What should I do when someone is experiencing a panic attack?

It's all well and good having information of the condition, but what happens if you are faced with someone having a panic attack?

1. Preference - As mentioned in a previous post, it's a person's personal preference as to what they want when experiencing a panic attack. It may be useful to bring it up in conversation, what the person prefers when they are experiencing a panic attack.

2. Diaphragm - The best technique that I can advise is to breathe. When someone is having a panic attack give them the ability to breathe. By that I mean, show them how to breathe. There's a technique known as diaphragm breathing. You must breathe in for four seconds, hold for two, and breathe out for six. Get the person who is experiencing the panic attack to copy you.

3. Reassurance - When someone is experiencing a panic attack, some can feel the extremes such as the feeling that they are going to faint/die because of the lack of breathing and control. You need reassure the person that everything is okay and that they will be fine. This will help the person to calm down.

4. Do what they want! - When someone is having a panic attack, they can become disoriented, have feelings of sickness and be lightheaded. If they ask for something, such as a glass of water then go and get it for them. The person knows what they need to help them to resolve the situation.

5. Causes - Often there will be something that has triggered the panic attack, so the best thing to do is get them out of there if they haven't already done so themselves. For example, a panic attack may have occurred due to the person being in a crowded space. Therefore, the person needs to get outside of the venue, or away from the crowd.

These are a mixture of tips from personal experience, professionals and others. I hope that these help. Remember to stay calm and that the person will get through the panic attack. There are loads of other tips on the internet, if you feel you need more. It's always best to be prepared!

Amy x