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Thread: Agoraphobia- Housebound :(

  1. #1

    Unhappy Agoraphobia- Housebound :(

    Hey,
    I'm new here and really need some support.
    I've been suffering with panic attacks for a while now but over the last 5 weeks I've been completely housebound because of my agoraphobia.
    Ive been off work for 6 weeks and getting stuck in a bit of a rut. I know I need help but when i cant leave the house im kind of stuck on where to go.
    The doctor gave me Propranolol and I took that until it started making me feel really ill. Ive advised the doctor that it makes me ill and he just advised that I reduce my intake down to 2 per day.
    My issue with this is that it doesn't appear to be helping my anxiety or panic attacks at all.

    I had 1 counselling session at home and felt like the therapist was judging me and finding ways to trip me up. I didnt feel like she believed me and almost made me feel like I was Exaggerating. She almost washed her hands of me straight away and told me I need CBT. I'm open to trying that but i'm stuck at home. I've tried going to the bank which is 3 minutes from my house and I went really dizzy and felt really sick. My husband had to help me to the car and then I just cried all the way home. He then went out and I just sat and cried for a while.

    Anyway i'm rambling but wondered if anyone had any recommendations on what routes I should go down. Currently leaving the house is a no go. Can't even imagine walking the dog at the minute :(

    Thanks

    my4walls

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,649

    Re: Agoraphobia- Housebound :(

    In my experience you have to do a little bit at a time. Everyone day without fail. Try a bit further when you feel ready

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    , , United Kingdom.
    Posts
    1,664

    Re: Agoraphobia- Housebound :(

    Hi my4walls and to NMP.

    I feel for you, I am in the same boat but tbh I have physical illness that also keeps me indoors. If you have nothing physical wrong I would suggest you do the baby steps. If you don't want neighbours to see you then go outside at night, pick a lampost that you are going to go to and walk slowly but only go there don't go any further. Do that for a few weeks until you are confortable with that and then pick something a little further away and walk there every day or night. Eventually you will be able to go a bit further and further every few weeks, even if you feel bad you know that you are not far from home. Don't push yourself though because that will cause more tension and anxiety. Take a mp3 player out with you with something that you like, music or relaxtion, Dr Claire Weekes teachings.....she'll go with you outside and can give you confidence.

    You know what I should take my own advice sometime!!

    You can also do CBT online, there is a link on this site.

    xBettyx
    __________________
    “Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?”
    “That is the only time a man can be brave,”
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    77

    Re: Agoraphobia- Housebound :(

    Hi,

    I also have agoraphobia, I've never actually been fully housebound but at one point I couldn't walk to the end of my drive without having a panic attack or feeling as if I would pass out.
    I also take propranolol but only one 10mg tablet in the morning, I find it takes the edge off the morning anxiety. I like propranolol because it doesn't take away the symptoms of panic it just slightly lowers them, I think the cure to agoraphobia, or at least in my case is learning to deal with the symptoms not make them go away.
    It helps to try and learn what it is that you're actually afraid of, I'm afraid of people seeing me panic, I'm only truly comfortable with my husband seeing me have a panic attack. My other major fear is passing out.

    Exposure therapy really is the only way to cure agoraphobia. I've had panic attacks for three years and agoraphobia for ten months but with exposure therapy I've gone from not being able to walk to the end of my drive to going on long walks around my area with no panic at all! I still struggle with going to actual destinations, such as people's houses as it causes me to feel trapped as if I couldn't leave if I panicked and the fact that others would see that but I am working on that at the moment.

    The key with exposure is to do a little every single day without fail, even if it's just stepping out of your front door but you should really stand there until the panic passes and then you'll begin to realise that you felt terrible and frightened but it passed and you were fine.
    At the beginning I would plan my exposure trips at night so there was nobody around and that was very helpful and now I can happily go out during the day.

    You mentioned that you have a dog, I also have one and funnily enough she's helped me massively. When I walk her it seems to take my mind off what I'm doing as I'm out with a purpose.

    I still have a way to go and need to work on getting used to socialising again but I've made massive improvements in the last ten months and you will too even if it doesn't seem that way now.

    Make sure to remember your victories not just your failures and feel free to message me anytime, our stories seem very similar. X

  5. #5

    Re: Agoraphobia- Housebound :(

    Hi Betty

    I'm in the same boat perhaps as you. I've been agoraphobic for 40 years (now 60). I did have times of improvement, had a family, and managed to cope by riding a bike (which helped), and going out daily, and relying on my husband a lot too. Then got ME 14 years ago, and since then can't be independent as ME means I can't get out on my own. I can go out with my husband still, who is supportive, but I can't drive and have to use a wheelchair for more than an ocasional very short walk. I'm trying to work out how to progress with my agoraphobia when I can't be independent due to the physical disability...

    I hope I've posted this in the right place. Sorry if not. I'm still trying to learn how to use this forum.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    385

    Re: Agoraphobia- Housebound :(

    HI Betty,
    I am in almost the same boat you are, there are weeks I can't leave the house, when I do go, I go in the car with hubby and sit while he runs in the store and I have been able to go in a few times, but I am so drained when I come out, it's been about two weeks now since I have been able to leave the house as of today, perhaps start by going and just sitting outside, that is what I did and still do, then maybe walk back and forth outside and then down the drive a bit, and I can't believe that therapist did that to you, also just because someone is agoraphobic doesn't mean they can't leave the house, I have done a lot of research on this and it's the fear of being out in public and having a panic or anxiety attack or that something is going to happen, most, not all agoraphobics can leave the house sometimes, this is a horrible thing to have to deal with and I feel for you.
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