How To Help Someone With A Panic Attack
When you are witnessing an episode of an anxiety disorder in someone, you need to be aware of the fact that they are experiencing high levels of anxiety or fear and are unable to think with clarity. You can help by:
- Continue to be with them and hold their attention.
- Help them stay calm.
- Talk to them in an easy-to-understand and concise way.
- Dont spring surprises. Ensure your actions are predictable.
- If you are aware of their medication for panic attacks, get it for them.
- Desist from making assumptions about their preferences. Ask them what they want.
- Help them take deep breaths and slow it down by asking them to follow your example. Take long deep breaths to guide them.
- Count to 10 or 20 to help them focus.
Ive Been So Anxious On My Zoom Calls Lately How Have You Been Feeling
Another way to connect with someone whoâs feeling anxious is by leading with a comment about your own anxiety or stress. âThis normalizes discussing your feelings and can make them feel more comfortable opening up about their own mental health,â Sara Sharnoff Tick, MS, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle.
Causes And 5 Solutions For Relationship Anxiety
- There is more than one type of relationship anxiety, as well as different parts of relationships that may cause anxiety
- Anxiety can be a barrier in relationships, potentially leading to lack of trust/intimacy
- Partners of those with anxiety also have their own struggles
- Those that already have anxiety may be more prone to anxiety in relationships
- The strategies to address relationship anxiety are diverse
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Listen To The Person With Empathy
After understanding the symptoms of anxiety in a person, the next vital step to helping them is listening to their experiences with empathy. Empathetic behavior is an attribute that doesnt come naturally but rather through practice and tolerance. Empathy is a vital skill when dealing with people with any mental condition, including anxiety.
The best way to help someone with anxiety is first to understand their emotional makeup. Next, show kindness and interest in helping the individual. The person will gain confidence once you demonstrate a willingness to help them deal with their anxiety problems. The better your understanding of the person, the more a transparent conversation can occur between you and that person.
Being an empathetic listener also shows you can recognize other peoples feelings and further analyze their anxiety triggers. Listening to what a person with anxiety is saying is also vital since it helps both you and the person you are helping to develop two-way communication. Simply put, empathy is a great skill you need to build confidentiality and trust between you and the individual you are striving to help.
Put The Head Between The Knees
You may ask the person to sit on the bed, with their legs off one side, and lower their head to be between their knees, just lightly, not tightly held or anything. Alternatively, if they are sitting on the ground, they may pull up their knees slightly and then lean forward to lower their head between their knees.
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The Anxiety Of Responding To A Text
This is the worst and most insidious part of texting anxiety.
Because the anxiety that causes us to delay a response also causes anxiety in the person were responding to.
They aren’t thinking about the fact that you aren’t responding because youre inundated with messages and notifications all day. They dont know that youre feeling too overwhelmed to answer. Theyre projecting their own fears and insecurities onto you.
Theyre thinking that youre rejecting them and this makes them fret about the fact that you must be rejecting them. It’s the texting anxiety dance.
The longer you go without responding to a text because of your anxiety, the worse their anxiety gets from not receiving your response. So much anxiety!
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Do Look After Yourself
When you offer to help with anxiety, it is understandable for you to feel frustrated, scared or tired from time to time. It is likely that their anxieties are having an effect on you too.
Make sure that youre dealing with these emotions and maintaining your wellbeing. Talk to other friends or family members about how you are feeling, think about accessing therapeutic support, take really good care of your physical and mental health, and book in time every week to do activities that you enjoy. By keeping yourself well, you will be in a much better position to help the person with anxiety.
And always remember, youre doing your best.
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How To Help Someone With Anxiety
All of us worry and get scared from time to time. But those with anxiety may feel consumed by fears of things that might seem irrational to others. It can be hard to relate to these concerns, and as a result, many people dont know how to best help someone with anxiety. People are often dismissive of people experiencing anxiety, says Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine. With other medical illnesses, you may be able to see physical symptoms. But with anxiety, you dont necessarily see what the person is dealing with. So its important to be sensitive to what the person with anxiety is going through, even if it doesnt make sense to you. Its distressing to watch a loved one experience panic attacks and face anxiety every day, but there are things you can do to help. It starts with recognizing the signs of excessive worry and understanding the best ways to support your loved one.
Wow Thats A Lot Thanks For Letting Me Know :
While some anxious folks shut down, this person might actually be the one reaching out to you, possibly to vent about their stress or talk about whateverâs weighing heavy on their mind.
If thatâs the case, let them know youâre down to listen, Alex Ly, AMFT, a registered associate marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle. Assuring them youâre a safe person to reach out will help them feel less alone.
How Do You Help Someone Having An Anxiety Attack Over The Phone
If you want to help someone having an anxiety attack over the phone, do remind them their attack is just temporary and will pass.Also, remind them they are not obligated to stay where they are. Encourage them to breathe and if possible, try to breathe with them.Have a conversation with them but without asking too many questions, try to ask them to describe the place where they are with details and describe what they see.
Why Is This Blog About What To Say To Someone Having A Panic Attack Over Text Important
As discussed, what we say to someone that is having a panic attack over a text message it is not easy but can make a huge difference.
The most important thing to remember is to make sure you let them know you are there, avoid panicking, getting angry and any judgments or criticisms since it is not helpful at all.
In addition, advise your loved one to get additional professional help if they are feeling too overwhelmed during their attacks, or if they feel they have lost control over their emotions leading them to depression or feeling sad all the time.
Please feel free to comment in the comments section.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
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Dont Say: I Know What You Mean I Had A Panic Attack When I Saw Seattle Rent Prices
Panicking about the absurd cost of that tiny studio apartment makes sense because you need a roof over your head and cant magically increase your salary. Panicking about taking a bus because youre afraid of having a panic attack on said bus doesnt.
Theres a difference between the uncomfortable but rational anxiety we all get in stressful situations and the sometimes debilitating but illogical anxiety super anxious people like me get in situations that arent actually stressful or threatening.
People with anxiety disorders experience anxiety over things others wouldnt and with such intensity that it interferes with our ability to function and do things we enjoy. So unless you have a diagnosable anxiety disorder, comparing your anxiety to someone elses isnt helpful, and it can make us feel like youre minimizing our experiences.
Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Anxiety
Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories:
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Understand The Signs Of Anxiety
Anxiety can manifest in many different ways and levels of severity. But the symptoms or signs are often the same. While not an exhaustive list, the following physical symptoms, anxious thoughts, and behaviors are some of the most common.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Feelings of panic, fear, or nervousness
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
- All-or-nothing thinking
- A feeling of impending doom
- Difficulty concentrating
- Believing the worst will happen
- Problems falling or staying asleep
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Asking questions and providing information to your doctor or health care provider can improve your care. Talking with your doctor builds trust and leads to better results, quality, safety, and satisfaction. Visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website for tips at .
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What We Should Not Do
There are certain things we should avoid when helping someone having a panic attack over the phone.
For instance, you may feel compelled to tell them to calm down or relax but it is not as simple as saying it and there is a huge probability that their anxiety will only get worse.
Also, we may feel like we need to know why they are panicking by asking a lot of questions but they probably just know as much as you do at that moment.
In addition, you may have heard them once or many times over the phone and you may believe they are used to the panic attacks.
However, it doesnt matter if they are on their 30th panic attack, they are never used to it. Avoid saying things like Just handle it like last time or telling them to ignore it.
Moreover, be patient, and even if you are having a bad day or you are busy at the moment, dont act irritated or frustrated since they are in a vulnerable state looking for help and it seems like you are leaving them alone.
Also, avoid judging them or telling them they should go to therapy or look for help even if it is the case, try to do it as a recommendation instead and offer your support whatever their decision is.
Causes Of Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
Although the exact causes of panic attacks and panic disorder are unclear, the tendency to have panic attacks runs in families. There also appears to be a connection with major life transitions such as graduating from college and entering the workplace, getting married, or having a baby. Severe stress, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or job loss can also trigger panic attacks.
Panic attacks can also be caused by medical conditions and other physical causes. If youre suffering from symptoms of panic, its important to see a doctor to rule out the following possibilities:
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Dos And Donts Of Helping Someone With Anxiety
- It is challenging to love someone that lives with anxiety
- Some of the ways that friends/family try to help can make anxiety worse
- There are many dos and donts for those who have loved ones with anxiety
- Your support is going to be a big part of their recovery
- If you personally have never experienced an anxiety disorder, it is helpful to remember that the experience of living with anxiety is typically not what most people imagine
Use Exclamation Points & Emojis
Knowing that youve done everything you can to show the subtext of your intention can go a long way in relieving anxious feelings about being misinterpreted while you wait for a response.
No text is ever going to be perfect and you can’t know for a fact that the recipient will interpret your meaning correctly but you can try!
Using periods is out for most anything in text these days. Somehow, some way, people started to interpret periods as lacking emotion, compassion and any form of empathy at all.
We’ll get into what you can do about that way of thinking later, but to combat others thinking your text is sociopathic, use exclamation points!
Even grammar specialists are falling in line with this. They resisted for a while as the exclamation point used to only be reserved for earnestness, excitement or exclamation. Now, it is being used to show you’re not mad or a monster!
Combining the exclamation point with an emoji is the clincher you need to make your recipient realize that you come in peace.
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