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There are places where I don't feel safe. I only feel safe at home, at the library, at my pdocs and at my group meetings. All other places I don't want to go because I dont feel 'safe'. Do you guys experience this too? A few weeks ago I wouldn't have been able to go out at all, but now I'm going to some places but still feel apprehensive. I actually got a haircut yesterday after putting it off for weeks. Is this feeling of dread in going to places common? Is it going to change? I don't have a tdoc just yet so I can't address this. My CBT group is going to address phobias in the next few weeks.

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I have trouble with safety. I'm sure lots of people have those feelings for lots of different reasons, but for me it's a PTSD thing. I think I really only feel safe at home (when I'm home alone, but during the day) and with pdoc (mostly). It sounds like with you, though, it's more of a fear that you're going to have some sort of MI episode, which is a little different. I'd guess that as you begin to get your MI under control, those feelings will become easier to manage.

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Carmex, do you experience panic attacks? If so than these feelings are part of having panic/anxiety issues. I have had this at times. It isn't the same as a specific phobia, because it is pretty much any place outside of your house. Most of the time I was able to get out of the house but at one point I was kind of housebound for a week. It sucked. I was afraid if I went to work something would make me upset and I'd break down in front of everyone. Sounds like you are just trying your best to avoid having symptoms and part of that is staying home.

Of course it isn't good for you and I will tell you it quickly can take over your life. You HAVE to force yourself to do things that are uncomfortable in order to protect yourself from becoming house bound. A group is a good thing to attend, but you NEED a therapist. This is the best way to handle this situation before it gets out of control. My therapist helped me get better about this and medication helped alot as well. But please find a therapist ASAP. Ask your psychiatrist for a recommendation.

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hey carmex, sweetie,

It's totally normal to have feelings of unsafety in places that aren't familiar, particularly as one of the hallmark symptoms of ptsd. I used to be the queen of this to the point that I was so scared of even being in my house in general and on really bad days hid in the closet with a big stick (incase someone was "coming to get me"). I hope it doesnt' ever get that bad again. And I'm taking proactive steps to make it better (to the point that I am working now... but I work in a hospital emergency room where there's a security guard and controlled entry.

Once a hippopotamus falls out of the sky in the middle of your life, it's hard to get past the expectation that random scary shit happens. Good for you for going out, even though you're apprehensive.

One of the quickest ways to work youself into agorophobia (and never leave the house again) is to put pressure on youself to go somewhere, get all worked up and scared about it, then take away the nervous/scared by deciding not to go. THat's some SERIOUS mental conditioning going on there... becayse you immediately take away the "fear of something bad happening" by deciding not to go. Inertia becomes the enemy. Continuing to challenge yourself to get out, even if it's for a short walk or to a coffee shop or sitting in a new section of the library or taking new ways home help battle the inertia.

Wishing you well.

Peace,

Woo

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Is this feeling of dread in going to places common? Is it going to change? I don't have a tdoc just yet so I can't address this.
I can get agoraphobic, pretty much like the others described. It starts out small and ends really big. What gets me back to functional is to desensitize myself to the stimulation of the situations I'm avoiding, e.g., grocery store, book store, anywhere there is people, really. I went through a really long spell recently that lasted for over a year. When I finally did get out, I felt really weird. My Mom was with me. I went to a department store with her to buy a trashcan. They weren't even really that busy, and I still felt like I was in an episode of The Twilight Zone. That was in June of this year. Now I'm pretty much back to going where ever the hell I need to or want to, and I'm glad. Agoraphobia takes a lot from a person.

I agree too that a tdoc would be ideal. Mine helped me a lot with this, and helps me from slipping back into it if I have too many bad days in a row. I can go down hill pretty fast, even now, so I have to watch myself.

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Yeah, the last year I lived in VA I nearly didn't leave the house because I was terrified that "something" would happen. I mean, I went to work or I went to the store (because no one was gonna do it for me) but I didn't go anywhere else. I didn't actually feel "safe" in either place because I worked in a convenience store for a while, and I subbed for a while (I was scare of school shootings). Then my safety net at home was jerked out from under me by my psycho ex... so for a while there I didn't feel safe anywhere. ;)

Anyway, my point is, I know exactly how you feel. I forced myself to go to work and to the store, and out and about upon occasion (like to the mall or to visit the few friends I had) because I was more afraid of becoming a recluse - or worse, a crazy cat lady - than I was of what might happen "out there." Does that make sense?

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The worst couple years of my mental illness, I lived in my favorite place in the world, Santa Fe. I left my house only to go to work, shop, or to AA meetings or doctors appts. It sucked, and I felt just like you. Other places=not safe. I met someone my last 6 months there who started getting me out of the house by sheer force of will, and I'll always thank him for that.

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