How to help someone who is having a panic attack
Watching someone have a panic attack can be a puzzling experience. Knowing well that there is no imminent threat, you may not understand why the person is feeling such intense fear. Here are some things you can do to help them through the attack:
Remind them that this will pass
A panic attack generally lasts for 20 minutes. Constantly remind them that this is temporary and it will pass.
You can help them ground themselves, by asking them to feel, smell, see, and hear the things around them and describe them to you.
Do not ask them to calm down
The sensations that they are going through are not in their control. They will not be able to calm down no matter how much you ask them to.
Do not ask them why
There may not be an actual threat that is causing the fear. Asking them why might make them feel even more uncomfortable and worsen their symptoms.
Encourage them to take deep breaths
Do a deep breathing exercise with them.
Use a panic assistance track
A panic assistance track is a recording of a guided meditation which can help ground and calm the person. Many such tracks are available on the internet and streaming apps.
We may experience a panic attack at some point in our lives, and never have one again. If you are experiencing repeated episodes of panic attacks, call us at Mann Talks, and talk to a mental health professional today.