Wednesday, June 19, 2024

What To Say To Someone In A Panic Attack

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How To Distract From A Panic Attacks

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

The next time you experience a panic attack or intense anxiety, try to keep emotions in check by temporarily distracting yourself. The following is a list of some distraction techniques you may want to try when faced with overwhelming emotions:

  • Count Your Breaths: Inhale and exhale, counting as one then inhale and exhale and count two, etc. Continue counting each cycle of breath until you reach 10. If you lose count, go ahead and start over from one.
  • Use Entertainment: Read something of interest, such as reading a book or flipping through an enjoyable magazine. If reading doesnt work, you may want to try watching TV or a movie to set your mind on something else. Listening to music may help you feel calmer. Research has also shown that playing video games can be effective for distracting people from anxiety.
  • Engage in a Relaxation Technique: Relaxation techniques such as visualization, progressive muscle relaxation , or mindfulness meditation can help you re-center and find a sense of calm.
  • Participate in a Creative Pursuit: You may find that strong emotions are lessened when you get your creative juices flowing. Some activities may include making art or crafts.

Relaxation activities can help divert your mind and let you refocus on more pleasant thoughts. Plus, it is difficult to feel anxious and upset when in a relaxed state of mind.

What To Say To Someone Who Had A Panic Attack

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  • With their quick buck attitudes
  • An ounce of prescription drugs but most sufferers that must have heard of all types of therapy and prescribe drug therapy
  • Recognizing A Panic Attack

    A panic attack is an abrupt and oftentimes unexpected episode of intense dread or fear. Unlike anxiety attacks, which generally have a clear cause, panic attacks occur without a trigger. Whether it is the individuals first panic attack or they experience attacks regularly, the experience can be frightening, embarrassing and exhausting.

    Panic attacks can strike at any time without warning. Their duration and symptoms vary from one person to another, but common symptoms include:

    • Feeling detached from reality
    • Fear of losing control
    • A sense of danger or impending doom

    Every year, about one in 10 people experience a panic attack. The symptoms an individual experiences varies and can make it hard to recognize when someone is in the middle of an attack. However, there are a few common signs to watch for.

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    What Do You Say To Someone Who Is Having A Panic Attack

    You can use short and positive statements to help someone who is having a panic attack such as:

    I am so proud of you, you are doing an excellent job

    You will get through this

    Tell me if you need anything now

    Focus on your breathing, lets do it together

    Remember is not the place but the thoughts you are having that are making you feel this way

    I know it is scary but it is not going to hurt you

    Things Never To Say To Someone With Panic Disorder

    How to help someone having a panic attack: 7 key tips ...

    Having anxiety attacks can be scary for a person with a panic disorder. The feeling comes on so suddenly, and they may not be able to think clearly enough to stop it from happening.

    Dealing with something like that can be traumatizing. Many of those who struggle with panicking opt to manage symptoms naturally instead of taking the medicines available today.

    If you have a friend, family member, or other loved one who is experiencing an anxiety or panic attack, its understandable that you want to help them feel better. However, their panic attack can be just as nerve-wracking for you as it is for them. You will probably be wondering what to do or say.

    What you say is very important. Most people dont mean any harm when theyre trying to be reassuring, but certain comments can be taken the wrong way by the person who is panicking. To help you out, here are 15 things you should never say to a person who has a panic disorder.

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    Would You Be Willing To Try Doing The Opposite Of What Your Brain Wants You To Do

    Sometimes its best not to follow your instincts.

    People who have panic attacks often fear not only the symptoms, but also the effect that these symptoms might have on their functioning, Dr. Jerud explains. For instance, they may believe that theyll lose control and embarrass themselves in front of others if they dont leave when panicking in public. Or they may think that they might pass out if they get up from the floor and walk around. In other words, their brains may be telling them to leave quickly or stay put.

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    In these cases, it can be really helpful to see what happens if they do the exact opposite and stay put or get up and walk around , Dr. Jerud adds. This helps drive home the idea that they do not need to let their anxiety dictate what they do or dont do even if they are having a panic attack.

    Next, read about the 12 best apps for anxiety.

    There Is Nothing To Be Nervous About

    This statement may not be extremely bad, depending on how you deliver it. However, it can come off as dismissive. It depends on how the person takes it. To make sure the person does not take the statement as dismissive, try to say it in a smooth, reassuring tone. However, the best way to avoid them taking it the wrong way is to steer clear of the statement. Make it more about what they need to get through the panic.

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    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. Alissa Jerud, licensed clinical psychologist, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, and host of The Anxiety Savvy Podcast. 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.

    Tips For Helping Someone With An Anxiety Disorder:

    More Of What NOT To Say To Someone Who Is Having A Panic Attack
    • Make no assumptionsask the person what they need.
    • Be predictabledon’t surprise the person.
    • Let the person with the disorder set the pace for recovery.
    • Find something positive in every small step towards recovery.
    • Don’t help the person avoid their fears.
    • Maintain your own life so you don’t resent the person with the disorder.
    • Don’t panic when the person with the disorder panics, but realize it’s natural to be concerned with them.
    • Be patient and accepting, but don’t settle for the affected person being permanently disabled.
    • Say encouraging words such as: “You can do it no matter how you feel. I am proud of you. Tell me what you need now. Breathe slow and low. Stay in the present. It’s not the place that’s bothering you, it’s the thought. I know that what you are feeling is painful, but it’s not dangerous. You are courageous.”
    • Avoid saying things like: “Don’t be anxious. Let’s see if you can do this. You can fight this. What should we do next? Don’t be ridculous. You have to stay. Don’t be a coward.” These phrases tend to blame the individual for the anxiety.

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    Quick Read Anxiety Support 101

    • Theres a difference between normal, everyday anxiety and having an anxiety disorder.
    • If an anxious friend decides to confide in you, show you support them.
    • Validate, rather than minimize, their experience.
    • If you dont have an anxiety disorder, avoid offering advice without listening to your friend.
    • Tell them youre there for them, ask how you can help and listen to what they have to say.

    Its never not awkward telling someone I have anxiety disorders. And Ive had to tell a lot of people: friends, family, supervisors, dates.

    Opening up to others can be validating and freeing, but its always stressful at first because I dont know how theyll respond. Being stereotyped or treated insensitively when youre struggling can be nerve-wracking, especially if you already get down on yourself for having anxiety.

    What Ive learned in my many years of coming clean is that most people mean well. They dont want to say the wrong thing, but it can be hard for them to know the right thing to say if they dont know much about anxiety.

    While everyone experiences anxiety, people experience differing degrees of severity, says Ty Lostutter, a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety and treats patients at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at South Lake Union.

    Anxiety is normal and healthy. It keeps us safe and motivates us, Lostutter says. It only becomes a problem when someone becomes overly anxious and it interferes with daily life.

    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 .

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    What Not To Say

    Itâs also important to know what not to say to someone whoâs anxious.â

    âYouâll get over it./Snap out of it.â Anxiety disorders donât work like this. Often, it requires help from a mental health professional in the form of talk therapy, medication, or a combination of therapies. Remember that your friend or family member doesnât choose to feel this way, so itâs not something that they can turn off to feel normal again.â

    âI know, ___ makes me feel really anxious, too.â Comparing your own anxieties to theirs isnât going to help them. You probably feel rational anxiety about things that happen in your life, but you canât equate those feelings to the irrational feelings people with anxiety disorders may have. Itâs not the same, and this diminishes your loved oneâs experience.â

    âHave you tried ___?â Donât ask someone with anxiety if theyâve tried certain health or wellness techniques to overcome their feelings. While this may work for people with temporary anxiety about certain situations, it may not work for someone with an anxiety disorder.

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    Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders:

    What to do when you

    Anyone may experience these symptoms during stressful times. However, individuals with anxiety disorders may experience them in absence of stress, with more severe symptoms and/or with several symptoms appearing together.

    • Inability to relax
    • Rapid pulse or pounding, skipping, racing heart
    • Nausea, chest pain or pressure
    • Feeling a “lump in the throat”
    • Dry mouth
    • Feelings of dread, apprehension or losing control
    • Trembling or shaking, sweating or chills
    • Fainting or dizziness, feelings of detachment
    • Thoughts of death

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    What Not To Say To Someone With Panic Disorder

    Imagine this: youre allergic to cats. Youve just been exposed to cat dander and your eyes are a soggy, drippy red mess. You sneeze uncontrollably multiple times in a row. Your skin becomes itchy, red, and full of welts. Youre feeling pretty miserable.

    A friend walks up to you.

    Hey, no worries, he exclaims casually, theres nothing to be allergic to!

    Uh, what?

    Sure there is Im allergic to cats, youd probably say.

    Nah, says your friend, just stop sneezing. Youll be okay.

    What?! I cant just STOP sneezing on a dime, you retort.

    Sure you can. Theres nothing wrong with you, he insists.

    Uhm, care to explain these welts, then? And the red eyes? And the sneezing?!

    Sounds frustrating, doesnt it? If you suffer from allergies, you know that a reaction to an allergen can produce a truly miserable day. And while panic disorder is no allergy, it produces its own unique brand of misery, too.

    And that misery can be compounded by how others react to a panic attack. Hopefully, no one would ever tell an allergy sufferer to just stop sneezing or to make those welts go away. It would be ineffective and frustrating advice.

    This post was inspired by this list of things you shouldnt say to someone who is depressed.

    You say: Just calm down. We want to say: Okay, HOW!?

    Better response: Can I help you calm down? Is there anything I can do?

    During a panic attack, the following physiological changes can occur:

    Encourage Them To Breathe

    Another way you can help soothe the individual having a panic attack is by encouraging them to breathe. However, do not be forceful about it. If you demand they take deep breaths or act harshly, you are quite likely to make their anxiety worse. Being encouraged to breathe can sometimes be frustrating for those having panic attacks, since they do not always have control over it. If it seems like the encouragement is doing more harm than good, use other means of soothing them.

    One way to help with breathing is by doing active breathing exercises with the individual rather than telling them to take a deep breath. Have them breathe in with you for a count of four, then exhale for a count of eight. If they cannot manage that, try breathing in for a count of two and then out for a count of four. The most important thing is for them to exhale longer than they inhale. This helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which acts in opposition to the adrenal system by giving the body signals that it is safe.

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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 its 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 youre experiencing are caused by anxiety.

    He says dont look for distractions. Ride out the attack. Try to keep doing things. If possible, its important to try to remain in the situation until the anxiety has subsided.

    Confront your fear. If you dont run away from it, youre giving yourself a chance to discover that nothings 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.

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    Youre Doing This To Yourself

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

    Everyone gets nervous about different things. You may get nervous about an important interview while someone else may think its a cakewalk. For people with a panic disorder, it hits them suddenly and so intense that they may think theyre having a heart attack.

    Essentially, they are not doing anything to themselves. Its a part of who they are. They can get help to ease the anxiety and try to lead a normal life, but when the anxiety and panic attacks happen, it is easier if they dont have someone judging them.

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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.

    Tell Me About What Youre Feeling

    During a panic attack, people often do one of two things: distract themselves from whats happening, or try to make the feeling go away.

    The problem is that during a panic attack, both of these attempts can actually exacerbate the experience,Dr. Dustin Siegel, licensed clinical psychologist and owner of The LEAP Center for Anxiety, says. By talking about what youre experiencing, and what youre feeling afraid of during the panic attack, the person will begin a mindfulness practice of observing the experience rather than trying to escape it.

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