How You (and Your Coworkers) Can Deal When Someone Has an Anxiety Attack at Work

How You (and Your Coworkers) Can Deal When Someone Has an Anxiety Attack at Work

Hannah Ferrier experienced a debilitating anxiety attack on Below Deck Mediterranean.

By Marianne Garvey

Below Deck Mediterranean chief stew Hannah Ferrier experienced a debilitating anxiety attack on a recent episode of the show, and revealed it was her growing feelings for Conrad Empson, along with the the stress of working with the crew, and the lack of sleep while trying to juggle it all that contributed to her stress.

She thanked the fans who sent her words of support following the incident. "Thanks for the love and support Twitter world. Anxiety is not an easy thing to deal with made harder with cameras in your face. But that’s the job," she posted to Instagram. "I really appreciate the support."

Kasey Cohen tweeted her support, writing, "Anxiety is a real thing. It’s important to be patient with yourself, kind to yourself and look after yourself. Nothing is more important than your health."

Personal Space spoke to New York-based therapist Dr. Elizabeth Lasky about how to deal with anxiety like Hannah's at work. She says there’s a certain point where we need to pay attention because growing anxiety is harmful to our health — and job.

“We all feel anxious from time to time. It’s completely normal. But, when anxiety interrupts our activities of daily living, we may need to pay close attention to it,” Dr. Lasky says. “It was eye opening to see Hannah have a panic attack in such a public forum. Her vulnerability and honestly serve as a teaching moment for many.

“Anxiety is, of course, emotional and can also be physical. We see Hannah shaking, crying, and heaving. She is also emotionally distant from others. This is very common. Many people experience physical symptoms of anxiety from mild to extreme. These symptoms include heart palpitations, nausea, headaches, and trembling.”

Dr. Lasky says, like Hannah, many people have anxiety about relationships and deep attachments.

“For Hannah, her current relationship was causing her anxiety. This makes a lot of sense and is common,” she says, adding that Captain Sandy Yawn handled it amazingly well.

“She was extremely kind to Hannah and treated her with a lot of respect. I loved how she never pushed Hannah to get back to work and encouraged her to rest,” Dr. Lasky says.

“If you’re feeling anxious, try find ways to help yourself calm down,” she adds. “These actions will be different for everyone. Some people like to find someone to talk to, listen to music, or go on a walk. In some cases, medication may be used. Consult your doctor or find a good therapist if you feel you are having anxious symptoms that are concerning you. There is a lot of help out there.”

Try to understand. And, if you can't, then still don't dismiss their feelings. That just doesn’t work and only shows you don’t get it.

“If your loved one is anxious, simply ask them what they need from you. Do not tell them to ‘snap out of it.’ This is like telling someone who has a headache to simply ‘stop having a headache.’”

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