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Am I becoming agoraphobic?


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A brief history on me...normally extremely outgoing, people-person, energetic etc. Last couple of years DID, depression, and PTSD have taken over my life though.

So the last two weeks I've been extremely isolated. I haven't worked for like a year but I was getting out of the house regularly, seeing friends...but since selling my car, I hardly ever see anyone besides my husband. As an extrovert, it's extremely draining to be alone...it sucks out my energy. Anyway yesterday my husband wanted me to walk to the bus stop and go to the store.

I thnk I got about 20 feet before a panic attack starts. The cars seem to driving by at 100mph, every noise seems loud and I feel frightened. I start crying and sit on the sidewalk, which makes me panic more as I HATE showing emotion in public, I felt completely humiliated yet totally unable to stop sobbing and practically yelling at my husband to please take me home, which he did.

In the past few months I've noticed a bt of social anxiety but have a hard time accepting it because I love being around people SO much, it just seems to be getting harder to handle it...mostly big areas or unfamiliar situations.

I have been dx'd with panic disorder. I'm currently w/o a psych, I'll get a new one during open enrollment next month. In the meantime, anyone with agoraphobia...is this at all what you experience? Is this something I can 'nip in the bud' before it balloons and if so how?

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I have agoraphobia.  For me it is very hard to leave my apartment, even to walk 30 seconds to the mailbox and back.  There is a lot of anxiety associated with leaving home.  Once I am outside I usually am "ok" to an extent, but that is only because of medication.  But even then I still get a little nervous.

 

Idk if you can 'nip it in the bud' before things get worse.  I guess it is always possible if you catch something (most things) right away.

 

Do you see a therapist?  (I know you don't have a pdoc but wondered about a therapist).

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I think it's a good idea to talk to someone about this. I didn't know what was going on with me but mine started with panic attacks when I left the house. These were of course followed by not wanting to leave the house because I was scared I would get one or lose control of my stomach while out or not be able to escape a situation. I can leave my house now I'm a little better but I can't go far. Some days are better than others. Knowing I have to leave the house and be somewhere causes days, weeks or months of agonizing worry and stress. I can't make appointments because I work myself up so much I can't make it to them. Even things where I know I can leave whenever I want, like going to the gym, cause anxiety (but not usually a full blown panic attack).

For me I don't want to see people. It's a source of stress. If I'm meeting up with someone then I don't feel I can just leave whenever I want.

I also find that the more I avoid going out, the worse I feel about having to go out when I finally do.

It's possible that what you had was a panic attack not related to agoraphobia but it's possible it's developing. Like I said, I think talking to a professional is a good idea. Leaving it just makes things worse.

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What I assume to be agoraphobia got a lot worse for me when my car died.  While it's never been formally diagnosed, if I don't leave the house and go places regularly, the idea of leaving my nest or "safe zone" causes anxiety.  Even when I go places like my parents' house, the house I grew up in, I start feeling the tug to get back home after a few hours.

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As a ten year, nonfunctional agoraphobic, let me give you a bit of advice: The longer you let this go on, the worse it will get. Go outside, do whatever you have to. Headphones and music work wonders to shut out the world, but whatever you need to do, do it.

Seriously. It gets worse the longer you wait, and no one will take you by the hand and pull you outside - you need to do it yourself, and very soon.

Edited by Bad Haiku
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As a ten year, nonfunctional agoraphobic, let me give you a bit of advice: The longer you let this go on, the worse it will get. Go outside, do whatever you have to. Headphones and music work wonders to shut out the world, but whatever you need to do, do it.

Seriously. It gets worse the longer you wait, and no one will take you by the hand and pull you outside - you need to do it yourself, and very soon.

 

This.  

 

Make yourself go places even if it's just a run to the store.  If you have no car, it's easy to let other people run your errands for you, but don't.  Borrow their car and do it yourself if that is in any way an option.   

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As a ten year, nonfunctional agoraphobic, let me give you a bit of advice: The longer you let this go on, the worse it will get. Go outside, do whatever you have to. Headphones and music work wonders to shut out the world, but whatever you need to do, do it.

Seriously. It gets worse the longer you wait, and no one will take you by the hand and pull you outside - you need to do it yourself, and very soon.

 

This.  

 

Make yourself go places even if it's just a run to the store.  If you have no car, it's easy to let other people run your errands for you, but don't.  Borrow their car and do it yourself if that is in any way an option.   

 

Yes, this! I am functional (barely) but it's taken years to get to where I am and where I am is a pretty sad place. But you have to keep pushing yourself. Every day. If I stay home even one day I'm fast heading back to square one.

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As a ten year, nonfunctional agoraphobic, let me give you a bit of advice: The longer you let this go on, the worse it will get. Go outside, do whatever you have to. Headphones and music work wonders to shut out the world, but whatever you need to do, do it.

Seriously. It gets worse the longer you wait, and no one will take you by the hand and pull you outside - you need to do it yourself, and very soon.

 

This.  

 

Make yourself go places even if it's just a run to the store.  If you have no car, it's easy to let other people run your errands for you, but don't.  Borrow their car and do it yourself if that is in any way an option.   

 

Very much agree.  You can start by going outside and taking walks.  Its a bitch to control after its run rampant for a while.

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I agree. Get out as soon as you can. It really is a bitch once you let it go too long. True story.

I've just started becoming agoraphobic a few months ago. I have a hell of a time leaving the bed even. Let alone going outside. Taking the trash out is hard. Driving is torture. I sweat and become panicky outside of the house. I can't force myself to leave the bed.

I, like you, am an extrovert and used to be such a people person. Being alone all the time is hard. I have no friends anymore because of the crazy. And I get no people time in besides my husband and my parents. I don't get to socialize. It's really messed with me.

Please take the advice of the lovely people here. Get out while you can and before it turns into pure living hell!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just wanted to thank everyone so much. It was crazy, like peering over the edge of a huge cliff...I used to think agoraphobia was so odd but I completely understand now how easy it can be to slip into. Getting out again was hard, I dealt with a lot of panic attacks, but I kept in mind what you guys said and I'm doing much better. in fact, I just had an interview at the mall for a seasonal job.

I still get overwhelmed and have had to adjust because I was never like this before, but I took my headphones and listened to music and even on the bus I felt pretty ok :)

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Back before I developed it I thought it was odd too (I guess it's natural to feel that way about something you don't understand that is so confusing when you've never experienced it).

I'm glad you're doing okay and pushed through. Congratulations on the job! Fingers crossed for you!

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