Helping someone having Panic Attack Is Not Difficult At All

Helping someone having Panic Attack Is Not Difficult At All
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 26-03-2023

Explore your right therapist by answering the questions below.

For Individual
Get Started
For Dating Couples
Get Started
Get Started
For Married Couples
Get Started


Millions of people worldwide suffer from panic disorder, which means they experience repeated episodes of intense fear - called panic attacks. Overall, more than one in five people in their lifetimes experience a panic attack. Do you know what to do if you see someone experiencing one? If not, then do not worry. We are going to explain how to help someone who is having a panic attack so you are going to feel ready if you ever come across someone who needs help.

Panic disorder occurs when a person has recurrent panic attacks and fears of having another panic attack, losing control, having a heart attack, or going insane. A panic attack is a period of intense, often temporarily disabling, feeling of extreme fear or psychological distress, typically of sudden onset.

Such attacks begin unexpectedly and are highly distressing, rarely lasting for hours or minutes. Attacks are often followed by persistent concern about another panic attack, both because of the unpleasantness of the attack and because the person believes that, the severity of the anxiety could lead to physical or mental harm.

According to DSM-V-TR criteria for a panic attack:

A discreet period of intense fear or discomfort in which four (or more) of the following symptoms developed abruptly and peaked within 10 minutes.

13 Symptoms of a panic attack:

  1. Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  2. Sweating
  3. Trembling or shaking
  4. Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  5. A feeling of choking
  6. Chest pain or discomfort
  7. Nausea or abdominal distress
  8. Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  9. Feelings of unreality (derealisation) or being detached from oneself (depersonalization)
  10. Fear of losing control or going crazy
  11. Fear of dying
  12. Numbness or tingling sensations (paraesthesia)
  13. Chills or hot flushes

If someone you know has a panic attack, he or she may become very anxious and not think clearly. You can help the person by doing the following:

  • Keep calm and stay with the person.
  • Offer medicine if the person usually takes it during an attack.
  • Do not make assumptions about what the person needs. Ask.
  • Speak to the person in short, simple sentences.
  • Be predictable. Avoid surprises.
  • Help slowly the person breathing-by-breathing with him or her or by counting slowly to 10.
  • Do not panic when the person panics.
  • Remember that it is all right to be concerned and anxious.
  • Accept the current situation, but know that it will not last forever.
  • Remember to take care of yourself.

If panic attacks have a big impact on the work or home life of your friend, it is particularly important that a trained professional support them. Panic disorder is one of the most treatable mental health problems. A HopeQure online therapist can help you focus on calming strategies to better deal with panic attacks. There are experts who are certified mentally and assist people experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. Get the support you need and reach out today for online counselling

What type of Online Therapy are you looking for?

Layer 1


Seeking a one on one counselling service with a trained psychologist?

Get Started
Layer 1

Dating Couples

Seeking a couples therapist specialized in dealing with romantic relationships?

Get Started
Layer 1


Seeking counselling services for an individual or a parent of a child in the age range of 13-19.

Get Started
Layer 1

Married Couple

Seeking marriage counselling from a trained psychotherapist?

Get Started

Connect with an expert

  • Video Call
  • Messaging
  • Phone