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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
    Sweating
    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
    Feeling numb

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.