Panic Anxiety Attacks: What To Do If Your Loved One Is Experiencing A Panic Attack
No matter how hard we try to avoid a situation that may bring on panic anxiety attacks. Every now and then something will catch us off guard and trigger an anxiety attack. I can relate because I grew up watching my mother suffer with anxiety for years.
I Understand What Your Are Going Through
My mother's first panic attack occurred when she was riding on the train. Ever since that day she would no longer take the train. Because of this experience my mother became anxious and claustrophobic in any place that didn’t have an open door. Initially this may not have seemed like such a crippling illness however when you are growing up in a major city like New York and can’t afford a car, your major form of transportation is the train. So of course, this had a huge effect on our lives.
However this phobia included elevators. Now as you can probably imagine living in New York with all the large buildings having elevators, it's almost impossible not to get stuck in one. I can remember the day when we were stuck in an elevator for just a few minutes. To her it seemed like hours, and to me it seemed frightening because at that time I didn't know how to help her calm down. But know I do.
So let's begin: How to Help Someone Experiencing Panic Anxiety Attacks?
Find out the cause of the attack. If they are in an environment that is causing them distress, leave if possible. Finding a quiet space for the sufferer often has immediate results.
It’s important to ascertain that the person is not experiencing a medical emergency, like asthma or a heart attack.
Speak to the sufferer in a calm, reassuring manner. This often helps ground the sufferer who is experiencing panic anxiety attacks. Do not minimize. Provide understanding with statements such as:
“It’s okay. I’m here with you.” “I understand and it’s alright.” “Let’s focus on your breathing.”
This is not time to question the sufferer, which can often increase anxiety. Keep it simple and keep your voice and breathing calm. By remaining calm, you become an example as well as a relaxing presence to the person experiencing panic anxiety attacks.
Breathing often eliminates the worst of the symptoms, so attempt to convince the sufferer to breathe in and out slowly, on your count. (Breathe in for two, out for two. Increase the count to four then six.)
Encourage your loved on in distress to take deep, diaphragmatic breaths instead of shallow breaths from the chest. One way to do this is to simply place your hand on his or her abdominal area and instruct them to breathe from there.
Physical touch is a very powerful tool. A hand on a back or a warm embrace is therapeutic and calming. But make sure that the sufferer is receptive by asking if physical contact feels helpful at that moment. It’s often very apparent when a person doesn’t want to be touched by increased muscular tension or irritability so look for these.
Keeping these simple but effective techniques will help you and the sufferer get through panic anxiety attacks.
Please Be Patient
Remember, if you are trying to support someone dealing with panic anxiety attacks it’s important to remember that they aren’t weak and can’t just “fix it.” Recovery can be a slow and laborious process. Knowledge, patience and understanding are necessary in order to move forward together.
If you have not had the opportunity to read my first article and would like too, you can read the entire article here:
Coping With Anxiety; Help For The Family
My Recommendation: How To Stop Them Completely
1. Sign up to the End Anxiety Forever newsletter at the bottom of this page. You will be the first to receive our new articles filled with tips and techniques on how to stop panic anxiety attacks for good. Also we write new articles on how loved ones can improve their relationship when coping with an anxiety sufferer.
2. Learn more about the Panic Away Program. This program is a major help in your loved ones recovery process. Broadly speaking, the Panic Away program has two phases. The first is to get rid of your panic anxiety attacks. The second is to reduce your anxiety levels. The key thing to note is that the program isn't about coping with panic attacks. It's about stopping them and the underlying causes completely. The program works for people with anxiety problems of varying severities. To learn more about this program, please review my personal success story using it, click here:
To learn more about a program that will help end Panic Anxiety Attacks read my Panic Away Review; My Personal Success Story