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    VegetableLover
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    Recently I saw someone have a panic attack. It was pretty traumatic for me. She was screaming and crying not in a regular way (which makes sense…)  Now every time I see my friends crying weirdly or gasping and trying to catch their breath while crying my heart starts to race. I automatically think they are having a panic attack. Any ideas what I can do?

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    Chavy
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    This is such a good question!

    When that happens again and you see someone crying can you try to differentiate it between what you see now and what you saw before? Maybe try deep breathing and hold an object to ground yourself when your heart starts to race?

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    VegetableLover
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    In response to Chavy's post #12593:

    good idea! Thank you so much!

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    Chavy
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    In response to VegetableLover's post #12597:

    My pleasure!

    Hey Vegiie Lover,

    Watching someone lose control can be very traumatizing, for a number of reasons!

    It may be helpful ot process this somehow so it doesn’t get worse.

    If you find yourself getting worried there’s a helpful, basic grounding technique called 5-4-3-2-1 that can be super usuefel

    Also, learning the DBT mindfulness skills; specifically Observe & Describe can really help give you clarity as to what to do when you feel panicky.

    Recently I saw someone have a panic attack. It was pretty traumatic for me. She was screaming and crying not in a regular way (which makes sense…) Now every time I see my friends crying weirdly or gasping and trying to catch their breath while crying my heart starts to race. I automatically think they are having a panic attack. Any ideas what I can do?

     

    Hi VegetableLover,

    What a challenging experience!

    It seems like perhaps through the process of conditioning, your brain interprets anything that looks like panic as something threatening.

    The best thing you can do when your heart rate goes up is to recognize and label that what your are experiencing is a normal human experience. It’s called anxiety. You can say something like, “Here’s Mr. Anxiety again thinking there’s some kind of threat here.” Welcome him in. There’s nothing to actually do in terms of making him going away. He will go away all by himself if you let him do his thing.

    Of course as others have mentioned, you can do grounding exercises as a way to regulate the feeling, but not with the intention of doing them because something is very wrong, and the feeling needs to go away. You’re experiencing anxiety, and anxiety while uncomfortable, is absolutely normal to feel at times.

    Hope this helps!

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