I’m minding my business when the woman across the aisle from me becomes agitated. She begins to look around her seat for some sort of lost item. I thought she might of dropped a phone or a ring. She jumped up and became rather loud. The flight attendants were busy serving the second snacks, so they were busy and guy next to her had the deer in the headlights look, so he was of no use.
When she couldn’t find what she had lost, she got more vocal and she began to sweat purfusely. After seeing Ed do the same thing, I knew it was some sort of panic attack… Quietly I asks her, “Are you having anxiety?” I didn’t want to say panic attack for that to me sounds judgemental. She nodded, “Yes.” Quietly I said, “Breath. Breath deep and it will pass.” Again she nodded. “Deep breaths my friend. You’re safe. Let it pass.”
I’m hardly a therapist though I wish I played one on TV. Once it passed, she curled up into a ball and slept the last 43 minutes of the flight. I’ve sat in a hospital room with someone I cared about who suffered from serious anxiety issues. I doubt she even remembers, it doesn’t matter anymore. She’s onto bigger and better things, I can only hope… Panic attacks are no fun! This too will pass