Picture this: You’re going about your normal routine, whether it be cleaning the bathroom, doing dinner or getting ready for work. Perhaps you’re packing for a trip or getting ready to grab the train. You’re calm. But then the next moment, you’re completely swallowed by a feeling of dread.
For those who have had the terrifying misfortune of experiencing panic attacks, these emotions are an all-too-familiar reality. And when one of these episodes happens, sometimes the responses from friends and loved ones can be more hurtful than helpful.
It can be frustrating and scary when someone you care about is navigating panic. However, there are ways to not be totally helpless during the situation. Below is a guide of behaviors and phrases you shouldn’t use with someone in the middle of a panic attack — and what to do instead.