Anxiety has become more common around us than anyone could have imagined 7 years ago. And not just self-diagnosed anxiety, doctor diagnosed. Every third person around us is a victim of anxiety and for someone who may not have anxiety it is easy to panic when they see someone having a panic attack. If you don’t already know how to find symptoms of someone having anxiety let us walk you through the steps.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety generally is stress before something bad or big is about to happen. We all have faced anxiety at some point in our life. But there is a difference between general anxiety and anxiety disorder. There are different kinds of anxiety enlisted here. But whatever the type of disorder it may be there are a few things to look out for if you or someone around you is having a panic/anxiety attack.
Initially their heart rate increases rapidly, possibly along with their blood pressure. I have seen kids around me with anxiety attacks with a blood pressure of 165 and a pulse rate of 105. For people who don’t know what the normal pulse rate is 70-80 and normal blood pressure is between 114-120. Other symptoms include fast breathing. People who are having an anxiety/panic attack have trouble breathing during that time. They start fidgeting or get restless. A very common anxiety fidgeting movement is their leg. Because of the attack they can’t seem to concentrate on anything. Their body temperature starts increasing or decreasing immensely. A lesser severe symptom is that these people have trouble sleeping. They can’t control being worried about nothing and it disrupts their sleep cycle. Their muscles are tense, and they feel numb in their hands and/or feet.
If you feel like you tick mark all these problems or someone around you is visibly having these issues, please be encouraged to see a doctor. If you see someone, or even yourself having an anxiety attack follow these steps below:
A very essential first step is to regulate breathing. For someone around me having a panic attack, even on call, I have saved a gif on my phone to help the other person regulate their breathing. Save it somewhere you have quick access to.
Breathe with this, and if you’re helping someone out, breathing with them, so they too can breathe with you.
For someone having an anxiety attack it is important that they are grounded i.e. aware of their surroundings. The grounding technique involves 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. If you’re having an anxiety attack tell yourself or someone around you about 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, etc. If someone around you is having an anxiety attack, ask them these things in order. This usually brings them back to the present or the thing that they were worrying about.
Go to a happy place
This is a very effective technique for those who have an anxiety attack. In your mind build a room, or a place and call it your happy place. When you’re having an anxiety attack close your eyes and picture yourself there. A more common happy place is at the beach or spa, as these places are usually associated with vacations or relaxation. Build your happy place and picture yourself there when you’re having an anxiety attack. It calms the attack within quite a short amount of time.
Focus on an object
If going to the happy place doesn’t work then try focusing on an object. If someone around you is having an anxiety attack as them to pick or look at any object and describe it. From colour, shape, size, to the minutest of details within the object, list and describe them. The attack subsides similar to the happy place technique.
If your anxiety is getting out of hand, even though it should be last resort, you can take medication to calm it down. Usually medication of psychological disorders have more lasting side effects than help. And people usually get used to taking them so much it breaks their nerves down and they can’t function without their anxiety medicine. But if it’s getting out of control and worse each attack, then please see a doctor, and they will prescribe medication accordingly.
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