Health & Medical Anxiety

Providing Help For Panic Attacks - How to Help Your Loved One Through a Debilitating Attack

You might have had the displeasure of going through an anxiety attack yourself.
You know the feeling of doom comes over you as it starts, and all you want is help for panic attacks.
You may feel like the world is ending.
Next the physical symptoms that are associated with anxiety attacks begin.
These symptoms include fast, shallow breathing, excessive sweating, and heart palpitations.
Many people what can be best described as a fight or flight response even though there is no valid reason for it.
If you have ever experienced anxiety attacks, you have the experience needed to help other panic attack sufferers get through an attack.
You don't have to be a psychologist to help since your empathy is usually as good as any measure of first aid.
In order to help, you have to know if the mental and physical symptoms indicate that an attack is underway.
Remember that some medical conditions like asthma, heart attacks, and sudden strokes can have similar symptoms.
This means that providing help for panic attacks will require that you determine if the person is really having an anxiety attack or something much more serious.
If you can determine that it really is a panic attack, ask your friend how you can help.
Most of the time the best way to help a person that's in the midst of an attack is to remove them the source of the distress.
Find out if he is on any medications and ask if he knows any of the techniques that help for panic attacks right away.
If your friend knows what to do, provide assistance.
Another effective way to calm the symptoms is to offers something that will provide a physical cooling effect.
If you are able to find a piece of cloth like a washcloth, soak it with cold water.
Place the cloth around the neck and face in order to cool the extremely warm feelings that are commonly experienced.
As you probably know from first hand experience, it won't help at all to dismiss the fear the person is feeling.
When a person is suffering from a panic attack, the feelings of impending doom are real and very tangible.
When these fears are simply dismissed, your friend won't be able to help but think about these fears even more.
Instead, talk to him in a gentle yet firm manner telling him "its okay" before coaching him on the breathing techniques that will provide help for panic attacks.
These techniques will calm him down and relax.
The best thing you can do as act as a calming presence by minimizing his stress levels.
Never dismiss the fearful feeling as nothing.
Another thing that's important to remember is that you shouldn't restrain your friend from doing whatever he needs to do at the moment unless he is harming himself or another person.
The idea is to convince him to stay still without ever holding, grabbing or restraining him.
This will do nothing but worsen the panic attack.
If he insists on moving around, suggest something like a brisk walk that will take his mind off the symptoms.
This will be helpful because it will pump blood into the system which can help calm the physical symptoms.
If the efforts the two of you are making make no difference 15 minutes or if the symptoms worsen, it's time to call for medical assistance.
However, since there are some conditions involved with such a radical move, it's best to get your friends consent before making a call.
Better yet, call one of his relatives for advice.
By learning how to provide help for panic attacks, you can make a difference.

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