Agoraphobia

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by Kooshdakhaa, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Kooshdakhaa
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    Kooshdakhaa Gold Member

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    So I found out that I'm agoraphobic. I thought I just had situational panic attacks, but the fact that I avoid doing things because I'm afraid I'll have a panic attack means I'm agoraphobic.

    When I was young, my early 20s, I would have panic attacks just out of the blue for no apparent reason. Over the years these attacks have become situational, and the situation in which I have them is when I'm driving and have to stop at a redlight. Not all intersections bother me, just some. But it greatly limits my options. I always work somewhere very close to home, for example. Although it's not really the length of the drive that matters so much, but the route. If I can take side roads and avoid major intersections I'm fine. And while the car is moving, I'm fine, it's only when I have to stop at an intersection that I'm in danger of a panic attack.

    What makes me agoraphobic is that some years ago I just started refusing to drive outside my comfort zone.

    I always thought agoraphobia meant you were afraid to leave your house. Well, it does get that extreme, in fact some people end up confining themselves to only one room in their house. But it isn't always that extreme. Just the fact that you avoid doing "whatever" because you're afraid of having a panic attack defines the condition.

    Anyone else out there have similar issues? Anything that has helped? My clinical psychologist sister-in-law sent me a "Panic and Anxiety Workbook" that has some things I can do, including deep breathing, exercise, ... putting an end to the worried, negative thinking that we agoraphobes do...etc. I haven't finished reading the book yet.

    Having my husband in the car with me helps, and I also have some big yellow sunglasses that for some reason calm me down. But I still avoid driving certain places.

    I wouldn't even worry about this except that the company I work for is moving to a new building in a few months. Right now I live right across the street from work, now I'll have to drive quite a ways. :shock: It's not easy being crazy. :sad:
     
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    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  2. Politico
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    Politico Gold Member

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    You think you have anxiety now. Just wait until you get put on the no gun list.
     
  3. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    This is a very hard row to hoe. Years ago I went through a very difficult period, and became agoraphobic. I have always disliked traveling. I don't go on vacations for instance. But it became worse until it was difficult to leave the house. I had my route mapped out to work that took me past hospitals so I could run into an emergency room when the panic got too bad. I did that too frequently. One of the things I could not do was drive on the freeway, particularly freeway overpasses. When California had the Northridge Earthquake a truck driver had the freeway collapse in front of him and behind him leaving him on an island. He could easily have driven right off that broken freeway. I fixated on that. Every time I drove, I could see the roadway collapse in front of me and I'm heading toward it at 60 miles an hour.

    What helped was a 12 step emotional support group. It's just like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or Gamblers Anonymous. It's just for people who are addicted to a neurosis or emotional disability. Here's a place to start. Neurotics Anonymous Meetings - Neurotic Behavior Disorder Help

    Find our if there are meetings in your area. That was 30 years ago, today I go everywhere. I commuted from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, driving all alone.
     
  4. Kooshdakhaa
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    Kooshdakhaa Gold Member

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    Well, Katzndogz, I checked and there are apparently no meetings in my area. It said there used to be, but they are inactive now. Maybe I can participate online. When I have more time tomorrow, I'll take a better look at that link you provided. I think I saw that they have online chatting.

    Thank you for that information. :) I'm glad you got better.
     

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