How To Help Someone With Anxiety And Panic Attacks?

Whenever anyone is feeling anxious, it becomes slightly difficult for the surrounding people to help in the right manner. Most of the people take the anxiety word lightly. Many people make fun of the people who suffer from anxiety. Ironically, these days ,anxiety is one of the  words used in memes. It is also mistakenly used in place of the word nervousness.

Anxiety can happen to anyone. It can be a child, teenager, adult, family member, colleague, friends or any stranger around the corner. Sometimes the severity of anxiety is visible, and it needs outside help. A severe anxiety has the chance of leading to a panic attack. People can ignore an anxious person but a panic attack is unavoidable. One may get confused to understand the person’s behavior. Most people often think of it as a heart attack or asthma. A panic attack can also be an unpredictable thing. For many people, it occurs in sleep. Waking up with a panic attack can be a more tension situation.

How to help someone with anxiety and panic attacks

With no knowledge of anxiety and panic, one may think of admitting the person immediately. How can you manage all by yourself , when admitting immediately is not possible?
Simple tips can help to stabilize the situation. Let’s check out the tips that can save the trouble:

1] Give water to the person

Make the person drink the water slowly. Since the heart beats are faster, the person will be trying hard to breathe. Drinking a gulp of water can lead to dry coughing. Thus, let the person drink water slowly. Water can help to normal the pressure levels. Keeping body hydrated helps to reduce the fever.

2] Breathe and Feel comfortable

Rub your hands on the person’s back in a slow massaging manner. This helps in calming down slowly. If the person wants to sleep on your lap, you can let them sleep on your lap and pat on their head slowly so that they can go back to sleep. Hug them smoothly and keep saying, “They are all right. The symptoms will go. The moment has passed. I am / We are with you. ”
The person with this attack needs emotional strength. Once they are self-secured that there are people taking care of them, they will feel better. These tips are possible with a family member or friends but may not always work out with a stranger. Ask the person to breathe slowly.  Inhale and exhale slowly with the counts.

3] Give Juice

If you have access to fruits or juice, then let them have a glass of juice. Before giving it to them, ask if they are allergic to it. Do not give any random juice without knowing whether it is suitable to them or not. You can give juice every few hours. This will help in boosting strength. The body stays hydrated and eventually the symptoms decline.

4] A Proper Food

You can give them a sandwich, salad, or cookies. Don’t give any caffeine products,oily or spicy food. Don’t forget to ask them whether they are allergic to any of those items. Additionally, raisins and fruits can be offered too. In-taking food  helps in increasing energy levels.

5] Ginger

If the person is having a nausea feeling, let them have slight bites of ginger. It will help in stopping nausea feeling and headache.

6] Keep Talking

Talk about anything but a good topic. You need to engage them in a conversation. This is much needed to divert their mind. Because the mind is trapped in darkness and body feels locked in with those waves of symptoms. If the person does not have enough energy to reply, then don’t insist on them to talk. When the person feels annoyed with your words, keep quiet. In case, the conversation does not annoy the person then you can continue talking. Just listening to you, can divert their mind for good.

7] Turn On Entertainment

Turn on any entertaining videos, series or movies for them. Let them sit and watch it while eating or drinking healthy item. Generally, this helps to relax the mood which in turn is helpful in getting rid of symptoms.  If they feel irritated to watch, turn it off.

8] Check on health issues

Some people have other health issues. Panic or anxiety can be a part of it. If the person can talk even a little bit, ask them about their medicines. Many people already take medicines for anxiety and panic triggers. Possibly, they might be taking medicines for other illness. It is always better to ask them about medicines and diet to help them with better solutions.

9] Social Comfortness

If you find the person often having social anxiety disorder. Accompany them and make them feel comfort always. Go out often and let them  interact with others. Remind them everything is normal and everyone loves them, there is nothing to worry about. Practicing this often can change the mind thoughts.

10] Home Alone

When no one is around the person during the attacks, it is the most difficult situation. If the person reaches out to you for help through a text or call. Speak to them properly. Keep talking on the call. Tell them, these symptoms are temporary. Make the person believe that he/she is a strong person. Remind them, you are there for them and you will reach to their place as soon as possible. Encourage them to have water, juice or eat something, watch entertainment and rest. Do not cut the call immediately. Talk with them on different topics and engage them in the conversation. If possible, make use of a new technology, the video calls. Video calls are much helpful in making the person feel better. When it is inconvenient for you to keep up with calls, then try texting. Even texting can help the person to better extent. When it is impossible for you to reach the place or to be on the calls and texts, ask someone else to do it for you. Contact someone who is common to both of you or closer to the suffering person. Try to provide help in whichever way possible.

11] Don’t say it.

Never ever say, “Oh, it’s just anxiety!” . “It’s just a panic attack! ” “It’s common , everyone gets it.” “Go and fix yourself !” “Stop being cranky and childish.”
Such discourteous  words affect the person’s emotions. The negative thoughts and rude behavior by others will only help in worsening the symptoms. You never know what all things a person suffers ! Some may be distress with different illness and hence, fighting altogether is not a easy peasy thing. If you can’t help and be rude then don’t say anything. Not saying rude things is also one of the helping tip.

Don’t bore them. Don’t tell them to count numbers, friends, colors  or objects. Don’t ask them to focus on your eyes or constantly look at something. They are already panicked which means they have lost concentration. Making them do boring things will be the last thing they would prefer to do.

You can keep track of such moments so that you can help the person in the future. It will be useful in taking precautions. You can insist on daily walking to them. You can also go out together on different outdoor activities which will engage the person in a positive aura. Walking, exercises and outdoor activities helps the person having a proper sleep. It also helps in leading healthy lifestyle which in turn produces healthy thoughts. People who can get along well with pets should try to have one with them. Having pets around helps to keep the mental health calmer.

These tips are pretty much helpful in stabilizing the situations. Sooner or later you can help the person consult the counselors/ psychologists/psychiatrist. A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) and medicines can reduce the triggers. As many people feel disabled to carry out a normal life because of this attacks, CBT and medicines surely helps to live a normal life back again.

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36 comments

  1. This is a great article, we need to talk about more about this topic. I discovered with 36 years olda that I’ve been experiencing anxiety my entire life, once I recognized it was better to handle it.

  2. I’ll keep these in mind. I can have anxiety at times, so I’ll have to try these out and see if it helps.

  3. I struggle with anxiety, but never to the extreme (usually). I always appreciate someone just being with me, not telling me to calm down or saying youll be okay… just be there with me for a bit

  4. I struggle with anxiety and the occasional dreaded panic attacks and they’re never fun. I’m lucky though to have people close by who get it and try to create a safe and comforting environment for myself.

  5. Lyosha Varezhkina says:

    I have suffered from paniced attacks: keep talking no matter what is a key to me. sound of voice of familiar person definitely helps get yourself together. I also find it important for any ‘touchy’ person to be a hug or any other physical moment but only if suffering person likes being touched

  6. swathiiyer says:

    These are great tips to help those who with anxiety and panic attacks. So important tips.

  7. A lot of my friends struggle with anxiety! I’m glad I read this so I can help them!

  8. It can be very unfortunate when someone who suffers a panic attack is home alone. Anyway, thanks for the recommendations. The idea of the right food and rubbing their backs smoothly.

  9. Thanks for all the great tips. Personally though, i wouldn’t want someone to start rubbing my back when I have anxiety. You are right that it might work for family members but not for strangers but for me, i wouldn’t even want that with people I know well except for my family or spouse. But I agree that focus on reminding the person to breathe through it is very helpful and important as so many of us hold our breath in when we are stressed. Great article! 🙂

  10. Have never encountered someone with anxiety problem or panic attack and even though we don’t see or consider that much of a problem but know i know better i case i encounter someone suffering from any of those.

    1. I’m willing to bet you actually know several people who struggle with anxiety. Until I started my blog no one in my extended family or group of friends knew I had it severely. In fact, many are still in denial because I hide it so well. A lot of people, like me, are embarrassed to let others know their struggles.

  11. This is such a great article, and one I think everyone needs to read. It is often scary to watch someone suffer a panic attack and to know what to do to help them.

  12. Thanks for the tips! These are helpful especially nowadays when panic attacks are common.

  13. Someone close to me suffers from anxiety and i have to say that it shouldn’t be taken lightly. These are very good bits of advice so thank you for sharing!

  14. Eileen M Loya says:

    I do suffer from anxiety and my biggest issue is finding someone to talk to. Sometimes when I tell my spouse, he’d dismiss it as “maybe your blood sugar is high again.” No. It is not my diabetes. I try my best to “self-soothe” and so far it is working. I distract myself by watching funny videos on youtube.

    1. Ahh yes, sometimes people may confuse it with something else. Thank you for sharing about you 🧡

  15. Good tips on what kinds of food not to give! I know someone who has been having panic attacks and he keeps thinking it’s a heart attack and goes to the hospital. They are serious!

  16. This is a great tip list! Anxiety can be so difficult to deal with and having friends around who understand how to help makes a huge difference.

  17. This is a very interesting read — really detailed article. In addition to the list, I believebprayer or positive declarations can help. Words are spirit and are life. By that’s just my opinion.

  18. Saying that ‘I am / We are with you.’ works really well. You have written a great tip list indeed.

  19. Great tips here. Anxiety is a major issue in our generation today. I hope many people get to read this post.

  20. Point 7 is effective.
    Point 11 is bonus or actually the foremost point.

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