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Author Topic: Comments on improving agoraphobia  (Read 187 times)

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Offline grungedingo

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Comments on improving agoraphobia
« on: June 20, 2014, 12:25:27 AM »
So I had to move back in with my mother in oct. of 2013 I had been homeless and addicted to heroin. I had always been semi outgoing, I was a musician so I was used to being in public and talking to people all the time, Now I find it near impossible to leave the house. I have not rode in a car since November. I do make it a point to go outside everyday now since may before may 4th I had not left my house since January, I just go 100 ft or so outside to the playground to watch my niece and nephew play I can generally only stand it for 15-20 mins before I get over whelmed. I have anxiety attack symptoms when overwhelmed. I have not been to a DR. in years I know I need to go but I just cannot bring myself to ride in a car yet. I had never experienced real fear until the anxiety and you know I didn't even except it as "fear" until just recently. I had tried buspar before but it gave me weird side effects. I completely changed my diet no sugar no soda no caffeine only water and fresh meat and vegi's. I can honestly say that physically I am the healthiest I have been in years but I really need to conquer this agoraphobia, I know I have already made steps with exposure, you know forcing myself outside everyday...Does anyone have some advice on how I can maybe make this easier? I know there is no quick fix oh how well I know that.
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Offline LuLu82

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Re: Comments on improving agoraphobia
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2014, 02:27:17 AM »
I dont mean to be a pill pusher, but have you tried anti anxiety meds?
clonazepam is the only thing that brings me relief and has gotten me out of the house at times.
It can help with the peak fear you are feeling and once you have gotten out a bit, exposure might become a bit easier.

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Offline grungedingo

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Re: Comments on improving agoraphobia
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 02:44:52 AM »
Being an ex addict I want to try to avoid anything that is habit forming, that includes benzos, like clonazepam and xanax. I will take a valuim once in a great while if I am having a major major panic attack but I want to try and be as chemical free as possible. Not that I wouldn't try something new like I did the buspar but that did nothing but make me dizzy and make my arms go numb lol.
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maybe, you think you can save me. Will you love me? Take care of me? Heal all my pain?

Offline LuLu82

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Re: Comments on improving agoraphobia
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 04:18:13 AM »
I understand you not wanting the benzos having dealt with addiction.
You are doing the right things by getting out there as much as you can.
Exposure really is the key to overcoming agoraphobia type stuff.
try and tell yourself you will try and stay in the situation even for 60 seconds longer. it may be a slow process but eventually people reverse the conditioning of fear.  at one point when I couldnt drive, i forced myself to start slow around the block until i got confidence.  driving became ok again.  then there are other things I still avoid so I have not gotten over them.
but you are trying and that's the best you can do.
I read something about no longer fighting the panic, basically surrendering to it and inviting it to do its best and all the physical symptoms.
it sounds simple, but i havent been able to do it myself in all situations...but it is something to keep in mind.
ill admit this has been a hell I wouldnt wish on anyone, but when you come out of it or and have moments of peace and a good day, I have never felt greater contentment.  So keep in mind there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

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Online Cuchculan

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Re: Comments on improving agoraphobia
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2014, 06:39:35 AM »
Exposure therapy works if you are willing for a battle. The basic idea of it is that you let all those things you have been running from, come on, and not run from them. I know. Frightening. But wait. It is not as bad as it may sound. You don't do all this in one go. I am suggesting you run outside the house and go to some place with huge crowds. Far from it. We start off small. For a housebound person, the garden would be a good starting place. Your house is only a few feet away from you. The trick? We all know those bad feelings will come on. So for day 1 we stay out for five minutes. Not a big ask at all. No matter how bad we feel. We stay in that garden. Anxiety is just a mixture of bad feelings brought on by signals of danger we have sent to the brain. Danger that doesn't really exist. But to the anxious person the danger is real. What we feel by way of symptoms is our body protecting us from that danger. If you do go out to the garden it is a good thing to take in as much as possible. Have a good look around. Ask yourself where the danger is in that garden? With your house only a few feet away. We learn to relax in the garden. We learn to feel safe there. We build up the time we spend in the garden. Then we are ready for the next step. I would suggest a small walk in the local area. You will be faced with the same fears. Walk doesn't have to be that far to begin with. Stay where you can see your house the first few times. Take everything in around you. Ask yourself is there any real danger here? So you build things up over time. You challenge yourself over time. To go that bit further each time. To not run away. Your body will get used to the new feelings as times goes on. The more it gets used to them, the weaker they will become.

One thing I want to explain for a moment is the relationship between everything we go through. We may feel a certain way. Be it down or angry. This in turn puts a thought in our head. The thought brings about a reaction. The reaction brings about the symptoms we feel. You see how it is all tied up together. If you could change the thought or the reaction the rest would change by itself. I always tell people to keep a journal as they work through this. Of progress they have made. Of feelings they may experience. Thoughts that might come into the head. Just so you can sit down in a month or two and read back over this. You may see where certain changes have to be made. You may see some thought you had and know if you had of thought a different way, things may have went better for you.

It is all about learning. It does take time. Never rush things. People who rush things set themselves up for a harder fall. Set backs do happen. Expect a few. Learn how to move past them. Reward yourself for progress made. Never get frustrated with yourself if you can't manage something. Just keep on pushing and try until you do get it right. Always remember that no matter how bad things may seem, there is always a road back. Just believe in yourself. This is something you can do. Something you once done no problems at all. You have just forget how to use those skills. They are still there. You simply have to learn to use them all over again. We start at the bottom and work our way back up.
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Offline grungedingo

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Re: Comments on improving agoraphobia
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2014, 04:39:01 PM »
I understand you not wanting the benzos having dealt with addiction.
You are doing the right things by getting out there as much as you can.
Exposure really is the key to overcoming agoraphobia type stuff.
try and tell yourself you will try and stay in the situation even for 60 seconds longer. it may be a slow process but eventually people reverse the conditioning of fear.  at one point when I couldnt drive, i forced myself to start slow around the block until i got confidence.  driving became ok again.  then there are other things I still avoid so I have not gotten over them.
but you are trying and that's the best you can do.
I read something about no longer fighting the panic, basically surrendering to it and inviting it to do its best and all the physical symptoms.
it sounds simple, but i havent been able to do it myself in all situations...but it is something to keep in mind.
ill admit this has been a hell I wouldnt wish on anyone, but when you come out of it or and have moments of peace and a good day, I have never felt greater contentment.  So keep in mind there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you, I know the only way to go is just to do it, it's nice to have reassurance from someone who has been where I am. I think a big part of it is I moved from a little hick town with a population of 500 to a giant city across the nation, intimidating for anyone let alone someone that already had issues to begin with.
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maybe, you think you can save me. Will you love me? Take care of me? Heal all my pain?

Offline firewife

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Re: Comments on improving agoraphobia
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2014, 06:29:48 PM »
This is going to sound silly but I will walk like 100 feet go back to the house. Walk 100 further than before. So on and so on until I reach my daily goal. Like today my goal was half way around the block. Push through those thoughts you can do it. Remember a thought is not always a truth.
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