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Thread: 2013 Agoraphobia Thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    2013 Agoraphobia Thread

    A few of us have been asking about an agoraphobia section, but for now, we thought wed start a thread discussing how agoraphobia has affected us, where we are now in beating it, and what steps we plan to take.

    Ill get the ball rolling. I have had agoraphobia since 2001, when I had my first panic attack on holiday in a restaurant. Not only did we have to leave the restaurant but they were just serving up our steaks, so we had to pay for a totally uneaten meal, which made me feel even worse!

    These days I manage to go place that are very important, such as the dentist at least twice a year. I manage this by taking a deep breath and giving myself a good talking to, but the relief when it is over is massive. Obviously my partner comes with me. I can also walk up the lane I live on with my partner but most of the time I insist on going very early in the morning when no one is about.

    Very occasionally, I will go somewhere, and it goes so well, I almost feel I am cured. However, often on the next outing I am back to square one, being very jittery and scared. Agoraphobia is quite strongly linked to social anxiety for me. If I knew I was not going to meet any people, I would be happy to go to a lot of places. But when I try to go out alone, even just round the side of my house to collect the post, I rush to get it over with and my head swims. Panic is not far away.

    I know I need to start walking in the wood where I live with my partner and dogs again as I did a few years ago. Unfortunately this is only possible at weekends as my partner works. I have it in my head that places will be extra busy at weekends so Im less likely to go. Sometimes I get the feeling I could go somewhere and I feel I just need to rush out the door. Any kind of hanging around before hand sets off my nerves again.

    Thats a little about me and my agoraphobia. Over to you
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  2. #2
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    Re: 2013 Agoraphobia Thread

    Rain
    I know you feel very strongly about this subject and good for you for starting the ball rolling.
    I strongly believe the anticipation that builds up in one's mind before venturing out is mainly the cause .it doesn't matter if it is just a few yards from your home or something much more challenging.
    We use our partners (were applicable) as a crutch but even that doesn't always help.
    It is sole destroying and restricts the quality of life to an enormous extent.
    Like you I define this differently to a specific phobia, for example I can often go into a familiar restaurant where I feel comfortable yet return a second time and can't even go through the door.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2012
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    Re: 2013 Agoraphobia Thread

    Love the idea about us all supporting each other to achieve our goals in overcoming our agoraphobia. I have been agoraphobic for 34 years. I was doing really well last year but have had a big setback the last couple of months. I am now working to getting out more with the dog at the moment with the aim of starting to go out on my own again and going back into the local shop.

  4. #4
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    Re: 2013 Agoraphobia Thread

    Great thread Rain

    My agoraphobia built up slowly over a period of about 2 years. My world gradually became smaller and smaller until I was using 2mg diazepam just to get out of the door every morning. The further away from home I got, the worse I became.

    I crashed & burned just over a year ago and never left the house for nearly 2 months. I was even scared of being home alone. I know I am not as bad as some, but I also know how debilitating ag can be. And relying on a 'safe person' to accompany you out all the time is not ideal when you have always been so independent in the past.

    I have made some progress with CBT & meds but I know my limits and have to know my 'escape' route before I venture out. And the planning....such a pain!!

    Lets hope we can all support and encourage eachother in the right direction. This is no way to live...like prisoners in our comfort zones.

    Love to all, keep pushing the boundaries Kitti
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  5. #5
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    Mar 2012
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    Re: 2013 Agoraphobia Thread

    Thanks for starting a much needed thread Rain... Hi all.

    I suffered first panic attack about 7 years ago on the motorway!!! We used to travel all over the country before that. Like Kittikat my world shrank dramatically until I did not want to leave my home-town, then did not want to go too far from my home and then could not even get down my street. I take prozac and lyrica (just started the latter) to help with the panicky feelings.

    My first goal is to be able to walk our dog instead of hubby doing it. I can walk him round my street with hubby and next step is to walk him round my street without hubby and eventually go further.

    Agoraphobia is an awful thing to have - because it is so isolating by its very nature. I think it's a great idea to be able to support others and receive support whilst tackling this.
    Kittikat I am curious...can you get cbt for agoraphobia on the NHS?

    little wren x
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  6. #6
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    Re: 2013 Agoraphobia Thread

    Hi everyone,
    Hi Rain thanks for starting this thread hun.
    My agoraphobia started over 10 years ago when i was medically discharged from the navy. Over the years ive been up and down but my agoraphobia has gradually shrunk my world.
    I can go out of the house but not ver far and only in the car with my husband. I hate being home alone too. By foot i am useless and can barely go to the end of the street.
    I would like to be able to walk my dog too little wren, and i know rain would too, maybe this is something we can all help each other to do over the summer?
    Hugs to you all
    Stelly xxxx

  7. #7
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    Re: 2013 Agoraphobia Thread

    @ little wren....

    Kittikat I am curious...can you get cbt for agoraphobia on the NHS?

    Yes, I was referred by my GP to IAPT http://www.iapt.nhs.uk/ and had a brilliant therapist. I think it's a bit of a 'postcode lottery' in terms of waiting time. I was lucky, I was seen within about 8 weeks of being referred.

    Good luck Kitti
    __________________
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  8. #8
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    Re: 2013 Agoraphobia Thread

    Brilliant thread Rain

    I'll be back to post a little later, a wee bit strapped for time right now but I will be back

  9. #9
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    Re: 2013 Agoraphobia Thread

    strapped for time hahaha (private joke)

  10. #10
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    Re: 2013 Agoraphobia Thread

    I'm happy to see this here. Thought I might just add my 2 pence!

    After a 'normal' few years of travelling and being in pretty much good general mental health, at the start of this year out of the blue I had a huge panic attack again and then another and now over a month on and I'm scared to leave the house. I'm 28, 6 foot tall, pretty 'tough guy' etc and my elderly father of 71 has had to leave his house in Cornwall to come an stay with me while I try to recover. All my efforts to leave the house have failed but I know I need to stop this early before it takes over my life.
    I've seen so many stories on here of people who have been agoraphobic for years and years and that frightens me.

    This is a question I guess to people who have had this for over a year. What have you tried to get over it? Are you on meds? Have you had CBT or seen psychiartrists? Have you not woken up and thought ' I CANT DO THIS ANYMORE! IM GOING OUT!'
    I can't go another month like this but all I seem to see is people who have been agoraphobic for years and years!
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