Hello, first poster here with years of not living life to the fullest, always being anxious, and thinking I'm going crazy
I suffer from Agoraphobia (the fear of open spaces) and Emetophobia (the fear of vomiting). I am a 27 year old female that has been dealing with this since I was about 9 years old, among other things. Anytime I leave the house to go somewhere new, I panic. If I have been somewhere many times, somewhere that's in my comfort zone, I won't panic as much but it still happens occasionally. But if it's a new place, I always make an excuse why I can't go do it, or postpone it for a different day, and I just scare myself silly. I can't go to the mall, a grocery store, the State Fair, or even a concert because I panic the whole time. It's making me miss out on so much that life has to offer. I go out to eat at a restaurant with my fiance, we always have to order "to go" and eat it at home. I can't sit in a packed movie theater or my "flight or fight" response kicks in. Basically, I won't feel better until I flee from the situation. When driving, I have to be the only one in the car. If anyone is in the car with me, or if I am a passenger in someone else's car, I panic easily because I am not "in control." It even took 2 1/2 years for me and my fiance to ride together in the same car, and we've been together for 5.
Emetophobia is also a fear that I have, where I avoid sick people at all costs. I can't be around someone vomiting or that triggers a panic of "oh my God I'm going to vomit too!" If I am working with someone who is sick, I am sanitizing like crazy trying to avoid it. I am always asking the sick person questions so I know how sick they are, if its contagious and how hard I need to sanitize to avoid what they have.
I have tried everything under the sun in the medication department regarding my anxiety and they either have bad side effects or make my anxiety worse. I have done Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, seen a psychiatrist/psychologist, hypnosis, I've done the Midwest Anxiety Center's anti-anxiety kit that they advertised on TV. Nothing has worked. I do breathing exercises when they get really bad, but even those don't help so much. It has gotten to the point to where my own family doesn't ask me to go on vacation with them anymore. I have missed out on cabin visits, trips to Mexico and Florida, and cruise ship vacations. What upsets me more is that they sit in front of me and talk about it.
Me and my fiance have gone on trips before and we always say that we are going to sight see and go out to eat, but the end result is us staying in the hotel and barely seeing anything we wanted to. All because of me. We have wasted so much money on trips. He is very understanding and doesn't want to push me out of my comfort zone unless I am willing to do it, and sometimes I am with a great end result. My point for this, is that I am at the end of my rope here. I would like to have a somewhat normal life and be able to travel, get over my fears (or at least subside them greatly), and have a great experience with my life. I welcome any advice and comments, and would like to know if others out there have been in my shoes and can offer assistance.
Thank you for reading