There is little in the field of mental health that quite resembles a panic attack. Powerful, sudden, and physical, panic attacks can be difficult to understand for someone that has not had one. That is why it is helpful for those married to someone that struggles with panic attacks to have an understanding of how to be a good partner, and how to help them with their recovery.
Tips for Helping a Partner with Panic Attacks
If someone you love struggles with panic attacks, there are ways that you can help. The following are some tips and strategies to help you care for your loved one:
- Recognize Their Experience – The symptoms of panic attacks may be caused by anxiety, but they are no less real. The rapid heartbeat, chest pains, feelings of faint are all caused by these anxiety symptoms. Make sure you recognize that their experience can be genuinely frightening, and is not simply “in their head.”
- Be An Ear – Panic attacks are often worse when they are “held in.” Let your partner know that you’re always there to listen if they want to talk to you about their panic, or if they are about to have an attack and what you to know what they’re feeling. Letting them talk to you is both supportive, and helps them distract themselves a little from their feelings.
- Offer Reassurance – Those with panic attacks may have fears that they will be judged or cast away because of these attacks. Let them know you’re still there for them, and be open to offering them the reassurance they may need to feel confident you’ll be there.
It’s also important to simply listen to what they say they need. They may find that they need you to do or say certain things in order for them to feel more confident that they can get through their panic. Your understanding and support will be one of your partner’s greatest strengths as they try to overcome their panic.
Dr. Leigh Randa | Panic Attack Therapist
I’m a Kansas City psychologist that also offers online/Telehealth services to in Missouri, California, and Iowa. I would love to talk to your partner about their panic attack symptoms, and start looking for ways to help control them.
If your partner has been struggling with panic attacks, and has been looking for someone to help, please consider contacting me today at 858.224.3767, visit my WeCounsel telehealth portal, or DrRanda@FriendlyPsychology.com.