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Helping Someone Having a Panic Attack


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If someone calls you on the phone having a panic attack, what can you do to help? I have absolutely no experience with them... I'm a pretty calm person myself and never dealt with someone having one.

 

Also, if this person is traveling and getting on a plane for 8 hours... what tips could I give to help them through the plane ride?

 

I tried to calm him down, told him to try to take this trip one step at a time. Then I gave him a few small things to do (like putting the clothing in his suitcase and getting his passport and important paperwork in his backpack). He's going to call me back once he does those.

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Have them focus on their breathing....inhale, exhale...count to ten, or twenty if need be...slowly.

 

As for flying, sleeping pills! Or, if they have an Rx, anti-anxiety.

 

Would they sell sleeping pills in a large airport? He's leaving in an hour and no pharmacies are open... should I suggest this to him?

 

He used to see a psychiatrist for anxiety, but that was about 4 years ago and he didn't really keep it up. He doesn't have anything like that.

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Would they sell sleeping pills in a large airport? He's leaving in an hour and no pharmacies are open... should I suggest this to him?

 

He used to see a psychiatrist for anxiety, but that was about 4 years ago and he didn't really keep it up. He doesn't have anything like that.

 

I would imagine that a large airport would have some sort of sleeping pill or antihistamine. SO many people flip out before flying.

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I would imagine that a large airport would have some sort of sleeping pill or antihistamine. SO many people flip out before flying.

 

Okay. Thanks, yea he's really flipping out... I don't really know what to do, he has a lot of traveling ahead of him to get here, AND he's already worrying about his return trip.

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I used to burden people with my panic attacks all the time. The best thing was for them to tell me to take a few deep breaths and have them speak in a very calm manner. It made me realize that I was overreacting. If you can make them laugh, even better.

 

They should also avoid any caffeine. That always sets them off or makes them worse for me.

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Okay. Thanks, yea he's really flipping out... I don't really know what to do, he has a lot of traveling ahead of him to get here, AND he's already worrying about his return trip.

 

Eek, I understand. Maybe try Valerian root for the trip home... but since there's not much time, I say go for sleeping pills...even something like Benadryl or Nyquil...just to knock him out. It might not be the healthiest thing but sometimes you just have to do it and pass out. 8 hour flight...that's rough. I just flew back from England and had to completely sedate myself.

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Encourage them to breathe. Speak clearly (but not too loudly), and don't touch them unless they clearly indicate they want you to, like they attempt to touch you or ask specifically at the time. Reassure them, telling them that they are safe. Often you can prevent an episode by when you see someone becoming aroused talk about something trivial and distracting, keeping conversation flowing. Tranquilizers can help, but they have massive problems with dependency, so it depends how often you need to fly. Hope that helps

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