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Thread: Do I have Agoraphobia?

  1. #1

    Do I have Agoraphobia?

    Hi everyone! This is my first time posting in this forum. Just looking for some advice and to hear from other people with similar stories to me. I suffered with depression and anxiety about ten years ago and after medication and therapy I felt better and haven't had any major problems since. Then about six months ago I started to have panic attacks out of the blue. Initially it was when using transport, then if I was in a crowd and then finally I was having them going into work or going to the shop. I also developed severe IBS and was struggling to leave the house due to this. I've seen my doctor, was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder and started on medication and have also started therapy again. I have had to take some time off work and over the last few weeks I have been struggling to leave my house. I avoid going anywhere I don't have to and a few times I have attempted to go somewhere and had to come home as I just feel so panicked. I am suppose to be going on a holiday next week and the thought of having to go to an airport and get on a plane is making me physically sick. I am worried my anxiety has turned into agoraphobia and I'm not sure what to do next.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    , , Croatia.
    Posts
    1,345

    Re: Do I have Agoraphobia?

    Hello and welcome to the site!
    I've been having panic attacks for 16 years now, and I struggle with agoraphobia and leaving the house. I would suggest making baby steps and easing your way back into going outside by gradually exposing yourself to the outside world. Perhaps you could start small by just walking to the front door or taking a peek outside and progress from there. 'Exposure therapy' might be something you could look at.

    Despite medication and therapy, I still struggle myself, so I do know your plight, as do many other people on this site. I'm sure you'll find the NMP community helpful and friendly.

  3. #3

    Re: Do I have Agoraphobia?

    Hi Ana

    Thank you for your reply. It's very reassuring to know I am not the only person going through this. I'm sorry to hear you have been struggling for so long. Thank you for the advice I will definitely take it on board! Did you find the medication helped you at all? I started taking sertraline about 4 weeks ago and so far I don't feel it has improved my anxiety at all in fact it's probably made it worse. I know that's common at the start so I do plan to stick with it longer. I do think I need to start pushing myself to go out more and face the panic attacks instead of running away from them but it's so hard! :(

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    , , Croatia.
    Posts
    1,345

    Re: Do I have Agoraphobia?

    No problem. I'm always happy to help. I know how crippling this condition can be. I've had good times and very bad times, but one thing that's really helped is (talking) therapy. I understand how difficult it can be to force yourself to go out, but it really is the only way forward. Saying that, it's important to take little steps so that you don't put yourself off going out entirely.

    It might take up to 6 or so weeks for Sertaline to kick in properly, but if you don't feel any improvement, perhaps it's not the right medication for you. Different medication works for different people. I've found that the only medication that's actually worked it Rivotril, which is a benzo so it can't be taken for long periods of time. I'm currently on Venlafaxine and it's reduced the duration of my panic attacks, but other than that, it's not given me much of a relief. However, I've not been on it for long, so perhaps things will improve after a while.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    394

    Re: Do I have Agoraphobia?

    Yes you have agoraphobia, I have it to but mine is mild, I can leave the house, but I sit in the car while hubby goes into the store, and there are times where I can't leave the house for weeks at a time. I am not taking meds as I made the choice not to due to the side effects and such. It is frustrating because I used to be able to go into the store and go shopping by myself and take the bus to the library, I don't drive due to my anxiety.
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