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Thread: Tips for managing agoraphobia/panic attacks

  1. #1

    Tips for managing agoraphobia/panic attacks

    Hi team, it's been a couple years since I've been on this forum but I'm dealing with a new fun symptom of panic/anxiety disorder - agoraphobia. So I thought to ask you all for advice

    Here's the situation I'm in. I'd appreciate any tips for dealing with this!

    About a year ago I quit a horrible job. I was bullied and exploited horrendously at this place, and it took a long time to recover and get back into a healthy (for me) mindset. I am in a job that's a million times better now, thankfully.

    But about 6 months after quitting I had to attend a meeting in the area of my old office. I had an enormous panic attack just walking in the direction of it. I was so scared I almost peed myself from fright. One of the worst attacks I've ever had. I had to leave the meeting half way through because I was so physically exhausted from the attack I couldn't function properly, even hours later.

    Now, another 6 months later, I learn today that I have to attend another meeting in the same area next week. Just opening Google Maps to search for directions to the venue made me start shaking and all the symptoms of panic start up again. I'm terrified that if I go to this part of town again I'll have another attack - and for my career this really won't be great as I need & want to go to this meeting and be functioning at my best.

    I'm not on meds. Any advice for coping techniques, what I should do the morning of the meeting, while on my way to the meeting, passing through the area, etc. would be much appreciated. My attacks are usually associated with situations, rather than places, so this is a new one for me. Yay!

    Thanks for any advice

  2. #2

    Re: Tips for managing agoraphobia/panic attacks

    I've had agoraphobia and related issues for years, which are similar to what you describe. I've searched for lots of ways to try to overcome them ,as they have very seriously affected my life. The closest I've come is after reading a book by Barry McDonagh, called Dare. It's a terrible title, but it is certainly the best book on panic I've read, and I've read quite a few. It's a bit like Claire Weekes' books, but far better. I am a sceptic, but the author is really good. It's the genuine article, no BS. I'd recommend it. It's free on Kindle. And no, I don't know him, and am not paid by him.

  3. #3

    Re: Tips for managing agoraphobia/panic attacks

    Hi I also suffer from agoraphobia. From what you describe is the typical anxiety merry go round, you have a panic attack in a certain situation, you then fear that situation again to have another panic attack so you avoid the situation.
    The only way to get over this is to not avoid it which is easier said than done i know ive been there. Is there anyway you can travel there and maybe sit outside before the meeting so the anxiety of just travelling there decreases. Once your ok with that can you speak to someone to explain your anxieties and see if you can go into the venue and look around? speak to the person running the meeting and explain if you can sit by an open window or by the door with a glass of water. Also explain that you may have to step out if all gets too much which will also relax you a little knowing that they know the circumstances.
    I think the worst anxiety provoking is the unknown.

    I also second the dare approach by Barry and has helped me in certain situations and makes sense. He doesnt talk about avoiding anything as that increases the anxiety but explains how to handle the situation your in in no complicated terms.

    If you avoid the meeting this can do more harm than good and teach yourself there really is something to be afraid of would increase the agoraphobia which i have also suffered from myself and talking from experience. Good luck you can do this and think how good you will feel afterwards if you go and manage to sit out the meeting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Re: Tips for managing agoraphobia/panic attacks

    With you all the way, I'm going through this too.

    Will you have time to do one or more 'practice' trips where you just go there, look at the place, maybe get out of the car then leave?

    As you don't have much time, you may need to have a few 'safety behaviours' eg water to sip, as mumsy suggested. It's whatever will work for you. I always carry Rescue Remedy and, if necessary, disappear off to the loo for a few drops. There are quite a few different Herbal remedies available that just take the edge off the anxiety which you could take beforehand.

    More difficult, but perhaps worth a thought, is to try to see this as an opportunity to progress in the job that you are now enjoying which will put that past experience further behind you. You said you need - and want - to go, don't let the panic creature stop you!
    __________________
    We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5

    Re: Tips for managing agoraphobia/panic attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy2twokiddies View Post
    Hi I also suffer from agoraphobia. From what you describe is the typical anxiety merry go round, you have a panic attack in a certain situation, you then fear that situation again to have another panic attack so you avoid the situation.
    The only way to get over this is to not avoid it which is easier said than done i know ive been there. Is there anyway you can travel there and maybe sit outside before the meeting so the anxiety of just travelling there decreases. Once your ok with that can you speak to someone to explain your anxieties and see if you can go into the venue and look around? speak to the person running the meeting and explain if you can sit by an open window or by the door with a glass of water. Also explain that you may have to step out if all gets too much which will also relax you a little knowing that they know the circumstances.
    I think the worst anxiety provoking is the unknown.

    I also second the dare approach by Barry and has helped me in certain situations and makes sense. He doesnt talk about avoiding anything as that increases the anxiety but explains how to handle the situation your in in no complicated terms.

    If you avoid the meeting this can do more harm than good and teach yourself there really is something to be afraid of would increase the agoraphobia which i have also suffered from myself and talking from experience. Good luck you can do this and think how good you will feel afterwards if you go and manage to sit out the meeting.
    Thanks a lot for that. It helps me.

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