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Thread: My agoraphobia has returned

  1. #1
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    My agoraphobia has returned

    Hi, I am 31 and had suffered with agoraphobia for a number of years (after an illness) and then through self help managed to get it under control enough to lead an almost normal life (whatever that is!). However, I have just had my first child and during my pregnancy the panic attacks just took over - I found it so hard to control my breathing due to the weight gain etc, that it beat me. I am now finding myself back at square one and the minute I am left alone, I am in full blown panic - very depressing as I worked so hard to beat it in the past. Lack of sleep does not help, neither does the demands of a newborn baby - so I suppose I am not coping too badly considering. I get so down on myself! I have made my husband return to work and I am just facing it head on, but it is so hard. My hormones certainly do not help, nor the recovery of the birth itself (incredible really, as I had a home birth without any pain relief, and then found myself unable to be alone due to the panic!). I know that logic does not come into it, and I also know that I am building up the fear of the fear in my head - if I am out with my hubby, I am waiting for the moment he says he needs the toilet - in my head I am visualising making a fool of myself in the middle of a public place and the panic feelings are so intense...I know all of this, so why can I not let it wash over me and control it just like I have done in the past ? I know that the minute I accept it, and do not fight it, it loses its potency and ceases to control me. I have always had my limits, the tube, crowded shopping centres, even a bus....but these had never been part of my life prior to the panics, so did not seem as relevant as say motorway driving which I had always wanted to do, and did. How do I gain control again - I would love some advice from people who really, really understand how I am feeling. Hope to hear back.....

  2. #2
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    Congratulations on the baby!! I also fought with the agoraphobia for years got it under control and then fours year ago it came back, it did worsen once I had my now three year old daughter and in all honesty I am now receiving CBT as was unable to gain control like I did last time, but thats not to say you cant do it again.

    Start small steps and try to get some outside support with the baby, doing things on your own is probably the best way to start as you need some space to gain your independance again.

    I wish I had other pieces of advise to give you but this is a great place and I am sure others will follow with some great help

    Good luck and take care



    sue with 5


    scknight

  3. #3
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    I almost thought I was looking back on myself as I read your entry. I went through the fear of aloneness, compounded my periods of nasty palpitations (which I now attribute to plain old garden variety anxiety manifesting physically) after the birth of my two, and worsening anxiety with sleeplessness. I spoke of it openly to my GP, a family friend of my parents for many years. He said this was quite common, given the sudden and intense hormone swings, lack of sleep, etc. Joining a mommy play group helped me. Walking the babies out in a double stroller (close in age) to my inlaws for coffee helped. Had I known of CBT then, I know it would have helped. It does get much better, please know that. It passes. I had to try a few things before I landed on one which worked. For some reason...odd as it sounds...keeping up with the news/news events really distracted my anxiety...I orderd a subscription during that time to Wall Street Journal, and when babies were down napping, enjoyed a cup and some news, and the anxiety was distracted somewhat.
    Best to you! T

  4. #4
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    Congratulations on the birth of your baby[:P]. Being a parent is hard enough work without the problems you are experiencing[Sigh...]. Grab every bit of help and support you can from friends and family and try and get your rest if you can.

    You will get loads of support and encouragement on here so keep us informed as to how you are getting on.

    Love & Hugs from Sarah-Jane xxxx

  5. #5
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    Congratulations on the birth of your first baby and well done for having a home birth - that must show you how strong you can be.

    How old is your baby now?

    I know it might sound very obvious, but have you spoken to your Health Visitor or Midwife, if she is still visiting. They may be able to help.

    I'm no expert, but as you said, your hormones are probably not helping!

    It sounds like you know yourself, your limits, triggers etc, so maybe trying to focus on any small achievement each day (maybe even writing it down and putting it on your fridge to remind you) may help.

    Wishing you lots of love and a big cuddle for you you and your new baby.

    Keep updating us on how things are. You have found somewhere, where people have experienced all sorts of problems and will only be to glad to try and help and support you.

    with love

    Elaine XXXX

  6. #6
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    Have a little look at the thread by ambiance called 'the definative cure' we are sorta discussing this very thing (well mainly now discussing my agoraphobia lol).

    I tell you how I make a little start and that's by going out after dark with one of the kids just round the block - there is no-one to see you so you won't feel daft if you have to come back. I'm now so comfortable with this that we go much further and I am now working on them setting of just before or after me so that I am more on my own (not sure how practical this is with a new baby to look after).

    It starts with little baby steps and as you get more comfortable extend it. Like you I can just about get out if accompanied but don't always enjoy those trips much.

    Have you also thought about putting your name down on the NOPANIC CBT telephone course. You can link to their site from off here.

    Good luck hun and we are with you all the way (in spirit anyway).

    Love Piglet

    "Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?" said Piglet.
    "Supposing it didn't," said Pooh after careful thought.

  7. #7
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    NPHB

    You are definately not back at square one. At square on eyou didn't know what to do to help yourself and didn't understand what wa sgoing on.
    Now you do and by your post have demonstrated your knowledge. In order to start to overcome it all again, you follow your own guidance one small step at a time. Some days its just too hard, so don't be hard on yourself - do something pleasant and just move by that hour and try again later.

    **in my head I am visualising making a fool of myself in the middle of a public place ** Your thoughts and internal images are now perpetuating this so keep a track of them and start to change your habitual responses one thought at a time

    First Steps to overcoming Panic and Anxiety
    Lets try to keep our thoughts in perspective
    Mind Games
    obsessive thoughts & anxiety
    Still suffering this damn "suggestive" thing..
    How to CURE yourself ! The definitive guide here..


    Meg
    www.anxietymanagementltd.com

    Your anxiety is the human representation of the pictures that you paint using your many vivid colours of revolving and reoccurring thoughts.
    How big is your gallery ?



  8. #8
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    Sep 2005
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    I understand sweety because I thought I had a break from it and when my son was born, it all came back. Plus, his father left when my son was 3 weeks but you know what.........YOU CAN BEAT IT THIS TIME FOR GOOD. First, get your hands on that book (you can get it on the internet). It's called HOPE AND HELP FOR YOUR NERVES by Dr. Claire Weeks and believe and follow it 100%. It's when we pay so much friggen attention to THE SYMPTOMS, the wierd head, the stomach, the whatever, it all magnifies from there and any little stress brings it all on. The first thing you have to do is get it in your head that your symptoms are symptoms of anxiety and that your body is sensitized. Look at them like a boogy man........they feel awful but they never really do us in, do they??? Start dividing your symptoms from your reaction. It's called THOUGHT STOPPING...even if you feel **** 100% of the day, don't add to it. Say to yourself, I accept this, float through it and try to control your thoughts. The way to control your thoughts is to eat healthy. Stay away from sugar, white flour, caffeine, alcohol and it helps for you to think calmer thoughts so while you are feeling wierd and you will for awhile until your body desentizes again. You will get there and this time FOR GOOD. Let's not let these WIERD symptoms take over. I have finally accepted my symptoms after 13 years of suffering every single moment of the day. Imagine? No break and still no break but now my attitude has changed the last three months and even though I still feel really wierd because of 13 years of fear and anxiety programmed, as I continue to accept and keep my body calm, my body has no choice but to go back to normal again and so will yours if you follow this advice. YOU CAN DO IT..........and you will enjoy your life again.....BLESSINGS from someone who REALLY KNOWS how horrible you feel..........Enjoy your baby. You will enjoy your baby more when you feel even better..........and you will just FOLLOW THROUGH. ACCEPT ACCEPT ACCEPT that is key!! Good Luck.

    Elise Monte

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