Okay, so you have or love someone or deal with someone with anxiety. Have you ever heard of panic disorder?
Panic Disorder is defined as:
“Panic disorder is characterized by uncontrollable episodes of fear and its physical manifestations, such as heart palpitations, sweating, and dizziness. Worry about having a panic attack may bring about the additional stress of chronic anxiety.”
People with panic disorder have decided now or decided a long time ago that something scares them. A LOT. It’s a real thing, it’s not imagined. Anxiety, more clinically known as panic disorder is a diagnosed disorder and It may or may NOT make sense to you. You care for this person so try to understand and help them.
Good news… there are many things you can do to help someone with anxiety –
The best way to make that person feel safe includes:
here is a checklist –
DON’T tell them to just not think about it and that it will just go away.
DON’T just fuss or yell at them and threaten to leave if they don’t straighten up, this will not help it will only make them more panicky.
DON’T lecture them on how if they would just grow up or change that it wouldn’t matter so much to them – you are telling them to be like you and believe me, they would love to not have that issue – lecturing won’t help
DON’T tease them by engaging in the behavior and saying “look-see, no big deal!”
DON’T gossip about your loved one’s panic, it will hurt them
DO engage them, by holding a hand, touching as a distraction is an excellent way to help a panic episode pass… physical touch is particularly calming and can provide warmth and refuge – a long hug and cuddle is great in this situation
DO encourage them to exercise – walking or running as fast as you can until you are tired out can be a great way to get rid of panic
Do flip on an episode of a show on your tablet or TV, music or any other outside distraction. Focus their attention elsewhere
Do chew gum, or chocolate or candy, anything to engage that sensory system on the taste buds or some other sensory area that can help that person focus on something besides their fear
DO love them without judging. Many people have panic or anxiety and they don’t want it to be this way… listening without judgment and acceptance can cause that person to be more at ease around and deepen the relationship and you can be a refuge – it’s important. Mother Teresa says if you judge someone, you have no time to love them.
DO let them know you love them after the panic attack is over and that it’s okay and that you get it – even if you don’t
DO support the person and encourage them to do things that scare them within parameters and agree on a workaround for some panicky situations, plan ahead to have a better outcome
By the way – a weighted blanket can help with panic and anxiety – it creates the feeling of a long hug or swaddling (like for babies) and causes the pineal gland in the back of the brain to produce more serotonin which creates melatonin and is especially effective for sleeping better and relaxing. We all deal with the world better when we are well-rested.
Let a weighted blanket calm you or that person you love, and comfort and calm down, it works! Check this link for more info on anxiety and weighted blankets and how they can help http://www.mosaicweightedblankets.com/anxiety-disorder