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KathyAtHome

Newbie Never Wants to Leave the House Anymore

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My name is Kathy. I'm 52 years old. I have depression and social anxiety, according to the psych. I see a therapist twice a month. I have only had two panic attacks in my lifetime, and they have been a long time ago. However, more and more I just don't want to leave my house. I freak out over the thought of having to go out and do ANYTHING. Can you have agoraphobia without panic attacks, but with just anxiety?

I'm on Welllbutrin XL and on Prozac. I take Valium occasionally, and have Ativan in case of panic, which I carry but never take. I also take Ambien to sleep. I've tried quitting the antidepressants but I get into such a fog my husband notices how withdrawn I become and gets me to take them again.

I'm worried how this isolation affects my family. It's gotten to the point, I absolutely dread the therapist visits, doctor visits, dentist appointments, mammograms, those times I HAVE to go out.

My fantasy is to live alone and never have to leave the house. Just me, my dog, my books, my computer.

My therapist says I have low ego strength and I need to build my ego strength but I don't know what that means. So I found your forum and it's nice to know I'm not alone.

Kathy ;)

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Kathy,

I honestly can't say what you have but I exhibit some similar issues like for example extreme isolation. I wish you luck, if you find anything helpful let me know.

;)

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Welcome Kathy

My fantasy is to live alone and never have to leave the house. Just me, my dog, my books, my computer.

I am getting to be like this. My husband is out of town for two weeks, and it is glorious because I work at home, and can stay home with my dog, my books, and my computer (and my Law&Order reruns). I've only left the house for one critical issue (ran out of coffee). I'm happy like this. I love my husband, but when he returns I will have to behave more normally, which I can, but don't want to. I have a good marriage, but I fantasize often about being alone, where my weirdness won't effect others.

I don't think I'm agoraphobic; or if I am, I'd say it would be the early stages of it. It's good that I have hubby for whom I strive to be more normal. It's frustrating, but also makes me get up and fight the desire to just fade away.

-- Bumble

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Absolutely yes, I experience that as well. And I know that relief, knowing you're not alone! This is very new to me, but very helpful.

I do not ever, ever leave the house without someone. If no one's available, I stay home, and am quite happy that way. Like you said, with the computer, the dog, and books. I was lucky enough to have a housemate who would cater to this and do all our grocery shopping and things I needed done...she's a sweetheart. When I'm away at school it's a scary thing actually to have my dog with me because that means I have to take her outside to pee. It's that bad.

To my understanding, exposure therapy is the only way to truly beat it. That being said, I'm still working on baby steps. For example, walking the dog one block one day and returning home no matter how good or bad I feel. The next day, add another block. And so on. I really, really hope we can get our lives back. ;)

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Hi Kathy,

I have agoraphobic tendencies as well. When I wake in the morning, I typically think of ways I can avoid going out during the day. I've had a problem with panic attacks in the past but I haven't had one in about a year. For me, the fear centers around interacting with other people. Perhaps that is why your therapist is suggesting low ego (ie: self esteem) as the problem.

There are a few "rules" I have for myself:

1: I HAVE to get out to take my son to school and other appointments. I try to make those things non-negotiable in my mind.

2: I MUST go to pdoc and tdoc appointments

3: I try to get out once a day, no matter how "trivial" (I'm talking picking up meds, here)

4: I make a list of things I LIKE to do (flea marketing, book shopping)

This stuff works about 5 days out of 7 when my son is in school. But my favorite part of the day is coming home and refusing to answer the phone, the door or make any further plans. Hope this helps.

Glad you found a place to share your worries,

Phoenix

Edited by Phoenix_Rising

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Couldn't a lot of this be the tendency to isolate that so often accompanies depression? I mean, I don't feel remotely like leaving the house when depressed, and will do whatever I can think of to avoid it. Yet I've never had a panic attack, and it's never ocurred to me, or to any pdoc/tdoc I've ever had, that it might be agoraphobia.

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I had agoraphobia without PD. Just a strong anxiety about being out of the house that would make me feel sick and distressed. Almost as soon as I decided that I wouldn't go out I would feel much better. If you think you might be getting this problem I would advise going out anyway, just for little things to start, no matter how traumatic it is. I learnt to manage it because I refused to be trapped at home. I had to learn how to deal with a lot of discomfort though. I still deal with it daily but it gets easier as your brain rewires itself back towards normal.

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