Providing Help for Panic Attacks
Anxiety attacks or panic attacks can happen anywhere at anytime to someone near you. When providing help for panic attacks, it is critical that you realize what you are up against.
First you need to realize what a anxiety attack is all about. Sudden bursts of anxiety or extreme fear can trigger a panic attack. There are a few signs to watch out for. The person may go through heart palpitations, a feeling of their hearts being crushed, unable to breath, stomach upset, shivering, muscle contraction, profuse sweating, instability, feeling numb, acting crazy and disoriented.
Get immediate medical attention. You should immediately contact the nearest doctor for help with panic attacks especially if it is the first such attack for the person.
Recognize some of the symptoms since some may be the same as other medical problems. It may seem like asthma with their inability to breathe or it can seem like a heart problem with the chest pains and increased heartbeats. Communicate and ask the person to make sure it’s not some other existing problem. This is why getting professional help for panic attacks is a good idea.
As you wait for medical panic attack help to arrive, you can seek out the reason for the anxiety attack. If you know what triggered the attack, slowly remove the person from that situation. Never assume to know what the person requires. If the person has had it before, they will probably know precisely what action to take next, therefore ask them.
Don’t do anything suddenly. Move calmly as you help the person. Never try to hug them tightly or tie them down. Just keep them calm and make sure you don’t panic either. Communicate with the person telling them it will be alright but don’t assume that they are faking it or just laugh it off. The person’s anxiety is quite real to them and ignoring it is not a good idea and might even worsen the situation.
Assist the person to breathe slowly as they might be breathing real hard or trying to hold their breath as they are feeling breathless. Guiding them to breathe properly is a good way to bring them out of the attack as they begin to calm down.
You can show them how to breathe in slow simple steps. Tell them to breathe in and breathe out in three slow counts. Repeat this till the person is able to breath slowly on their own. You can offer them a paper bag to breathe into as inhaling back the carbon dioxide will enable the acid level in the blood to return to normal. However only offer the paper bag if it doesn’t frighten them.
Remain calmly beside the person until the episode subsides. You should not leave them unattended if they are having a hard time breathing on their own. They may seem agitated and disoriented but bear in mind that this is normal and quite soon they will appear normal again.
Remember that the anxiety attack is a real thing for the person and providing help for panic attacks is not an easy thing to do. You need to constantly tell them that a professional is coming to help them. Prevetn the person from doing anything that might endanger their life.