First Aid

First Aid for an Anxiety Attack

Anxiety attacks are unfortunate and common incidents that can happen anywhere. In these instances it’s important to be prepared to handle someone having an anxiety attack. Lack of treatment can cause serious trauma and lead the person to serious harm. Anxiety attacks differ greatly in severity, so the degree of first aid you’ll need to deliver varies on the severity of the attack.

1. Be Calm

You need to radiate a calming presence towards the person having an anxiety attack. They may feel like they’re in danger or in threat of dying, but neither of these is the case. If you start freaking out, it will only make things worse. So, even if someone else is acting a little crazy, need to be cool and collected presence. Act in charge and control, but not in an intimidating way. This will help reassure the person and get back in control.

2. The Paper Bag

Interestingly enough, this trick does seem to work. Have the person breath in an out of a paper bag. Their breath should inflate and deflate it as the exhale and inhale. Why this strategy works is still a mystery, though it probably has something to do with having control over breathing, and the rhythmic, steady movement of the bag.

3. Check for Problems

Sometimes, an anxiety attack is a symptom of some disease or disorder. If that’s the case the person may need medical assistance. Ask them if they know about any conditions that might have, such as asthma, which could combine with an anxiety attack to be potentially dangerous. Most anxiety attacks can be handles without medical professionals, but you should always err on the side of caution if you’re not sure whether help is needed.

4. Distraction

An anxiety attack is often caused by a fixation on a certain antagonistic issue that is bothering the victim. Try to get their mind of it and on to other things. Ask them unusual questions, tell them stories or jokes, whatever. Sometimes, doing some small task can help as well.

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