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Unable to leave the house

11 posts in this topic

Posted

I am so scared of going outside (apart from the back garden). I have been told to take small steps but I can't even manage the first small step of getting out the front door. I had a bit of a break through a few days ago - I went for a ride in my parents car, they wanted me to get out for I walk but I went into a cold sweat and refused.

I understand that I have an irrational fear of going outside, I'm mainly worried that I wont be able to control myself and that I could end up dead.

Has anyone else felt phsycally unable to leave the house and if so did you ever overcome that?

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Posted

I understand that I have an irrational fear of going outside, I'm mainly worried that I wont be able to control myself and that I could end up dead.

Has anyone else felt phsycally unable to leave the house and if so did you ever overcome that?

Do you have a history of violence or violent suicide attempts?

How likely is it, in realistic terms, that you will hurt yourself or someone else?

Why is it you feel safe in the house (where you could still be violent) and not outside? What is different about being outside?

If there is a realistic risk, is there a way to minimize that in terms of where you go and who you go with?

I know that when you're having psychosis, thoughts become very compelling, and something that sounds irrational can feel very real. However the only way to beat it is to assess this as objectively as you can (maybe ask your parents t help you reality test?) and then test it out in safe, staged ways.

So stage one might be, stand by the front door for ten minutes. Stage two might be opening the door and standing in the door way. Stage three might be standing on the doorstep for one minute, then two, then three. You get the idea. The problem with avoiding doing this, or giving into anxiety is that it reinforces the fear, the more you stay i, the bigger the fear of leaving gets, the worse it feels when you do try, the more you avoid and eventually you become stuck. The only way is the exposure therapy way, which is frightening at first.

However there is nothing to say that a person who has violent thoughts will hurt themselves or anyone else if they leave the house. I have violent thoughts on an hourly basis and have done for years. I have no history or violence at all. No pdoc who ever assessed me thought I had that tendency. My fear of being violent is my minds way of telling me that I feel scared, out of my depth, out of control and alone. Those are normal human emotions that can be worked with, indeed I am working with them, and the violent thoughts have decreased.

I don't think you are violent person. You are a person with violent thoughts. Those are two very different things.

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Posted

The only thing that works for the agoraphobia with me is taking an ant-anxiety med before leaving my apt. Otherwise I'll be inside all the time. xanax works well, as does meclizine.

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Posted

I´ve never suffered from agoraphobia but I experienced a similar thing when I had panic attacks 10 years ago. I could leave my house, but everytime I had to take long trips, I would get really anxious. Another thing is that I worked next to a mall, that had many fast food places were I used to eat. For some reason, I could NOT, go in there because I was very scared and anxious. I am a fearful person, I am afraid of many things, airplanes, social situations, etc.

The only thing I can say, is that to overcome a fear you must face it. I used to dread, talking in front of people, and what I do is try to be around people as much as I can (although I hate it). The fist time was difficult, but once I realized I was able to do it, the second was easier and so on.

However before that, you must ask yourself or work with your tdoc, to find why exactly is that you don´t want to leave the house?. Then take small steps, small goals.

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Posted

i am like this, to a minor level , at times. today was a day like that. i did manage to get out and do a few errands but i almost lost it along the way and made a bee line home as soon as i could.

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Posted

Right now your home is your "safe zone", where you feel the least amount of anxiety. Agoraphobia is terrible - I suffered from it for 3 months before I decided to seek treatment. I know that right now you feel trapped in the house with this dreadful feeling that if you leave your safe zone something bad will happen. I can tell you from first hand experience that you can overcome this.

There are several ways to treat this. You can try exposure therapy, medication, meditation, breathing exercises or a combination of any of those methods.

When I was 1st diagnosed with Panic Disorder, which was about 18 years ago, I thought that I would never be able to travel or hang with friends, go to work or even venture out to my therapist's office. But now I come and go just like I did before I suffered from agoraphobia. I can't say what will work for you or how long it will take but you can overcome this. What works for me is a combination of medication (Xanax & Zoloft) and therapy. Honestly, for me anyway, once I started the medications I felt braver each day. I started out by just walking to the mailbox and back. Then I got the nerve to get in the car and go to visit friends. The next step was going on a mini vacation, about two hours away. I went with my parents and they helped me through the car ride by talking to me about nothing and everything and to my surprise we were at my destination and nothing bad happened. Oh, that was such a relief to me! I just knew something bad would happen and when I realized that I was okay it sort of stuck in my head that my fear was irrational. It was a slow process but I was finally able to resume a normal life.

Good luck and don't beat yourself up if you have to turn around and go home sometimes. Its not a setback, its part of the process. The more you venture out and the further you go, the braver you'll become.

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Posted

I tend to take a med before I try to leave. Have been doing well going to DR appts in the area only. Has anyone relapsed, and if so what do you do to overcome it again? Does the same thing work you used the first time?

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Posted

This happened to me, I nearly dropped out of HS because I missed 2+ months of school straight. I just couldn't go outside. I wish I knew about this site back then, I felt so insane... My therapist at the time told me to go stand near the door on day 1, then on the front porch day 2, then in the yard day 3, etc. I ended up not even following through with it and it felt stupid to me. Finally someone close to me (has to be someone you love and trust dearly) literally walked with me and drove me to school and anywhere I needed to go and held my hand as I panicked and cried and was there for me. It seemed to help a lot more than the therapists advice. My grandmother helped me to graduate.

So my advice, do you have someone who is willing to not back down, and gently force you out into the world and be there to comfort you but who will not let you go running back home? You need a strong solid rock of a person, who loves you very much.

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Posted

I am agoraphobic and have found that the best way to deal with it is: a)take meds and b) face it little by little. Try going to your front door and just standing in the open front door. Go for another car ride with your parents. Give yourself rewards when you do these things.

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Posted

Hello there :) I was the exacted same as you, could not leave the house. Was to scared that i would bump into someone i know, and that i would have to stand and talk. But i have been going to CBT and that has helped me a lot, i can now go out the door without panicking, :) and i have been able to stand and have small chat with people. What is a MASSIVE step for me. I think you should really try it out, if it can work for me it will for you. Good luck :)

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Posted

I was actually on disability for this very thing. It was like someone was holding a gun to my head. I couldn't even get the mail at the end of the hallway in my apartment building. When my roommate had someone over, I would lay in my room and panic and cry. It was very threatening. It took me a year of therapy and 13 pills a day to get out of my house. That was years ago. I am now off disability and still suffer from anxiety, but haven't been that bad in years. You can get over it. I wish you well. It is hard.

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