How to help someone that is having a panic attack
In the last post I talked about the effects of panic attacks, so that you could gain a better understand of them. In this post I´m are going to talk about how to help someone that is having a panicattack.
As I discussed in the last post, panic attacks often occur to anyone without warning. So whenever someone has an attack, it is important that you know what to do.
I also know from my last post, during an attack, a person may experience many different symptoms including and increased heartbeat or palpitation, chest pain, hyperventilation or shortness of breath and so on.
What can you do ?
If a person is experiencing an attack for the first time it is important to seek emergency medical help as quickly as possible.
You will want to identify the cause of the symptoms and rule out more life threatening conditions as soon as possible. Keep in mind that shortness of breath or hyperventilation may be a signal of asthma. Chest pain, raised heartbeat or palpitation and sweating may be a heart attack.
That is why it’s vital to speak to the person and confirm if the symptoms are caused by other medical conditions. Once doubtful, seek out a certified health care professional.
While waiting for help do your best to find the cause of attack. Once you have established the trigger or cause of the panic attack, then remove the person from it.
Don’t make an assumption about what the person needs. A person who is suffering from an attack may know exactly what to do or have medications which will get them through the attack, so it is best to ask.
Don’t surprise or startle the person having an attack. Be predictable with your movements. Don’t grab, hold or restrain them throughout the attack. stay calm and keep them as calm as possible.
Reassure the person that everything is going to be fine, but don’t dismiss their fear by saying “it’s all in your mind” or “don’t worry about it” or “you are overreacting.” Take note that the fear is very real to the victim, so it dismissing the fear has no effect and can even make the matter worse.
Help them to control their breathing. Many people breathe heavily throughout an attack; others hold their breath. using deep breathing technique is a very effective way to purge the symptoms of a panic attack in addition as calm the patient down.
Guide the person and tell them to breathe in for three slow counts. Then ask them to hold their breath for three slow counts and exhale for another three slow counts. do that several times till the person is calm.
You can also advice them to breathe into a paper bag. This way, they will re-breathe their carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide helps correct the blood acid level that had been disturbed by excessive breathing. But be careful when using paper bags since they may trigger another fear.
Stay with the person throughout their ordeal. Never leave a person especially if he is having difficulty in breathing. Be patient, they’ll maybe act rude or unfriendly, however bear in mind that it’s temporary and that they will return to normal as shortly as the attack is over.
Don’t forget that for the person, the thoughts and feeling are real. Reassure them that help is on the way. Never allow them to do things that will put their life at risk.
Make sure you look for my next post soon. I will be talking about some different ways that you can handle an anxiety attack.