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  • How to Support a Loved One Through a Panic Attack

    Do you have a friend or family member who regularly experiences panic attacks? If so, you may be looking for ways to recognize when these attacks are taking place and offer your support. We’ve got the answers you need below.

    How to Recognize a Panic Attack

    Even if you’ve experienced panic attacks yourself, it can be difficult to tell when someone around you is having one. Your loved one may be experiencing a panic attack if:

    • They’re flushed, sweating, or otherwise appear to be hot (for example, they might have taken off an outer layer of clothing).
    • They’re shivering or shaking.
    • They’re hyperventilating or having trouble breathing.
    • They suddenly went quiet.
    • They have a heart rate of over 100 bpm.
    • Tightness in the chest.

    How to Help Someone During a Panic Attack

    If you think that a friend or family member might be having a panic attack, it’s important to stay calm and treat them gently. You may want to:

    • Reassure them that they’re safe, the panic attack will be over soon, and you’ll stay with them in the meantime.
    • Place hands into a bowl of ice.
    • Slow the flow of adrenaline and cortisol by placing an ice pack on top of the head, on the forehead/around temples, and on the neck.
    • Place hands into a bowl of ice.
    • Color.
    • Guide them through breathing exercises.
    • Take them outside or open a window so they can get some fresh air.
    • Take them to a more private place.
    • Bring them a glass of water.

    If your loved one frequently has panic attacks, you may want to ask them when they’re feeling calmer about how they’d like to be supported in the future. Make a plan so they have a “go to list” when things start to spiral.

    Get Help With Your Loved One’s Panic Attacks

    We have extensive experience treating panic attacks, and we can supply you with tools and tips for how to support your loved one. Contact me today to schedule a free consultation.