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Mental Health

‘A Long Hug Helps Me Feel Safe’: How to Comfort Someone With Panic Attacks, From a Woman Who Knows

It can be hard to figure out how to help someone having a panic attack, especially if you’ve never experienced one yourself. But thanks to a brave woman named Kelsey Darragh, it might be a little easier for you to do so now. Darragh, who has a panic disorder and anxiety, recently opened up on Twitter about the best ways for her boyfriend to come to her aid during those scary moments. It’s no wonder why her applause-worthy tweet is going viral.

For those unfamiliar with the term “panic attack,” it’s medically defined as a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Although it’s common for people to experience one or two of those scary situations throughout their lifetimes, folks like Darragh have a panic disorder, which is a condition that includes recurring, unexpected panic attacks and overwhelming fear about when the next attack will occur. Panic disorders affect 6 million adults in the United States, which is 2.7 percent of the total population. If your family member, spouse, or friend is part of that group, you should definitely take a look at Darragh’s list of “15 realistic things you can do to help me through a panic attack” below.

As you can see in the photos of the list, Darragh’s tips include important reminders like this one: “Breathing exercises are going to frustrate me but they are vital. Try and get me to sync my breathing with yours.” However, they also feature simple notes such as this: “Empathize with me! You may not get it, but you get me.” Other people who say they have anxiety back it up.

One person responded, “Thank you so much. I get anxiety attacks and it is paralyzing at times. This gave me some comfort and practical suggestions for my guy to use.”

Another person commented, “I’ve suffered from panic attacks for 24 years now. Your list is perfect. My Dad was my safe person, he had the knack to ask me questions that had nothing to do with what was happening right now. Really make me have to think. It worked for me.”

For those of us who want to help others with anxiety, it’s comforting to know that doing a wide variety of little things can really make a big difference for our loved ones. Be sure to pass this list on to anyone you know who you think might need it!

h/t PopSugar

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