Anxiety Attacks: The Signs and How to Help

Okay, so it's pretty easy to tell when YOU are having an anxiety attack. You know yourself pretty well and usually know the signs. However, it can be incredibly difficult to spot the signs in someone else. This skill can be useful for getting friends out of stressful or scary situations, especially if they don't realize they are showing symptoms. So, without further ado, here's a list of symptoms of an anxiety attack.

Symptoms of A Panic Attack
  • Quickening heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain 
  • Nausea 
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Numbness 
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) 
  • Fear of losing control 
  • Fidgeting
  • Constantly checking their phone
If someone you are with has stopped speaking entirely, this might also be a sign of a panic attack. This is usually how my panic attacks start.

What To Do If You Notice Someone Else's Panic Attack

Stay with the person and keep yourself as calm as possible. If you are freaking out, chances are they will start to panic even more. Keep calm. 

Ask if they have/need medicine. If they don't, ask what they need.

Go to a quieter place if you're in a room with a lot going on (a party, a meeting, etc.)

Be sure to ASK the person what they need. Don't just assume, as panic attacks can be different for different people. While counting backwards or going outside can help some people, it's not the same for everyone. Be sure to ask what they need from you, or if they need anything at all. They could just want to be left alone.

Speak to the person slowly and quietly. A loud voice can make some people feel even worse.

Avoid touching the person unless they ask you to. Physical contact can also stress people out sometimes.

Help them count to ten and back to one to help slow their breath. Ask if counting will help them calm down, and if they say yes, help them count to ten and backwards from ten to help slow their breath down.

I hope this helps!

Love, Hannah


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