What to Say to Someone Who’s Having a Panic Attack?

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Anxiety certainly cannot be categorized simply as a mental-illness because in today’s fast paced world anxiety has turned into an emotion. Yes, it really is an emotion which each one of us has felt at some point in our lives. But if a person is regularly challenged by anxiety, then it is identified as a mental disorder. Anxiety gives birth to unnecessary and unwanted fears and negative assumptions and if we allow it to take control over our instincts, our fear may go out of proportion leading to increased blood pressure, hypertension, panic attacks, sleep disorders et cetera. Notably various doctors state that “Panic Attack is a term that has come to be used very loosely for an anxious reaction”. But most of the time people do confuse between getting ‘Panicky’ and ‘Panic Attack’.  

So the question arises that what are panic attacks and how do they affect people? In theoretical terms, panic attacks are abrupt and extreme discomfort caused due to anxiousness and high palpitations. It affects the person by causing various other dilemmas like dizziness, chest pain, nausea, difficulty in breathing, extreme sweating, increase in heart and pulse rate.

Panic attacks cannot be timed or predicted as they can occur even during a calm state or tensed. According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 40 million people in America are affected by panic disorders and this number is ever increasing across the globe. Panic attacks are related to the person’s personal background and biological history or other external factors like environment, lifestyle, substance indulgences.

What is meant by external factor is that any incident, memory or event which perpetuates extreme stress or tension in a person can have a linkage as to why a person is experiencing panic attacks. It is because that particular happening is bringing out the worst fear out of that person and the latter is losing control as to how to keep calm and composed.

Panic attacks have certain impacts on the person and his behavior towards the society he thrives in.

Firstly, it gives rise to social anxiety in which people with panic disorder isolate themselves without indulging in any socialization or interaction with friends or even family because they fear that at any point they can get an attack and they will be ashamed in public due to the same.

Secondly, they try to reduce and restrict their thought process, ideas and feelings because they do not want any feeling to play a toss in aggravating their anxiety.

And lastly, people with the disorder feel wrong about their own situation to such an extent that they feel pity and trapped. Instead of possessing courage, they downgrade themselves because they lack support and face nothing but neglect, rejection and shame from the society in which they live and work.

What can we as a society do to provide help to people with panic disorders?

As fellow beings of this society it is relevant and urgent to open up about these issues like panic disorder, anxiety, depression so that anyone, our family member, friends or colleagues who is going through any such issue can at least feel comfortable enough to come up to us and vent it out. So, basically the thing is that as a society we need to be more accepting.

The person with panic disorder already carriers a baggage of low self-esteem due to all the shame that comes with mental illness so we should shun this whole perspective and provide full emotional and moral strength to the person so that they can go and seek proper therapy. Also, various medications and psychotherapy are available where people can speak about their emotional distress and in addition to it get proper remedies as to how to deal with the disorder.

What should people do?

Something which is of a great significance in here is the fact that we should always keep on working on ourselves. Like people with major anxiety issues or panic disorders should fetch a lot of ‘self’ time so that they can achieve ample moment to discover their present situation and mind space. Constant development of one’s inner self carries lots of boon as one learns to stay strong and calm even during hardest times of life.

Living with anxiety and panic disorder does not have to feel like a life sentence. One your anxiety is having a best toll on you, reflect on your inner strengths and do not hesitate to address this issue because a person alone can only keep himself mentally fit and vouch for a healthy well-being without falling prey to any kind of stigmas.  

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