How to Help Someone Having a Panic Attack Over Text?


  1. 1

    Grab the attacker by the shirt. Use both hands to grab the attacker by the shirt, at the center of the chest just below the collar or neckline. The most effective way to headbutt someone is to draw them into a whiplash motion. In order to accomplish this, you need to push and pull the attacker away by the shirt. Avoid grabbing the attacker behind the neck. Natural instinct is to grab the attacker behind the neck and draw the head down for a headbutt, but the problem with this is that the neck and shoulder muscles naturally tense when grabbed behind the neck, making it much more difficult to pull the person forward.

  2. 2 Push the attacker away. Use your full body weight to push forward into the attacker until their upper body leans back.
    • This movement causes the attacker to lose balance and causing their shoulders to disengage.
    • Since this movement is also likely to be unexpected, you will also have the element of surprise on your side.


  3. 3

    Quickly pull the attacker toward you. As soon as the attacker’s shoulders disengage, use your arms to pull the attacker back toward your head. With the shoulders disengaged in this manner, the attacker’s arms will naturally swing open, preventing them from using the arms to block the headbutt.

  4. 4 Swiftly strike with right or left of the crown of your head, if you use the middle chances are you might crack your head. As you draw the attacker toward you, bring your head down so that the top of your head meets with the attacker’s nose as their nose drops down.
    • Strike with the top of your head. Do not use your forehead.
    • The nose is a sensitive pressure point, and striking it with enough force will allow you to knock the other person out.


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What can you do to help someone having a panic attack?

  • Ask them if they are having a panic attack – They will be the best person to judge what is happening to them. If they have had an attack before then they may recognise the symptoms and know the best way to combat them. They might also have medication that you can give them.
  • Make them feel safe – Let them know that you are there to look after them and that you will help them if they want you to. This might include helping them move somewhere else that is more calming or where there are people who can help. Try to avoid telling them to calm down. While this is a natural thing to do everyone knows that it is both annoying and unhelpful. It is much better to show them that they are in a safe place and that you on hand to help them.
  • Help them with some breathing exercises – One of the most common symptoms of a panic attack is a shortness of breath, and it can prolong or worsen a panic attack. Breathe along with them and encourage them to deepen and slow their breathing at their own pace. Helping the person control their breathing is one of the best things you can do to help someone overcome a panic attack, and it will also help you remain calm. Panic attacks can be frightening for both sufferers and those around them, even more so if it is a friend or family member. Steady breathing techniques will help you both. Try to focus on inhaling slowly through your nose and then exhaling out of your mouth.
  • Stay with them if you can – You should try not to leave someone having a panic attack alone. Instead it is better to stay and reassure them that it will pass. If you need more help then phoning someone is probably best, unless it is an emergency.

How to help someone with a panic attack?

When you are witnessing an episode of an anxiety disorder in someone, you need to be aware of the fact that they are experiencing high levels of anxiety or fear and are unable to think with clarity. You can help by:

  • Continue to be with them and hold their attention.
  • Help them stay calm.
  • Talk to them in an easy-to-understand and concise way.
  • Don’t spring surprises. Ensure your actions are predictable.
  • If you are aware of their medication for panic attacks, get it for them.
  • Desist from making assumptions about their preferences. Ask them what they want.
  • Help them take deep breaths and slow it down by asking them to follow your example. Take long deep breaths to guide them. 
  • Count to 10 or 20 to help them focus.

What not to say to someone suffering from a panic disorder?

This is as important as what you should tell them, or maybe more. You should avoid anything that can worsen the situation. Here are some simple guidelines for don’ts.

Don’t say:

  • “Calm down.”
  • “Relax, take it easy.”
  • “It’s all your imagination.”
  • “You know that this is not real.”
  • “This is nothing, you will be fine.”
  • “There you go again”.
  • “Don’t be a drama queen/king.”
  • “I too suffer from panic attacks.”
  • “I also have an anxiety disorder.”
  • “You aren’t doing enough.”
  • “Think happy thoughts.”
  • “Don’t entertain negative thoughts.”
  • “You are just making this up.”
  •  “You’re blowing it out of proportion.”

You mustn’t trivialize their state, embarrass them, talk them down, or minimize their experience by bringing up yours. Your condescending behavior can worsen the situation by increasing their feeling of being isolated, helpless, and ashamed. 

This may make them not reach out to you for help the next time they have a similar episode. 

For a person suffering from panic attacks, too much positivity may not work well. It is more important to stay with them and reassure them with your presence and willingness to help in any way they want. 

How to know if someone is having a panic attack

Panic attacks, Rose says, are usually not overtly noticeable. Anxiety and fear are typically private feelings: You’re more likely to see someone leaving a situation because they feel anxious or are worried about panicking (as seen in Ted Lasso), rather than letting you be privy to the experience.

“Distraction can be really powerful in this instance.”

With that in mind, you should be careful not to assume a person you see experiencing distress is having a panic attack, Cooper says. Instead, ask them if they are okay, do they need help, and do they need you to call someone or an ambulance.

“If someone is having a panic attack in a public place, having everyone notice them might be their worst nightmare and make it worse,” Cooper says. “If the person has someone else with them, then I would suggest giving them some space.”

If they are on their own and say yes to your help, you could guide them to a safe and quiet place and then ease into simple conversation, like telling them about yourself or the weather.

“Distraction can be really powerful in this instance,” Cooper says.

Be explicit in your communication, Cooper says. For example, you can ask: “Why don’t we move over to this bench so you can catch your breath? Is it okay if I put my hand on your arm and we breathe together?”

Whether you’re helping a stranger or someone you’re close to, it’s important to remember that seeing someone having a panic attack may trigger some degree of panic in yourself, Cooper says. Notice your anxiety, tell yourself it will be okay, and work on your breathing.


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