What is Panic Attack: A panic attack is a sudden and prolonged episode of extreme agony and fear. A person who is having a panic attack has several ways to help. These include the use of grounding techniques and helping them control their breathing. We discuss how to help someone during a panic attack in this article. We cover tips for grounding, early warning signs and when to obtain help.
Steps on How to assist someone during a panic attack
It seems to be important to understand how to intervene when someone has a panic attack because of the serious nature of the symptoms, because they may feel like they are dying during an episode.
Some strategies and methods can help ease panic, ease the situation and even stop the symptoms from worsening. The ways in which a individual could help include:
To Remain calm
Panic attacks are unpredictable, and they occur for various reasons. For those having panic attacks, some may have only a number of attacks in their lifetime, while others may have frequent attacks. One survey from 2016 indicates that most people who have one panic attack will possibly have more.
Since panic attacks come without warning, they can be very frightening and it is important for everyone else to remain calm. A hurried response can make the situation worse.
Symptoms of a panic attack usually start in 10 minutes. And it is crucial for people to act quickly to help ease the symptoms whenever possible.
Making of conversation with positive affirmations can help
What a person says is as important as what they do in response to someone having a panic attack. Conversation involvement can distract from the extreme symptoms and help the person control breathing. It is important to ask if a person needs help, rather than simply assuming that they do. Here are some guidance on what to say and what to do:
- Asking of questions: Take a look and inquire if the person needs support. If so, ask if they think they have a panic attack and if they have had one before. This prompt might remind them of past attacks and how they recovered.
- Stay or go: let the person know they need not stay where they are. Leaving a certain situation can take away somebody having a panic attack from the pressure. Find out what makes them feel at ease.
- Use of Kind words: It is necessary to stay cheerful and non-judgmental. Help the person realize you are there to help them out, they are safe and they are going to get through this. Remind them that there is just a temporary panic attack.
- Have a friendly conversation: An enjoyable conversation can help a person relax from their symptoms. If you are a friend, gently raise a subject they are interested in to help them think about something else.
Basic grounding techniques to Suggest
Once a person has lost control of themselves and their surroundings, grounding techniques can help them return to their present moment. These techniques includes:
- Relaxing or Sitting down: It sounds easy to relax in a comfortable chair but it can be immensely effective. A person should focus on breathing in and out slowly with the feet comfortably on the floor, and how he feels sitting on the chair.
- The 5-4-3-2-1 technique: The 5-4-3-2-1 technique can distract the person from the panic attack by focusing on other things in the room and different senses. You will focus on identifying five items to see, four touching objects, three hearing sounds, two different tastes, and one taste.
- Simple mathematics: counting out of order from one to 10 or performing simple mathematical calculations, such as time tables, provides something else to focus on.
- Focus: Ask the person what day of the week it is, who it is with, and where it is.
How to start Providing the ongoing help
Some people may feel embarrassed about, and find it stressful, having a panic attack. Continued engagement and support will help ease their anxiety. Achieve it by checking in again and again. Finding out more about the disorder will also help if the problem resurface.
Best way to help someone to breathe during a panic attack
It is important that when a person experiences a panic attack they get their breathing under control. Someone who is trying to help should not give them a paper bag from which to inhale and exhale, as this could make them pass out.
Rather, it is best not to draw attention to their breathing, and to maintain calm and regular breathing so that they can imitate this pattern. Hopefully this approach would get their breathing back under control.
Things you should never do to someone having panic attack
Helping someone who has a panic attack can be very stressful, so it is crucial that the person be aware of what actions that can make panic attack to get worse.
Actions that might trigger a panic attack and make it worse include:
- Saying “calm down”: while it is vital to get a person to talk, phrases like “calm down,” “do not worry” and “try to relax” could make the symptoms worse.
- Becoming irritated: remain calm in order to help a person cope with a panic attack and not discredit their experience. The emphasis should be on them, however long symptoms that take to pass.
- Making assumptions: Do not assume or guess what the person need, try to ask them always.
Warning signs of panic attack and how to get help
Though a panic attack can happen very suddenly, the person will often experience signs of alert. Those may include:
- shortness of breath
- feelings of terror or dread
- shaking and dizziness
- heart palpitations
- feeling as though they are dying
Someone who has a panic attack might not feel comfortable seeking assistance. However, with one panic attack rolling into another, the symptoms could last for hours, so a person should get medical help if they feel it is necessary.
There is also concern about pain in the arms or shoulders, as the symptoms of a heart attack and panic attack can be similar. If a person has not previously had a panic attack, has chest pain and is vomiting, dial 911 right away.
People who often have panic attacks may wish to consider joining a support group or, if possible, rely more on family members and friends to help prevent reoccurrence of panic attacks.
Symptoms of Panic Attack
Panic attacks can begin without warning, and can be scary. When a person is comfortable, or even asleep, an attack may happen. While the symptoms vary, they do include common ones:
- rapid heart rate
- sweating, trembling, or shaking
- shortness of breath
- feeling sick or nauseated
- a loss of control
- sense of impending danger
- chest pain and stomach cramps
- lightheadedness or faintness
Persons with panic attacks may be diagnosed with a panic disorder. Statistics indicate that panic disorder affects approximately 6 million people in the United States, or 2.7 per cent of the population, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Panic attacks are scary for all involved, especially when they happen all of a sudden.
As the stress levels of the person rise, remaining calm and empathetic is vital for others. How they respond to the person experiencing the attack can affect the severity of that attack.
If a person has other symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, then they may have a heart attack. In this case, dialing 911 straight away is essential.