1. “It will end.”
Whenever I have an attack, I immediately go into the mindset that this will never end, this is hell. During an attack, a second feels like an hour. The only words I can use to explain the feeling is like you’re going to die because your body is on overdrive trying to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. Any time I get sick, it reminds me of the dark place where I was before treatment, medication, and doctors — nowhere near a functioning state of life. It may seem awfully obvious to tell us that this specific anxiety attack is going to end, but sometimes you need that external reminder that yeah, this feeling will pass as it always does.
2. “You can get through this.”
When you get sick, it feels hopeless and never-ending. I have never felt strong enough to survive an attack without becoming depressed or even sicker after. In my first article with Thought Catalog, I mentioned the startling fact that every hour at least one person goes to the ER for a panic attack. This hellish place we’re in feels like we’re fighting a hopeless fight against ourselves and our own bodies. Believing in people can go a long way, telling the person you believe in them can go even farther. Knowing that someone else is there for us can often be the little bit of strength that we need to get through.
3. A reminder to breathe.
I normally forget to breathe, or breathe less when I’m having an anxiety attack. Usually good slow and steady breaths help get our bodies to make it through without passing or blacking out. It’s a good reminder that you’re in the moment and alive. It also lets me think that I can breathe and I am alive and that other people aren’t breathing and don’t get to live as long as a life as myself. Tell us this and our lungs will thank you.
4. “Do you need anything?”
Most of the time during an anxiety attack, people are often weak, dizzy, and sometimes become sick to their stomachs. Having a drink or protein bar usually helps. Pillows also are great to cling onto and the person may need medication. Simply asking someone if they need anything is more than a kind gesture — it’s helpful when we can’t control our own bodies enough to get what we need ourselves.
5. “You’re strong.”
Because today’s society taught me that anxiety is nothing and a wimp can get through it, I often feel my lowest when I have an attack. I sometimes feel stupid and weak for even feeling sick because “it’s just anxiety”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to give up and not fight this anymore, believing in a person can do more than you’ve ever dreamed of. Thank you for not letting us give up.
6. Offering a hand to hold or a hug.
You do not know the power of a hug or holding a hand until you’ve had this disorder. The simple act of human touch can mentally bring us into a safer place and help us by physically feeling that we’re not alone. It brings us into the here and now when we’re in a scary place. When having an attack alone my one wish is to have someone to hug or hold my hand. Thank you for being there with us.