and if thats the case, say youre there every few minutes, but maintain the silence as much as possible.

When you do talk, stay calm. Dont act upset or worried, which may help the person calm down a bit. This means youll need to be soft-spoken and speak slowly.

It may be hard to get used to talking like this, but you dont have to do this too long. You should know that your voice can do a lot if you use it right. If the person youre trying to help has a lot of these attacks, it might be a good idea to work on your voice so that you can be more helpful when your loved one needs your support.

You can say the following when these attacks occur:

Say the persons name. Say that you care. Be encouraging during this time.

Try not to elaborate too much when you say these things. Be direct and short, and allow the silence to take center stage.

Why Is This Blog About What To Say To Someone Having A Panic Attack Over Text Important

As discussed, what we say to someone that is having a panic attack over a text message it is not easy but can make a huge difference.

The most important thing to remember is to make sure you let them know you are there, avoid panicking, getting angry and any judgments or criticisms since it is not helpful at all.

In addition, advise your loved one to get additional professional help if they are feeling too overwhelmed during their attacks, or if they feel they have lost control over their emotions leading them to depression or feeling sad all the time.

Please feel free to comment in the comments section.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Coping With An Attack

During a panic attack, experts recommend reminding yourself that you arent in any danger. Carbonell suggested asking yourself: What Im experiencing now, is it danger or is it discomfort?

You should also try to remember that the attack is going to end, regardless of what you do, Gallagher said. Panic attacks typically peak at about 10 minutes.

Try not to take any immediate dramatic actions, such as fleeing the situation, experts said. Also, dont avoid similar situations in the future that will only reinforce the belief that its something really terrible and to be feared, said Lynn Bufka, a senior director at the American Psychological Association.

Instead, let the panic attack happen and let yourself accept everything youre feeling. As Carbonell points out, youre experiencing discomfort, not danger. You want to take actions that will help you stay in place and give the panic a chance to subside.

For example, if youre hyperventilating, you can try slow diaphragmatic, or belly, breathing, Bufka said.

Trott, the Illinois resident at the grocery store, was able to stay in place, as Carbonell recommends. He continued to shop albeit at a quicker pace. If I can bear it, I just keep moving and try to concentrate on what I need to get, he said.

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The First Panic Attack

I was standing in the canteen at work, talking to my team. I was getting more and more worried as my boss listed all the tasks we needed to complete, and was panicking about how I was going to juggle everything and get it all done. Then I started thinking about everything I hadnt done at home. Id forgotten my lunch that morning and did I accidentally leave the iron on?

Suddenly I wasnt listening to my boss anymore. My mind was swirling with thoughts, my inner critic shouting at me, reminding of everything I had to do. I couldnt cope. I felt like a rabbit in headlights, frozen in terror and then I blacked out.

Suddenly I wasnt listening to my boss anymore.

I came round, lying on the floor of my work canteen, with my colleagues crowded around me. What had just happened? Id fainted. Someone at work called 111, and they sent a fast-response ambulance. It was the second day in a row that I had fainted at work, and they were worried about me.

Mental Health Treatment Program Locator

What to do when you have a panic attack?

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

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What Can I Do Or Say To Someone Having A Panic Attack Over Text

You can start by reminding them that they are not obligated to stay where they are, suggest they can always leave and find a place they feel more comfortable while having a panic attack.

In addition, if you feel you can and have some spare time then offer them a ride home or going where they are.

Remind them to breathe slowly and encourage them to do so.

Also, since you cant just be there immediately, send them a reassuring text about how there is nothing to be afraid of and that their panic attack is just temporary, it wont last forever.

Reminding them they are safe and you are there if they need any additional help can make them feel supported.

In addition, you could remind them to take their medication .

You can also offer them to have a conversation later if they feel up for it but without putting any pressure or bombarding them with questions, just make sure they know you are there for them.

Also, you can start by sending a What can I do to help you right now?.

It can sound super simple and obvious but it is extremely important to let them know you are willing to help and not just simply assuming what they need.

Another text you can send if it is someone very close to you or a loved one is I cant imagine what you are going through but I do know I love you and I will always be here for you, no matter what.

This can offer reassurance even if you are not physically there with them, it also displays compassion, empathy, and comfort.

First Recognize The Signs

Just as anxiety shows up in different ways for different people, the symptoms of a panic attack can also vary. If you know someone who has panic attacks, get to know their specific symptoms.

Some common signs include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Shortness of breath or choking sensation
  • Sudden fear of impending death
  • Sweating and trembling

The symptoms may not last long before going away. In some cases, the strongest symptoms may only last 10 minutes or less. But this is enough time for the person to feel like the attack is a life-threatening condition.

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Support Them To Seek Help

If you think your friend or family member’s anxiety is becoming a problem for them, you could encourage them to seek treatment by talking to a GP or therapist. You could:

  • Offer to help them arrange a doctor’s appointment. If they are scared of leaving the house, you could suggest they ring their GP to find out if they will do home visits and telephone appointments.
  • Offer support when they attend appointments. You could offer to go with them to their appointments and wait in the waiting room. You can also help them plan what they’d like to talk about with the doctor. See our page on talking to your GP for more information.
  • Help them seek help from a therapist. See our page on how to find a therapist for more information.
  • Help them research different options for support, such as community services or peer support groups such as those run by Anxiety UK and No Panic. See our useful contacts page for more information. You could also call Mind’s Infoline to find out more about local services.

See our page on helping someone else seek help for more information.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Panic Disorder

NEVER Say These Things To Someone Having A Panic Attack!!!

People with panic disorder may have:

  • Sudden and repeated panic attacks of overwhelming anxiety and fear
  • A feeling of being out of control, or a fear of death or impending doom during a panic attack
  • Physical symptoms during a panic attack, such as a pounding or racing heart, sweating, chills, trembling, breathing problems, weakness or dizziness, tingly or numb hands, chest pain, stomach pain, and nausea
  • An intense worry about when the next panic attack will happen
  • A fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past

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What Lies Behind A Panic Attack

Panic attacks are signs that something is going wrong, that we abuse ourselves and others, they show us where we still have to work with ourselves, what we lack, what attachments we have, what ideals and muffled aspirations.

Often, behind these unconscious fears lies the lack of self-love, manifested by: culinary excesses, lack of sleep, mental or emotional exhaustion, childhood traumas, family misunderstandings, stifled and repetitive suffering, disappointments, expectations for the other to fulfil our desires.

Fear is a gift. It signals to us, as in the case of the symptoms of a panic attack, a potential danger. In this case, the danger is our unresolved inner conflicts, past and present.

Healing can begin with the practice of self-love and finding resources through affirmations, meditations, exercises and role-playing games, drawing, or dance therapy.

Of course, at first, the psyche tends to resist changes and we may be tempted to give up. Therefore, perseverance and involvement are essential.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

How Do We Help Children And Teenagers That Are Having A Panic Attack

For young children, physical contact with a trusted person significantly decreases stress levels.

Thus, with a soothing voice, show him a toy he likes, a musical instrument, distract him from the symptoms.

Swing the child in your arms, massage his hands or feet, smile at him, communicate with him.

In the case of a teenager or adult, tell them to close their eyes and focus on a pleasant, soothing image, to try to control their breathing by inhaling and exhaling deeply.

Breath control calms and harmonizes emotions, mind and physiological reactions.

If the adult or teen is good at yoga and meditation, tell them to practice some techniques if he knows a few more special dance steps, ask him to show you. And, if possible, go for a walk outdoors.

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What To Say When Someone Is Having An Anxiety Attack

by Health Writer

Suppose a friend or family member suffers from anxiety. You want to be supportive, you have learned how anxiety impacts their life, but you still dont know what to say or do when an anxiety attack strikes. Here are some suggestions on what you can say to help. Remember, understanding and listening, without judgment, is the first step to helping someone through an anxiety or panic attack.

Tips For Dating Someone With Panic Disorder

How To Help Someone Who Is Having A Panic Attack

Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.

If you are considering dating someone with panic disorder, you may have some concerns about their health and what it means for your relationship. Even though not every person with panic disorder experiences the condition in the exact same way, certain characteristics are common among panic disorder sufferers.

For instance, most people with panic disorder will encounter feelings of fear and anxiety and may be participating in some form of treatment to manage symptoms. Here are some things to consider when dating someone with panic disorder:

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How Do You Help Someone Who Is Freaking Out

You can help someone who is freaking out by incorporating some of the following tips:

Doing breathing exercises with them.

Help them to inhale slowly through their nose and count until number four, then make a pause of three seconds and then ask them to exhale through their mouth counting until four.

You can try to distract them with any anecdotes you share together or any plans you may have in the near future.

Assure them you are there for them if they want to talk.

Advice them what they are feeling, scared or frightened, is normal and it is necessary to accept it.

Also, assure them their episode is temporary and wont last long.

How To Help Someone Having A Panic Attack Over The Phone

To help someone having a panic attack over the phone can be difficult, but here are some things to try:

  • Try grounding techniques
  • Talk to them in a gentle, soothing voice
  • Breathe deeply and audibly so they can hear and breathe with you
  • Use a soft tone, almost the type used in ASMR
  • Try to remind them of a calming time
  • Ask them to imagine a comfortable situation that you know they like
  • Describe a time they had fun with you
  • Keep talking about things that may interest them but not excite them
  • Dont ask questions, take the lead in the conversation
  • Dont try to distract them, just be there and try to ground them by engaging their senses
  • Dont be irritated if they dont get better the minute you start trying

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Why Do Panic Attacks Happen

Panic attacks can happen to anyone, without any obvious cause or warning. They can be extremely alarming both for the person experiencing the attack and anyone trying to help

Exams increase stress and children and teenagers up and down the country will be sitting in exams halls, waiting to hear the famous words you can turn your papers over now. For some, exams cause no problems at all, many just get butterflies, but for some, the fear of exams can result in full blown panic attacks. .

Certain times of life can make people more prone to panic attacks, often those going through menopause experience them and early Alzheimers can also result in a higher incidence. Increased stress and overload can often be a contributory factor. However, there does not need to be any obvious reason sometimes, they just happen!

After The Panic Attack

More Of What NOT To Say To Someone Who Is Having A Panic Attack

Check in with them later that day and the day following their panic attack to make sure they are doing okay. Telling them that they can reach out to you if things get overwhelming and they need someone to talk to or sit with.

Finally, if you feel both you and they are comfortable with it, you can suggest that they reach out to their GP about their panic attack/s. You can also encourage them to do things that help with overall well-being such as regular exercise, meditation, or relaxation techniques that are easy to do daily and can help with increasing anxiety. You could even partake in these activities with them!

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How To Help Someone Having A Panic Attack

A panic attack is a brief but intense rush of fear.

These attacks involve symptoms similar to those experienced when facing a threat, including:

Panic attacks differ from a typical fear response because theres no actual threat involved.

The body is saying theres danger, when in reality theres none present, explains Sadie Bingham, a clinical social worker who specializes in anxiety and provides therapy in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Panic attack triggers arent always easy to identify, so people who have one attack often worry about having more, especially in public.

Panic attacks usually feel very uncomfortable and cause significant distress. Many people believe theyre experiencing a heart attack or other life-threatening issue.

If you know someone who experiences panic attacks, there are several things you can do to help them in the moment.

I Know You Can Tolerate This

For the person having a panic attack, it can feel unbearable. And while panic attacks are certainly uncomfortable, they are not dangerous.

Staying calm and letting the person know that they can tolerate the attack can help them get through it, says Dr. Siegel. Plus, the more the person practices sitting with their symptoms without trying to make them go away, the stronger their muscles for tolerating distress will become. This increased distress tolerance will, in turn, help the person learn that they can get through whatever physical sensations come their way, no matter how uncomfortable these may seem.

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