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Help someone having a panic attack

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A panic attack is a sudden episode of deep fear that causes physical reactions when there is no actual danger. Some symptoms of a panic attack are feelings of losing control, sweating, palpitations, trembling, shortness of breath, chills, and hot flashes.

Here is how you can help someone experiencing a panic attack:

  1. Educate: The first thing to do is to educate yourself about what a panic attack is and its symptoms. This will help you recognize it.
  2. Stay Calm: You have to stay calm as the person having a panic attack won't be able to.
  3. Grounding techniques: Use grounding techniques to help them calm down. Eg: hold their hand or hug them(if they are okay with it), talk about a pleasant memory or place, etc.
  4. Count backward from 10: Slow their breathing down by asking them to count backward from 10 while breathing deeply.
  5. Positive Affirmations: Soothe them by repeating positive affirmations like "this will pass", "you have the capability of fighting this", etc.
  6. Guided imagery: Ask them to close their eyes and imagine a pleasant place. You can guide them during this activity by describing soothing imagery in a calm voice.
  7. Be gentle with them: Do not understate their distress by saying things like "just relax", or "don't worry, it's not that big of a deal". Be gentle and patient with them. Stay with them until the attack is over.

When having a panic attack, an individual is unable to express their needs. In a situation like this, you can help by knowing how to assist them!

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