As with any mental health disorder, panic disorder should be approached with a degree of sensitivity. It’s difficult enough to deal with the sudden, unpredictable bouts of terror without someone telling you to “calm down” or that “it’s all in your head.”
If you know someone who has panic attacks, it’s a good idea to be as understanding as possible. Patience and compassion are important to making the anxious person feel supported and loved.
It can be difficult for a healthy person to understand just how disruptive anxiety can be to normal functioning in someone’s life. In some instances, an anxiety disorder can affect your ability to do your job, to socialize, or to leave your house.
A recent article on CNN examines the effects of panic disorder on a man who was once healthy and daring.
Once a scuba instructor, the man was surprised when he was diagnosed with panic disorder. Going about his day as usual, he was suddenly stricken with a panic attack while at the park. Like many people who are in the midst of a panic attack, he mistook his chest pains and difficulty breathing to be the signs of a heart attack.
Now that he has a better understanding of his condition, he has advice for people who are still struggling to cope with panic disorder. You can read about it at the link below.