List of realistic ways to help someone

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The world is a ticking time bomb when you have a panic disorder.

According to beyondblue, up to 40 per cent of the Australian population will experience a panic attack at some time in their life, and it is estimated that women are more likely to suffer from an attack than men.

While 40 per cent may not sound like a significant number, you don’t want to be stuck in a situation with someone suffering from an attack and not know what to do.

But a handwritten, go-to guide on how to solve this problem is going viral for this exact reason.

Kelsey Darragh is someone who suffers from panic and anxiety disorder, and thus, came up with a list of “things” her boyfriend can do to help ease her when she’s feeling her worst.

A week after posting it on Twitter, it’s received over 7,800 re-tweets and 23,000 likes.

Her list includes “realistic” and calming solutions such as sharing some fun facts that will make her “smile or laugh”, taking her through breathing exercises, reminding her to take a few sips of water, and simply just giving her a “really, big, loose, long hug.”

But the most important thing she reinforces throughout the list is for her boyfriend to understand he has to remain calm, open-minded and reassuring, no matter how bad the situation.

Signs and symptoms

Panic attacks reach a peak within approximately 10 minutes and can last for up to half an hour, leaving you feeling exhausted and tired. They can occur anytime and anywhere, even when you’re sleeping.

Some of the common signs and symptoms of an attack include:

  • The sensation that you are dying, choking, ‘losing control’ or ‘going mad’
  • Increased heart rate
  • Excessive perspiration
  • A sense of overwhelming panic or fear
  • Dizziness, light-headedness or feeling faint
  • Enter ‘derealisation’ – a sense that you or the word around you is not real

Treatment

If you are experiencing symptoms of panic disorder, seeking professional help is the first step towards recovery. Psychological treatments are the first line of treatment, and in severe cases, your healthcare professional can prescribe you medication.

For more on this topic, these are the 7 things Jessica Sepel does to alleviate her anxiety. Plus, a GP explains how you can tell if you’re having a panic attack.

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