what not to say to someone having a panic attack

“You’re overreacting,” or, “You’re being irrational.”

This is personally the worst for me. When I hear that, it just makes me mad because I know exactly what kind of reaction I’m having. Over or under, irrational or not, it doesn’t matter — because it’s happening. Your feelings are valid.

“You’re OK,” or, “Everything is OK.”

No, I’m not and it’s not. I’m having a panic attack. I’m just not OK, and you telling me I am doesn’t make it true.

“It’s nothing important,” or, “This isn’t a big deal.”

It is important to me, it is a big deal to me. Even if it is nothing, or it was triggered by something else, I’m still having a panic attack. This is important to acknowledge and understand if you want to help.