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Offline beccaboo

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Any views on Agoraphobia
« on: March 08, 2014, 08:16:34 AM »
I've noticed that not a lot is written about agoraphobia - just wanted to start the topic off.  I've had GAD for about 15yrs now, and i've found that the last couple of years my agoraphobia sets in for longer and longer periods.  Anyone have much experience with this? what are some advice on how to prevent and some activities people use to drag yourself out of isolation.

I've just gotten over a spell of about 6mths of hardly going out - fortunely I have family, and friends that help out and are wonderfully understanding, during this time.  Just wanted to know other peoples thoughts on this.  I know the professional advice, and behavior modifications I need to do.  Please reply with any personal experience, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Offline PinkIcePrincess

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Re: Any views on Agoraphobia
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 09:13:48 AM »
Hi Beccaboo,
  I suffer from agoraphobia and have now since 2001 it is horrible and hard to deal with and even harder once you let it get worse and not force yourself to get out and face the fears but the fear is stepping out that door into the unknown of what could or might happen but usually never does..
 I didn't leave my house for over a year and when I did I went in wheelchair crying and throwing up and carrying a trash can to throw up in .. I was given meds and told to get therapy but with agoraphobia it was hard to do that because YOU have to leave the house which didn't make sense to me that a Therapist couldn't understand why I couldn't make it the appointments lol I have agoraphobia that is why..

 For me what worked was getting my furbaby  I worked in Health care and we used therapy dogs so I was watching a dog show and seen the Affenpinscher and  I knew then I wanted one so I searched and found one and had him shipped on a airplane now years ago if someone would have said I paid 1200.00 on a dog and had him flown in I would have said You are nuts and I would never do that .. I grew up poor and I really worked hard to raise my son and owned my own home and loved my job but once that was all gone and a surgery went bad I lost my job and before that my grandmother passed away and I hadn't been remarried that long and things at home were hard and I just crashed because I was also Ocd and my childhood was not good so I do know the many years of holding so much in and the surgery a hysterectomy sure changed me into someone I never thought I would be..

So back to Link that is his name he was so tiny and I knew it was either take him out or clean up his messes and at that time I couldn't even step out the door and let the sun hit me for some reason to me the sun was going to hurt me but I did it that lil puppy had my heart and each day I took him out I started feeling better it was Hell though wow so dizzy so sick and gagging and thinking God please get me back into the house I will die here and people will see me but I kept going and then I decided I would set in my car in the garage just set there so I did then one day I started the car and said okay just back up and then pull back into the garage so I did that a few times then around the block then One day I said okay out on the highway I went out and the highway and did a lot of self talk and breathing also had my cell phone and a bottle of water so I thought okay I will stop at CVS Pharmacy I wont go in though but I pulled in and set there and seen through the windows and thought Omgosh look at the pretty things which were nothing but cards and lights and a few decorations but to me it looked like Heaven so I get out walk in and the smell was amazing it flooded back in from the past what a store smelled like all new stuff and pretty things I was very off balance and woozy but I walked around got a few things and left sat in my car and smiled ear to ear and Thanked God!!! I said Lord I know CVS isn't heaven but it sure felt like it to me today!!
  It wasn't help from others it was me that had to make me do it and face the fears and I did it and I did pretty good for years but now I am back to being agoraphobic but not as bad as then but it isn't good but I also have some physical health problems and my moms health and now my furbaby isn't well so I have to now force myself to face the fears and the pain mentally and physically to do the things that have to be done for my Mom and Myself...

 The advice I give to people is ONLY WE can make the life we choose too and we have to Face the fears head on and know that panic and anxiety can not and will not kill us it is hard on us yes in many ways. 
   Taking the steps to get out that door is hard but I wish I would have kept pushing and pushing and not let myself get back this far..
   Take a deep breath and walk out that door and look at the world and say I wont be a prisoner in my own head anymore or in my home don't set back down.. Fight for your Life!!

   Take care and know I do understand about this and it is the worse thing to have along with being Bi Polar and depression makes it harder..
PinkIcePrincess
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: Any views on Agoraphobia
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 09:38:22 AM »
Pink Ice Princess, I have never been agoraphobic, but I can understand how one can become that way, I'm sure I've come close to it once or twice.  You're reply was touching, I hope things get better for you...the struggle is a very real, isolating one, and very tough to go through, so I wish you well!  Thank You for giving a glimpse of your experience :)

Becca, I think the best advice is to never give up!  Even if a person gets back out by taking tiny baby steps those baby steps will eventually get you further along :)

Take Care!
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Offline beccaboo

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Re: Any views on Agoraphobia
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2014, 06:27:56 PM »
Wow, Pink Ice Princess, your story is so touching and amazing.  I don't really have catalysts that create the isolation.  I normally go about doing my day and then a week later notice that I've avoided all reasons to leave the house.  I loved the idea of a furbaby. It's been on my mind for awhile now. Sorry to hear about your little one. and hope Link gives you joy for awhile yet.

Most of your ideas are the same as my psychiatrist and psychologist both have given me advice on doing small activities outside (walk to the letter box and back, repeat) and expanding that activity (walk down the street, and repeat).  The hardest thing for me is the doing alone activities.  When I'm with friends or a family member I suddenly become braver than I was.  It's the alone part.  Thinking about it, a pet would be a great way to be alone and yet not.

I guess what I'd like to know now, is what activities does anyone else does that has helped them more than others.  I've tried walking along walkways being in nature with little to no people around, and someone suggested swimming.  Any other ideas?

Thankyou PinkIcePrincess for the quick reply - It's great to know that there are people like me out there.
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Offline PinkIcePrincess

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Re: Any views on Agoraphobia
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 06:48:09 PM »
You are very welcome.

I would suggest a hobby also for me I got a really bad one though I became a shopaholic I mean really extreme because of being in the house for so long then once getting out I was wild in the stores and malls I opened up many credit cards and just spent like crazy.... not a good Hobby!!

But for me what also helped was getting my into doing some fun things like photography I already had a bunch of older cameras but my Hubby bought me a new Nikon D3100 just for fun I am no pro and have no plans on being one lol... I just point and shoot and I joined some photography groups on ***** or ***** it may be censored in here it is in chat..

I also decided to teach myself to play some instruments I already had guitars so I wanted a Keyboard and a Dulcimer so I got some books on them all and started playing around and no not a pro lol..

Gardening and growing flowers is fun or starting a small garden with veggies..

I also got this hair brain idea  I bought a 300 Lb Scooter lol I got my permit and the first day it came I thought wow that thing is huge and I am so anxious so I was told if you can ride a bike you can ride a scooter so I got a old Bike out of the garage well the tires were flat so I thought okay walmart has Bikes lol so I go into walmart pull a bike off the lower rack and get on it and ride it right into the shelves!! lol I laughed so hard out loud and Thank God no one was in that Isle but I am sure the camera caught me so I put it back and left hahahaa... anyway I got my scooter my Hubby came home from work and said that is one big scooter for you I said well It didn't look big online so teach me to ride it so he says okay start it up and hit that over there well I did and ran right into the garage door lol didn't put any dents on the scooter but the garage door had to be replaced in two sections ..... I screamed and I laughed and he laughed but I backed it up and off I went a little at a time and finally started riding through our small town but that got boring because I didn't want to do the highways so I sold it lol made a profit on it though ...

I think just finding things that make us happy even if its silly do it or them... Join a club or volunteer etc.. I also made flower arrangements and sold them then I became a Huge Barbie Collector and I bought and sold a lot.. just sold my collection about 2 weeks ago..

Flea markets and swap meets are super fun also thrift stores and junk shops etc... a Hobby can also make a person money.
I love buying and selling jewelry also !

There is so much to do in this world I can honestly say even setting at home I don't know what Bored is I have never been bored I guess because my mind never shuts down.

Link is gonna stay with me for a lot longer he has too!! Thank you for your kind words they mean a lot..

Okay Take care and maybe others will gave ideas!
PinkIcePrincess  :action-smiley-065:
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