Anxiety Attack Help: How to Help without Harming

 

It could be a painful and shocking experience to see a loved one or a friend having a panic attack. Naturally, you would like to help this person that you care for, and end their suffering. But do you know exactly how to give anxiety attack help?

It is inherent in all of us to try to help and ease the suffering of those in pain, especially if they are close to us. However, if we do not understand what is happening, we would not know how to respond.

This raises the concern whether the kind of help we give to try to stop panic attacks or, at the very least, just to ease its impact, would not result in harming the very person we want to help.

Panic attacks often strike from out of the blue. Its sudden nature makes it very difficult to predict and prepare for. There will come a time when you are forced to act. But are you ready?

Knowing how to give the proper anxiety attack help would benefit a loved one or a friend and help keep them away from suffering further harm.

There have been reports of anxiety disorder victims being placed in more dangerous situations because the person trying to stop panic attacks did the wrong thing—like mistaking the symptoms for an asthma attack.

An asthmatic’s inhaler contains certain ingredients that are designed to increase heart rate. Forcing a person experiencing a panic attack to inhale this could have disastrous effects.

Then there are the reports of a man in his forties who was suffering from a real heart attack, but was not taken to a hospital as his friend mistook his symptoms to be those of the usual anxiety attack: “He’ll be fine after 10 minutes,” the friend thought.

It is thus, important to do the following in order to be able to give the proper anxiety attack help:

  1. Get information regarding panic attacks. By reading everything you can about panic disorders and the symptoms of panic attacks, you will gain an understanding of the needs of a victim.
  2. Take note of the age, health, and condition of the victim. If he is someone close to you, learn his health history. This will have a bearing on how you respond. Remember, symptoms of a panic attack resemble those of a heart attack. If your friend or relative’s body cannot handle racing heartbeats, shortness of breath, and chest palpitations, there could be a very big chance it could lead to an arrest. If it is the victim’s first panic attack, bring him to a hospital immediately. It may not be a panic attack. You have to err on the side of caution here.
  3. Learn relaxation and breathing techniques. This will come in handy when trying to stop panic attacks. You will have to tell the victim to follow your instructions in order for him to calm down and manage his attacks. Remember, stress and worry open the door to anxiety attacks; and the lack of oxygen due to short rapid breaths pave the way for an attack in full swing or other health problems.
  4. Discover the triggers. Lots of times the panic attack is tied to a certain activity or place. Knowing what these are will help you steer your loved one or friend away from it—avoiding a panic attack from worsening or occurring in the first place.
  5. Be supportive. This takes a lot of patience and understanding. But what you must understand is that a person experiencing a panic attack may be confused, dazed, and terrorized. It is life or death for them, so they may be extreme. You have to reassure them that they will be fine. Presence counts.

By knowing how to give anxiety attack help, you are doing a good deed and service to your loved one or friend. But always be mindful about going overboard in trying to stop panic attacks as you might end up harming the victim.

If you feel you are not sure about what the victim may be going through, then call emergency personnel. Getting help is never wrong.

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Dealing with Anticipatory Attacks

 

Having panic anxiety disorder leaves you predisposed to panic attacks that you do not know when or where the next anxiety attack will strike.

As if this was not bad enough, people with panic anxiety disorder may also experience changes in their behavior and sink into depression. These changes can last a month or more depending on the sufferer.

Studies have shown that depression and other behavioral changes are mostly driven by the fear of having another anxiety attack.

By anticipating a panic attack to hit, the person suffering from panic anxiety disorder would unwittingly be working himself to have anticipatory attacks.

Anticipatory attacks occur when the sufferer worries so much about having another panic attack that he gets so stressed that he triggers a real attack.

A cycle would then be established with the person afflicted with panic anxiety disorder firmly trapped in it.

A step towards breaking this cycle is to identify the real attack from the anticipatory one.

To do this, one has to understand the symptoms of a panic attack. A panic attack usually manifests itself through shortness of breath, chest pains, numbness and tingling sensations, among others.

Unfortunately for the panic anxiety disorder sufferer, these very manifestations are the same with those of a more serious medical condition, like a heart attack.

Since nobody wants to die, the thought of having a heart attack and dying very soon after would be very terrifying. No one can be blamed if they panicked when experiencing these symptoms.

Thus, the person with panic anxiety disorder, when having a panic attack, mistakes it for a heart attack. This serves to aggravate the panic attack, making it more intense and lasting longer.

The fear of dying may also be so strong that spending hours and hours worrying and stressing about having another attack leads to an anticipatory attack. This cycle can go on and on that the sufferer may become depressed.

There must be intervention in order for panic anxiety disorder sufferers to get relief from, and hopefully overcome panic attacks.

However, sufferers can help themselves, too. By simply understanding the role stress and fear play in producing panic attacks, they can control the occurrence of anticipatory attacks and drastically lower the frequency of real attacks.

Panic anxiety disorder sufferers need not feel confused and helpless. Understanding the real cause of panic attacks by reading everything they can about the topic, like self-help books and informative articles can go a long way in helping them overcome their disorder for good.

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