It can be difficult to tell if the person next to you is experiencing a panic attack or an anxiety attack. But in both cases it is important that you offer your full support and that you encourage that person to seek help from a professional. Although if that person who suffers constant anxiety attacks is very close to you, you should also know that it is important that you learn to take care of yourself.
How to Help Someone Having a Panic Attack or Anxiety Crisis
When a person has a panic attack, it happens because their anxiety levels have skyrocketed and are above what they can handle. Panic attacks can appear suddenly, without warning. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms so that you can recognize when it happens and get an idea of what you can do to help your friend:
– Ask the person who has had a panic attack if they have had it before and how you can help them.
– Help him breathe as slowly and deeply as possible in this moment of crisis.
– Ask him to count down slowly from 100 until he begins to calm down.
– You will need to get comfortable to calm your mind (ideally, sit or lie down).
– Tell him that he is having a panic attack or anxiety attack and that it will go away.
– Call 112 or the emergency number in your country if you see that the person worsens with the symptoms.
How to help a person suffering from anxiety
If someone close to you has an anxiety disorder , then you need to first understand what anxiety is, so you can empathize with what they feel or suffer when they have an anxiety attack. Although if you really want to help a person who suffers from anxiety, do not miss the following tips:
– Be an open person who feels welcomed when he is by your side.
– Validate his experience, acknowledge his anxiety and make him understand that you understand that anxiety is not easy to control.
– Encourage him to seek professional help. You can accompany him to the family doctor so that he can know the support options that he can count on.
– Help him to reflect on the situation. Ask if there are other ways of looking at the situation that give her emotional comfort and calm. This way you will be challenging their thinking and at the same time you will be validating their anxiety.
– Encourage him to face his fears. People with anxiety can avoid some situations to avoid the dreaded anxiety. But you can also tell them how they can overcome their fears by facing it head-on and above all, give them your support while they do so. It is not easy for that person to face their fears, just as it is not easy for anyone to do so.
– Celebrate their success. If the person you know anxiously steps forward to face up to their fears, congratulate them and do something fun together. This way you will feel proud of yourself.
Think about you too
It is commendable of you to want to help another person who has anxiety and it is okay to do so. Although you should not forget yourself. Helping someone who is continually experiencing anxiety can be just as difficult as it is exhausting. For this reason, you should also think of yourself and establish clear limits on what you are or are not willing to do to help that person. For example, you can tell him that you will always help him when you are around but that if you are at work you will not be able to help him.
If by helping that person you start to feel low or discouraged, do things that you like or spend your time with people who give you positive energy. If you start to overwhelm you too because your friend feels too much anxiety and think you’re not able to help, then you need to talk with professional mental health to explain how you feel and what you should do better in that case.