More than 13% of the world population are prone to panic attacks. These can be very distressing and intensive. Here are a few tips on how to deal with them or help out someone else…

The Mental Health Foundation said that 13% of people have experienced a panic attack. If you know someone or you are around people who are known to suffer from panic attacks, it is a good thing to know what you can do in such cases.

A panic attack can last anything between 5 and 30 minutes. Signs of a panic attack include: fast breathing, sweating, elevated heart rate, shivering and feeling sick.

top-symptoms-of-panic-attacksKeep calm
If you see someone having a panic attack its a good idea to stay close to that person and provide comfort and say they will feel better soon. This will ease the person’s mental state and help the panic attack fade away faster.

Be reassuring
Panic attacks can be very distressing. It is often described like feeling your heart is about to explode or even that you are about to die. Make sure to reassure the person that this is not going to happen and it will be all over soon.

Take deep breaths
Make sure the person is breathing slowly and deeply. This will help to relax the mind and body.

Do not be dismissive
Do not say “don’t panic” as it will make things worse. You should also keep calm yourself and offer reassurance. Saying phrases such as “don’t panic” will just raise the tension, as the person keeps thinking about the attack they are having.

Make them feel or smell something
Yes, strangely enough studies show that smelling a strong scent such as that of coffee beans, flowers, etc can help you to calm down. A textured item such as a crumbled paper or rough wood surface can also help.

Ask what they need
Finally ask if they need anything. Offer a glass of water or to open a window for fresh air or even a light snack. Drinking caffeinated drinks or alcohol is strongly discouraged. In some cases if they are shivering you could offer to cover them with a light blanket.