top of page

How to Help Someone Having A Panic Attack

Written by Emily Santrac

What is a Panic Attack?

According to Mayo Clinic, a panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers several physical reactions with no real danger or apparent cause. They can be extremely frightening, and may cause the person having a panic attack to feel as though they are having a heart attack or are dying. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms in order to understand whether or not you or someone close to you is having a panic attack. Once we have a basic understanding of how to identify a panic attack, we can better help those experiencing an episode.


  • Rapid, pounding heart rate

  • Feeling of impending doom

  • Hot flashes

  • Nausea

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Chest pain

  • Headache

  • Detachment from reality

How to Help

It’s valuable to know how to help a person having a panic attack. Whether you know someone who frequently has panic attacks or not, it is necessary to know what to do when such a situation arises. First, remember that you are not a professional. The best thing to do is to be there for the person.

Things not to do: