How To Cure Panic Attacks Through Others
Now that you’re well on your way to overcoming panic attacks, make sure other people around you don’t reverse your progress by making sure they apply the following principles:
1. DON’T criticize. Sufferers of panic attacks have real physical symptoms. They are probably more critical of themselves than you are. Remember that negative comments can contribute to slowing down their progress by adding stress and making them feel guilty for their feelings.
2. D0 encourage rather than shame or embarrass them. They are already tackling a difficult situation, so positive support will pay off for everyone in the end.
3. DON'T induce guilt when the anxious person is unable to do certain things.
It is hard for them to deal with their limitations anyway, and adding guilt will only alienate you from the person you most want to help.
4. DON‘T express disappointment, anger, or frustration if a setback occurs. When trying to overcome a problem like this, every
effort is an accomplishment, with the potential for other, greater accomplishments in the future.
5. DO notice and compliment their efforts to conquer their fear, as well as their actual successes. Your affirmation will help build their confidence.
6. DO be empathic. Try to understand the problem from their point of view, They
don't need your pity, but your help, your encouragement, and your support.
7. DO be willing to accompany them on practice sessions if they ask you to. This means going along because you want to help, not because you feel obligated.
8. DO be quick to point out their positive qualities. Give them the same consideration you would want for yourself.
9. DO listen when they need to talk. It can be a great relief for them to share their distress. Also, listening becomes an opportunity to gently encourage their attempts
10. DO allow them to be in charge whenever you can. The ability to make decisions and take action is a real aid to self-confidence and helps them realize that control is possible.
11. DO avoid surprises. Let them know what is going to happen and when, so they can make plans to deal with any panic that may arise.
12. DO help them identify their successes. Change can be so gradual that improvements may go unnoticed and a sense of progress is very important.
13. DO work with them to identify family patterns, situations, or concerns that may contribute to the problem. Try to notice and improve any interactions between you
that are detrimental to their growth and independence.
14. DO be consistent. Recognize that there will probably be changes as they are better able to handle anxiety and stress. Try not to be threatened by the prospect of their increased self-confidence or potential changes in your relationship. Seek family therapy or marital counseling if necessary.
15. DO be patient! Maybe more than anything, it will help if your loved ones know that, when they finally overcome these attacks, you will be there for them.
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