Here's What You Can Do to Help Someone During a Panic Attack
Anxiety and panic disorders affect a huge number of people and their loved ones. Seeing someone you love have a panic attack can be almost as scary as actually having one, and it's often difficult to know what you can do to help, particularly if you've never experienced it yourself. One woman who knows this firsthand took to Twitter to share "15 realistic things you can do to help me through a panic attack", and unsurprisingly, it quickly went viral.
Kelsey Darragh shared the handwritten tips, explaining, "I have panic and anxiety disorder. My boyfriend does not . . . but wants to understand it so he can help me. So I made him this list! Feel Free to share w ur [sic] loved ones that need guidance!"
Responses to the tweet have expressed how helpful the list is, both for those who suffer from anxiety disorders and those who have loved ones that do.
Her tips include:
- Breathing exercises are going to frustrate me but they are vital, try and get me to sync my breathing with yours.
- Sips of water can be helpful but don't tell me I need to eat or drink because trust me, I feel like I'm going to vomit.
- Empathize with me! You may not get it, but you get me.
- Make gentle suggestions of things we could do together to distract my panic. Don't tell me what I need/should do, and listen when I say no to something.
- Once it passes (like hours later), open up a dialogue with me about it. How'd you do? What can we do next time?
You can read the full list by clicking on Kelsey's original tweet.