How can I help someone who is having a panic attack?

alleykat234's picture

as someone who has anixety, it is best to get to know their comforts and relaxtion methods. some people may want a bit of space, while others may need someone to talk through it.
i offer the techniques commonly used in therapy when helping people such as breathing exercises, zen tangles, meditation, and counting down your senses from 5

Reese Moore's picture

I've had my own, personal struggles with panic attacks and anxiety but I have found it difficult to know what to do when I am the one comforting the person having the attack. I have come to understand that people all don't have the same "triggers" and when I have tried to help a friend having an attack (using things that I found calming in my own experiences) they reacted negatively and I felt I just made it worse. My friend is not very comfortable talking about anxiety and so when I ask her how I can help her, she just brushes me off and changes the subject. I'm just asking if anyone has any solutions they have found helpful in the past during an anxiety attack (either for themselves or when helping someone else) because I know that everyone is different and I'm looking for a broader range of opinions, thoughts, or tips so I can help my friend.

carsonmackk's picture

If someone you know has a panic attack, he or she may become very anxious and not think clearly. i find it helps if you do these things:
Stay with the person and keep calm.
Offer medicine if the person usually takes it during an attack.
Move the person to a quiet place.
Don't make assumptions about what the person needs. Ask.
Speak to the person in short, simple sentences.
Be predictable. Avoid surprises.

i find this helps a lot

ollcolline's picture

Just a thing to add on the end...

If it's their first to.e having an attack, they might not be able to see or understand what is happening. Likely these people will need more support than those who have experienc d anxiety attacks before and know what works best for them. Tell them that they're going to be OK, that they should concentrate on breathing out, and that they are safe.

If theyve experienced an attack before, THEY know what they need/want. So listen. If they want to be alone, provide them that and try not to worry. Trust them and they'll trust you.

Jessica Clark's picture

Sometimes the person will just need someone to just be there. Although it may seem very awkward for you, sometimes just sitting with them in silence can be very comforting. For some people, too many questions can get very frustrating during an attack, while others may enjoy being talked through it. Ask the person what they need and how you can help them and tell them they'll be okay!

gracepeters's picture

it's best to just be there with the person and help them take deep breaths to calm them down. It also might be best if you just sit with them so they know that they have someone supporting them as there having anxiety.

emma.gail's picture

What i find to help with my friends is to reassure the m that you arent going anywhere and that you are there for them. And to also tell them to take deep breaths and only focus on their breathing. That will let them forget about whatever made them anxious in the first place.

callmemaliya's picture

Stay with the person and don't leave them alone because I find it causes me to get more stressed out. So maybe take them for a walk or get some water and just sit down and just breathe slowly or start talking about something to pull their mind away from what ever caused them anxiety/ stress.

Simon Anderson Flex's picture

Stay with them and talk about irrelevant things (happy things) and take deep breaths together

fallingpoet's picture

Stay with them until they calm down. Reassure them that you'll stay with them through it all.

Skylar's picture

Grounding is something that always helps me. When I'm feeling panicky my mom sits down with me and she starts to talk about other things to distract me. She always holds my hand and reminds me that I'm still here and everything is going to be okay.