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Thread: agoraphobia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    306

    agoraphobia

    Hi i'm julie,

    i've been suffering from agoraphobia of varying degrees for the last 20 years. at present i'm trying to claw my way back from a setback. i cant stay in the house alone, drive the car and no way able to go to large supermarkets or shopping centres. i've read a few articles and noticed that the only ones that say they have had real success are the ones who just face the fear. has anyone done this? the very thought terrifies me, does it mean just go for it no matter what or have some sort of plan? if anyone has any advice i would really appreciate it, im desperate to get better this year as im getting depressed for the first time ever and feel my life isnt worth living if its got to be like this all the time.
    thanks for taking the time to read this,

    ju

  2. #2
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    Apr 2003
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    Re: agoraphobia

    Julie

    This thread will be ideal for you ...

    http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=24387

    Loads of people helping each other on there.
    __________________
    Nicola

    “Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live.” - Natalie Babbitt

    Please help keep NMP running and donate to the running costs: http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/donate




  3. #3
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    Re: agoraphobia

    P.S. - yes the only cure is it to face it and do it and keep doing it over and over again
    __________________
    Nicola

    “Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live.” - Natalie Babbitt

    Please help keep NMP running and donate to the running costs: http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/donate




  4. #4
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    Re: agoraphobia

    Oops - just noticed that you already found it lol
    __________________
    Nicola

    “Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live.” - Natalie Babbitt

    Please help keep NMP running and donate to the running costs: http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/donate




  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    60

    Re: agoraphobia

    Hi Julie (sorry in advance for length of post)

    I also suffer from agoraphobia and have done for the past couple of years. I can leave the house with my fiance and go to the local shops but i cant travel any kind of distance more than a couple of miles from home and i cant bear to be anywhere that i have to 'stay' - visiting family, out for a meal, on a motorway, etc i always need to be able to get home asap if i feel the panic coming on...

    However i did start exposure work with a cpn last year and although i am going thru a very bad time just now where i am absolutely useless at pushing myself to do anything i just wanted to let u know my experience of exposure work was actually very helpful.

    When the cpn first told me we were going to travel somewhere i was terrified i spent the whole week with high levels of anxiety and desperately wanted to say i was not doing it. However i didnt, and when the day came just before we left she got me to write down what i expected to feel at various points along the way. Then we left...

    At 1st the anxiety was awful, i coulndt speak to her my stomach was churning heart racing i desperately wanted her to turn round, i asked her to and she said no she was going a bit further. I felt hysterical on the inside and couldnt talk or anything but she kept chatting away to me and somehow we got to our destination. I wanted to turn round and get home immediately but she said no we were going to have a quick walk there and talk about how i felt, somehow the anxiety did reduce and although i was still on edge i was not having a panic attack, i was there where i thought i wouldnt get too and i was ok (just)

    When we got home her words of encouragement of what i had achieved were so nice, and we looked at my chart to see that all the things i thought would happen to me especially the really bad things actually didnt happen at all. I proved that what i expected to happen and what i feared would happen, wouldnt.

    We arranged to go somewhere else the following week, on a motorway and into a busy shopping centre, 2 of my worst fears. This time i did have a panic attack on the motorway, yes i felt like sh*t and was crying begging her to turn the car round and get me home, but she kept telling me the anxiety would calm down the panic attack would stop, and after a while it did. I wont lie, i felt quite anxious all day BUT i did it, i stayed at the shopping centre for 2 hours with her and i was ok. I did learn that the panic could only get so high and then it HAD to calm down, it really wouldnt kill me or anything...

    Stuff happened after that which put me on a major set back and i stopped the exposure work but what my very long post is trying to say is exposure work does help, do it with someone u trust and understands, face the panic and see what will actually happen, yes u will feel like sh*t for a while but i promise u it passes u wont die nothing terrible will happen and u will prove the fears wrong. It will take a while for the anxiety to completely leave, if it ever does, but it can be manageable and facing the fears will prove that to you.

    Now i just need to take some of my own advice....

    Emma
    __________________


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    2,709

    Re: agoraphobia

    Julie, the only way to overcome agoraphobia is to face your fears and try and get out there. I have been on a mission to overcome it for a while now and the only way to do it is to utterly surrender to the panic and stay in situations you don't like. I can't say that I am completely cured but I do get out there now and the anxiety has become more manageable. The more you do it the easier it will become.

    Good luck, just start with small outings and build on them.

    Love Carol
    xxxx

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    306

    Re: agoraphobia

    thanks everyone, i know youre all right its just having the strength to do it at the moment. i am trying but im finding im being really irritable with everyone, i fell out with partner last night and said some really unkind things that are totally out of character for me then today ive upet my daughter and she's threatened to leave home. its hard trying to put everything into this and knowing its making me so anxious im horrid to people. i went to bed last night and cried for ages because i felt so mean. thanks for listening to me moan guys its so much easier to talk to people who understand than people saying they so but looking into their eyes you know different. i'm going to go for it this weekend and see what i can achieve. keep you posted

    ju xx

  8. #8

    Smile Re: agoraphobia

    Hi Julie,
    Yes you are right, people who try not to run from the fear, do progress more in my opinion, especially from my own experience. It took me 7 years to figure out that letting the panic wave over you, is the best thing to do. It is hard, but when you are faced with no choice, etc, etc. but to face it, hence being alone, partner away, it is truly amazing what happens when you let it take control of your body. It only lasts about a minute, the peak. It makes you realise alot. Running is the hardest bad habit to get rid of. Keep trying.
    Goodluck - Leesa

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