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How to Ground Someone Having a Panic Attack

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, about 3% of American adults struggle with a panic disorder each year. Women are also twice as likely to develop a panic disorder than men.

Is someone in your life struggling with a panic disorder and panic attacks?

This guide will help you learn how to ground someone having a panic attack. Keep reading to learn what you can do.

Symptoms to Look Out for

A panic disorder is characterized by recurring panic attacks. These attacks are best described as moments of intense fear.

There are many panic attack warning signs to look out for, including some of the most common physical signs. Many people experience dizziness, shortness of breath, a rapid heartbeat, and trembling during a panic attack.

A looming fear of death is another familiar feeling. Recurring panic attacks may lead someone to isolation and loneliness. At Solara Mental Health, you can receive specialized care for this debilitating disorder.

You Might Need to Get Help

While most panic attacks are short, some of them can last hours. One panic attack can lead to another.

If your loved one requires emergency assistance, immediately contact help. Panic attack symptoms are similar to heart attack symptoms. If your loved one is experiencing chest pain and hasn’t had a panic attack before, you should call 911.

A sign of worsening conditions can manifest itself if the pain moves to the shoulder or army during a panic attack. In the event of a worsening condition, a medical provider should be notified immediately.

Stay Calm Yourself

People with anxiety are experiencing very intense feelings and symptoms during a panic attack. One easy way to help ground them through that experience is to remain calm.

While you might feel scared yourself, showing that you’re afraid can worsen the person’s panic attack. Remaining steady by your loved one’s side can help them stay present and know that they can get through what they’re feeling.

It is one way to help control the environment around your friend or family member. They’ll feel protected knowing someone is there to hold them through this experience.

Talk Positively

Talking positively and gently is another way to help ground someone having a panic attack. Tell them that they are experiencing a panic attack. Recognizing what they’re feeling by name can relieve their fear.

Validate what they’re going through and offer positive statements. Tell them that what they’re experiencing will pass. Let them know that although it’s scary and uncomfortable, they can get through it.

Having a conversation with someone as they are having a panic attack can help keep them distracted from the more extreme feelings.

Provide Space if Needed

Anxiety and stress affect every person differently. One person with anxiety and experiencing a panic attack might feel comforted and grounded by having someone to talk to, and someone else might not.

Your friends or family members might feel better grounded by being given more space. The intensity of the panic attack might make talking too overwhelming.

Reassure your loved one that you’re available but give them the space they need to push through the panic attack themselves if that helps them best.

Ask How Else You Can Help

Remember that those who struggle with a panic disorder know themselves and what helps them cope best. If you know a friend or a loved one who struggles with panic attacks you can talk to them about what you can do to help.

Your loved one might have a hard time speaking to you in the middle of a panic attack, but you’ll know what you can do if you’ve had a conversation with them before.

During the attack, you should still ask your friend what you can do to help. What works today might not work tomorrow and it’s important to do everything you can to help them feel better.

Help Them With Some Grounding Techniques

There are different grounding methods you can try with your friend during their panic attack. These techniques can help them recenter themselves.

Four practical techniques:

  1. If they can move, ask your friend to sit down in a comfortable chair with their feet on the floor. This can help them regain control of their surroundings.
  2. You can also try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. This grounding method uses the five senses to help the person focus on other things in the room and not on their panic attack.
  3. Have your friend identity five things they can see, four they can touch, three things they can hear, two things they can smell, and one thing they can taste.
  4. Another grounding tool would be to remind them to remain calm and take slow and deep breaths in and out. Helping your loved one control their breathing is the best way to push through a panic attack. Have your friend copy this pattern so they can recenter themselves.

Continue to Provide Support

Friends offer emotional support when you need it. It is why they’re an essential part of life. It’s imperative to continue to support your friend as they learn to manage their panic disorder.

They might feel embarrassed about you having witnessed their panic attacks, but you should let them know that you’re there to support them fully. Check-in from time to time and learn the best ways to help them.

When your friend doesn’t have to worry about feeling embarrassed, there’s one less thing they have to feel stressed about. It can help them work through their panic disorder too.

How to Ground Someone Having a Panic Attack Explained

It’s vital to learn how to ground someone having a panic attack, especially if it’s your loved one struggling with panic disorder. You can help with grounding techniques and positive statements during a panic attack.

Contact Solara Mental Health if your loved one needs professional help to work through this disorder. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Starting Over After Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is one of the most physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging experiences a person can have. Coming out of a relationship in which this kind of abuse was prevalent requires patience, support, and time to heal. Often, moving on seems easier said than done. 

However, life, on the other side can be beyond rewarding, and starting over, while scary, can sometimes be the best thing. If you are starting over after domestic violence, here are some tips to reclaim your life. 

Establish Safety Protocols

Escaping from domestic violence is sometimes easier said than done. In some instances, the perpetrator will let you go and move on. In other cases, they will continue to pursue the relationship. 

The first step to moving on is establishing protocols to protect yourself. It might include alerting friends and family members to the change in your relationship status, filing any necessary protection orders, and navigating whatever resources are available to you to keep yourself safe. 

Find Support Wherever You Can

Some opt for therapy, while others find they do best in a group setting, like a support group. Still, others opt to talk to people in their lives or others who have been through similar experiences. 

Whatever works for you in terms of support, do it. There is no one way to move on with your life after escaping from domestic violence. Choose the option that best suits your situation and your life and commit to it. The emotional and mental trauma that can remain after domestic violence can be insidious, so support can help you to heal. 

Give Yourself Choices

Domestic violence is often based on control. Victims typically have few, if any, choices on just about anything. So, as much as you can, give yourself options. Learn how to think independently of your trauma. It will also help you learn more about what you want out of life and what you like. 

You may find delight in making even the smallest of choices, from what ice cream to eat at night to what shirt you want to wear in the morning. Celebrate the fact that you’ve reclaimed your life to the point where you can make decisions without fear of reprisal.  

Figure Out What Brings You Joy – And Do It

If you have lived through domestic violence, chances are your former partner did whatever they could to stand between you and joy. Therefore, moving on means reclaiming your happiness. That starts by finding out what brings you joy and doing it!

Perhaps before the relationship you had a hobby or wanted to try something new – but your partner prevented you from pursuing those dreams.

Everything and anything is on the table. 

Consider new ways to live your life out loud that you perhaps had not considered before and go for it. Moving on after such a traumatic experience means finding ways to bring yourself as much joy as you can find. 

Rebuild Relationships

Perpetrators of domestic violence often invest a great deal of time in isolating those that they victimize. You may be reluctant to pick back up on those relationships, but one of the best ways to move on with your life is to take back that power. 

If you were separated from your family members or friends, give them a call. Let them know as much or as little as you are comfortable sharing. Rebuilding relationships will provide you another outlet and also ensures that you have even more support as you move forward in your life.

You might be surprised to find how supportive they are when they find out more about your story. Don’t assume that the people in your life won’t be understanding; if they love you, they will be there for you. 

Set boundaries as you rebuild relationships and make it clear that you are healing. Ask for space to do that and avoid relationships that might represent setbacks or cause you to feel worse about yourself. Re-connecting is an integral part of moving forward and learning more about what you will or won’t tolerate from any relationship, romantic or otherwise. 

Cultivate a Positive Inner Voice

Chances are, while you were dealing with domestic violence, you either quieted your inner voice or suffered a great deal of negative self-talk. There is no greater time to change that than now. Moving on with your life means being much nicer to yourself.

Do all of the things you wished someone would do for you while you were in the relationship:

  • Compliment yourself in the mirror every day.
  • Wear your favorite clothing and tell yourself how pretty you look.
  • Congratulate yourself on how well you are doing.
  • Celebrate every single milestone, no matter how big or small.
  • Be kind and gentle with yourself.

The more you cultivate a positive inner voice, the more capable you will be in creating a life worth living.

Take it Slow

Healing is not a linear path, and you may find that it takes time to move on with your life after the trauma of domestic violence. While there is an entire life waiting for you, there is no need to rush into it. 

You have to learn to become comfortable with yourself again. It is especially true if you were in an abusive relationship for a lengthy period. It may be all you know, and it may take some time for you to learn how to live outside of that trauma again.

So, make a move today and contact one of our knowledgable professionals here at our Mental Health and Psychiatric Facility. We will be here waiting to assist you at Solara Mental Health Clinic