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Tackling a person with panic disorder
Individuals who have recurring, constant attacks or who feel severe anxiety about having another attack are known to be suffering from panic disorder. Anyone who has ever suffered from a panic attack can authoritatively tell you that the experience is certainly no picnic (just imagine big ole elephant’s butt sitting comfortably on your chest – okay, it’s unimaginable!)
The common symptoms of a panic attack are:
Chest pain or discomfort
Nausea or abdominal aches
Heart Palpitations, racing heart beats or accelerated heart rate
Trembling or shaking
Shortness of breath
Feeling dizzy, light headedness or feeling faint
Feeling of unreality
Fear of death and dying
Fear of losing control or feeling like you are going bananas
Chills or hot flashes
You now know the symptoms synonymous with panic attacks, so how can you help someone with a panic disorder? There are several techniques you can be used to help people with this disorder, before you lend your help, you need one major ingredient and that is “Patience” – you must first understand that a panic disorder is not a light switch that can be turned on and off.
1) Get them to talk to you – This is perhaps the most difficult thing a person who suffers from an anxiety attack wants to “willingly” do. No one can resist a charmer (so be charming), because talking about ones issues can help them feel better. Make him or her understand that two heads are better than one – but do not be too pushy (apart from the fact that no one likes to be bullied into opening-up, being pushy is plain tacky!).
2) Do not laugh at them! – If you know someone with who suffers from a panic disorder, do not laugh if or when they tell you about their condition. An anxiety attack is not some kind of a joke; it is a serious issue and should be treated as such.
3) Encouragement – Another way of tackling a person with a panic disorder is to encourage them to see a doctor who can prescribe suitable medications that can help him or her relieve anxiety attack symptoms. There are several other techniques that are used in the treatment of anxiety attacks; psychotherapy is one effective method that has proven effective in the treatment of anxiety. But most people think that going to see a therapist automatically means that they are going “nuts”, but if they are encouraged to see a therapist by a good friend, they are likely to change their minds.
People who suffer from a panic disorder need love and support, they do not need you to make them feel bad by saying that they are just being silly - that is a comment that you must never utter in front of a person with an anxiety disorder. It takes a lot of patience to tackle a person who has suffered several times from panic attacks – good luck to you.