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KnickNak

Any Agoraphobia Success Stories?

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Just curious. I have gotten a lot better from where I was back in 2012-2015. But, I am not where I want to be. Has therapy “cured” you? I have noticed I can pretty much be anxious anywhere no matter where I am. I am more open to people about it, instead of having to lie and making up excuses, (so I don’t have to explain what it is.) Sometimes I get the Deer In The Headlights Eyes when I explain it to people. Oh Well. I am going to make a goal to go somewhere that I haven’t been to in a long time. 

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How are you being more open about it? Do you tell them you have Agoraphobia?

When someone asks me why I'm leaving, or don't want to hang out, or don't want a job, I just say I'm lazy. Yes, it feels stupid. Yes, it makes people angry and think I'm making fun of them. I can't come up with anything better.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, onsenseal said:

How are you being more open about it? Do you tell them you have Agoraphobia?

When someone asks me why I'm leaving, or don't want to hang out, or don't want a job, I just say I'm lazy. Yes, it feels stupid. Yes, it makes people angry and think I'm making fun of them. I can't come up with anything better.

I used to do the same! I have been called flaky, rude and bitchy. It is harder trying to pretend that I don’t have it. I usually just say , I have bad anxiety and that I have certain limits and boundaries that I have to stay in. Sometimes if they really want or care to know I will tell them my triggers too. How are you doing otherwise with it? 

Edited by KnickNak

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, KnickNak said:

I used to do the same! I have been called flaky, rude and bitchy. It is harder trying to pretend that I don’t have it. I usually just say , I have bad anxiety and that I have certain limits and boundaries that I have to stay in. Sometimes if they really want or care to know I will tell them my triggers too. How are you doing otherwise with it? 

I don't really have Agoraphobia. I just have a lot anxiety when going outside, or in social situations, or crowds, or traveling in general. No uncontrollable panic attacks, just chest tightness and anxiety that's eating me up inside. I went outside for the first time in days and there's no way in hell I can meet the demands of society... how can people be so casual and carefree?

Sorry, that's not a success story. My only success was, I went outside, I didn't avoid it, and because of that I got a Cheeseburger. The pickle was excellent.

Edited by onsenseal
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2 hours ago, onsenseal said:

I don't really have Agoraphobia. I just have a lot anxiety when going outside, or in social situations, or crowds, or traveling in general. No uncontrollable panic attacks, just chest tightness and anxiety that's eating me up inside. I went outside for the first time in days and there's no way in hell I can meet the demands of society... how can people be so casual and carefree?

Sorry, that's not a success story. My only success was, I went outside, I didn't avoid it, and because of that I got a Cheeseburger. The pickle was excellent.

Yay, for getting out of the house! That sounds good by the way 😃 🍔 You sound like you may have a mild form of it. It usually starts off of what you are describing. I slowly lost confidence and was avoiding a lot of situations where I know It would cause anxiety. I always said the same thing. It’s like I felt jealous of how they don’t have to worry about getting anxious. Can I ask how old you are and if you work?

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, KnickNak said:

Yay, for getting out of the house! That sounds good by the way 😃 🍔 You sound like you may have a mild form of it. It usually starts off of what you are describing. I slowly lost confidence and was avoiding a lot of situations where I know It would cause anxiety. I always said the same thing. It’s like I felt jealous of how they don’t have to worry about getting anxious. Can I ask how old you are and if you work?

I'm an older college student, which tells a little about my age. i considered doing a PhD but I don't think I can do it because this lifestyle is too active? I got used to professional talk and work with my colleagues, but when they get hyped for concerts, parties, mention alcohol, or "fun" things I'm terrified. As a teenager it was fine, but now there's so much social pressure... avoiding these things is very isolating. I barely feel human. For example, restaurants, how am I supposed to enjoy the food with so many strangers around? How can people read in crowded libraries? I did most work and studying between depression naps. I have no idea how having a job is going to work :unsure:. My social anxiety is probably amplified by AvPD and gender dysphoria, but it also exists on it own I guess.

Edited by onsenseal
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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, onsenseal said:

I'm an older college student, which tells a little about my age. i considered doing a PhD but I don't think I can do it because this lifestyle is too active? I got used to professional talk and work with my colleagues, but when they get hyped for concerts, parties, mention alcohol, or "fun" things I'm terrified. As a teenager it was fine, but now there's so much social pressure... avoiding these things is very isolating. I barely feel human. For example, restaurants, how am I supposed to enjoy the food with so many strangers around? How can people read in crowded libraries? I did most work and studying between depression naps. I have no idea how having a job is going to work :unsure:. My social anxiety is probably amplified by AvPD and gender dysphoria, but it also exists on it own I guess.

Nice. I give you major credit for going to school. That alone is very hard. That’s the thing I was concerned about if I could handle a job or be considered reliable. Restaurants are huge triggers to me. I had to go for my Mom’s Birthday to this Steak House. As soon as I walked in. I said FUCK. It was one of those restaurants that it’s super dark in there( Romantic Lighting ) and it was packed. When I am out with people of course they ask what I want to drink. But, I just say I am on Medication. Sometimes it’s hard to have a good time when you’re sober and it can be a hard time connecting with people. I am at the age where I am content with going out once every 2 months haha. I get bored easily. 

1 minute ago, KnickNak said:

 

 

Edited by KnickNak

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I suffer from treatment-refractory variants of panic disorder (with agoraphobia) and generalized anxiety disorder. I was recently treated at UCSD for said disorders and gained control of both disorders using the combination of medications listed in my signature below. I am now able to leave the house freely and engage with the world. It's quite miraculous how modern psychotropics can turn one's life around. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, KnickNak said:

Nice. I give you major credit for going to school. That alone is very hard. That’s the thing I was concerned about if I could handle a job or be considered reliable. Restaurants are huge triggers to me. I had to go for my Mom’s Birthday to this Steak House. As soon as I walked in. I said FUCK. It was one of those restaurants that it’s super dark in there( Romantic Lighting ) and it was packed. When I am out with people of course they ask what I want to drink. But, I just say I am on Medication. Sometimes it’s hard to have a good time when you’re sober and it can be a hard time connecting with people. I am at the age where I am content with going out once every 2 months haha. I get bored easily.

Yes, it's difficult and stressful, but I was lucky, because it's free here, so I could just try it without any risk. Higher level STEM classes are usually empty and cozy, and profs are really nice and motivating. I just feel bad because I don't know what I'm supposed to do with it. I can't cope with stress or responsibility or life at all.

Restaurants packed with people sound like a nightmare. I've never been drunk and I don't like drunk people. I'm not judging anyone, I know it's normal, but I need the sense of control.

Edited by onsenseal
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5 hours ago, basuraeuropea said:

I suffer from treatment-refractory variants of panic disorder (with agoraphobia) and generalized anxiety disorder. I was recently treated at UCSD for said disorders and gained control of both disorders using the combination of medications listed in my signature below. I am now able to leave the house freely and engage with the world. It's quite miraculous how modern psychotropics can turn one's life around. 

Wow! Congrats 😀 I agree. If you can find the right cocktail of meds it can change ones life. I am seeing a new therapist, I am hoping she can give me a different perspective on how I think. I wanted to go to a hospital but there aren’t any around here, or any that would I would benefit from. No Surprise tho. I hope you continue to be well!

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4 hours ago, onsenseal said:

Yes, it's difficult and stressful, but I was lucky, because it's free here, so I could just try it without any risk. Higher level STEM classes are usually empty and cozy, and profs are really nice and motivating. I just feel bad because I don't know what I'm supposed to do with it. I can't cope with stress or responsibility or life at all.

Restaurants packed with people sound like a nightmare. I've never been drunk and I don't like drunk people. I'm not judging anyone, I know it's normal, but I need the sense of control.

I am guessing you aren’t from The States. Haha College here sucks. You have to pay at least $50-60k for a BA Degree. And even then the jobs here are soo limited that people who have degrees can’t find any work. So, you have to either get lucky or find a career that you know that you will be employed. I totes get you on the feeling out of control with the drinking. That’s the only reason I don’t drink too. Well, I don’t like the spins and throwing up. When I have drank, it was always very little. Plus, with meds everything is 2-3x potent. So, 2 Vodkas can really mean 4. Thanks for the feedback. 😀 

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32 minutes ago, KnickNak said:

Wow! Congrats 😀 I agree. If you can find the right cocktail of meds it can change ones life. I am seeing a new therapist, I am hoping she can give me a different perspective on how I think. I wanted to go to a hospital but there aren’t any around here, or any that would I would benefit from. No Surprise tho. I hope you continue to be well!

Good luck to you on your new therapist endeavor! And thank you for the well wishes! It took a long time to get to this state of remission, but I'm glad I arrived. 

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I used to not leave the house except for grocery stores and doctor's appointments, and I couldn't go to those without my husband to help, and I didn't drive for over 10 years.  Another 10 years was extremely limited driving.  Two things have majorly helped my agoraphobia.  One is desensitization training.  This uses dog training style techniques to train myself to tolerate and get rewards from difficult activities.  For example to train myself to leave the house and drive I would drive to Wendy's drive through and get a frosty.  Every event I got a reward.  Over time, I required myself to drive for longer to get the reward (like go to the next closest Wendy's, or get a milkshake at a different close store etc).  This changed my associations with leaving and driving from negative to at least tolerable because I got tasty things, and doing it over and over again without having negative consequences helped change my fears of it.  I used the same technique to help me get over my issues with handling money and paying for things.  Don't get me wrong, it's still quite difficult, but I can do it now.  

 

The other thing that has helped even more than the desnsitization training is I have a psychiatric service dog.  She forces me to get out of the house to take care of her and train her.  She alerts to impending anxiety attacks so that I'm not constantly terrified I'm about to have one.  If I do start to get anxious, she is trained to provide pressure therapy (similar to weighted blankets, makes your body release oxytocin and seratonin), and I use her for grounding exercises to keep me present in space and time.  My pervious service dog was also trained to grab my hand and stop me running when I would bolt due to loud noises.  Some dogs are trained to make space around you so that people can't get too close to you.

 

Nowadays I leave the house 2-3 days a week (some weeks even 4 days a week, but those are hard)!  I do errands and hang out with friends.  And once every 3-6 months I travel usually to DC for advocacy or to give presentations on service dogs.  I find rest days where I don't leave the house and don't do anything around the house to be key in my recovery and building the strength to tackle the outside world.  Often when traveling we schedule rest days where we just stay in the hotel and order food in, even.

 

It can get better!

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