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08/10/2010 09:20 AM

How To Help Someone Having A Panic Attack

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Here is something I just found I thought would be helpful to share. If you think of other things that would be helpful as well please reply and let us know what others do for you that helps when you are having a panic attack. Smile Or list things you find not helpful too!

Here are some things you can do to help someone else get through a panic attack:

1)Help the person to slow down their breathing. Have them take a deep breath and then let it out as you count to ten. Ask them to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth.

2)Have them do a simple physical task such as opening and closing a hand slowly. This can help them to refocus and distract them from the anxiety.

3)Ask them to count with you by fives which is also a distraction.

4)If there is an identifiable cause of the panic either remove it from the presence of the panicking person or move the person to another location away from the source. This is obviously not possible in an elevator.

5)Talk to the person in a calm but clear voice (which means one that doesn't sound like you are experiencing panic). You can say "it's okay" but avoid statements such as "don't panic" or "there's nothing to worry about" or "your just having an emotional reaction." These statements are dismissive and can even exacerbate the genuine fear that is being experienced.

6)If the person is unable to calm down after about 15minutes, or you are not completely sure what they are experiencing is in fact panic, then seek immediate medical attention.

Often people who experience recurring panic attacks are aware of what they need in order to calm down. If you want to help a friend or a mate who suffers from this type of anxiety ask them what they need. Ideally you can have this information prior to the onset of an attack. Some individuals like to be held tightly while others can't stand to be touched. Some people feel better if they are on their own and need to get distance and others don't want to be left alone.

Retrieved 8/11/10 from: help-someone-when-they-are-having-a-panic-attack


08/10/2010 12:10 PM

Those are wonderful jojo, I will have to give that list to my husband I think they could help alot...

You know I had an attack last week while out on my motorcycle, my husband pulled over with me and as I SCREAMED at him to call 911 this one was not panic, he say next to me rubbed my back, asked me to tell him what it felt like (which pissed me off at the first thought but later I found it helped ALOT) and then reminded me to breath every now and then...

Great list LOVE it, thanks for sharing


08/10/2010 07:11 PM
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A biggie that has never, ever helped me and only made me panic worse is when someone can tell I'm just starting to panic and says are you Okay?!? I then realize OMG they notice, I must not be okay and then just really panic.

The other thing is when I am having a difficult conversation, like say in a relationship or with a friend and I start to panic and the person won't just drop the subject when I say I am starting to panic I'm sorry I can't continue this right now. Can we finish this tomorrow. I just don't think rationally at all when I panic so trying to talk about important issues during a panic attack is absolutely hell for me!

08/11/2010 01:32 AM
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These are great JoJo..thank you for posting them. I have one that doesn't work for me, and that is "tough love". My husband use to try this technique and it always made my anxiety worse, and thankfully he realized that and stopped saying things like "keep driving, you have to if you want to fight the panic" or "I'm not going in with you, you have your cell phone, call me if you need me." those are just examples, not actually things he would say, but you all get the point I'm sure. Thanks again!

08/11/2010 02:00 AM
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It's so hard for someone to understand panic attacks unless they had one. :ow does a person explain in words, I'm going the hell right now and believe I'm going to die! And you hearing some tell u just relax' I can't! And a cup of tea or laying down is not going to make it all ok. I wouldn' give me a cup of anything hot, you just might wear it! Sad

06/08/2011 09:48 AM
Posts: 434

I agree with the "Are you okay?" That makes things worse for me. When I was having debilitating panic attacks everyday my husband would lay with me on the bed and play an alaphbet game like name an animal that begins with A and so forth to distract me. Yesterday, I came in the house and washed dishes that distracted me. I don't know why I or anyone else would have to go through this but I am glad there is support out there.

02/10/2012 03:31 PM
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I love these tips ! I'm glad it was brought back up. I know for me it increases my panic if someone asks if "I'm ok" and also to be told "you'll be fine"... Ugh those will set off panic big time for me.

Being held tight helps me, but I know some people hate it. To me it helps me feel back in control of my body a little bit. But there are times I need space to pace and get rid of adrenaline.

The alphabet game is an excellent idea. I love finding new things for distraction. Sadly there are times when we can't be removed from our panic situation. I had this happen yesterday at a dr appt. I was completely in full blown panic and had to stay to get staples removed from surgery... So I let those with me know I was panicking and had them help with distraction. I also shared with the nurse and dr that I was very anxious and they helped as much as they could and got me in and out as fast as possible.

02/16/2012 06:44 PM
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I went through hell this summer. I went into a major panic attack. I was with a church group. However, the casual observer would not have been able to tell I was with church people.

Among the worst things they did - mostly by the "pastor":

1. accused me of not getting my way

2. talking to me sarcastically

3. not believing me when I stated what would help

4. ordering me what to do and where to sit

5. the silent treatment

6. a few months ago I apologized to the "pastor" and she said she forgave me. a few weeks back I found out that was not true as she sarcastically told me I would not be a part of something because "you did not get your way". Also, some Montana people are going to the event (Montana is where my panic attack happened).

7. no one asked me anything, they just assumed what was going on. even when we got home.

8. tonight I am so ready to kill myself because the church I attend is still punishing me for the panic attack over six months ago, and may punish me again next year

9. i took almost 20 advil on the way home because I was so desperate for relief from feeling like i was having a heart attack. i discovered gas stations along the interstate do not sell sleep aids, which would have helped tremendously. this panic attack lasted for hours and no one cared. they treated me like shit.

10. the "pastor" was driving while having an asthma attack. i did not know what is was at the time. i have done some research. she could have gone unconscious while driving and killed us.

Post edited by: montanahell, at: 02/16/2012 06:48 PM

02/17/2012 06:21 AM
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Hi Montanahell and welcome. Wow, you were treated terrible! They did all the wrong things. If that group of people just can't understand what you were going through, maybe you need to distance yourself from them. Try to surround yourself with people that understand. All of us here understand and really know what you go through. You are not alone!



02/17/2012 08:31 AM
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Lord, spare me from the faithful and what they do in Your name!

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