I was interested in other people whose anxiety led to agoraphobia, giving their thoughts on this.

Because I feel like non-anxious people just go out. It's normal to get dressed and just go out! I can't do this. I feel rubbish so I fear the worst happening all the time. I'll picture myself driving there, having to find a park, having to go into the mall, having to walk around in the open, having to go into the store, by that time feeling anxious and unable to focus, then I will hurriedly look for what I came in for, all the while panicking, then I have to stand in a queue, and on and on this story goes in my head. When I do go out, to the mall, which I struggle the most with, I feel accomplished but exhausted.

And because I do all this mental gymnastics before even stepping out, I don't step out. Even in my rational brain I know I can't accurately predict the future.

People say they get anxious at the place but I usually start feeling anxious before I even go anywhere, just thinking about it makes me anxious. I've had periods where I went out consistently and didn't do all this pre-thinking so it definitely rears its ugly head when I've been housebound for more than a few weeks, again.

So my question is, does anyone else THINK obsessively about going out and that's what stops you? Does feeling anxious prior to go out stop you? I just feel like if I feel rubbish at home, I will feel ten times worse in the situation. Who else feels like this?

Today I am deliberating obsessively about driving 10 minutes up the road to the mall and buy a dress instead of buy it online because it's a waste of money if I hate it. But it's so much better for my well being if I go to the store. I tell myself "if you don't go, you don't grow" and "yes you probably will feel terrible because you have felt terrible every single other time" I go out HOPING not to panic, instead of accepting that I probably will and what matters is going through it, not resisting it- which is obviously VERY HARD.

What are your helpful thoughts you tell yourself when you've decided to beat this thing and go out?

Thanks for reading