Matt: So after a panic attack, what should I do at that point?
Ryan: So just helping them acknowledge that it’s over can be a really important first step. Because unfortunately for people with anxiety, there’s this constant sense of something to worry about or something to stress about.
So even if a panic attack ends, there could still be this anxious thought of, “Oh, no, but what if it happens again? Can I really stay and work? Can I really stay at this party? Or can I really stay in this person’s house? Maybe I need to leave.”
So just helping them validate the fact that — whatever that experience was for them, panic attack, anxiety, whatever it was — it has now passed. And now they are a little bit more stable.
And from that position, they can identify what their needs are. Then at that point, maybe they need to, as we said before, go for a walk, get a drink of water, do some mindfulness exercises to help them just reassert control over the situation.
But helping them recognize that it has resolved and then validating that it must have been a difficult experience for them is really important.