I had a panic attack today. The Day Job is getting worse and has gone from something I really enjoyed to something I dread thanks to management changes, company downsizing etc... I don't really want to get into it. Regardless, it's put a huge amount of stress on me and in the last 6 months I've had 3 panic attacks. That's astronomical for me, especially since I'm on medication to keep them under control.
Thing is, people don't know how to react to someone having a panic attack. It freaks them out. I get it. It is an unsettling thing to see. Now I can't speak for everyone, but here's a helpful guide for when I have a panic attack.
In case of a panic attack:
1) Do not ask why I'm freaking out. My brain is a herd of rabid velociraptors on cocaine right now. Chances are I don't know why. Just accept that I am and move forward.
2) Find a cat.
3) If a cat can't be found, offer me some water. Hydration is important.
4) A cat would be nice.
5) Empathize. If you know how it feels to be in my shoes, tell me. It'll make me feel like less of a loser... Because, trust me, I feel like a loser right now. If you don't know how it feels, sympathize. Say something encouraging like "That looks like it sucks. Don't worry, I still like you."
6) Are you sure there aren't any cats nearby? Have you looked?
7) Yes I'm doing weird breathing exercises and probably tensing and relaxing my hands. Let me do this. It helps.
8) Cats have gone extinct and no one has told me, haven't they.
9) I'm probably crying some. Don't judge. Like I said, I already feel like a huge loser.
10) Okay, I'll settle for a dog.
11) Once the episode has passed I will be very tired and likely have a headache. Offering ibuprofen or something like it is appreciated.
This has been a public service announcement.